T Nation

OL/DL FFB's- How Did You Do It


After reading the posts below about obesity during and after a football career in the trenches. I am very curious to hear advice from anyone who has bucked this trend.

I am a former University offensive guard who played at 330, jumped to 365 shortly after my playing days ended and has recently dropped back to 325. I have done this with a 4 workouts a week of alternating interval cardio with olympic lifting days (old habits die hard I guess). Now that the weight loss has become more difficult, I would love to hear tips from other ex-players or experts on this board on how to continue with a long term, continuous weight loss program. My eventual goal is to reach a bodyweight of 250 at 6'5.

I apologize in advance if this has been addressed in any T-Nation articles, and links to those would also be appreciated.


I think you just have to realize that a change in eating habits is needed. I still play but as I said in the other thread, I refuse to get fat to make some coach happy.

But, having said that, I know I can get "away" with more during the season as far as cheat meals go. I mean, I play both sides, pretty much ever snap, so I'd imagine some calories are burned there.

Basically, keep up your lifting and non-lifting workouts. For a guy your size, you'd be surprised how much of an impact walking every day for 30-45 mins will have. You won't get ripped in 4 weeks, but over the course of a year, it adds up. Dr. Lowery wrote about this once.

From personal experience...I did listen to my coach freshman year of college and ate too much, got fat but hit a certian number (I think I was up to 315 @ 6'1). I was disgusted tho...slower, and felt like shit. So I changed schools and decided to lose the weight..over the course of a few months I got down to 260 and the speed came back. I'm not gonna get confused for a contest Bodybuilder, but haha it was a huge improvement.

My High School OL coach was the same way...he was pushin 300 at about 5'9. After college he lost around 65lbs...nothing big, just workin out, cutting out the junk other than an occasional cheat meal.

So my advice? Remember that at 250lbs you'll still be pretty damn big...because I know some lineman get used to that feeling of being one of the "big men." Lose it slowly, and steadily and understand you will fuck up sometimes and eat a cake, a 1/2gallon of ben and jerry's, and a dozen Dunken donuts. Don't freak, just get right back into the diet and training.


During my playing days i got up to about 310. Last season I dropped down to 295. I have lost about 40 pounds in the last 6 months. I have about 10-15 lbs to go before I see abs for the first time ever.

First keep a food log tracking your intake of carbs, fats, and protien. You should know how many grams you ate and when you ate them. Do not eat anything 3 hours before going to sleep.

Second keep up with the cardio. I've had great luck with high intensity interval work. Try running for 1 min then walking for a min. Go for a total of about 15 min.

Third keep up with your olympic and multi joint lifts. These are the lifts that will burn the most calories in a work out.


I clicked on this thread because being a lineman is the greatest thing in the world, and linemen are the greatest people in the world. I got a question for you guys: did anyone else notice that his goal is to be 250 @ 6'5"?!?!? That is some serious weight loss, and I am positive if you played D1-D2 level ball, that a lot of your weight is muscle. I do not think interval running and weightlifting will cause that much of a weight loss.

Anyway, I played two years of D3 football before leaving school for mental health reasons last year. I was a 3-tech or sometimes the weakside end or sometimes the extra fb in the power I. I was only 240-250, but I am really short @ 5'10" ish, haha! I played MLB in high school, and my coach made me put my paw down in college, which I didn't like, so I lost some weight in the offseason with heavy sprinting work. I was down to 205 by the summer, when my coach told me to gain it back!

I think that is the main problem, coaches always telling linemen to eat, eat, eat! I think most lineman inherently have weight problems, which is why I think that ESPN article is worthless... playing line doesn't make you fat; fat men play on the line! Now my meds make it really tough for me to lose weight, in fact Dr. Berardi said that he always makes his clients tell him if they are on psych drugs, so I am up to 265 now. However, I got up there because of:

  1. Diet
  2. Overall activity level
  3. Doing all forms of exercise to build size

I think that numbers 1 and 2 are very important, but they are obvious. I think number 3 is what linemen struggle with. I am powerlifting now, and the original poster is sprinting and olympic lifting. Those are exercises that build muscle and make people bigger... so they might not be best for the person looking to lose a ton of weight. I would reccomend checking out Chad Waterbury' article, get lean without dieting. I think that is the energy expediture needed to lose a ton of weight.

Sorry for the long post.


The reason linemen get big is the same reason anyone gets big. They eat more calories than they burn. Sprint work outs and o-lifts are 2 great ways of burning alot of calories and also getting your metabolism up.

Most college linemen don't come in their freshman year weighing 300lbs. They have to put it on by eating big. Those eating habbits that helped put on those extra pounds need to change before they can loose the weight.

Shugs wrote a great article about ffb's loosing weight. It has some great ideas on both diets and workouts.


I do agree that 250lbs at 6'5" is almost "thin". I have posted pics of basketball players at that height and weight and none of them would pass for "bodybuilders". I didn't say anything before, but to drop that low would probably require the loss of muscle tissue as well.


I basically picked the 250 number out of thin air. Im a fairly strong guy (I've competed and placed well in some strongman competitions since I finished playing). However, when I think about it I do believe that it would be a little light. I just want to lose enough fat that I can be a better overall athlete rather than the specialized type I am now.


I just switched to protein shakes instead of eating meals. Not every meal mind you, but I make sure to get at least 150 g protein a day from shakes alone. After that, I'm not that hungry. Usually for breakfast I have 3-6 eggs, with 2 scoops protein mixed with 16 oz skim milk. Snack btwn classes is another protein shake. Lunch is a protein shake. PreWO and Post WO protein shakes. Then Supper is usually lean chicken or beef with some vegatables.

I play raquetball about 4 times a week for cardio, and lift about 4 times a week. This is about all that I have to do to lose weight. But the most I ever weighed was 298. We were an option team, so the coaches liked us to be mobile. Hope that helped.


Once you get to perhaps 275, you should be able to go by the mirror.


I tend to do much the same aside from 2-3 meals being solid, but this is only when dieting and my "protein shakes" are meal replacements with added protein and soluble fiber. Because of the added fiber content, the increase in multivitamins and the increased intake of fish fats and flaxseed oil, I am probably eating better right now than when gaining in terms of those issues. I couldn't gain much by eating like this though because I need to increase my calories much more. Each one of my "protein shakes" is about 70-80gr of protein and I still knock out at least half a pound of beef daily. Even then, I still feel the need for a cheat day once a week.


Cheat Days have been a bit of a dilemma for me..Is one a week still condusive to success, or should I be looking to eliminate them completely?


A dilemma how? I base their need on my progress and how I feel. usually about 4 days into a low carb diet, I start to feel depleted. This last week, I noticed a significant drop in strength while training chest on about the 5th day. I lost about 3 reps off my max weight for reps of my last set. I took the next day off because of this and then had a cheat day the following day. I feel much better now. Of course, all of this depends on MANY factors so blanket statements don't do much good. I wouldn't stay on an extremely low carb diet long term (longer than about 2-3 months).

My metabolism is fairly quick though, I just hate losing any strength so I tend to not diet down to single digits because of that. Plus, I really don't care about being less than 10%. I base my eating habits off of the results I get. If cheat days were ruining any fat loss, I would cut them out and make them cheat MEALS or lose them completely.