T Nation

Professional Athletes

What’s up t-folks? While at the Titans/Ravens game on Monday Night Football I was wondering if the players with the higher level physique’s (Jevon Kearse, Eddie George, Tony Gonzales, Ray Lewis, Jason Sehorn) I was wondering if they attain their large amount of mass due to using mostly Olympic lifts, if they cheat and train like bodybuilders, or if it comes from the higher doses of steroids they take. Coach Davies? Anyone give you theory on this please.

I lived with Eddie George his freshman year at Ohio State and he was ~230# and 6% body fat the day he arrived on campus. His physique was built in High School and most likely due to genetics.

most of the guys i knew in highschool and college who carried a large amount of mass really had to do very little to attain it. most of these guys just had a natural predisposition to carry that much mass. they were never skinny scrawny guys who, through their time in the gym, manufactured their massive physiques. they might have added to it a bit with the bigger lifts, but it was more of a process of keeping their engines tuned so to say. kevo

Combination of genetics, who knows what supplements, and training. M&F did interview Eddie George. He said squat and clean are his in season lifts.

You must understand that the men you noted are some of the best in the game. They possess yes, tremendous genetics as well an insatiable work ethic. While there is always exceptions, most players of this ilk foster their development through years of hard work and dedication. In faith, Coach Davies

Most NFL players don’t do much Oly lifting. Some of the NCAA teams and NFL teams actually do HIT and run from Oly or explosive lifting. There is not any real coorelation between winning in the pros and doing a certain training program. Even the guys who were just hard working runts who got into the NFL are freaks. Howie Long and John Randle are that type, and they are monsters compared to normal people.

I understand the amount of time and effort that goes into building a physique such as this. However, is it possible for thin guys to put on large amounts of mass by mostly using Olympic Movements. Would that be preferred over a traditional body-building routine?

A buddy of mine tried out at the combine in L.A. last year for an O-Line position. He is a fairly big guy 6’3", 285 lbs and does a lot of olympic lifts. He snatched 320 one day and had not been doing olympic lifts on a regular basis when he did it. I’m not sure why he wasn’t contacted by more scouts. His 40 was 4.8, 33" vertical, 32 reps at 225 for BP and his 20 yard shuttles were among the fastest that day irrespective of position (DB, lineman, etc).

How much better do you have to perform on the measurables to get a shot at an NFL team?

This may answer your question in a somewhat indirect way. My roommate played LB at Michigan State. All league, city and State his senior year of HS. His HS league has the most players in the NFL nationwide (Flint, MI).
He’s 6, 225, about 8-9% bodyfat. Can dunk a bball. He played 2 years at MSU and trained under Coach Kevin Mannie.
So does my roommate eat well? Ha! He eats 2-3 large pizzas a week, usually at 11 at might. 2, sometimes 3 gallons of ice cream a week. Always at night, and at least 1x a week he makes homemade ice cream sandwiches with Pillsbury fresh bake cookies.
For fun, he tried to see how heavy he could get. Ate like a pig for 3 months, got up to 260 and still looked decent. Lost it in a month.
His mother is in her late forties, eats all she wants, doesn’t work out, and is slim and trim. Same for his dad. His sister is on a softball scholarship at a Big Ten school.
He trains bb style, nothing too heavy, runs on a treadmill 2x a week. And he looks fantastic.
I guarantee you its genetics.
Am i jealous? Hell yeah! But he’s a good kid so I put up with it! :slight_smile:

Nice to hear from you. This bring up a number of points. First all players are not generally deemed as professional calibre based upon combine numbers - combine results solidify the scouting professions opinion if a player has the physical traits that will help him carryout his role on the field. In other words if the player doesnt possess quality game film he will likely not get a shot. The “strength industry” has helped create a tremendous amount of athletes who are prepared to test well as opposed to playing the game. Another point is age - if he is more than a year “out of the game”, it is unlikely that he will get a shot in the NFL. I doubt people ever appreciate the incredible level of skill and athleticism in the NFL. Still another point is that going to any combine an athlete should focus getting a tryout with a team in a league under the NFL (ie Arena). Please be aware that some of these combine’s are “cattle calls” that you really dont receive a fair shot at. I feel bad for your friend it sounds like he prepared hard. Has he looked at the recent tryouts for teams like the LA Avengers? Please feel free to email me directly if you wish. In faith, Coach Davies

Can we people with “not so good” genetics maximize out genetic potential through training using mostly the Olympic lifts? I will admit, my genetics are terrible. I am extremely long limbed, which helps sometimes because I am a wide receiver. In order to achieve my goals of playing at the next level, I must gain at least 30 lbs. Although, being an athlete I must stay as functional as possible. So that brings us back to the question Olympic lifts or Traditional Bodybuilder? I NEED MASS!!!

You cannot alter your genetic code but you can maximize your performance. Your goals need to focus on the present level first and foremost.
As a Wide-Receiver, your first mandate within your physical development is your speed and agility. If you are undersized you eliminate that weakness within your long-term training plan (ie 1-4 years) with added consideration of your diet / nutrition. Putting on “mass” will do nothing to help you attain your goals if it doesnt improve field performance. In faith, Coach Davies