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Troy Polamalu Training Article

www.post-gazette.com/pg/05220/550403.stm

Polamalu in middle of training revolution

Monday, August 08, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steelers Training Camp 2005

If safety Troy Polamalu ran a National Football League team, he’d cast out traditional weightlifting, make summer practices less physical and banish running tests teams such as the Steelers enforce the first day of training camp.

“I wouldn’t have a conditioning test, that’s for sure,” Polamalu said. “I don’t think that you need to be in the best shape of your life on the first day of camp. I think you need to be in the best shape of your life on the opening day of the season. I mean, that’s in a month.”

He’d get rid of Gatorade, the sports drink that is a major NFL sponsor and can be found in buckets on every team’s sideline and throughout training camps.

“I think that’s a whole money plot, you know what I mean?” Polamalu said after a recent practice at St. Vincent College. “I don’t understand how all that sugar can really help you. I think water’s the best, definitely, and I think some water’s better than other.”

Polamalu is a nonconformist in a conservative sport, where training has advanced in some areas but lags far back where he’d like to see it.

By NFL standards, his training regimen is radical. He does not lift weights and he trains in the offseason under Marv Marinovich, who became infamous as the father, strict dietician and trainer of former Southern California quarterback Todd Marinovich, a 1991 first-round NFL draft bust with a history of drug arrests.

Few can argue, though, with the style of training or the work Polamalu has done with Marv Marinovich. Polamalu made the Pro Bowl in his first year as the Steelers’ starting strong safety last season and developed into one of their top playmakers.

“He’s been so much on the cutting edge for years,” said Polamalu of Marinovich, whom he has trained under the past four years at his small Sports Lab facility in Orange County, Calif. “He’s been doing the same thing for 30 or 40 years. People are just now starting to evolve to his training methods. He’s been above and beyond when it comes to strength-training coach.”

Instead of free weights or machines, Polamalu uses medicine balls, heavy shoes, something called the wobble board and other nontraditional football workouts such as the single-grip hand ball to train year-round, even during the season.

He’s quoted on one Web site extolling Marinovich’s methods: “People have a hard time believing I could train for football using a heaviest weight of 20 pounds.”

Polamalu credits Marinovich’s methods for turning him into a Pro Bowl player.

“His philosophy is you can’t train slow to get faster. You can’t go in there and bench weights to think you’re going to get stronger. And, for example in the bench press, never are you going to lift that slow.”

Polamalu placed his hands to his chest as if he were bench-pressing.

“Never are you going to be this deep, because if you’re this deep in football, you’re going to get beat. His whole philosophy is training explosively, training with balance and nervous systems and things like that.”

No Steelers player and few in the game can match the burst of Polamalu, who received coach Bill Cowher’s blessing to pursue his training routine under the apparent belief that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

“I think the human body, if you aspire to any regimen and are consistent with it, it’ll stand you in good stead,” said defensive coordinator @#%$ LeBeau, who would not be surprised to see the Marinovich method catch on more in the NFL. “Everything has to start somewhere. But people usually reinforce success and Troy’s certainly had a lot of success. There’s no question he’s a supremely conditioned athlete.”

Marinovich ordered Polamalu to go home this spring when his weight dropped to 198, from 212-215 last season. He weighs only 203 today but says he’ll be back where he’s supposed to be by the season. And he expects to play better.

“I dropped maybe five or six interceptions,” said Polamalu, who led the team with five (one for a score), tied for second with 97 tackles and had one sack. “They would have been great catches, but if you want to be great you have to make those catches.”

LeBeau hopes to use Polamalu’s speed, size and burst to blitz more often this season.

“He’s very similar to when we had the situation with Carnell [Lake] and Rod [Woodson] – 200-pound guys who can really, really run. You can send him back as deep as you want and also blitz him, and that’s a nice combination for a coordinator.”

Maybe some day, Polamalu can convince a team to change the way it trains. He would hire chiropractors and message therapists to take better care of their players, their investments.

“People are too scared to revolutionize, but that’s where you get great people.”

dont let louie simmons talk to him…

Troy was a 600 pounds squatter, 350 cleaner, and 400 bencher coming out of USC. He also posted some crazy numbers at his pro day.

I think no matter how he trains he will be a great player and obviously had a very solid foundation before training with this new dude.

[quote]Cowboy92 wrote:
Troy was a…350 cleaner…[/quote]

I’m sorry, that just sounds funny to me. “A 350 lb cleaner.” Heh.

[quote]Bulldawgcountry wrote:
“I don’t understand how all that sugar can really help you…”[/quote]

Apparently, Gatorade and Mountain Dew are interchangeable in this dude’s eyes. Because, I guess the only thing in Gatorade is sugar, no electrolytes or anything. Hmmm, that’s news.

[quote]Cowboy92 wrote:
Troy was a 600 pounds squatter, 350 cleaner, and 400 bencher coming out of USC. He also posted some crazy numbers at his pro day.

I think no matter how he trains he will be a great player and obviously had a very solid foundation before training with this new dude.[/quote]

In what competition? Football players are strong, BUT they usually inflate the numbers just a bit. Same as in bodybuilding mags that claim Greg Kovaks can incline press 700lbs. All BS IMHO.

I am not sure if anyone else feels the same way, but I feel there are two types of people-

Those who have that ability of “natural” physical, athletic skills. Who may only need a little refinement and some unstable work and light weight (as explained in this article).

Then there are those people that need ME & DE days, O-lifts, and stuff that appear to be addressed by Polamalu. We are those without those genetics or natural abilities. We gotta work on it.

I think this article or the opinion of the subject in this article may have forgotten that there are people like us. We need more than a wobble board, etc. But since Polamalu threw out the “bait”, I would love to see the price tag for this “revolutionary” style of training.

It probably is a good idea/program to put into use once a strong, powerful foundation has been established. Polamalu had to have had a strong and powerful foundation established right?

Unless football is now being played while on a surf board hanging ten, what the hell can a wobble board do for for someone who needs to run at a high rate of speed and lay a lick on some poor unsuspecting WR? Obviously, these guys never heard of Bompa, Siff, Chu, Gambetta, Zatsiorsky, Kraemer, Rhea, Verkhoshansky, Yesis, Sale, Fleck, Louis Simmons, or Poliquin. If they did, they would know how to develop real power.

different strokes…

I wonder what Dan John or Big Dave Tate would have to say about this article. I once saw, on this website a link to a video of Joey Harrington when he was in college doing overhead squats on a wobble board? That’s not progressive that’s stupid…

Overhead squats on a wobble board stupid? Nah, the circus was probably in town.

Troy is also a Somoan isn’t he? Those guys seem to be so strong naturally iit is frightening.

Whatever you guys may think, you can’t argue with the Polamalu’s performance on the field. The part about the Gatorade I do agree with partially as there is a lot of sugar in Gatorade…it’s not quite in the same category as soda, but I don’t believe it’s quite as beneficial as it is made out to be.

I think his ideas are pretty off. The fact that they work for him doesn’t mean they are good. The NFL would suffer if his principles were adopted, in my opinion.

I’ve researched this Marinovith guy, and he does seem intriguing. Enough that I decided to buy his book. He’s definitely not the next Poliquin, but his training idea are worth trying, if only for rehab and gpp. And I just like a guy with non-conformist idea, so I think it’s worth a 25$ expense to make my own mind about it.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
I think his ideas are pretty off. The fact that they work for him doesn’t mean they are good. The NFL would suffer if his principles were adopted, in my opinion.[/quote]

The NFL as a whole may suffer, but you can’t argue with the success that Polamalu has had, so obviously his training is beneficial to him. The difference between indoctrination and education is a thin line, and sometimes I don’t think we[reader’s of T-Nation] give full credit to training information produced elsewhere just because some of the info may disagree with what is presented here. Even some of T-mag’s authors disagree from time to time, so it is not wrong to at least give other sources a glance before straight up dismissing them.

Since he is not trying to gain muscle mass I can see why he doesn’t lift weights.

I hate to generalize about race/ethnicity but most Somoans are huge and strong as hell.

Most of us are trying to get bigger and stronger so we lift.

There is no doubt that the guy is an incredibly gifted athlete.

But it all boils down to one thing, what works best for one athlete may not be best for everyone.

There is no one ‘right way’ to train as everyone responds differently to different training stimulus.

I believe I read somewhere that the true measure of success in any type of training program is whether or not you were continually progressing with respect to your training goals. If you are making progress keep doing what you are doing. If you are not, throw it out and find what works for you.

Zap? Sarcasm?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Since he is not trying to gain muscle mass I can see why he doesn’t lift weights.

Most of us are trying to get bigger and stronger so we lift.[/quote]

It’s Samoan. darn amerikans