Meet “My Boy Wood”

What’s it like to train as a D1(Division 1) Athlete?

It’s like “Running through a lion’s den with pork chop drawers on”. Well that’s how the Head Football Coach at East Carolina University described the fitness training program. Funny statement, but also true. It was a dream of mine to play for a Division 1 football program, so I decided to take on the challenge anyway. Hey, a little bit of challenge is necessary for growth… Right?

My passion for fitness and nutrition started while playing collegiate football at East Carolina University. Well maybe not so much nutrition. That part came along later in life. In a sport that challenges you so much physically and mentally, you have to develop a source of POSITIVE ENERGY to fuel your mind and body. ENERGY is applied in everything we do. My ENERGY was FOCUS. Some might say it was a desire to not ride the bench for 4 years. Both can be great sources of ENERGY to pull from, but FOCUS can be applied throughout all aspects of life (Family, Fitness, Work, etc.).

The fitness training program at ECU incorporated some of the workouts that are popular in the fitness community today. Most of which the Hype4Life family is familiar with. Workouts such as; HIIT, Circuit Weight Training, Power Lifting, Plyometrics, Interval Sprints, and Interval Runs. Notice I left out distance running. A three or five mile run wasn’t even a thought during this time. You see, most football training programs concentrate on explosive movements that focus on speed, power, agility, and rapid recovery. Primarily, because during an average play, a football player only runs about 20 – 40 yards before the play is over.

As an athlete, you are constantly measured against a certain standard of excellence. Therefore, fitness test are a norm. How fast can you run? How much can you lift? How high can you jump?. That’s why the majority of athletes are so competitive and always have a desire to perform at a high level. Here are some examples of several fitness test that we had to complete:

All test were either performed before or after a 60 minute weight training session.
– Sixteen 100 yard dashes within a certain time. Got to be able to take it to the house without getting run down.
– Sixteen 40 yard dashes. Average time had to be close to your fastest 40 yard dash time. It’s not good if you have 4.2 speed in the 1st quarter, but 4.8 speed in the 4th quarter.
– Four Full Gassers after practice every Tuesday…. aka Bloody Tuesday
– Ten 300 yard runs. Each 300 had to be completed within 55 seconds with only 30 seconds rest between each run. Mention this test to a former Pirate and you will receive an evil look.
– Running up the stadium stairs multiple times. Then for the final trip up, having to carry someone your weight size on your back.
A phrase that was used to hold each member of the team accountable was “NO EXCUSES”. I still use the phrase today. It eliminates the act of self-deception.

Gone are the days of 3-a-Day football practices. I no longer have to block linebackers that outweigh me by 50+ pounds, so I’ve traded in bench press for push-ups and squats for leg press. Linebackers are no longer trying to tackle me, so I’ve replaced 40 yard and 100 yard dashes with ½ marathons and sprint triathlons. The Hype4life family has replaced my football teammates as my system of accountability. It also helps that my wife, who teaches Body Pump has a passion for fitness and nutrition as well. I’m just more focused on proper technique and more reps, rather than more weight. Basically, building lean muscle through circuit training, interval training, cardio, and proper nutrition. 99.9% of my workouts involve some form of cardio. My diet is basically low sodium and low sugar with the proper mix of protein, fruits, and veggies. At least until the weekend. Even then, the goolosh is consumed in moderation.

Are you doing all that you can to bring out your inner athlete? If not… NO EXCUSES… If so, let me know when you want to try the 300 yard run fitness test!!!

Stay FOCUSED!!!!!!!!


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