"It's amazing how many of them can lose the weight all these years later," Roberts said. There's really no big secret to eating like an NFL pro. If you're not a pro, you need to do the meal planning yourself, but you can incorporate elements from the NFL diet. "In the NFL, I always ate when I was hungry and whatever was available," he said. Body image and self-esteem issues can fester, as these athletes are told their worth can essentially be measured in calories and pounds. I always had gas. Cincinnati Bengals safety Chris Crocker says, "Diet is very important to me as a player. We provide custom soccer workouts, soccer- training drills, and strength training for soccer tailored to your needs. how do college football players get so big so fast? If you need to lose weight, do so in the off-season, so you keep your energy high for competition, recommends the American Dietetic Association. As part of a holistic approach, the Trust invites players to Exos (where they can train, get physical therapy and undergo a nutrition consultation), offers them YMCA memberships and arranges physicals and consultations with specialists at hospitals across the country. "That was too much," he said. Finally, a really wacky idea: "Just watch what you eat and practice hard. Thomas finds a McDonald's on the GPS. The recently bankrupt rapper released photos of himself looking emaciated in May 2010 for his role as a football player who has cancer in the flick “Things Fall Apart.” A decade later, the average O-line starter checked in at 309.4 pounds. "Offensive linemen get casted in a movie, and they're always 500 pounds. • Inside decade's trends for all 32 teams He lost 10 to 15 pounds and played the following season at 285. However, after six months, as they commit to sustainable lifestyle changes, many have gone off their insulin, eliminated their blood pressure medication, gotten better sleep and reported overall better moods. I always had to use the bathroom. "I had so much muscle on me that it was hard for me to lose definition even as I got lighter and slimmer. Damien Woody talks about how many offensive linemen lose a ton of weight after their playing careers and discusses his own weight-loss journey. He has hovered between 220 and 230 since, which he thinks is a healthy weight for him. If the coach will be back, he might give you a short preview of the schedule in April when you return. ", • NFL's best and worst of the 2010s • All-decade: Top player for each team While he still lifts weights, he focuses on lighter options and higher reps. "I'm not putting any weight on my back anymore; I'm not lifting excessive weight to potentially hurt myself," Woody said. "I'd wake myself up in the middle of the night, down that, go back to bed. So, the key to getting in great shape: training like a pro soccer player. And dinner is lean protein -- chicken, pork, or beef -- with brown rice, steamed green beans, and a mixed green salad. The only guys who need to be as huge as defensive linemen are defensive linemen. Sometimes that includes gaining or losing weight for movie and TV roles. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. ", On June 14, Woody tweeted that he was down 50 pounds since March 23 "and my joints are already jumping for joy.". Do it right. ", Although that mass helps on the field, health complications can follow. "I'm actually working on creating an online community for guys. How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces? And that's alluring for a while. In 2001, Roberts co-founded the Living Heart Foundation, which annually conducts health screenings for retired football players. Throughout his entire NFL career as an offensive tackle with the Cleveland Browns, Thomas was conditioned to eat every two hours, because his job literally depended on it. Gross got all the way down to 225, but restricting himself to under 2,500 calories a day didn't feel like a sustainable lifestyle. But if you're not getting enough vitamins and minerals from food alone, it's OK to take a daily supplement, Bonci says. They've got nutritionists on staff, and during the season, they eat three meals a day in the team's cafeteria. Woody lost 100 pounds on the show -- then gained it all back. And you just become comfortable once again in your own skin.". He ate everything he could get his hands on, which was difficult as a college student "who was pretty broke." The Trust, Mehrtens explains, is all about figuring out why certain guys transition to their post-playing lives more successfully than others, and how they could help bridge the gap. Is it really hunger? High protein is my main focus along with incorporating more carbs the night before the game.". Lunch? Longtime San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley, who played in the most recent Super Bowl, has already donated five garbage bags of clothing and bought all new belts since his waist slimmed from 40 to 36 inches and he lost 50 pounds. Hardwick's weight gain started after high school where he did not play football, but was a 6-foot-4, 171-pound wrestler. The waist got big, but elastic drawstrings were my best friend.". "Another 3 pounds, and it will be 199." • Free agency: Tracker » | Grades » "So one size does not fit all when it comes to determining your calorie cap!". So he just accepted his weight, until this past year, when the 42-year-old renovated his basement into an exercise room. "Just to add 500 calories, the easy way.". More on NFL draft » | Full rankings », Thomas said when he was 300 pounds, his body would ache if he had to stand for a few minutes. If it was frozen pizza, I'd eat that too.". Footballers can receive fines and pay deductions, as well as being placed on the bench, if they miss training sessions. Towards the end, I couldn’t wait until I was done playing and could lose weight and move around and feel better and go shoot hoops with my buddies again. Hardwick and Gross also warn of something that happened to them: They got so obsessed with losing the weight that it went too far. Win or lose, the head coach will thank you for your effort and all the hours you’ve put in. "If I went two hours without eating, I literally would have cut your arm off and started eating it," the former offensive lineman said. Throughout his career, Thomas woke up in the middle of the night and "crushed Tums." NFC: East | North | West | South Instead of heavy lifting and concentrating on explosive bursts, Woody was asked to do longer cardio and train for endurance. You need to take it upon yourself to figure it out. He's driving with his family but is getting hungry. As he gets ready to turn 40 this summer, Gross eats about 3,200 calories a day and is back to lifting weights. "I had so much energy; I wasn't as lethargic. That's what you have to do sometimes.". "You can't outrun your calories," he says. It’s very difficult to decrease body fat and reach peak fitness at the … As Gross points out, "not many people are naturally that big," but bulking up was essential to playing at the highest level and making millions of dollars. "I was bloated for four years straight," Staley said. It wasn't easy playing 10,000 consecutive snaps or fending off football's most explosive pass-rushers. Many older players credit the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, which banned training camp two-a-days, as a turning point. I wanted to alleviate pressure on my joints and mitigate some of the damage that I created playing football. It's a little bit vain, but I'm starting to see abs that I've always wanted. "These are earned benefits," Mehrtens said. "Which then affects their heart, lungs, kidney and their minds," Roberts said. But it was just as hard for Thomas to maintain a 300-plus-pound frame. He enrolled at Purdue on a ROTC scholarship, got a tryout for the football team and ballooned to 295 by slathering 2 pounds of ground beef on multiple tortillas at dinner. Football players need a combination of speed, strength, agility, and power to be successful on the field—and that means a lot of time in the gym. When you eat your protein, don't take it solo. I was bloated because I was so full all the time.". In total, he ate … Supplements can't provide the same quality of vitamins and nutrients as whole foods like chicken, fruits, and vegetables. Most are in their 40s, with the oldest participant 80 years old. If weight loss is one of your goals, there are strategies to help. If weight … Roberts warns that massive weight gain can also lead to obesity. There's a reason pro athletes like Crocker won't go anywhere without their protein. Lean chicken, lean beef, soy, and beans are some of the healthiest protein sources. Unlike the long, drawn-out pain of a race, football players must find surges of energy. Soccer players can get a flat stomach the same way everyone else can: by eating fewer calories than they burn. 4. But you're putting so much demand on your digestive system. That means getting enough protein and the right balance of nutrients in your diet. While it’s not possible to lose fat in just one area, soccer players have many options for increasing their calorie expenditure to lose weight, which means unsightly belly fat will eventually disappear to expose a toned abdomen. Contributor: Kylene Guerra, MS, RD, CSSD, LD Advertising Policy Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. It's all about balance. "I just stood up, no problem," Faneca said. "And I was like, 'Wow, this is nice. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Many players interviewed for this story said while they do feel better and like the way they look, rapid weight loss has led to unsightly stretch marks and excess, saggy skin (which one player, wishing to stay anonymous, said he had cosmetically removed). We got weighed in on Mondays, and if I lost 5 pounds, my coach was going to give me hell.". • Fantasy: Cheat sheets » | Projections » It's a new kind of discipline. I'm a big, fat guy, you're running at me, you don't have to create as much force because I'm just heavier, fatter and have more mass. "I wanted to lose weight the … For that, you're better off taking nutrition tips from the NFL players who keep their diets lighter and cleaner. To effectively put on the pounds and become a football force to reckon with, participate in a high-volume weight training program and adhere to a diet that supports muscle growth. "I felt if I missed a meal after two hours, I was going to lose weight, and I was going to get in trouble. It jumped to 276.9 by 1990, but the largest increase in poundage would come in the following 10 years. ", "Being skinny as a lineman wouldn't be helpful, because you would have to create more force to stop those big guys," Thomas said. By September 2019, TMZ picked up Thomas' transformation, headlining an article: "Ex-NFL Fat Guy ... LOOKS LIKE A CHISELED GREEK GOD. And for many years, players have felt like they're on their own in their weight-loss journey. "In the dark. Exercise is one of the best ways to burn fat and … Unfortunately, fasting isn’t for everybody. JesusShuttlesworth. I started running to suppress my appetite. As his career wound down, he began consulting with Katy Meassick, the Browns' nutritionist, who began educating him on healthier habits. Thomas, too, had to recondition his brain to stop eating when he was full. Then that wears off, and you settle in, and people stop freaking out every time they see you. He says he can cover the field faster when he's a pound or two lighter. "Great," he thought to himself. About "5,6" 195" 09-04-2012, 11:58 AM #2. So while knowledge is power - this knowledge is also dangerous. Then he retired in 2014 and lost 70 pounds within six months. "I didn't really think about how much of the bad stuff or fat and calories were in the food when we ate out.". He didn't know where his weight loss would lead him, and he didn't want to waste money. "I was one of those who had to work to keep the weight on. But it shouldn't be your only source of the nutrient. It isn't easy. By the time he got to Boston College, he already weighed 300. He was a Pro Bowler three times, made the All-Rookie team in 2003 and started at right tackle for the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Subtract your post-exercise weight from your preexercise weight, then convert it to ounces [16 ounces to a pound, so if you lose 2 pounds during exercise, you have lost 32 ounces.] For most NFL players, eating is a no-brainer. "My wife, Karen, is a physical therapist," Saturday said, "and we had conversations about getting my health and body weight right when we retired from football. "You want to be able to wear cooler clothes, and go into stores and start shopping off the rack. Like Hardwick, Staley -- who went from 215 pounds to 295 at Central Michigan, as he transitioned from tight end to the offensive line -- used to set an alarm for himself every day at 2 a.m. "I had these premade weight-gainer shakes; they were probably 2,000 calories each," Staley said. "They're just like, 'OK, see ya!' Once you're done lifting, you want to put it back into an anabolic state where it builds muscle again. Anyone with a BMI of 35 or over is invited to join a six-month program called The Biggest Loser (although this one isn't televised). And finally, he would slurp down another protein shake before getting into bed. Lose fat during the off-season. Former Baltimore Ravens guard Marshal Yanda dropped 60 pounds in three months by going from 6,000 calories per day to 2,000. So you just learned the secrets of how boxers and fighters lose a lot of weight really fast. He purged his house of his favorite vice, chips and salsa, and now snacks on raw broccoli and Bitchin' Sauce -- an almond-based vegan dip. To train right, football players need to hit a range of areas, and that’s why we’ve put together this all-around workout for you to add to your routine. Gross experimented for a while. "You don't have any wiggle room when you're playing -- you just have to eat to keep the weight on," he said. And as I've gotten older and older, I've noticed it does become more and more difficult to manage if you haven't lost it right away.". ", Although Staley worked with his college strength coach to make sure he was putting on "good weight" -- gaining muscle without unnecessary body fat -- the unnatural eating habits took a toll. "Isn't that the typical lineman life? Later, he was told he had to gain more. ", "I just had a great laugh," Thomas said. Before then, it felt like their college days. I wanted to be the weight I … • Questions for potential top 10 » It's 3 p.m., and Joe Thomas needs to eat. "I didn't want to be that big, but I had to because I loved football and that was my job.". Although that kind of weight loss can be inspiring, it also points to the unhealthy relationship with food many offensive linemen develop, usually dating back to college. That's how I keep my weight down," Granby 119-pounder Demetrius White said. "Because the bigger offensive linemen could hold off the defensive rush for a longer time so that the quarterback could throw the ball down the field, leading to more spectacular passing plays.". The True Inspiration Behind 50 Cent's Shocking Weight Loss for 'All Things Fall Apart' The rapper plays a football player diagnosed with cancer in the film that will be released in February. "It's not proven, but it also may be associated with Alzheimer's disease and possibly traumatic brain injury.". Why the Jacksonville Jaguars have the most attractive GM opening in the NFL, For July Fourth, NFL linemen and their barbecue hobbies come in handy, Bike, tuna and will: How Marshal Yanda lost 60 pounds in three months, Every NFL roster ranked, 1-32: The Ravens are first, but there are surprises. Staley said he now eats with purpose and moderation. "It's very important that the supplement remain a supplement," Livingstone says. So he just accepted his weight, until this past year, when the 42-year-old renovated his basement into an exercise room. If you're working out three days a week, you can eat about 15 calories per pound of body weight, according to Bonci. Then Thomas retired in 2018. I needed to lose weight. Once playing careers wind down, many players must assess whether it's worth it to carry the extra pounds. The habits continue in the NFL. "So from 250 to 300, it wasn't a massive wardrobe change. Eleven years in the NFL, and all I'm known as now is ex-NFL fat guy.". My cousin was alredy huge "5,6" 188 but after 8 months he was was just insane. "And it was hard. Soccer is a great sport for weight loss because it works your muscles and your heart in different ways. There are two types of offensive linemen: those who must artificially add the pounds on, and those who are naturally big. Bonci recommends using whey protein isolate, a straight shot of protein that you can add to shakes, peanut butter, oatmeal, and just about anything else you eat or drink. "In a sustainable way. A quick protein fix in bar or shake form is great when you're at the gym. He not only threw away the over-the-counter meds, but his skin cleared up, his yoga practice improved and he felt less bloated. 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There's a common refrain among offensive linemen: If you don't lose weight in your first year out of the league, you're probably not going to lose it. "When you're talking about lean muscle mass, you've got to have a clean diet ... a balanced diet of protein and carbohydrates [with a] low level of fat, and lots of fruits and vegetables," Livingstone says. And every day Woody goes down to the basement to stay active. "My wife would have hypothermia from me having the room so cold all the time. Bonci says the goal with eating protein is to optimize performance and build lean muscle mass. Here's a potential day in the life: Think breakfast: four pieces of bacon, four sausage links, eight eggs, three pancakes and oatmeal with peanut butter, followed by a midmorning protein shake. ", Griffin, who is now a certified personal trainer and owner of TTrain Fitness Bootcamp in Atlanta, doesn't recommend the kind of diet he and his teammates ate to stay big. Guys who work out but eat nothing but junk food will gain fat on top of their muscle and bulk up. He added swimming and biking as cardio, along with yoga. The “best” way to lose weight fast is to…fast. They also need to eat right. Throughout his football career, he had taught his subconscious to go beyond that point and keep stuffing his face with family-size McDonald's orders and sugary drinks. Weight is a tricky topic for the average person, and in some ways it's thornier for the average NHL player. '", • McShay's early 2021 Mock Draft » Four years after retiring, Woody weighed 388 pounds and agreed to appear on NBC's "The Biggest Loser." Hardwick also downed a 600- or 700-calorie protein shake before bed and set his alarm to drink a similar one at 3 a.m. At this year's NFL combine, Ben Bartch was a topic of conversation after talking about his go-to smoothie: seven scrambled eggs, "a big tub" of cottage cheese, grits, peanut butter, a banana and Gatorade. "I'm lucky, in the late 1990s, early 2000s, everything baggy was in style," Gross said. FAQ: How will the Detroit Lions' GM and coaching search go? Gross, for example, ingested an enormous amount of protein each day while playing, including six pieces of bacon, six scrambled eggs, two 50-gram protein shakes, four hard-boiled eggs and two chicken breasts -- all before 2 p.m. in the afternoon. But it's what I had to do to play. It's by far the quickest way to lose weight and it's also the stupidest. Beshore said most who enrolled in The Biggest Loser program are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Your guide to sculpted shoulders, better biceps, and more. When football players hit the gym, they usually focus on either heavy weight training to build size and strength or specific drills to improve athletic performance at a combine-style skills showcase. Playing weights began ballooning across the league, especially on the line. The list continues on and on. "I don't want my players saying, 'I got all of my protein because I ate wings.'" "So we want to make sure guys take advantage of something they've already earned.". Chris Crocker, safety, Cincinnati Bengals. "So I thought it was exciting to try different things." Fasting can be a great way to lose weight because you’re causing your body to burn what it already contains to find its energy instead of fueling it constantly with external energy. He rarely eats breakfast and tries to do one 24-hour fast per week -- eating dinner at 6 or 7 p.m., and then not eating at all until 6 or 7 p.m. the following night. ", Staley no longer fit into the clothes he arrived at Central Michigan with but couldn't afford to buy new ones, so he was constantly borrowing from teammates. "I would just sweat profusely all the time," he lamented. "It just shows it's never too late to find motivation to reach your goals," lead trainer Erik Beshore said. "When you start eating and exercising like a normal human being," Thomas said, "the health benefits are amazing." "In the 1990s, there was a push that suggested to some people that putting on more weight might make it a more effective and exciting game," Roberts said. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. For dinner, Thomas could devour an entire Detroit-style pizza himself, and then follow it with a sleeve of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and a bowl of ice cream. His journey might seem dramatic, but it's not uncommon. Thomas is the latest example of an offensive lineman who, after retiring, recommitted to a normalized, healthy lifestyle after overeating and over-medicating during his NFL career. Combine 1-3 days per week of interval training, with 2-3 days per week of high volume lower body lifting (with upper body lifting another 2-3 days as well to keep the body even), and finish with some core training. He was vegetarian for a year and then tried the paleo diet. If you are a typical soccer player, you'll gain weight in the off-season, and lose it during preseason training. Within six months, 60 pounds melted off from his 325-pound playing weight. Once Gross got down to 250, he noticed an immense pain relief in his feet and ankles, which were swollen his last few years in the league -- but due to weight, not injury. If you work a desk job and eat like a lineman, the only thing that's going to grow is your belly. Contrary to popular belief, eating everything in sight isn't a plus in the NFL. 6 Do’s and Don’ts for Athletes Losing Weight. Ideally, you want to get in a serving of protein both before and after a workout, she says. In May, USA Today ran an entire column wondering if offensive linemen were more susceptible to severe complications from COVID-19 because of their size. It will be quick -- just a bit of fuel between lunch and dinner. Now every Monday, Thomas and his wife, Annie, will try to fast for 24 hours. They came up with a post-retirement plan, which Thomas describes as "low-carb or keto diet, with intermittent fasting." In fact, laborious might be the better word. It was especially challenging over the summers, when he inherently burned calories at his construction job. We're used to being s--- on a truck in a dark room, and everyone expects us to go out and perform for no glory whatsoever," Thomas said. "As an offensive lineman, you just do the grunt work forever and you do the crap nobody wants to do -- our position is the Mushroom Club. I went through my whole life being part of a locker room with a team, and then you get into the real world at 30, and nobody really knows what that experience is like.". When trying to transform your body, you may end up building muscle but not losing weight. So at the end of each day in training camp at Wofford College, Gross counted to 15 one-thousands on the soft-serve machine, then blended that with four cups of whole milk, plus three homemade chocolate cookies (which Gross believes were about 850 calories each) and Hershey's chocolate syrup. We made every NFL player a free agent, then asked our 32 NFL Nation reporters to re-draft four rounds of high-impact stars with a five-year Super Bowl window in mind. "There's got to be some sugar in that protein to increase the absorption." "I wanted to lose weight the right way," Woody said. It's a little hard to whip a turkey leg out of your [gym] bag." All rights reserved. "As a free safety, it is best for me to be lighter on my feet so I am able to get to the ball and get to the plays a lot quicker." You don't need to do this unless you're a professional fighter and need that weight advantage in the ring. So how'd they pull it off? Shortly after the last CBA in 2011, the NFL Players Association launched "The Trust," which interim executive director Kelly Mehrtens describes as a VIP concierge service of benefits players can take advantage of as they transition outside of the league. If you look at the math, one pound of fat is 3,500 calories. For breakfast, they'd down supersized restaurant portions of waffles, eggs, bacon, grits, and toast. Lunch is usually a grilled chicken sandwich with a mixed green salad, or sliced ham on wheat with applesauce. I had the pleasure of meeting Kim Lyons for a brief lunch a couple of months ago and we cooked up a scheme to give away a few copies of her new fitness book Your Body, Your Life and do …