My Colts may be out of the playoffs, but I will still be logging several hours in front of the television, watching other NFL athletes. (Go Bears!) The serious athletes who are finished for the season are probably already thinking about off-season workouts. Rest is important in growth (and to recover from injuries), but too much rest brings atrophy. A strong off season workout program can prepare a player to prevent unneeded stress and strain when other heavyweights are aiming to slam into you. The athleticism, strength, and endurance of professional football players is impressive to me, and I think we can learn from their training how to reach our own personal potential.
Dwight Freeney works out with tractor tires and chains. If you are living on a farm, you may be able to emulate his workout, although probably not his skill on the football field. Those of us in less rural areas may have difficulty finding the space to workout with tractor tires. Even those confined to a studio apartment have room to add chains to a home workout. While good resistance bands may be difficult to come by, especially in less urban areas, chains can be found easily in rural areas or any where with a Lowes, Home Depot, or Menards.
While working out with chains may benefit you with the imagery of toughness and raw power, there are some physical benefits to adding chains to your workout as well. Adding chains to weights that you are already lifting will increase the weight at the end of a lift, maximizing contraction. Chains draped or wrapped on your body can add weight and resistance to push ups, sit ups, wall sits, and more. For those with limited funds or limited space, adding chains to a push up can simulate a bench press without the presence of a bench or a bar.
Any time you add weight or resistance to a workout, do so with caution and a spotter. The majority of readers will not be able to lift what Freeney or other NFL stars do, but if you are feeling some football fever this playoff season, working out like a NFL player can add some motivation to your fitness routine. I know I am energized and inspired any time I see a 40 plus yard sprint, whether it ends in a touchdown or not.