BYU's own iron man

BYU 2012 signee Steven Richards may not have attended a lot prestigious football camps and had recognition showered upon him for his physical performances. However, if he had, the under-the-radar Alta High School first-team all-state recruit would have wowed college recruiters with his iron man-like strength.

While Steven Richards might not be a billionaire industrialist who wears a gold and red hotrod 3-D knit alloy suit to dispatch foes, he does wear a metal contraption on his back from time to time with the hope that one day it will help him toss aside offensive linemen on the field of battle.

"In my workouts, there is this thing called a yoke and it's basically a squat rack," said Richards. "It's a legit squat rack where you can add weight to it. I just start throwing weight on it and run uphill carrying that rack on my back to get stronger. It's part of my workout that I do."

So how much weight does he add to his mobile weight rack that surrounds him as he runs uphill?

"I added 720 pounds to it and ran up hill," Richards said.

Wow, that's a lot of weight! But BYU's own iron man isn't done yet when it comes to developing his own core of super strength.

"There is a thing called the farmer's pull," Richards said. "It's basically a bar in each hand and I was able to hold 305 pounds in each hand and run 50 feet with it up and then back. So, I basically run 100 feet carrying a total of 610 pounds in my hands."

While Richards' equipment may not come from a high-tech corporation, he does use industrial equipment to further develop his physical abilities.

"There's a thing called an ‘axle clean and press,'" Richard explained. "It's a big bar and you have tires stacked on both ends of it. So, instead of weights you use tires and you try and clean it up to your chest. Then you do a military press with it and try and get it over your head. I was able to clean 255 pounds with that. Then with the regular power clean I was able to get 295 pounds.

"We do a lot of dead-lifting and I do that quite a bit. I dead-lifted 500 pounds, and that's not the best in terms of big weight, but it's good for me."

The Avengers' Iron Man of comic book and movie fame uses an arc reactor that elicits an electromagnetic pulse as the source of his strength. BYU's iron man Steven Richards uses nothing but his own bare hands to move opposing obstacles such as dump truck tires and large stones.

"I like to push over or flip over 750-pound tires," Richards said. "Then I like to flip over the big 900-pound truck tires. I love flipping tires and work out with those quite a bit.

"I also like to do the atlas stone. I was able to pick up a 310-pound atlas stone and put it on a shelf about five feet high.

Richards also uses a large log to help with his power-clean strength as well.

"Yeah, I also use a big log and was able to lift that over my head," Richards said. "That log weighed 250 pounds."

But when it comes to developing iron man brute strength, there's one exercise that tops them all.

"We have my minivan that weighs around 4,000 pounds, give or take with the extra weight of people that we put inside," Richards said. "What we do is we put a harness on that straps around your back and then you run about 50 yards.

"I also did that with our SUV and was able to get an extra couple thousand pounds than the minivan. I was able to get around 200 feet with that running uphill all the way as fast as I could. It's really intense stuff."

Intense stuff? That's putting it a bit mild. Steven Richards' weekly workout is simply insane, and he'll bring that intense super workout ethic to BYU's football team one day.

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