Coaches are always looking for ways to keep players motivated and eager to train during the off-season. The University of Cincinnati Strength staff is no different. So while many people were just getting off to work, many of this years Bearcat football team took the field at Nippert Stadium to compete in the RedHawk - Big East Challenge for bragging rights before heading into preseason camp.
While many college students spend their summer at the pool or hanging out with friends, many of the 2005 Bearcats Football Team have been taking classes and working out with Head Strength Coach Tim Swanger and his staff.
While the Bearcats football coaches are not allowed to work with their players, I can tell you they will be excited about the progress many Bearcats made this summer in the weight room. While taking in the challenge, you could visibly see the progress many Bearcats have made since spring practice.
While the challenge pits Bearcats vs. Bearcats, you could still see and feel the team unity and desire for all to excel during the days events. With six main events plus a tug-of-war at the end, teams competed for the chance to ring the victory bell and hold court over their envious teammates.
Members of the Bearcats strength program drafted players for their teams. Six teams were made and given names. Fun Bunch, Black Death, Punishers, Sickness, Hell's Angels and Top Notch would compete in several different events.
List of Events
Farmers Walk: Players carry a weight the width of the field and hand off to another teammate who does the same thing. The group works as a team for the whole period of the drill.
Sled Push: A wooden sled was built and is pushed the width of the field and then handed off to the next teammate who repeats the drill until time is over.
Bench Press: Each team member takes the bench and pumps out as many reps as they can with a bar weighted down with weights and a metal chain.
Tire Flip: Just as it says. A giant tire is flipped as many times by a member and then another player takes over were the last player stopped.
Tire Throw: Take a giant weighted ball held in a strap and throw it over your head for distance.
Log Press: Weights on a bar that is shaped more like a log with handles. While standing press weight in the air as many times possible and then pass onto next teammate.
When all six events are finished, scores are added up and teams are placed for the final event. Tug-a-War. Here is where it's important for the strength coach to select the right players for their team. While many would feel just taking linemen would give you a better chance to win, this test can also be won by players who are strong and quick.
While all teams performed great under the guidance of their strength coach. It was Head Strength Coach Tim Swanger who built the top team. While some of the other coaches are talking about recounts, I hear to say Swanger's Punishers were the victors and rang the victory bell when all events were finished.
The Punishers consisted of the following Bearcats.
Carpenter, J. - Posted 86 reps in the Log Press.
Wess, D. - Posted 77 reps in the Log Press.
Coach Swanger spoke with Bearcat Insider after his team's victory.
Up next for the Bearcats are a few days off and then it's time to report and prepare for the Big East and the season and home opener against Eastern Michigan.