A Look at Team Strength Numbers

Dan Hawkins said Tuesday he was satisfied with the players' overall physical condition when they reported to camp this week. Strength and conditioning coach Jeff Pitman was in charge of delivering a bigger, stronger team this fall, and by all accounts including any player you talk with, he succeeded. How does the CU team compare strength-wise with last year's Boise State team? Read on.

"I was pretty pleased with (summer workouts)," Pitman said on Tuesday. "We can always do better, but I thought overall the guys got stronger. That was the objective we had. I thought the guys worked hard and came together pretty good. "

Pitman's weightlifting regimen differs from what the players were used to. The goal was to increase muscle mass overall, and increase power in the players' hips. Concentrating on a handful of lifts — power clean, hang clean, squat and bench press — players lifted fewer repetitions with heavier weights than they had under former strength and conditioning coach Greg Finnegan.

Players would lift no more than five reps in the Olympic-style lifts, Pitman said. Some days, the players would put 90-percent of their max weight on the bar and do sets of three reps.

"Ultimately, that's the deal, we try to go heavy," Pitman said.

Some players saw weight gain, in addition to strength gain. Freshman defensive tackle Jason Brace showed up in Boulder close to 245 pounds, Pitman said, but he's now practicing at 270.

As the team winds its way though a tough season, some players have trouble keeping weight on, which can become a problem at some positions. Pitman, though, said they'll keep an eye on that issue in the coming months.

"Our nutritionist (Allison Maurer) does a very good job with that," he said. "They have a lot of resources here to help guys keep the weight on."

While the strength numbers went up for the players this summer, they're not at the level Boise State was under Pitman in 2005 in two of the lifts — the power and hang clean. (That should change by next season this time after the team has been through an entire year in Pitman's regimen.) CU players fared the best in the squat.

Below are some CU strength numbers with the coinciding 2005 Boise State numbers in parenthesis:

Power Clean: 29 CU players over 300 pounds (BSU – 49)
Hang Clean: 32 over 300 pounds (BSU – 61)
Squat: 36 over 500 pounds (BSU – 26)
Squat: 7 over 600 pounds (BSU — 0)
Bench Press: 53 over 300 pounds (BSU – 53)
Bench Press: 24 over 350 pounds (BSU not available)
Bench Press: 6 over 400 pounds (R.J. Brown, Hugh Charles, Erick Faatagi, Brandon Nicolas, Ryan Walters and Thaddaeus Washington). (BSU not available)

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