Players Praise Tolbert's Strength Program

Michigan strength & conditioning coach Kevin Tolbert receives positive reviews at U-M's media day.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – In the weight room it’s all about getting results.

In other words: lose fat, build muscle, get stronger, get faster -- simply put -- get better.

According to Michigan players from U-M’s media day, new strength & conditioning coach Kevin Tolbert is doing exactly that – getting them better.

Who is Tolbert exactly? Well, he came to Michigan form the San Francisco 49ers (2011-14) and Stanford (2009-10), where he was an assistant under U-M coach Jim Harbaugh.

“Coach Tolbert, that’s my guy,” said junior running back Derrick Green, who is now listed at 5-foot-11, 234-pounds. “He brings a lot of energy, a lot of energy to the weight room. Everyday he expects us to lay it out on the line and give it our all. And everyday he is expecting us to give it our all and give 110-percent. He just, I feel like I am speaking for everyone on the team, he changed our body around. He just did a 360, and we all feel good.”

Redshirt junior lineman Kyle Kalis is listed at 6-foot-5, 292-pounds, and eight months into Tolbert’s program, he has seen his numbers slide in a positive direction, as well.

“I went from 18-percent body fat to 14 this off-season,” Kalis said of Tolbert’s conditioning routine. “Everyone has gotten faster, everyone has gotten stronger. And if you look around, you can see it in the guys.”

However, Green says it’s how Tolbert get them to workout is what is working the best. In fact, he recalled one workout where everyone got “pumped” up due to Tolbert’s unique style.

“We had a workout in the summer where we all went to the stadium,” Green recalled. “We thought we were going to do one thing, and we switched it up. And he got us all pumped up and we did something else. And him doing that I thought brought us together as a team. That’s what we need this year, we need to stay together as a team.”

What exactly did Tolbert have them do? Well, Green wouldn’t give the particulars.

“I can’t say what we did,” Green said with a smile. “But it was fun.”

And so far, it seems his style is working.

Michigan opens its season at Utah on Sept. 3.

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