Nittany Notes: Challenge Lift

We continue our look at the specialized conditioning the Penn State players are going through this winter. Learn about the team's Challenge Lift in this edition of our exclusive Nittany Notes.

Recently we laid out the "unconventional" conditioning techniques used by the staff to get the Penn State in shape in the off-season. Another dimension to this approach is the "Challenge Lift." This event consists of a series of conditioning exercises where "the players go as hard as possible," according to an observer.

The players only get a 35-second break in between each exercise. Here is an breakdown of the Challenge Lift, which is typically overseen by strength and conditioning coach John Thomas:

Exercise 1: Leg Curls: Player do as many leg curls as possible.

Stephfon Green on Leg Curl Station

Exercise 2: Squat Jumps Player does as many consecutive squat jumps as possible in a 30-second period.

Exercise 3: Plate Pull Player pulls a 100 pound plate down and back a set distance as fast as he can.

Eric Latimore on Plate Pull

Exercise 4: Versa-Climber Player climbs as many feet as he can on the Versa-Climber in a five-minute period.

Exercise 5: 225 Reps Player gets on the bench press and puts up as many consecutive reps of 225 pounds as possible.

Josh Marks on Versa-Climber

Exercise 6: Pullups Player does as many consecutive pullups as possible.

Exercise 7: Curls: Player gets to the curl station and conducts as many consecutive bicep curls as possible.

A.Q. Shipley on Pullup Station

Exercise 8: Hang-Time Player hangs from the pull-up bar for as long as possible.

The order and duration of these exercises can vary "depending on how J.T. feels." Observers feel that this is one of the "most difficult things the players have to go through during the winter. It's like a mini Lift for Life event."

As another observer explained, "[The staff] looks for marked improvement regularly from the players in this event. They are working out all the time, but this event allows them to not only see power and strength, but endurance and conditioning."

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