It's preparation.">
It's preparation.">

Get Pumped For Game Time

Hardly a day goes by without someone asking me one question: "What's the biggest change from the college game to the pros?" And while the pain I feel when I get smacked by a 6' 4" linebacker is the first thing I noticed, I think the biggest thing is something you can't see. <br><br> It's preparation.

In this league, players treat pre-game as seriously as game time. From the mid-week weightlifting to afternoon film sessions, game prep is serious business. Working out tops my list of game prep "musts" and can mean the difference between a good game and a great game.

Here are some of my workout tips to help you get pumped for game time:

Workout Tips

Workout philosophy:
There's no real secret. It's just a matter of doing the work—the hard, heavy lifts and feeling the burn. It's like anything else: you have to put the time in.

Pre-Workout Stretching:
I make sure that I always stretch BEFORE I tackle any routine. Doing it the right way boosts your heart rate, blood flow and core temperature, so that I get the most out of my workouts. I always stretch and contract my muscles. I use them in the stretched position to get them going!

Recovery:
I make sure I rest between workouts; Taking 24 to 48 hours to recover after a hard workout has really helped my gains in the weight room. If you don't rest, you don't grow!

Cardio:
To keep going, I have to keep my cardio interesting. I sprint the stadium bleachers, or go for a run up the hills near my home. Each time I try to stretch it and push myself.

Gaining Mass:
Regular weight training has made a huge difference in my blocking assignments, and it allows me to recover more quickly from injury. Coming into camp, I knew I would have to put on more lean mass while keeping fat off. I used Myoplex Sport to help me with the balanced nutrition I needed to compete.

Extra Effort:
You have to put in the extra work in the gym before and after practice if you want to excel. Even if it's just 10 extra minutes a day, remember, it's the little things that add up to make you the best you can be.

Results:
A lot of people will stop the effort if they don't see results in a week. It took a while to get out of shape, so you need time to get back into condition. The thing is, everyone can reach his or her goals, but you have to be willing to pay the price.

Nutrition:
Nutrition is very important. I eat around six small meals each day and drink plenty of water. Take the training table; The best players eat right, from the start of training camp to the last play of the season. They eat small, protein-rich meals several times a day. Their lockers are stocked with the NFL certified Myoplex shakes and bars, so they can grab a quick post-practice meal.

You can see the difference when the fourth quarter roles around. When some guys start to tire out, others are turning it up a notch. In this league, the game is won and lost in the fourth quarter. And the fourth quarter is won by the guys who want it the most.

You can be that guy. You want to get ready for the game on Friday? Start on Sunday. Skip the fast food and eat a chicken breast. Pass on those potato chips and down a Myoplex shake. Trust me, come the fourth quarter on Friday night, when other players are sucking wind, you'll thank me.

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