Jets Refocused Weight Room Program


Jun 7, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan speaks with the media during his press conference after New York Jets organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Coach Ryan has noted that his team is stronger than in the past. This makes Rex a happy guy, as the offseason conditioning program has had a three word focus: “strength, power, and explosiveness”.

“I want guys to be looking in the mirror, looking at themselves,” Ryan said. “You want guys who say, ‘Yeah, I’m looking good,’ feeling good about themselves, feeling strong, being able to move people. That’s what you want your team to be. We want to play the part, for sure. But it’s not bad looking the part, either.”

New strength and conditioning coach Bill Hughan, who was hired to replace Sal Alosi, has been working this program since the team’s exit physicals from last season. He sought feedback from Tannenbaum and coach Ryan, and presented his program at the beginning of offseason activities, to the approval of Jets brass. His changes have not gone unnoticed.

“He brought in more functional exercises, rather than the usual base bench (press) and stuff like that, things that would challenge our balance and our change of directions,” nose tackle Sione Pouha said. “Instead of being more one-dimensional, I’m a multi-dimensional type of player.”

One tactic was contrast training, in which players would contrast a strength exercise, like a barbell lunge, with a plyometric exercise, like jumping on and off a box. They did the exercises back to back, to build power and explosiveness even when fatigued, as they might experience in a lengthy series of plays during a game.

Each player has his own workout folder. Included are corrective exercises for physical imbalances that could result in injuries, identified by the functional movement screens scheduled at the start of the offseason program, organized team activities and training camp. And each player’s regimen is tailored to his goals.

Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, for instance, aimed this offseason to become thicker while also maintaining his agility and speed. His weight is above 230 pounds as he added strength to both his upper and lower body.

Competition also drives the program, which yielded the now much talked about Tim Tebow weight competition vs. a lineman that he won. Also, the defense and offense were divided up into 2 teams, for various competitions, and the rewards included time off.

Will this fall yield differences on the field? We will soon see.