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Walter Jones' Workout

The secret for staying strong? A nice set of wheels

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Abs exercise.
"You don't worry too much about your abs when you're a lineman," Jones says. "But if someone gives you a shot in the gut, you don't want to start crying."
Bill Frakes/SI

By Jeffri Chadiha

WALTER JONES
TEAM: Seattle Seahawks
POSITION: Left tackle
HEIGHT: 6'5"    WEIGHT: 325

When the Seahawks asked Walter Jones to attend the team's off-season conditioning program this year, he said no thanks. He'd worked out on his own for three summers, and after making the Pro Bowl each season he wasn't going to change. The key to his workout? Pushing an SUV around a parking lot near his home in Harvest, Ala. When he played for Aliceville (Ala.) High, Jones and the other linemen sometimes had to push small cars in preseason workouts. These days Jones is up to a three-ton Escalade. Twice-a-week truck pushing is the only lower-body training he does, and Jones says it's an excellent substitute for squats, which hurt his back. The work in the parking lot also translates well to the field. "The hard part [about playing offensive line] is staying low for that long," he says. "After doing this, it doesn't bother me if I'm stuck in my stance for a long time. I also feel like I finish off blocks better." Other elements of his self-training regimen: weightlifting, abdominal work and sprints. "I run short sprints, because a lineman's game is about short bursts," he says. "I can't work out like a wide receiver or a defensive back. Those guys have to run all day."

Walter Jones' Five-Day Workout

Abs exercise (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays)

1. Lay on your back with legs extended straight out and heels on a exercise ball. Keep hands on stomach and head and shoulders on the ground as you lift the midsection up. Try to keep the body in straight line while holding that pose for at least 45 seconds. Do four to five reps.

"You don't worry too much about your abs when you're a lineman because it's hard to have a six-pack," Jones says. "But you want to do exercises like this to handle situations on the field. If someone gives you a shot in the gut, you don't want to start crying out there."

Lineman Stance drills.
Jones uses a goalpost in his backyard to help him enhance his stance.
Bill Frakes/SI
Truck pushing.
enlarge image
Jones' twice-a-week truck pushing is the only lower-body training he does.
Bill Frakes/SI

Lineman Stance drills (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays)

1. With back against a wall (or a goalpost in Jones' backyard, in this case), bend the knees and lower the hips into a left tackle stance (with legs bent at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees). Keep arms extended straight out and hold for at least 45 seconds. Do four to five reps.

"By doing this, you can improve your ability to stay in your stance for a long time," Jones says. "You should be able to stay in your stance all day if you're a lineman, whether a quarterback is calling an audible or not. This will help keep you low."

Truck-pushing (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

1. You need a driver to put the truck in neutral with the brakes on. You should be on pavement with a very slight downward slope.

2. Put both hands on the back bumper and bend your knees at an angle of about 90 degrees. As you lean into the truck, keep your back straight and your arms nearly extended (elbows slightly bent). Put one foot forward -- whichever one feels most comfortable to you -- and the other back.

3. Yell "Go!" After the driver releases the brakes, start pushing immediately and continue for 25 yards.

4. Rest for 90 seconds. Do it 10 times in all.

Weightlifting (Mondays and Wednesdays)

1. Dumbbell bench (3 sets of 10) 70 to 90 pounds
2. Dumbbell incline (3x10) 65 to 75 to 80 pounds
3. Dumbbell curls (3x10) 70 pounds plus bar
4. Shoulder press (3x10) 60 to 80 pounds
5. Shoulder shrugs (3x10) 100 pounds
6. Abs crunches (200 reps/day plus another 100 reps after dinner)

"When I lift weights, I'm really just trying to maintain the strength that I already have," Jones says. "People ask me what I can max but I don't have any idea. I haven't done that since college. My main goal with the weights is to just do the little things that help me on the field."

Cardiovascular (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays)

1. Run 10 80-yard sprints
2. Run eight 60-yard sprints
3. Run six 40-yard sprints
4. Run 10 20-yard sprints
5. Run 10 10-yard sprints

(After each sprint, walk back to the starting point and immediately start running again. The recovery time is the time that passes between the end of the run and the start of the next run. He doesn't time the sprints.)

"I run shorter sprints because a lineman's game is about short bursts," Jones says. "I can't work out like a wide receiver or a defensive back. Those guys have to move at fast speeds and change direction and they have to run all day. What I need to worry about is having the right technique and stamina."

Hurry-Up Diet

Four weeks before training camp opened, Jones was told by Seattle to report at no heavier than 329 pounds. Weighing 340 at the time, he went on a strict diet that was designed by his wife, Val. He skipped breakfast, and every lunch and dinner consisted of half of a boiled or baked chicken along with a healthy side of either steamed vegetables or a salad with ranch dressing. He made the weight cut with pounds to spare.

Issue date: August 8, 2005

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