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NFL’s workout warriors

What it takes to have a long, rewarding career. Jack Bechta

Print This August 04, 2009, 09:18 AM EST

Being an agent gives one a front row seat to how NFL players take care of themselves and train in the offseason. Over the years, I’ve observed some workout warriors at the peak of their careers. I also get to observe patterns between those who push themselves in the spring and summer, and those who don’t.

In my 20s and 30s, I actually used to work out with a few of my clients. It wasn’t always fun running sprints with WR/returner Tim Dwight (embarrassing), but I did like benching with Pats OL Todd Rucci (an ego boost). Now in my 40’s, I stick to the 24-hour treadmill and stay far away from the boys.

I noticed that players who limited themselves to their teams’ offseason programs had shorter careers and were injured frequently. Those who worked out four to six days a week with little rest after the season – players like the NFP’s own Matt Bowen -- played much longer and stayed healthier.

Two of the clients I currently represent have been doing the same workout together since they were in high school. They take a few weeks off after he season to unwind and then gradually work back into their proven routine. Packers CB Al Harris and Steelers safety Tyrone Carter are 34 and 33 years old, respectively. However, Al is coming off his second consecutive Pro Bowl, and Tyrone had five picks, six pass deflections and one touchdown last season – as the third corner. Not only do these guys continue to be productive, they’re also iron men. Al has missed only four games in his career going back to high school. Tyrone hasn’t missed too many, either.

So I asked these guys to tape some of their workouts because I want to see what keeps them in shape and where their fountain of youth comes from.

Darrell Green, my former teammate and a Hall of Famer cornerback, played in the NFL for 20 years. He was also one of the league’s hardest working guys in the offseason. The one common denominator among long careers is a work ethic. The offseason workout warriors will almost always have longer, healthier careers. So let’s take a look at what’s happening in Pompano Beach, Fla., in steamy July.

Here you go:

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