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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Pumped up Arizona Wildcats hit weights

Ryan Revock
Ryan Revock/ Arizona Summer Wildcat UA football player Yamen Sanders bench presses in the UA football team’s weight room on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 in the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility.

It’s 6:30 a.m. A dark and damp silence covers the Arizona campus. While most students are sleeping in, the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility weight room is loud and full of life.

The first group of Arizona football players is getting its day started by looking to improve in the weight room, which will translate onto the field.

“Started from the bottom now I’m here,” said junior running back Ka’Deem Carey about his improvement in the weight room over the past two and a half years.

Carey, who said he likes to listen to Drake while lifting, is one of the stronger Arizona football players. He said he weighed 185 pounds when he was a freshman and now weighs 206.

“I can probably put up 275 with ease [on the bench press],” Carey said.

Weight lifting is a skill football players take a lot of pride in. Sophomore running back Jared Baker holds the team records and highs in the Wildcats’ weight room.

Baker’s strength came from discipline and the dedication to the system that the Arizona football training staff has put in place.

Football players are given a recommended diet and meal plan, as well as a food every day that is regulated by the trainers. Supervisors are in the weight room helping players as well as giving them a weekly plan.

For the most part, during the season the Wildcats are looking to maintain their strength and stay flexible with less weight but more repetitions to increase their heart rate. The offseason is when a majority of the bulking happens.

While all this might sound similar to a typical gym rat at the Student Recreation Center, a football player’s regiment is quite different.

“I like doing push-ups and sit ups,” Carey said. “Curls and squats, I love squats. I don’t skip leg day. Even though it sucks, I got to get down there because that’s where the tackles come from. Got to be strong down there.”

During the season, lifting two days a week is mandatory though there is an optional third day. Once the season ends, players are expected to stay in shape on their own.

Senior offensive lineman Chris Putton, who is 6-foot-4 and 286 pounds, said he can bench press 435 pounds and the only supplement he takes is the Muscle Milk provided after they lift. Putton said he doesn’t take Creatine, whey protein, caffeine pills or any kind of amino acids, which are all legal substances for Division I NCAA athletes.

“It’s just not something that I feel I need,” Putton said. “I feel I can gain the same amount of strength with the organic food that they feed us and I can make.”

Head coach Rich Rodriguez has called Carey the hungriest running back in the country, meaning he is one of the hardest college football players to tackle.

Carey credits his tenacious lifting motivation to his success on the field.

“Weight lifting is a lot of compound moves,” Carey said while showing how a bench press movement looks similar to a stiff-arm. “It starts in the weight room and translate to game. All the hard work I did with squats during the offseason have made my legs stronger to fight off leg tackles.”

—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella

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