The process of developing from youth football player to NFL player doesn't happen overnight. It comes from studying plays, working on drills, watching game film, and of course, time in the gym. Three Giants at the Super Bowl weighed in with tips on how young players should work out.
Running back D.J. Ware
Ware says youth players should not try to do anything too erratic or too fancy in the gym.
"It's kind of hard to really tell a kid how to work out because you don't really know how their body is, and you don't really know how they respond to working out," Ware says. "I just try to do the basics. I try to do a little bench, squats, some power cleans for explosion and some shrugs."
Ware, a 6-0, 225-pounder, makes up for a lack of height with tremendous bulk. Putting meat on Ware's bones began as a project in middle school thanks to some advice from his father, Danny, Sr.
"I've been working out and running since about 13, so I've been going kind of hard since I can remember," Ware says. "My dad always told me you got to have thick legs, so they can't tackle you. That's pretty much what I've been trying to do ever since."
Of course, a nice Georgia boy like Ware cannot make trips to the gym without a little something-something for the ladies.
"I gotta do some flies for the chicks, man," he says.
Receiver Ramses Barden
Barden has some good news and bad news for youth players.
Bad news first:
"To be honest man, there's an amount of talent that guys are blessed with," he says.
Now the good news: Whatever that talent level is, it can be maximized.
"I think it's their responsibility to maximize and make the most out of what they've been given," Barden says about young players. "Everybody can't be a football player, but a lot of people can. It really has to do with the amount of determination you're willing to put forth in order to achieve your goals."
Barden does not use the term determination loosely and stressed how following a plan has helped him get to this point in his career.
"Are you willing to do a little bit extra?" he says. "It's not about running three hours extra after practice on a particular day, but every day: Can you do ten, 15, 20 minutes of additional preparation and additional physical activity that's preparing you for the game, preparing you for competition, enhancing your skillset? If you're able to do that, I feel as if you're giving yourself a better chance to become successful at your craft."
Cornerback Prince Amukamara
Like Ware, Amukamara also says he sticks to the basics. He does advise extra focus on one particular body part, even though he's not as obsessed about it as this muscle's poster boy.
"I like to do a lot of abs," Amukamara says, "but I mean I'm not like The Situation or nothing, and I don't have any particular workouts."
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