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  • Article on how Archuleta trains.

    Trying to stay current By David Fleming

    Page 2

    As if the FlemFile moving to Page 2 isn't stimulating enough -- there's nothing like a little electro-shock to get you juiced about the upcoming NFL season.
    While I was hanging out in Phoenix this summer researching a story on Rams hybrid safety Adam Archuleta, I spent a morning wandering around the gym where Arch trains up to six hours a day during the off-season. It's run by trainer Jay Schroeder, (not the former QB) who created the Russian-influenced system that has transformed Arch from a skinny 170-pound high school reject into a chiseled 205-pound missile launcher with a 530-pound bench press, 4.37 speed and the prototype skills for a new generation of do-it-all NFL safeties.



    Arch hates the notion that he's a Caucasian mutt who -- goshdarnit -- just wouldn't give up on his lofty dreams. The truth is, to get to the top, he's spent most of his life during the last eight years sequestered in this gym being, literally, tortured by Schroeder. Actually, it was longer than that. Before Schroeder would agree to train him, Arch had to measure everything he did for six month -- including his waste.


    Then the real fun began.



    "The training feels like a pipe is being driven three feet up your butt," says the soft-spoken but intense Schroeder, the scariest man you'll ever meet in sweat pants. "Then you have to stay there for 15 minutes."


    Okie dokie, I thought after hearing this.


    Like most trainers Schroeder is a good guy, but a tad prone to hyperbole. Arch doesn't just work on his chest, he does exercises that are "the equivalent of 3,000 bench presses." Schroeder isn't just fond of his star pupil. "I love him," he says. "I would die for him."


    It was then that I noticed what looked like two little electro-shock machines in the corner of the room. In my head, I was thinking don't ask ... don't ask ... don't ask. But, of course, I blurted out, "Hey, what are those?"


    As part of his training, Schroeder hyper-fatigues muscle groups by juicing them with, he says, "more frequency than most humans can endure." Indeed, a website for these types of electric-stim machines boasts: "NO surface burning or surface pain at 0 to 2.5 watts."


    The Thighmaster, this is not.


    As the physical demands on NFL players increase, so, too, have their off-season regimens. I've watched Donovan McNabb work on his drop-backs in the desert sand in heat that had people around him yakking into trash cans. I've seen Jags' safety Donovin Darius train with an Ultimate Fighting champion in a gym littered with bloody bandages. Mike Vick spent so much time working on the West Coast offense this summer that he barely had time to use his fishing boat, 'Bad News.'


    Jerry Rice runs his hill. Texans center Steve McKinney works 12-hour days in the off-season training and running his businesses. Last summer, Bucs coach Jon Gruden came to the team facility at 5 a.m. and saw Derrick Brooks running wind sprints in the dark.


    Some guys go to speed camps. Some train at altitude. Still others get their blood checked so that nutritionists can determine the exact foods they need to eat for maximum performance. (I've done this, by the way, and it came back PopTarts, Mountain Dew and bar-b-que Fritos.)


    This summer, all-pro tight end Tony Gonzalez went to extremes to keep his mind sharp. He spent a month in Mexico in an intense Spanish language immersion program. While 'reporting' on his 'training,' I knocked back some tequila that the locals guaranteed would not give me a hangover (wrong) while I watched Gonzalez get twisted by a leopard-suited salsa instructor in ways that would make Ray Lewis jealous.


    "I feel as refreshed and ready for the season as I ever have," TGon told me.


    But for an underdog like Arch, the lengths to which he must go to keep his edge during the off-season have become, well, shocking.


    As I observed from a safe distance, Schroeder attached the electric-stim paddles to the biceps of Arch and the rest of the trainees -- among them, the Colts phenomenal defensive end, Dwight Freeney. He turned the knob halfway; and immediately, their hands were torqued into grotesque knots and their arms moved involuntarily -- the guys call this "playing the banjo." It was, to say the least, uncomfortable to watch and listen as the toughest athletes in the world whimpered, groaned and then screamed in agony as Schroeder continued to spin the knob like a sadistic Vanna White.


    When it was over, Arch took the paddles and put them on my arms. Come on and try it, he dared.


    "Alright, what the hell," I said. "Crank 'er up."


    I was sure I could handle the pain. I wrestled in college and, let me tell you something, those singlets are no joke. A few weeks ago, I even played a whole hockey shift in my rec league after accidentally squirting some Gatorade up my nose.


    Schroeder flicked the switch and my arms locked up at the elbows, palms pressing against my shoulders. Twisting at the wrist, my hands then made weird ghostly circles. It felt like lightning bolts were going to shoot out of my fingertips. The NFLers were already giggling when I saw Schroeder barely twist the knob past 'on.'


    "OK, OK, ha-ha, I get it," I said.


    "OK, OK, ha-ha, I get it," Arch mocked me.


    Ow. Yeow. ZZZZZZZ.


    I think at this point, the lights overhead dimmed and flickered.


    "All right, all right -- enough!" I yelped.


    Arch just smiled at me. *******.


    "OK, owwww," I said.


    Bacon? Do I smell bacon?


    The knob spun some more -- or maybe it stayed in place and it was my eyeballs that were turning. Eeeeeeeeyyyyyeeeowzzza. Now it felt like I was getting hit by lightning -- continually. I tried to move away to get the paddles off my arms. I swear the cell phone in my pocket was smoking. I was sure that my hair was going to look like the lead singer of ELO.


    About to de-fibb, I thought about all the people who, this time of year, dream about playing in the NFL. But when you see up-close what these guys go through during what is supposed to be their summer vacation ... well, hmm, maybe we should all be content with the torture and agony of fantasy football.


    Finally (OK, the whole thing took like 15 seconds), Schroeder dialed me down and Arch took the paddles away.

    "So what was I? Like, 10, 20, 30 times higher than Arch?" I asked.


    My biceps felt wrapped tighter than two golf balls. The rest of the day, my notes looked like those scribbles that run off the page when you're falling asleep in class.


    "Uh," said Schroeder, "you were at a little less than half what these guys do."


    That might be true. But it's been over two months, and I still haven't had to recharge my cell phone.

    Did you know that Rams safety Adam Archuleta once did a ballet dance at a high-school talent show? ... In The Mag's NFL preview, we created a category of versatile dudes called Swiss Army Players (SAPs). But so far, I haven't seen Dime One from the Swiss Army people.

  • #2
    Re: Article on how Archuleta trains.

    Originally posted by ArchuletaFan31
    Trying to stay current By David Fleming

    Page 2

    As if the FlemFile moving to Page 2 isn't stimulating enough -- there's nothing like a little electro-shock to get you juiced about the upcoming NFL season.
    While I was hanging out in Phoenix this summer researching a story on Rams hybrid safety Adam Archuleta, I spent a morning wandering around the gym where Arch trains up to six hours a day during the off-season. It's run by trainer Jay Schroeder, (not the former QB) who created the Russian-influenced system that has transformed Arch from a skinny 170-pound high school reject into a chiseled 205-pound missile launcher with a 530-pound bench press, 4.37 speed and the prototype skills for a new generation of do-it-all NFL safeties.



    Arch hates the notion that he's a Caucasian mutt who -- goshdarnit -- just wouldn't give up on his lofty dreams. The truth is, to get to the top, he's spent most of his life during the last eight years sequestered in this gym being, literally, tortured by Schroeder. Actually, it was longer than that. Before Schroeder would agree to train him, Arch had to measure everything he did for six month -- including his waste.


    Then the real fun began.



    "The training feels like a pipe is being driven three feet up your butt," says the soft-spoken but intense Schroeder, the scariest man you'll ever meet in sweat pants. "Then you have to stay there for 15 minutes."


    Okie dokie, I thought after hearing this.


    Like most trainers Schroeder is a good guy, but a tad prone to hyperbole. Arch doesn't just work on his chest, he does exercises that are "the equivalent of 3,000 bench presses." Schroeder isn't just fond of his star pupil. "I love him," he says. "I would die for him."


    It was then that I noticed what looked like two little electro-shock machines in the corner of the room. In my head, I was thinking don't ask ... don't ask ... don't ask. But, of course, I blurted out, "Hey, what are those?"


    As part of his training, Schroeder hyper-fatigues muscle groups by juicing them with, he says, "more frequency than most humans can endure." Indeed, a website for these types of electric-stim machines boasts: "NO surface burning or surface pain at 0 to 2.5 watts."


    The Thighmaster, this is not.


    As the physical demands on NFL players increase, so, too, have their off-season regimens. I've watched Donovan McNabb work on his drop-backs in the desert sand in heat that had people around him yakking into trash cans. I've seen Jags' safety Donovin Darius train with an Ultimate Fighting champion in a gym littered with bloody bandages. Mike Vick spent so much time working on the West Coast offense this summer that he barely had time to use his fishing boat, 'Bad News.'


    Jerry Rice runs his hill. Texans center Steve McKinney works 12-hour days in the off-season training and running his businesses. Last summer, Bucs coach Jon Gruden came to the team facility at 5 a.m. and saw Derrick Brooks running wind sprints in the dark.


    Some guys go to speed camps. Some train at altitude. Still others get their blood checked so that nutritionists can determine the exact foods they need to eat for maximum performance. (I've done this, by the way, and it came back PopTarts, Mountain Dew and bar-b-que Fritos.)


    This summer, all-pro tight end Tony Gonzalez went to extremes to keep his mind sharp. He spent a month in Mexico in an intense Spanish language immersion program. While 'reporting' on his 'training,' I knocked back some tequila that the locals guaranteed would not give me a hangover (wrong) while I watched Gonzalez get twisted by a leopard-suited salsa instructor in ways that would make Ray Lewis jealous.


    "I feel as refreshed and ready for the season as I ever have," TGon told me.


    But for an underdog like Arch, the lengths to which he must go to keep his edge during the off-season have become, well, shocking.


    As I observed from a safe distance, Schroeder attached the electric-stim paddles to the biceps of Arch and the rest of the trainees -- among them, the Colts phenomenal defensive end, Dwight Freeney. He turned the knob halfway; and immediately, their hands were torqued into grotesque knots and their arms moved involuntarily -- the guys call this "playing the banjo." It was, to say the least, uncomfortable to watch and listen as the toughest athletes in the world whimpered, groaned and then screamed in agony as Schroeder continued to spin the knob like a sadistic Vanna White.


    When it was over, Arch took the paddles and put them on my arms. Come on and try it, he dared.


    "Alright, what the hell," I said. "Crank 'er up."


    I was sure I could handle the pain. I wrestled in college and, let me tell you something, those singlets are no joke. A few weeks ago, I even played a whole hockey shift in my rec league after accidentally squirting some Gatorade up my nose.


    Schroeder flicked the switch and my arms locked up at the elbows, palms pressing against my shoulders. Twisting at the wrist, my hands then made weird ghostly circles. It felt like lightning bolts were going to shoot out of my fingertips. The NFLers were already giggling when I saw Schroeder barely twist the knob past 'on.'


    "OK, OK, ha-ha, I get it," I said.


    "OK, OK, ha-ha, I get it," Arch mocked me.


    Ow. Yeow. ZZZZZZZ.


    I think at this point, the lights overhead dimmed and flickered.


    "All right, all right -- enough!" I yelped.


    Arch just smiled at me. *******.


    "OK, owwww," I said.


    Bacon? Do I smell bacon?


    The knob spun some more -- or maybe it stayed in place and it was my eyeballs that were turning. Eeeeeeeeyyyyyeeeowzzza. Now it felt like I was getting hit by lightning -- continually. I tried to move away to get the paddles off my arms. I swear the cell phone in my pocket was smoking. I was sure that my hair was going to look like the lead singer of ELO.


    About to de-fibb, I thought about all the people who, this time of year, dream about playing in the NFL. But when you see up-close what these guys go through during what is supposed to be their summer vacation ... well, hmm, maybe we should all be content with the torture and agony of fantasy football.


    Finally (OK, the whole thing took like 15 seconds), Schroeder dialed me down and Arch took the paddles away.

    "So what was I? Like, 10, 20, 30 times higher than Arch?" I asked.


    My biceps felt wrapped tighter than two golf balls. The rest of the day, my notes looked like those scribbles that run off the page when you're falling asleep in class.


    "Uh," said Schroeder, "you were at a little less than half what these guys do."


    That might be true. But it's been over two months, and I still haven't had to recharge my cell phone.

    Did you know that Rams safety Adam Archuleta once did a ballet dance at a high-school talent show? ... In The Mag's NFL preview, we created a category of versatile dudes called Swiss Army Players (SAPs). But so far, I haven't seen Dime One from the Swiss Army people.

    Good to see some reporters tracking this training program down. Thx for the article, reminds me of the Texas Chili Contest. Funny presentation. Serious stuff. Just on this basis, I'd go after Dwight Freeney.

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