The next Purple Cow quality to discuss, the next quality that will help you stand out from the other 250,000 high school seniors playing football is Size.
Without a doubt, most college recruiters use a “yardstick” (mostly unspoken) when they are measuring the size of high school athletes. I do acknowledge that in some sports, and some positions within a sport, size is important. If all other factors are even, then typically college coaches will opt for the athlete with the better “frame”. No matter how good a football player you are, no matter how quick and fast, or how good you are academically, if you are a 5’ 10” offensive lineman, you are probably not going to get recruited as a NCAA FBS offensive lineman. You cannot change how tall you are, BUT you can optimize your overall size to get the attention, to stand out, to be remarkable, even if you are a 5’ 10” offensive lineman. This way, even if you don’t measure up to the FBS “yardstick” there are other levels and programs that may have an interest in you.
They key, really, is lean muscle mass. You want functional weight; weight that will make you run faster, jump higher, be more explosive. Gaining weight for weights sake, non-functional weight, body fat, will not make you remarkable. It will slow you down. The most common mistake I saw when freshmen athletes reported for two-a-day practices was that they spent all summer “getting big” and did not concentrate on running, speed, quickness and agility. In regards to college athletes, and especially defensive college football players, I would rather exchange speed for size rather the other way around.
Optimizing your lean muscle mass will require some work and effort. If you need to lose body fat, and gain lean muscle mass, it actually is two separate tasks. Contrary to popular belief body fat does not magically turn into muscle mass if you lift weights. Probably the best, most efficient way to lose body fat is through aerobic exercise. In order for an activity to be classified as aerobic, you need to elevate your heart rate into your training heart rate zone, and keep it elevated for a minimum of about 12 minutes. Walking, jogging, treadmill work, all could accomplish this. Completing the weight workout (A Weekly (not weakly!) Workout) will not accomplish this, but will increase your muscle mass and functional strength. If you are trying to lose body fat and increase lean muscle mass, a combination of aerobic exercise and a dynamic strength-training program (along with sensible eating habits) will give you the best results.
There is also a group of people who are naturally lean that have just as hard a time putting weight on as some do taking it off. My suggestion for this group (along with a dynamic strength and conditioning program) is eating more meals a day, rather than eating more each meal. Just gulping protein shakes and eating chips will not get the needed results. In addition to your three regular meals a day, squeeze in a mid-morning and bedtime meal. Along with (not in place of) a couple of your meals add a low fat, high protein drink. Try to make each meal balanced with high calorie, low fat, and high protein content. Remember, it is functional weight you want to put on, not body fat. A good daily workout and balanced diet will help with this.
There is no magic bullet for either of these groups; drinking protein drinks and taking creatine will not by themselves “get you big”. And remember size is only ONE of the Qualities we have talked about so far that will make you stand out from the crowd… that will make you remarkable…
- Playing Speed
- Quickness/ Agility
- College Entrance Exams – ACT/SAT
- Core Course work
In order to get remarkable size, Purple Cow size, it will take hard work. But you can do it… You Can Do More!
Any Questions – Just Comment or Email!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org
All Things Strength and Conditioning at my Squidoo Lens – You Can Do More!