Adventures With Ahtra: Lifting With USD Football

VERMILLION, S.D.- Few people take weight lifting more seriously than the strength and conditioning coaches for the USD football team. Even during the off-season, they keep their players working hard.

The Coyotes starting quarterback, Chris Streveler says he’s never seen a team work as hard as they do during the off-season, or “spring ball.” Streveler says he’s thrilled with the progress the team is making in the weight room. One of the ways the players work on strength is dead lifting with hex bars. Jevon Bowman, the head strength and conditioning coach says some of the team’s heaviest players can dead lift up to 600 pounds.

The team’s equipment has gotten pretty high-tech. Using a system called GymAware, the players are able to see how their strength ranks among their peers. The weights are hooked up to the Bluetooth system and sends information on how each player has lifted to a screen in the gym, which shows a summary of how the team did during a lifting session. Bowman says it helps hold his players accountable and keeps them competitive.

The USD football coaches expect a lot from their players. Sometimes they have practice at 7 a.m. and then have to report back to the weight room a few hours later. Bowman says it takes a lot of discipline and determination, which is why he says he always starts his sessions off with a pep talk.

“We bring them up and we talk to them about being a good football player is also being a good person. Integrity, loyalty, respect, belief, that type of stuff. Every day we hit them with a quick little nugget of ‘Hey, believe in that you can do this weight. I know that it’s tough that we just had practice six hours ago, but now it’s time to lift weights,'” Bowman says.

To see how Ahtra did with the hex bars, watch the video above.

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