My hamstrings hate me. My shoulders are not my biggest fans right now, either.
For most of the past 72 hours, they and other body parts have been growling at me, wondering what in the world I was thinking when I decided on an ambitious (read: foolish) project: to try and go through the same offseason conditioning workout as the Cincinnati Bearcats players.
Now, I consider myself to be in fairly decent shape. You know, for a thirtysomething sportswriter. I'm in training for my third half-marathon in as many years and occasionally pick up some weights at the gym, of course ignoring just about everything except my chest and biceps "muscles." But years of free press-box food has taken its toll. And overall, my level of athleticism would make a long-snapper laugh.
Still, I wanted to get some idea of what college football players go through in their so-called offseason and offer you a firsthand account. Cincinnati head strength coach Dave Lawson and assistant Mike Szerszen were kind enough to guide me through the same workout circuit that I witnessed the Bearcats go through earlier last Thursday morning.
When I say the same workout, I mean the same exercises -- minus almost all the weight that the players used, minus many of the reps they took and minus the speed in which they completed each routine. Certain concessions were made to avoid the first Big East blogger death in the line of duty.
As I struggled through most of the exercises, unable to finish a couple of them, I gained a new respect for what college football players can handle. And I earned a few new enemies in my hamstrings and my shoulders.
See it for yourself in this video: