The Lineman’s Guide to Cutting Weight: Fitness After Football

by Myles McKee-Osibodu

If you’ve played football at any level, you understand the expectations and pressure put on athletes to be able to gain or drop weight quickly. While these pressures can be felt at every position, there’s no position groups that feel these demands more intensely than the offensive and defensive line, where size matters almost as much as talent. I’ve spent the last few years of my life as an NCAA Division I student-athlete, but it wasn’t until football was over that I was finally able to achieve my fitness goals.

First Things First

So I don’t think it’s a secret that a lot of football players (especially the dudes in the trenches) are just wired a little differently than your Average Joe. You’ve gotta be a little bit insane to voluntarily sign up to commit 40 to 50 hours a week (not including school or work) to a jam packed schedule of workouts, 4:45AM wake-up calls, film sessions, training room work, practices, meetings, yada yada yada, all for the reward of bashing your head into another 300 lb grown-ass man over and over again… but for whatever crazy reason, we did that… And that madness instilled a mindset in us that is different than most. A mindset that allows you to face any challenge and attack it without hesitation. The mindset that allowed you to achieve your goals in football is the same mindset that its going to take to achieve your goals after football. Commitment, self-disciple, and a whole lotta that WORK. Easy as that. And just like in football, you’ve gotta have a game plan.

Game Plan

Through hard work and dedication, I’ve been fortunate enough to drop 70+ lbs (in under 7 months) twice in the last 4 years and the things I can point to that contributed the most to my journey were:

  • Intermittent fasting
  • Working out with purpose
  • Keeping your eyes on the prize

Intermittent Fasting

You’re a former lineman. You love to eat. I get it. But believe me when I tell you that even though it sounds pretty intimidating, intermittent fasting is going to be your best friend in this whole process. In fact, if you do it right, you can still eat a lot of your favorite not-so-healthy foods somewhat regularly.

Contrary to popular belief, the entire idea behind intermittent fasting is NOT to starve yourself. With intermittent fasting, you’re still supposed to take in the same amount of calories you would normally, but instead of taking in those calories through the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner, you instead give yourself a 4-8 hour window (depending on what you can handle) each day where you scarf down an entire day’s worth of calories. After a few weeks, your body will eventually get used to your new eating pattern and you’ll start to not even get hungry outside of the window that you’ve set for yourself. Not only does intermittent fasting offer weight-loss benefits, but there are also cognitive and cell restoration benefits that come along with fasting regimens as your body enters into a state of ketosis.

As great as the benefits of intermittent fasting can be, it is definitely something that you shouldn’t jump into without doing your research first and making sure it’s the right weight loss method for you. Below are a few links to videos and podcasts to help you begin your research and better understand exactly how intermittent fasting works.

Working Out with Purpose

So obviously, throughout this process, your workout regimen is going to need to be pretty gnarly if you want to see real results fast. It’s crucial that you’re able to hold yourself accountable to not only get in the gym everyday, but also to work your ass off while you’re there! You don’t have your coaches to yell at you anymore, no more teammates to hype you up when you’re not feeling it, no real consequences for skipping a workout. IT’S 100% ON YOU NOW!

So now that you’re in the gym, you’ve gotta figure out how to transition from the year-round swoll-sesh that is lineman workouts into a workout that’ll get you slim and trim. I get asked all the time what my workout routine is and the answer varies but the one thing that is always a constant is CARDIO! I know… as a big guy, cardio is your worst nightmare and rightfully so! Even when you drop the weight, cardio still sucks but like I said before, you’ve gotta embrace the challenge! If it was easy to drop 85 lbs, everybody would do it!

While I 100% encourage you to attack the gym, it’s important to make sure you’re smart about your cardio and that you don’t try to do too much too fast! You can definitely put yourself in some sketchy situations if you’re going all out too early in the process. Nobody wants to be the guy that passes out at the gym because he was hitting the elliptical too hard so make sure you know your limitations, but cardio definitely needs to be the focal point of your workouts. Everything else is supplementary. You’ve been big as hell your whole damn life, you don’t need to lift anymore! Go ahead and hop on that treadmill big fella!

#NipSlip

As many big guys do, I’ve always had some pretty serious knee issues and I know jogging isn’t too easy on the ol’ joints, especially when you’re pushing 300 pounds. I’ve found that the stationary bike is a great alternative to the treadmill and a much more comfortable place to knock-out a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session. I bike at least one hour (22-25 miles) on the stationary bike 5 to 6 times a week, alternating between 30-second and 90-second working sets with 30-second resting sets in between. It’s the worst thing in the world for the first few weeks but it’s a freakin’ game changer once you start getting comfortable with higher-intensity cardio! Find some good thermogenic pre-workout, search for a good playlist, and get crackin’ on that thing!

Example of how to do a HIIT workout on a stationary bike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh8VswzWDow

Shoutout Brio Fitness ????????????

The first month or so of  daily cardio is gonna be killer on your lungs and your legs. Your heart is going to be beating through your chest. You’ll probably be the sweatiest guy in the gym and I promise it won’t be a pretty sight. But as you gradually start to shred more and more, you’re gonna realize how worth it it was and be stoked that you did it!

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Just like chasing any other goal in life, its super important to be able to see the big picture and remember what you’re working towards. The biggest challenge you’ll face in this whole process will be the mental battle you’re going to be fighting with yourself to keep pushing your limits. It’s key that you don’t let yourself get discouraged or lose sight of your goals if you aren’t seeing the results that you want right away! Keeping the right mentality can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

You’re not gonna lose 10 lbs in a week and you might not even lose 5 lbs in a week, but you’ve always got to remember to keep a level head, put your head down, and keep on grinding! You’ll only get out what you put into your workouts and dieting, so if you give a shitty effort, you’re bound to get shitty results. At the end of the day, nobody else can want it for you. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen! No excuses.

I hope this helps you in your journey! Good luck, be smart, and get after it!

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13 Hashtags That Prove You Are A Millennial Baby #sorryboutit

This generation is a special one. We might have a lot of haters but they will never be able to bring the Generation Y down. We are the stars of YouTube, the world-renouned photographers of Instagram, and the supermodels of Snapchat. So everyone else should follow us on Twitter because we are #kindofabigdeal and #wecantstop. To catch you up, here’s who we are and how we’ve made it this far…we’re talking hashtags.

#sorrynotsorry

Where it all began. This catchy little phrase became the perfect description for when you have maybe crossed a risky boundary but you just don’t feel bad about it. As the White Chicks movie perfectly describes, “You were thinking it! Yeah, but you said it!” This is hashtag boasts the truth with a little bit of spice.

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#fml / #wtf

When you’re cussing but not actually because abbreviations “don’t count”. You know you love it, we all do. Plus, there is nothing more satisfying than being way too dramatic about some semi-rough situation.

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#yolo / #rage / #turnup / #turndownforwhat / #turnt 

Tongue out, Miley Cyrus style. You know what I’m talking about. These hashtags are absolutely necessary when you are living the dream with your friends in that sketchy house party that you found through a roommate’s older brother.

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#winning / #swag

The competition stage. You had a great mid-day victory? You better tell the world. And if you’re feeling good about those sick glasses…show them off, duh. A little bit of swag never hurt anyone. You keep doing you.

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#foodporn

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and d*** right, it’s better than yours. This hashtag is absolutely essential when you’ve just had the best/prettiest/amazeballs meal of your life…literally.

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#getswoll #gains #riseandgrind

Sweet kicks, color coordinated attire, bumping playlist in the headphones, conveniently fashionable headband (optional), sweat beads dripping, adrenaline pumping, heart racing, instagram posted…you know what it is. We out here grinding.

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#hashtag / #nofilter

Alright cool kids. You think you’re better just because you “don’t care” about the obsessive art of hashtagging? And let’s be real for like two seconds, you know you AT LEAST pressed auto-enhance on that gorgeous so-called “no filter” pic…and now there is a trust issue between us. So you better check yourself before you wreck yourself when it comes to walking that no-filter line of yours.

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#mcm / #transformationtuesday / #wcw / #tbt 

These classic hashtags provide the perfect basis for weekly updates. When you want to post but don’t have anything fabulous that you are doing right at the moment, don’t even fret because you can always default back to the OG posts. Long live the traditionals.

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#letmetakeaselfie / #selfie

Can everyone please stop what you are doing immediately and give a huge thank you to the genius creation of the pop hit “Selfie” for bringing this once looked down upon hashtag to a newfound glorification. The Chainsmokers have accomplished what no one has ever dreamed of. This is ultimate success people.

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#someridiculouslylonghashtagthatisjustwaytooobnoxious

Woah there. My eyes just had to re-read that about a thousand times. And I am still not sure that I know what you’re talking about so I gave up and scrolled passed. Please reduce the amount of brain power required to view your post, please and thank you.

#way #too #many #hashtags #no #one #cares

I can’t. I literally cannot. This is too much. Is every single one of those a hundred percent necessary, like really? And even though I am annoyed…I probably read every single one. So you got me, but it’s whatever I don’t even care. Kinda.

#blessed 

You know you love it. Even if you hate it, you love it. Even if you don’t have an opinion toward it, yep, you love it. Don’t even lie. Jump on the blessed train, you won’t regret it…and if so, refer back to yolo.

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#bae

Before anyone else? Are you sure…before your mom? Before your grandma? Before Beyonce? BEFORE YOUR PUG? I’m just not too sure about that…again, trust issues in the air.

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These hashtags mark where we have been and what we have socially conquered, but now we must trend the hashtags of our future. Between our outstanding creativity and our stellar photographic skills, Generation Y will continue making history, one hashtag at a time. It is up to us… like by like, favorite by favorite, RETWEET BY RETWEET to prove to the world the power of our generation. #gobigorgohome