NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- I love offseason stories of crazy or offbeat workouts.
My favorite this spring was that David Garrard has regularly thrown tennis balls to receivers.
This one goes in a different category all together.
To build strength to get ready for the Titans’ offseason program, defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks and linebacker Gerald McRath were among a small group that spent six weeks doing three-hour, 1,000-rep workouts with strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson.
They started in mid-January.
“We were doing 100 reps a day squats and 100 reps a day bench press, just 100 reps of almost everything we did,” Marks said. “Me and Gerald just put the commitment in and said we’re going to do it no matter how much it takes…
“The first week we couldn’t move. But that’s what it takes.”
A second-round pick in 2009, Marks came into the league weak for a defensive tackle. Coming into Auburn he couldn’t bench press 225 pounds. Leaving college he was doing 265 twice. Now he said he’s popping up 325 “like it’s nothing.”
“Who does 1,000 reps?” Marks said. “And we were doing it every day.”
McRath is suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for a violation of the league’s policy against performance enhancing drugs. He claims it had to have been a tainted supplement.
“Those were like breakdown workouts, you totally take your body to its breaking point, you take care of it, you replenish, you refuel, you hydrate and you come back and do the same thing over again,” McRath said. “I threw up once a week for the first three weeks when we were squatting. It was legit.”
Watterson never talked about 1,000 reps. He simply kept telling them what they’d add next. He revealed the count only after they finished for the first time.
A regular workout now is maybe 300 reps -- a relative breeze, McRath said.
While we are talking about strength, here’s something also worthy of mention: running back Javon Ringer's who weighs 215 pounds, can squat more than two-and-a-half times his body weight. It’s documented here by Bob McClellean.