Athletes Training in Absurd Ways

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2014

Athletes Training in Absurd Ways

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    DAVE EINSEL/Associated Press

    As if you didn't already know it, there's a reason why us normal folks aren't playing sports professionally—and it's not just because we're not lucky.

    While guys who get paid to play have more athletic talent than we do, they're also built a hell of a lot differently, too, with physiques that most of us could only hope for.

    And since they train and work out harder than you or I can imagine, here are a few videos showing just how crazy they can get.

Novak Djokovic

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    Michel Euler/Associated Press

    This might not be a training technique that involves using a lot of physical strength, but being locked in a chamber that sucks air out of it probably takes some mental toughness.

    Getting into a CVAC pod is something that many athletes are doing to help elevate their game by keeping their endurance level high. It's probably no surprise one of the world's best tennis players—Novak Djokovic—considers it to be his secret weapon.

Matt Poursoltani

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    I weigh a slim 160 pounds. After seeing Texas high school senior Matt Poursoltani bench press a whopping 700 pounds, it's terrifying to think that he can put up over four times my weight.

    Even more crazy: The kid was just 17 years old when he pulled off this feat, making him quite the Internet sensation for his training regime.

Cam Newton

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    To help him stay strong, brush aside defenders and withstand big hits, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton does a push-up that might look simple but has to be very difficult.

    Using a heavy chain that's placed on his back, Newton utilizes the same technique as a normal push-up but with added weight to make it even more difficult.

    Basically, let someone around 120 pounds sit on your back while doing a push-up and see just how many you can do.

Michael Ray Garvin

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    At 5'8" and 182 pounds, former Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Michael Ray Garvin is widely considered to be the most jacked athlete in the world.

    One look at him, and it's easy to see why.

    Want to know the determination and variety of training techniques it takes to get cut like Garvin? Just watch this video to see how long you can last doing some of the exercises.

Georges St-Pierre

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    From a standard bench press to gymnastics and training with better athletes than he is to keep him hungry, MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre has one of the most intense training routines around.

    While you or I might give ourselves a day off to recover or grab a few drinks with buddies to celebrate a birthday, I have a feeling St-Pierre doesn't have such temptations.

    Seriously, the dude should just pay rent at the gym because he's there so often.

Power Stairs

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    Is this training? Probably not, as it appears to be more like a competition between these two guys.

    Still, at some point these behemoths had to train long and hard to be able not only to lift one insanely heavy barrel weight up a flight of stairs but to do it three times.

    I don't even want to think about how difficult this would be—or how sore I'd be.

MMA Workout

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    I already mentioned just how nuts MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre is when it comes to working out, but this amateur MMA competitor named Victor Henry is just as intense.

    Doing a variety of strength and endurance techniques, Henry looks like a madman whenever he's in the gym—so I'm guessing he's just as crazy when he steps in the Octagon.

LaRon Landry

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    When a dude admits that the gym is "his sanctuary," it usually means he's in pretty good shape.

    Just one glance at current Indianapolis Colts safety LaRon Landry and you'll see why he puts so much time into taking care of himself.

    With one of the scariest training videos I've seen in a long time, Landry lifts massive weights to stay as ripped as a bodybuilder, even though he plays football.

Michael Phelps

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Want to know what type of extremes it takes for an athlete to become the most accomplished Olympian in history?

    Just take a look at Michael Phelps' diet, which consists of over 12,000 calories a day to help fuel him so he can seemingly swim for days.

    Seeing as the suggested diet is around 2,000 calories, this type of eating regimen is about as ludicrous as it gets, but it's quite effective for him.

Adrian Peterson

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    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn't become the most punishing runner in the NFL because of pure luck.

    Nope, the guy has worked hard at not only maintaining a hell of a physique but also at training to get back on track following a few major injuries.

    And if you want to know more about how to even attempt to get into such shape, take a look at AD's 2,000-yard workout.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    I mean, the guy is undefeated in his boxing career, so what do you think Floyd Mayweather Jr. does when he's not in the ring? Just lay around?

    Those of you who have taken a boxing class know just how intense it is—full of bending and flexing muscles you might not have even known you had.

    Now imagine that somewhat novice class and punch the gas a little more. That's the type of stuff Mayweather does every single day.

Chad Johnson

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    Just when fans thought they could write off former NFL wideout Chad Johnson as being too old, too slow or unwilling to get back into football shape, he goes and does something like this.

    At 35, Johnson didn't just hit the dials up on a treadmill to go fast. He hit them to burn the thing up, showing that he still has the wheels to sprint 25 miles per hour with an elevation.

    Think about that for a second—Chad would nearly get a speeding ticket running through a school zone.

J.J. Watt

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    I know that this video shows Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt jump "only" 55 inches—and he's completed one jump that was actually 59." Both are nearly five feet, so it's comparing apples to apples.

    Offensive linemen fear Watt for so many reasons other than his vertical jump. But by showing his hops and demonstrating just how freakishly athletic he really is, J.J. makes them lose even more sleep.

    He just seems to do this type of stuff for fun.

LeBron James

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    The workout that LeBron James is doing in this video is one that a ton of us would probably be able to withstand maybe two times a week.

    LeBron? Yeah, he does it before games.

    While it might appear to be pretty intense before going out and dominating on the floor, it's nothing compared to his usual training, which was released in a video so that fans could see what it takes to become the best basketball player in the world.

Jerry Rice

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    Although I've shown you plenty of crazy training routines that use a ton of weights, flexibility or freakish, natural abilities, the one that tops my list is Hall of Fame wideout Jerry Rice's famous Hill Run.

    It might not sound like anything special, but Rice ran it numerous times during his career, using it as his motivation each offseason to make sure he didn't get complacent.

    Complete with steep inclines and a mix of interval sprints, Rice set the bar high when it came to uncharacteristic training—and it worked out just fine for him.