Sunday, June 2, 2013

Training Dick Butkus

 Thirteen pounds Six ounces at birth, Butkus was literally born to play football. With his natural ability and genetics, he was able to dominate the game then and he'd even be more dominate today!  As you'll read, Butkus didn't really workout at all during his playing days, could you even imagine what he'd be like if he worked out?!  Here's some great insight on training Butkus from the inventor of Nautilus, Arthur Jones:

"Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears spent several days training under my supervision in Colorado, during the previously mentioned Colorado Experiment...and afterwards, trained in our Florida facility for a period of several weeks.

Dick had never previously done any sort of systematic exercise...during eight years of professional football, his exercise had consisted of running and football drills, with a few days practice of the bench-press prior to each year’s “strength test”. Yet, when I first started training him in the Summer of 1973, it was immediately obvious that Dick is a very strong man, far stronger than many men who have trained heavily and regularly for years.

Although I had no way to test his neurological efficiency, it is almost certain that it is far above average. But some his other “natural advantages” are obvious at a glance...(1) he is tall, but not too tall...(2)...for his height, he has a long torso and short legs...(3) his hips are wider than average. All of which bodily proportions offer enormous advantages for strength, because they improve some of the leverage factors.
Upon looking at him for the first time, I remarked...”If I was going to design a man to fill his slot in football, the result would be little if any different from the real Dick Butkus.”

20 Inch Cold Neck Measurement!
But he could have been better. A proper program of heavy exercise could have given him far better “fatty tissue to muscular mass” ratio...making him stronger, faster, and far less likely to suffer injury. And without changing his bodyweight. Even a few weeks of very hard but very brief training produced significant increases in his strength, enormously increased his flexibility, and helped his speed.


Less than a month ago, Dick signed a five year “no cut” contract with the Bears...but a few months earlier, the rumors were flying throughout the rather limited circle of professional football to the effect that he was through, physically unable to play. Football is a dangerous sport...Dick could be seriously injured in the next game, but when he reported to camp this summer, he was ready to play."