The time of year when you don’t want any player on your favorite squad to be in the news. Whether it’s conduct detrimental to the league, getting popped for PEDs, or shredding an Achilles tendon while playing pick up hoops, any way you slice it, the less you hear about NFL players in June, the better.
Unless of course there is a report about how hard a player is training in the offseason.
In that case, members of the media and fans alike rejoice about how said player is a “man on a mission”. Just last week, I came across the news of Hayden Hurst claiming to have gained 20 lbs of muscle in the offseason to protect his foot and avoid further injury. Most fans would read this news and consider Hurst primed for a breakout season after a disappointing rookie campaign.
I call bullshit.
First, let me state that the idea of packing on more weight to your frame to protect the foot from injury is about as illogical as it gets. Let me get this right: the foot that was injured carrying a 245lb athlete is now carrying a 265 lb athlete and that’s supposed to be good for the foot?
Would putting a truck frame on a golf cart with a leaky tire be a good idea?
Now, let me address the “20 lbs of muscle over the offseason” claim. The best bodybuilders in the world would love to know what Hurst did to gain that amount of muscle in such a short window. If they gain 20 lbs of muscle in a year they are ecstatic, and they aren’t learning a new offense and running routes. They are living and breathing muscle building 24/7.
Typically, if the athlete is trained, (my assumption is that Hurst has been lifting weights for at least a decade at this point) it becomes even more difficult to put on muscle as your body has already adapted to strength training. Best-case scenario if nutrition and training is 100%, a well-trained male with a decade of lifting under his belt can expect to put on 0.5% of his bodyweight in muscle per month. In Hurst’s case that’s 1-1.5 lbs of lean tissue per month. If he started his ascent the day after the playoff loss, the MAX amount of muscle he could put on would be 9 lbs. If Hurst indeed gained 20 lbs of muscle in 6 months, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got into Nick Boyle’s locker and grabbed some “special supplements”.
A more likely outcome of a 6-month bulk would be 20 lbs of total weight gain with a ratio of 1:1 fat to muscle. That’s a favorable ratio for a trained male athlete and would make most natural bodybuilders happy with their offseason.
Too often, whenever a celebrity or athlete makes a clam regarding a massive transformation in body composition, it leads the general population to have unrealistic expectations and I wind up being the bearer of bad news. “Sorry, it’s going to take a lot longer than you think regardless of what Bradley Cooper or Hayden Hurst is saying.”
But nobody wants to hear that.
They want results now, and that’s a big reason why this country is out of shape.
I applaud Hayden Hurst for working hard in the offseason as I’m sure he’s motivated to improve on his 13-catch 2018 season. But not only do I question the strategy of adding that much size, I question the legitimacy of the claim that it’s all muscle.
If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see how the tight end makes out when he takes on the team conditioning test at the beginning of training camp.
Submitted by Guest Blogger Tim Hendren. Tim has been training a wide range of clients from aspiring young athletes to post cardiac rehab patients in Baltimore MD since 2003. He graduated with a BS in Exercise Science from Salisbury University and currently holds a CSCS certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
In addition to his experience working face to face with clients, he is also an accomplished fitness writer who has been published in several top online fitness publications including T-Nation, Muscle and Strength, and Breaking Muscle. Earlier this year, Tim also published his first book: “Ignition Protocol”, available on Amazon. You can find more of his work on his blog at timmyhendren.com.
Tim has been a PSL holder at The Bank since 2008 and considers himself the only informed fan who firmly believes Lamar Jackson is going to win an MVP before all is said and done.
Follow Tim on Instagram @timmyhendren