RB Jamel White can tell that his added strength from the weight room is helping him on the field
(Editor's Note: Through the players' own words, Buccaneers.com is taking a week-by-week look at the offseason training program, the 16-week regimen that prepares each player for training camp in late July. The program began in March and will conclude in June. Through most of April, returning tight end Dave Moore walked us through his weekly preparations; in May, newly-signed running back Jamel White will assume the task. Formerly with the Cleveland Browns, White joined the Buccaneers on March 18 as part of a wave of free agent signings, and he has been hard at work at One Buccaneer Place ever since. This week, White shares his gains in the weight room and his approach to working out.)
Week of May 10-14
You have to get better every week during the offseason, and I think I've just gotten better on learning the plays and really understanding what's going on around here this week. I'm just learning the program in general and finding out what it takes to compete here.
Plus, I can definitely see weekly gains in the weight training. Like my bench press...each week I try to do something different. I try to go up (in weight) each week and see if I can maintain my reps. The things that they do here are like single-arm stuff, and they have you hold your arm up. I went from doing 80 pounds to 120 pounds in that exercise in about two weeks. I found out that I can quickly add strength in my arms. The more you push yourself, the more you learn about what you're capable of.
Those gains are more than just numbers. We chart all of our workouts, and when your weight goes up it means that you're getting stronger, obviously. And it's not just a matter of getting better a particular exercise, like the bench press. What I add in the weight room will help me all around on the field. You don't really realize that until you push yourself, then you see the results on the field. At my position, we have to block a lot...you've got big linebackers coming in and you've got to hit them and lock them out. That comes from the gains you make in the weight room, and from technique.
It helps that Gie (Strength and Conditioning Coach Garrett Giemont) is a good motivator – he's a story-teller. He tries to get you going with different stories, and they all tie into football somehow. He'll tell you a story about a guy who messed up his hamstring, then make it relate to a current individual. He'll tell you that before you start running; it's like I said before – he's going to make sure you understand why you're doing everything you're doing. He builds a relationship with you so that you respect him and respect the workout.
And (Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach) Mike (Morris) backs up everything Gie says. He's a speed guy, but he knows exactly what it takes to make you a better football player, too. He can talk to you about the way you're running out there, and he knows how to translate that into helping you in a game, just trying to get through it. And you can't approach this game that way.
Mike can improve your speed, too, with your mechanics. If you have a guy out there running and his arms are just flying everywhere, and you can get everything going in a straight line, you can't go wrong. I already knew that because we had the same kind of coach in Cleveland.
Of course, I would probably work out like this even if I wasn't a football player. Especially living down here...you want to go out in the sun and stuff like that, and you don't want to look all crazy when you take your shirt off. But, for the most part, I just like to stay in shape, and I'm a workaholic, so I'm just kind of accustomed to this type of working out. Some people just like working out in the weight room more than others, and I've always enjoyed it. I guess you might find some people who would take a few reps off and cut their workout short, because they don't really enjoy it. I try my best never to do that. If I'm just trying to get through it, then that's just like treating a game on Sunday that way.