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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Walk the Talk

This weekend’s 2001 Buccaneer Strength and Fitness Seminar will allow attendees to put the lessons they learn into practice


Bucs Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Asanovich will share the principles of the conditioning techniques he uses with players such as Pro Bowl LB Derrick Brooks

In jest, Mark Asanovich sometimes refers to himself as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' dumbbell coach. In fact, Asanovich is not only one of the league's most diligent Strength and Conditioning Coach but also a well-read and confident public speaker. The alliterative calling of his annual summit, the Buccaneer Strength and Fitness Seminar, just rolls off his tongue.

"The purpose (of the seminar) is to expose health educators, fitness enthusiasts, high school coaches, athletes to training protocols that are prudent, productive, practical and purposeful," said Asanovich.

That doesn't mean the seminar, to be held this Friday and Saturday, is going to be just a bunch of talk.

Rather, Asanovich's one-day affair is a popular annual gathering for physical educators, coaches and those just interested in their own health because the lessons that are learned are immediately put into action.

"We've got two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon," said Asanovich. "The morning session is the talk and in the afternoon, we're going to walk the talk. We'll be more cerebral in the morning, when the speakers get up and present the principles. Then we'll put the principles into practice in the afternoon after busing everybody over from the stadium to One Buc Place."

Interested individuals can register through by clicking here, but the seminar also accepts walk-ups on Friday morning. The event will begin at Raymond James Stadium at 7:00 a.m. and all participants and registrants may enter through the West Club Lobby.

Those who do sign up should be prepared to work up a sweat.

"They can actually participate and get hands-on training," said Asanovich. "In the afternoon session, we break them down into groups of 20. We have a station where they do manual-resistance training. They have a conditioning station. They'll observe one of our athletes being trained here; Jerry Wunsch and Todd Yoder are going to be our demonstrators, going through workouts. Todd Toriscelli, our head trainer, is going to be talking about injury rehabilitation, and we will also talk about strength-training assessment. It's different than a lot of seminars, because at most seminars you sit for eight hours listening to speakers. Here, you're going to hear the principles and put them into practice."

In addition to those members of the Bucs' staff and roster, the seminar will also feature speakers with a varied and deep experience in the field of strength and fitness.

"We've got a good cast this year," said Asanovich. "We've got John Thomas coming down from Penn State, the strength coach up there who does an excellent job. We have Ted Lambrinides, who's the head of the exercise science department at Thomas Moore College and a long-time consultant with the Cincinnati Bengals, and Matt Vukovich, who's a biochemist and nutritionist from South Dakota State University. He's going to address the nutritional supplements."

Asanovich has been the Buccaneers' strength and conditioning coach since 1996, and he has helped the club maintain the conditioning necessary to be annually one of the NFL's most successful teams in late-season games. He has also done extensive research into a variety of subjects concerning strength, conditioning and fitness, a field with quite a bit of conflicting information available.

"We've had really good feedback about our seminars because, in our field, there's just a lot of misinformation out there," said Asanovich. "People are looking for answers, and people are well-intended just not well-educated on the subject. A lot of things that they mean to do for good can actually injure people with some of their training protocols. It becomes orthopedically risky, especially with younger kids."

Of course, Asanovich's clients during the season are highly-trained professional athletes, but the methods and values he puts into use with Buccaneer players can be applied just as well to anyone looking to maintain or improve health and fitness.

"It's athlete training oriented, health oriented," said Asanovich. "The same principles can be used by a weekend warrior as an NFL athlete."

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