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Interview with Steven Jackson: Training for the Top

The Rams running back talked about what’s made him one of the best ever at his position and where he likes to travel in the offseason.
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Steven Jackson is the all-time leading rusher for the St. Louis Rams with 9,093 yards. More than Pro Football Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch all had while wearing the blue and gold. Since 2005, he’s had seven straight seasons of 1,000 on-the-ground yards.

The Oregon State alum is No. 30 among any running back that’s ever “whooped” and juked his way along the gridiron. So, how has he done it over his nine-year-career? Magic? Maybe a little bit. But he also has specific training routines he’s followed since his college years. Whether it’s rehabbing from an injury, spending an extra day in the gym or climbing the steps of Machu Picchu, the NFL star (and world class traveler) maintains a strong workout regiment, and he recently sat down with MensFitness.com to talk about it.

MF: What kinds of routines do you go through during the week to get game ready? Do you have specific workout regimes you’ve followed every season?

SJ: As my career has progressed, my routines continue to change -- although they haven’t altered too much since college. In season, I generally work out three times per week (Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays). Lately I’ve been focusing on my core. I do my strongman workout on Fridays, focusing on my glutes and quads. After games, I’ll also do a quick full-body lift -- isolating my quads and hamstring.

MF: In the offseason, do your workouts change at all? Does your diet change?

SJ: I’ve always been a believer that the body needs rest in the offseason. In season, my workouts and diet are strict. During the offseason, my diet is more lax and my training isn’t as intense. Although I do work out four times a week, I work more on my cardio and explosion, rather than pure strength.

MF: Was there ever a time during your career when you had to work to conquer a specific goal? A time when you to really change around your workout routine or train extra hard?

SJ: Yes, in 2010 I was diagnosed with a herniated disk. We still had six games left in the season, and I wanted to stick it out for the team and show the guys I cared. So I worked and trained through the pain, deciding to just rehab in the offseason. Hopefully it motivated my teammates and served as a positive influence for some of the younger guys.

MF: Has there ever been a time when you’ve had to overcome an obstacle on the field?

SJ: This is the NFL. There are obstacles every season. Every week we face a new defense, different strategy and great team. I’m constantly studying and training for the players we’re facing on any given Sunday. There are challenges all season long.

MF: We’ve heard you’re a world class traveler. What’s your favorite destination?

SJ: You are correct. I love to travel. My all-time favorite place has to be Macchu Picchu. I really enjoy the history and beauty in that part of Peru. I’ve also trekked along the glaciers in Patagonia and been on safaris in Africa. All are amazing experiences that I recommend to anybody.

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