Legends are made in the NFL playoffs.

Whether it’s a quarterback driving his team down the field to score a game-winning touchdown, a linebacker forcing a fumble late to seal a victory, or a defensive end tracking down the quarterback for a bone-crushing sack, athletes get to show off their talents on one of the biggest stages in American sports.

But the real work for football players starts long before the spotlight hits. The extra lifts after practice when everyone’s left for the day, or the punishing workouts in the morning before anyone gets to the facility—that's when the hard work begins.

And after 17 tough weeks of football during the regular season, all that hard work pays off in the playoffs.

Here’s how 17 NFL players got shredded, ripped, and muscular in the gym, all in the hopes of winning in the playoffs and getting to the Super Bowl, in 2017:

1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

The Super Bowl-winning quarterback knows what it takes to get through the playoffs—check him out as he does some ab wheel rollouts, power pulls, boxing training, and dummbell stepups in the gym.

 

A video posted by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on

 

 

A photo posted by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on

 

 

Getting my Inner @FloydMayWeather on!Determined to be the best. #MakeThemNotice

A photo posted by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on

 

 

Keeping the main thing the main thing... #MakeThemNotice #NoTime2Sleep

A photo posted by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on

 

2. James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers

Age is just a number for this 38-year-old linebacker as he shows off some major "old man strength" in the gym. We've shown you his "super band" bench press—here are some more big lifts and a massive dumbbell workout from the big man.

 

Close grip #405 Grind

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

 

 

Speed bench 3 in 3

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

 

 

Shoulder work

A video posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

 

3. Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins

The defensive end is one of the most athletic players in the league at his position—probably because he crushes dumbbell workouts and heavy rope training in the gym.

 

It's a mind set....

A photo posted by Mr. Wake (@ninety1) on

 

 

A photo posted by Mr. Wake (@ninety1) on

 

4. Cliff Avril, Seattle Seahawks

The defensive end gives his whole body a workout with some sledgehammer training—check out more from Men's Fitness here on those workouts. Dude: We wouldn't want to be that tire after Avril is through.

 

#WORK (photo cred @alikajenner)

A photo posted by Cliff Avril (@cliffavril) on

 

5. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

The All Pro wide receiver gets himself ready for the playoffs.

 

A photo posted by Jet Jones (@juliojones_11) on

 

6. Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh Steelers

The lineman gets a leg workout in with some massive weight.

 

Love this shit!! I'll pass out before I quit!! @akfitness247 u want AC go to La Fitness

A video posted by Maurkice Pouncey (@maurkicepouncey) on

 

7. Michael Bennett, Seattle Seahawks

The defensive end is a beast at his position and a nightmare for quarterbacks—probably because he goes hard with sled pushes and heavy rope workouts in his training.

 

Pushing for greatness even when they don't believe in me

A photo posted by Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) on

 

 

@hoptraining great birthday gift lol hard work never stops no matter what

A video posted by Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) on

 

8. Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh Steelers

The linebacker pushes hard on his day off with some massive dumbbells on the bench.

 

You see me Trying to get my back big on my off day! #ESI

A video posted by Lawrence Timmons (@kissmyconverse82) on

 

9. Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs

The defensive star gets it going with some band work, massive dumbbels, and running drills.

 

A video posted by Eric Berry (@stunt4president) on

 

10. Bud Dupree, Pittsburgh Steelers

The linebacker works on his explosion with some jumps while holding a medicine ball.

 

Late post!!! From the other day grinding with the bros ...explosion is everything !!! #steelernation #SteelCity #GuapUp

A video posted by Bud Dupree™ (@bud_dupree) on

 

11. Luke Willson, Seattle Seahawks

The tight end doesn't mess around in the gym—Willson goes big with deadlifts and work on the bench press with some big weights.

 

A photo posted by Luke Willson (@lwillson_82) on

 

 

12. Victor Cruz, New York Giants

The wide receiver made his way back from a devastating knee injury and now he has the G-Men back in the playoffs. See more of his workout here.

 

#TheReturn

A video posted by Victor Cruz (@teamvic) on

 

13. Vince Wilfork, Houston Texans

At 35 years old, the former Super Bowl champion isn't looking to stop playing anytime soon. Wilfork gets it going with 415 lbs on the bench.

 

Just a warm up ... 415# 5xs

A video posted by VINCE WILFORK (@vincewilfork) on

 

14. Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs

The linebacker shows off his cannon-like biceps as he gets a lift in.

 

Off season Work, keep it simple. Hard Work Pays Off! #easilymotivated

A photo posted by Derrick Johnson (@superdj56) on

 

15. Marquette King, Oakland Raiders

The Raiders were so good this year, even their punter gets in on the action as King bulks up with some big lifts.

 

#KickSquad #LegDay #OverNOverNOverNOver

A video posted by Marquette King (@marquetteking) on

 

16. Brian Peters, Houston Texans

The linebacker pulls off a massive back squat in the gym.

 

A photo posted by Brian Peters (@brian_peters10) on

 

17. Malcolm Smith, Oakland Raiders

The former Super Bowl MVP gets a workout in with a big bench press.

 

A photo posted by Malcolm Smith (@malcsmitty) on