Weight: 235 lbs
Accolades: Three-time Rookie of the Week, three-time Rose Bowl champion
With two AFC championship trips under his belt in just his third season, Mark Sanchez sports an impressive résumé for a fledgling quarterback. This past off-season, however, chatter abounded as to whether he was fit to lead the Jets. They missed the playoffs for the first time in his career, and a trade for the Broncos wunderkind QB Tim Tebow only intensified the speculation that Sanchez was in the hot seat. That didn’t sit well with the man dubbed “the Sanchize” and “quarterback of the future.” “We really amped up our lifting program this off-season to add some weight and muscle mass,” Sanchez says. In order to do that, he turned to longtime trainer Todd Norman. Sanchez told us that he expects to “start the season a little bit closer to 235, whereas I was closer to 225 last season.” To that end, the duo focused on four days of heavy lifting per week, in addition to core and stability training. “We have him on a push-pull strength circuit,” Norman says. “It’s undulating periodization, so we mix heavy weights for low reps with light weight for high reps. It’s packed on a lot of muscle.”
They’re not just sticking to the bread-and-butter lifts, either. “I wanted to throw something different at him this time around,” Norman says. “I train MMA fighters, and I put him through the exact same circuits I use with them.” So far, it’s working: While Sanchez won’t see five minutes of straight action on the football field, the grueling MMA workouts have drastically improved his mental strength. His arm strength and conditioning are at all-time highs, and he’s confident in the Jets’ chances of finally getting over that AFC championship hump. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us, but we’ve set ourselves up well,” he says.
The workout is packed with adrenaline, to say the least. In the off-season, Sanchez has added some other high- octane activities through his work with Degree MotionSense. “My time with Degree has been awesome,” he says. “They put me through all these adrenaline activities. They know how close I am to my dad; I got to work with his firemen crew. I had to go into a building where they have a simulated fire ripping across the ceiling and you have to put it out. It was unreal.”
The new workout, coupled with the rush of training with the fire department, has left Sanchez with a great clarity he hopes to bring to the game: “You never want to be slow to call a play or out of breath in the huddle,” Sanchez says. “It’s just embarrassing. So making sure that never happens is huge. We’re going to give ourselves the chance to play in the post-season and move on from there.”
SANCHEZ'S MMA WORKOUT
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, then repeat for a total of five minutes. That’s one round. Rest one minute, then move to the next round.
|Round One||Round 2||Round 3|
|4-Cone QB Reaction Drill||Tennis Ball One-Bounce Gets||QB Reaction/Evasion Drill|
|Jump-rope Alternating Bounce||20-yd Repeat Sprint||Jump-rope Skier|
|MB Crunch Toss||Sledgehammer Overhead Slam||Linear Rope waves|
|Standing Strike||MB Chest Pass||Ground and Pound|
|Burpee w/Jump & Shuffle 5 R/L||Box Jump||Box Shuffle|