Nowadays athletes are provided a vast array of resources to enhance their performance. They use state-of-the-art training equipment, engage in unique and exhausting workout methods, and adhere to a strict protein-driven diet. Have you seen the arms on Bears running back Thomas Jones? They’re not arms but thighs.

I feel it’s all for nothing.

Take, for instance, 49ers rookie Vernon Davis’ workout regimen, which was published in Sports Illustrated a few weeks ago. Six days a week, Davis went through two-a-day, 90-minute workouts to strengthen his core.

That’s right, his core.

Granted, Davis was already built like a sculpted tree-trunk, the tight end-hey, that’s his position on the field!-packed on nine additional pounds of finely-toned muscle to help raise his stock before the draft. The 6-foot-3-inch, 263-pound physical beast also undertook a diet that poured 4,000 calories a day down his gullet.

But was it really worth it?

Walter Payton once said he never picked up a weight in his life. Sweetness ran up and down hills and his workout was said to only consist of the traditional push-ups and sit-ups. Whether or not Davis’s extensive off-season training will carry over to his performance on the field this season or the next is anyone’s guess. But your mentality, natural talent and instincts are, in this flabby guy’s opinion, the core to being a successful athlete.

That’s why below I have countered Davis’s workout regimen with my own:

  • Keiser Squat Machine: Davis uses this to work his glutes. He squats beneath pads and explodes upwards to a standing position. Set weight: 250 pounds. Four sets of six.

I use the machine to iron out a shirt that has hanger marks in the shoulders. Set weight: 2 pounds. One set of three.

  • Vertimax Jump: Davis wears a cinch belt around his waist with bungee cords attached to a base on a hardwood floor for resistance. He jumps as high as possible. Four sets of eight.

I attach the bungee cords to a metal beam in the ceiling, slide a trampoline under my legs and bounce about like a circus act. Four sets of 100-because I can’t seem to stop bouncing!

  • Lateral Pillar Bridge: Davis lies on his side, puts his feet in a vibrating Powerplate machine and holds a 45-pound weight at his waist. Four times each side.

I just lie there enjoying the foot massage, holding a cappuccino. Four hours for each toe.

I also have revisions to Davis’ diet. That 17-ounce Myopex vitamin and mineral enriched shake, post morning workout, is replaced with a cold glass of yummy chocolate milk. That Myopex deluxe nutrition bar, stocked with 340 calories and 30 grams of protein is a Klondike bar and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup chaser. And because Phosphogen Elite supplement powder irritates my acid reflux disease, I substitute it with Kool-Aid mix, strawberry kiwi.

And then I’m off to the showers.

Contrary to what I wrote last week in this column, former longtime Oak Park physician Dr. Peter Baker is not a crazy peddler, but a crazy pedaler. Baker was pedaling-not peddling, as far as I know,-a recumbent tricycle around Lake Michigan. I regret the mishap.


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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...