Feb. 18, 2014
Today on CSURams.com we take you inside the Colorado State football team's offseason strength and conditioning program, "Ram U," to show what makes it unique among Division I programs. It is one more way the CSU Rams gain an edge on the competition.
Implemented upon head coach Jim McElwain's arrival in the winter of 2012, Ram U is the second phase of CSU's offseason strength and conditioning program, modeled after Alabama's "4th Quarter" program.
Over a five-week period, Rams players gather four days per week, first for a one-hour morning weight-lifting session, with the offense and defense alternating between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. lifts.
The unique feature of the regimen is the one-hour afternoon set of drills that alternate by day between linear motion and change-of-direction. Players move quickly as a group from station to station, with each drill designed around a specific purpose that translates to the game.
"The agility drills and functional speed drills carry over to the specific movement of the sport or their position," said head football strength and conditioning coach Mike Kent.
The goal is to not only build strength and speed, but also to strengthen the players' mental toughness, as they learn they can achieve even greater physical output with stronger mental conditioning. In the process, a great deal of team-building also takes place as the 2014 Rams begin to shape their identity.
"It really is about the bonding of our program and seeing each other work hard," Kent added.
"This is about more than football," McElwain said. "The lessons learned and the endurance required in the Ram U program will not only help them in playing the game of football, but will carry with them the rest of their lives, with their families and in their careers."
Ram U began Feb. 10 and will continue until March 14, followed by CSU's spring break and the beginning of spring practice on March 25.
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