Fittest Superbowl Player: Russell Wilson, Quarterback for Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson vs Vikings, November 4 2012 Larry Maurer
Wilson during the Vikings vs. Seahawks game on November 4, 2012
Russell Wilson, the quarterback for Seattle Seahawks, is possibly the fittest player in the 2014 Superbowl.

Wilson is a highly skilled player and his fitness levels have been solid since he entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick. He has not missed the start of a season yet and has many years ahead of him in NFL – he is still only 25 years old too.

He is dedicated to getting stronger and better. He can run 40-yards in 4.53 seconds, which is impressive for a solid built 5’11”, 206-pound build guy.

Wilson is becoming an awesome passer too and was rated as the seventh best passer in the NFL for 2013 / 2014.

He is once of the fastest and most agile quarterbacks in NFL and will be amazing to watch in the 2014 NFL Super Bowl XLVIII, which is held on Sunday 2nd February at 6.30pm ET.

Workouts for strength and power

Chris Carlisle from Men’s Fitness discussed Russell Wilson’s “game-changing” workouts during his first season. Wilson does four weight training sessions each week, two of which are strength sessions and the other two focus on speed.

Speed training involves Olympic powerlifting exercises such as clean and press and snatches to build power in the core and legs. On the strength training days he uses heavier weights to build larger and denser muscle tissue. He also performs strength conditioning exercises which are designed to reduce injury risk.

The four workouts

Each day a different workout is performed. Willis will be doing sports specific training drills and football practice on the other days too. and probably throw in some cardio in the run up to the season to help shed fat gained during the pre-season bulking period.

Workout 1

  • Medicine ball snatches (3 sets of 5 reps): Squat and hold a medicine ball at hip height. Then explosively push upwards to release the ball. Do not aim to take off as you would in a squat jump – stay grounded but power up through the heels, calves, hips and then arms.
  • Medicine ball jerk (3 sets of 5 reps): Squat and hold a medicine ball to your chest and then perform the same powerful move as above.
  • Hex-bar cleans  (3 sets of 5 reps): Stand inside a hex-bar and grasp the handles. Power up through the legs. hips and rise on the balls of your feet while performing a should shrug at the end. Good video for technique.
  • Single-Leg Squat (3 sets of 5 reps): With one leg pushed out in front squat down as low as you can, then return.
  • Suspended Row (4 sets of 8 reps): Using a suspension trainer (such as TRX) to perform bodyweight rows at 45 degrees.
  • Cable Curl (2 sets of 8 reps): Standard cable curls with bar attached to a low cable pulley

Workout 2

  • Front Squat (3 sets of 5 reps): With a barbell resting on your front shoulders and elbows high to keep bar in place, squat low, keeping back straight.
  • Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (3 sets of 5 reps): Holding dumbbells by your side for extra resistance, step one foot behind you and push your hips back and lower your body, keeping back straight. Works hamstrings.
  • Machine Bench Press (3 sets of 8 reps): Press from your shoulders, slow and steady, bring the bar close to the chest.
  • Dumbbell I-Y-T (3 sets of 8 reps): Lean forward onto an inclined bench with chest against the bench. Lift a pair of dumbbells straight up, hold, lower to form a Y shape, hold, then lower to form a T, hold, return. Repeat.
  • Band Pullapart
 (3 sets of 25 reps): Hold a band in front of you and then attempt to pull it apart so that you are standing in a cross position.
  • Overhead Cable Triceps Extension (3 sets of 8 reps): Facing away from a pulley machine whole holding a rope handle raise your arms overhead and extend elbows.
  • Swiss Ball Stability Hold (3 sets of 30 seconds): This is the Plank, but with your hands on a Swiss ball to improve stability even more.

Workout 3

  • Dumbbell Hang Snatch (3 sets of 3 reps each side): Hold a dumbbell in one hand so that it is by your knees in the ready position for a snatch. Engage core, back, legs. In one powerful movement raise the dumbbell up past your body and overhead.
  • Hex-bar cleans  (3 sets of 5 reps): same as Workout 1
  • Stepups (3 sets of 5 reps): Step up onto a box that is approximately chair height. Start with one foot on the box, your thigh should be parallel to the floor. Stand up on the box, driving your bodyweight up with your leg. Keep other foot off the box.
  • Towel Pulldown (2 sets of 8 reps): Using a towel perform lat pull downs on a lat machine. Ensure it is a good towel.
  • Cable Lawnmower Row (2 sets of 8 reps): Use a low pulley with a single grip handle attached and stand in a staggered stance. Pull on the handle as you would when starting a lawn mower, rowing the handle to the side of the ribs.
  • Scap Pushup (2 sets of 8 reps): Start in a push up position with your chest about inch from the ground and shoulder blades squeezed together. Then spread your shoulder blades to perform a small push up. The movement is all in the shoulders- build powerful shoulders.
  • Band curl (2 sets of 30 seconds): Perform bicep curls by standing on a long elastic band. Keep elbows tucked in to your sides.

Workout 4

  • Squats (3 sets of 5): Standard barbell squats with free weights.
  • Staggered Romanian Deadlift (3 sets of 5): Hold a pair of dumbbells and then step one foot behind. Lower your body weight down by pushing your hips back, but keep your upperbody straight. You should feel this in the hamstrings.
  • Incline Alternating Press ( 3 sets of 8 reps each side): On an inclined bench use a pair of dumbbells and alternate pushing and pulling at the same tim as if you are punching.
  • Pushup Complex: Perform this twice. Place a barbell in a power rack at about hip height. Grasp the bar as if in a push up position. Back straight. Perform 15 push ups and then immediately lower the bar to the lowest position so your chest is only at a small incline, perform another 12 push ups. Then do 10 standard push ups on the floor. Repeat once more.


Photo by Larry Maurer.

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