Defensive lineman Brandon Wood admitted he wasn't sure what to think when he learned that Georgia's strength and conditioning staff would be implementing some new training techniques that what it had used in previous years.
As a creature of habit, Wood was leery of the effect it would ultimately have.
According to Wood, Georgia's new "full-body" workout has already paid off in a big way.
"We do squats then we do a little bit of bench. It's not that real heavy, but because we're doing the full-body workout so fast; we're getting stronger a lot qiucker," Wood said. "This is new to me; it's new to everybody working full body. I tell people we're working full-body and they're like 'What? We don't do that.' It's a really neat thing we're doing."
Head coach Mark Richt already sees the new program that is being implemented under the direction of head strength and conditioning coach Dave Van Halanger, along with assistants Keith Gray, Clay Walker and Rex Bradberry.
"Clay is working with the big men, Keith is working with our middle-size guys - linebackers, tight ends and fullback types - then we've got Rex working with our skill guys and Coach Van overseeing the whole thing," Richt said. "What they're trying to do is find ways to do specific drills and strength training to help them at their specific position. Instead of saying 'Everybody does this' we're trying to make sure everybody does things that each one needs to get better at his specific position."
According to Van Halanger, The notion that Georgia's strength has been opposed to trying different methods is wrong.
The latest changes being implemented are just one example.
"From the first day I got here until now we're different in a lot of our approaches. We jump rope, we stretch, we bench, squat and clean," Van Halanger said. "Strength coaches don't feel we have to hide anything. We all talk. We're all pretty much doing similar things. It's just your motivational style. For us, we try to create an atmosphere that they can thrive in. We try to encourage them to do great things and get them to see themselves do great things so when they come on the field they can do that."
Incidentally, Georgia's strength and conditioning staff just returned from a trip to Blacksburg, Va., where Van Halanger, his staff, and Richt traveled to Virginia Tech to meet with the Hokies to discuss some of the methods being used by Frank Beamer's squad.
"Our strength coaches have really done a good job of getting out there and seeing what other folks are doing," Richt added. "They're always finding things they can implement to get better."
Richt indicated Tuesday that changes in Georgia's overall conditioning needed to be made, not specifically related to the changes being implemented now, but also in regards to the Bulldogs' nutritional needs.
"I think we've done a tremendous job of getting them of getting our guys prepared for the season, but I think in-season we have had some guys who maybe lost some weight," Richt said. "I think the biggest part of it is the nutritional aspect. We've got to make sure we're feeding these guys right. Some of the guys who live off campus, they get their meal money and it's hard to really gauge what they're doing so we'll have to make sure they're getting the food, the nutrition that they need in-season."
Woods said he's doing a better job of watching what he eats.
The Buchanan native currently weighs at a fit 288 pounds, which Wood credits to Georgia's full-body workout drills along and doing a better job watching what he eats.
During spring practice, players are put through their new regiment three times a week after lifting for four days a week back in January and February.
"The one thing I noticed is, we got stronger and quick," Wood said. "I don't anybody knew what to expect when we first started, because none of us had every worked out like that before. With the full-body workout we don't run as much, but I think it has gotten us in better shape. With a little more hard work I think we'll be one of the stronger teams in the SEC."
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