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Summer Sweat


What it’s like to workout with the Bison…

By Andrew Jason


To be on a college football team a player has to be 100 percent committed. For every minute spent on the playing field there are several hours of working out, studying film, traveling and countless other time commitments that come with being on a national championship football team. This work also extends into the off-season. Throughout the summer players are constantly lifting weights or doing agility drills to increase their speed, strength and conditioning. Jim Kramer is the director of athletic performance at NDSU. He’s the man that makes the custom workouts for the football team. We caught up with him to discuss what’s expected of athletes.

1. During the summer workouts, the training staff conducts two-a-day workouts in order to accomodate the players summer work schedule. In the morning they lift weights for an hour and 15 minutes and in the afternoons they do their speed and agility sessions for about an hour. The break between workouts allows the athletes time to be fresh for their workouts and decreases the number of injuries.

2. Overtraining is a serious concern for the Bison training staff. They have to balance the line between a good workout and keeping all the athletes safe. The training staff works closely with the students to ensure that between their summer jobs and the workouts, they’re not in any danger of injuring themselves. This is a difficult job, considering there are around 80 students who come to workouts during the summer.

3. The players can choose from one of three morning workouts. The first ones begin as early as 5:30 a.m. According to Kramer this is one of their best workouts. They start the workouts by warming up on the fake turf in the Bison Sports Arena and then move on to lift weights in their weight room. The NCAA doesn’t allow student athletes to use specific supplements so they have lots of milk in the weight room that the students drink as a supplement.

4. Afternoon workouts are divided into two running groups. A Nebraska study showed that a football player averages a change in direction every seven yards. This means that they do a lot of sprint/agility workouts. A lot of the drills are footwork drills that are specific to a player’s position. An offensive lineman won’t do the same workout as a defensive back.


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Published eight times a year, Bison Illustrated provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Bison community in order to help promote the university’s players, coaches, alumni, supporters, staff and fans.


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