Twelve years into a storied NFL career, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens is training harder than ever. Will his diligence result in a Super Bowl title?
It's Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007. There's no practice. Players are free to do whatever it is they need to do to prepare for the following day's practice. Go to the training room for treatment of any injuries they may have. Go to the gym to lift weights. Watch game film of their upcoming opponent. Sit around and enjoy the rare day off.
So what exactly is Terrell Owens doing? He's got those black straps around his ankles and he's clipping yellow elastic bands to them. Now he's lying on his back and doing some sort of inner thigh exercise. Next he'll stand up and do overhead presses, lateral raises and front raises. But not with dumbbells or barbells. With rubber bands.
But why? "For me, using the bands is easier on the joints and you still get a great pump," says Owens. "I can do the same exercises with the bands that I do with weights. During the course of the season I don't lift as heavy as I do in the off-season because we do so much running during practice and I don't want to tire myself out by being in the weight room five days a week. I pretty much work out 2-3 times a week to maintain my strength. I've found that I can do this with the bands."
It's year 12 of a brilliant, much publicized career. When you think of Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, what comes to mind? Controversy, perhaps? Stuffing a Sharpie in his sock one Monday night so he could sign a football upon scoring a touchdown. Less than flattering comments regarding former quarterbacks Jeff Garcia, whom he played with in San Francisco early in his career, and Donovan McNabb, who he eventually butted heads with in Philly despite a Super Bowl run in 2005. More recently, sound bites galore and endzone celebrations that have made the Sharpie incident seem like amateur hour. YouTube.com was created for people like TO.
Now, think a little harder. What else is Terrell Owens known for? How about results? He's already among the top 10 all-time NFL touchdown leaders (he had 120 scores as of press time); pretty soon he'll be passing Walter Payton and Jim Brown on that list. With over 800 career receptions, he's on pace to become one of the top 10 leading receivers of all time by season's end, and could be top 5 not long after that.
TO also happens to possess one of the best physiques in pro football (Exhibit A: every photo in this article) and a Jerry Rice-like work ethic on the field as well as in the gym (more on that shortly). So let's see... best work ethic, best body, among the greatest receivers to ever play the game. Merely coincidence? What do you think?
Maybe you'll recall us featuring Owens a few years back, in the October 2004 issue, just as he was starting his tenure with the Eagles and just months before he helped lead them to the Super Bowl. The Cowboys look to be in a similar position this year, as the consensus pick as the NFC's best team. One thing that's changed ever so slightly since our inaugural TO story is his training regimen. At 34 years old this month, his body is, well, evolving. And so his training.
For the rest of the article, pick up the January 2008 issue of Muscle & Fitness with Terrell Owens on the cover, on newsstands December 3.
For more M&F, visit their website: www.muscleandfitness.com.