The following is an excerpt from the September 2006 issue of Muscle & Fitness Magazine.
...Here are a few other things you should know about Brian Urlacher. He's from Lovington, New Mexico, where, in addition to football, he ran track and played basketball while growing up. In track, Urlacher did the long jump and ran the hurdles, relays and 100- and 200-meter sprints.
In the summer after seventh grade, to prepare for high school football, he started lifting weights. At first, the coaches wouldn't let him do much in the weight room - he mostly ran - but in high school he was allowed to lift more, and he stuck with it year-round after that, getting stronger every year.
During the football season, Urlacher and his younger brother, Casey (who looks exactly like Brian but is about 6 inches shorter), would get up at 5:30 in the morning, three days a week, to lift weights. His main lifts were squats and power cleans. Although never a big bencher, Urlacher has benched 390 pounds in the past, which is quite good for someone as long-armed and tall as he is.
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"I was always more of a leg guy," says Urlacher. "My high school coach instilled in us that you were gonna hit legs no matter what. Squats and power cleans, that's what he wanted us to do. If we didn't get our bench in, he wasn't too worried."
At Lovington High School, Urlacher was an All-State wide receiver and defensive back, but he wasn't heavily recruited by colleges. "I went to a small high school, so that's probably why," he says. "I wasn't huge - I was 195 pounds - but I could still run fast." The University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque was the only college to offer him a scholarship.
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Photo Courtesy Of Betty Rocker.
Collegiate Playing Field
He played at UNM as an 18-year-old, true freshman in 1996. That same year, he added a lot of weight by continuing to lift hard four days a week. "College is where I made most of my gains," Urlacher says. "I gained a bunch of weight, and my lifts all jumped up.
I got to school at 210 pounds, and at the end of my freshman year I was 235. I gained 25 pounds of muscle that year alone. We busted our a$$es in college and had a great conditioning program."
Urlacher's primary position during his four years at UNM was free safety, but he also returned punts and kickoffs and even caught some passes. It was only in his sophomore season that he played linebacker full time. By senior year, he weighed 245 pounds and was as fast as ever.
At the 2000 NFL combine, Urlacher ran the 40-yard dash in a swift 4.57 seconds. When the Chicago Bears drafted him with the ninth pick in the first round, he was power-cleaning 405 lbs. for a one-rep max (1 RM) and squatting as much as 555 pounds!
"And," he notes, "I haven't maxed out since."
To Read More
For the rest of our interview with Brian Urlacher, and a look at his complete training program, pick up the September 2006 issue of Muscle & Fitness, on newsstands August 1!