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Q & A With Houston Texans Wide Receiver Derick Armstrong!

Derick Armstrong talks about his training program and how he has been able to succed at the elite level expected of NFL Players!

[ Q ] Could you give us an idea on how things were going from Division 2 football to the blazing spotlights of the NFL?

    A: The biggest difference between Division 2 and the NFL is the demand for top performance, a small margin of error, and no margin for excuses!

    In the NFL there is much more to know and it is more difficult to maintain the level of concentration to reach the level of elite performance. Here, everything matters.

[ Q ] What workout program do you follow to put the "Strong" in Armstrong? Can we have a sample week routine?

    A: My workout program is developed specifically by the Texan's trainers, led by our head strength coach, Dan Riley.

    • Monday and Wednesday are full body lifting days.
    • Tuesday and Thursday are running days - 40's and other running drills.
    • Friday is optional running or lifting - I usually opt for running drills.

[ Q ] How do you get in the mood to dominate, what do you do to get psyched up for game days?

    A: Believe it or not, I listen to Marvin Gaye - "Keep on Dancing"!
The Power Of Music!
No doubt about it, music is a powerful tool and one that should be taken advantage of. At the same time, music should be used judiciously for optimal performance.
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[ Q ] Nutrition is an important part of preparation, what does your weekly diet consist of?

    A: I don't follow a specific diet, but during the season I eat tons of veggies at every meal, as well as baked chicken or fish. Most days I eat three meals per day, except on Friday, when sometimes I have a snack.

    I'm not into "extremes". I've always had success just keeping everything in balance, including my diet. Just a smart, well balanced diet has always been my ticket.

[ Q ] Do you feel that modern sports are teaching kids the discipline and teamwork they once did?

    A: Definitely! More specifically with respect to football since it is a team sport. Kids today see all the individual celebration, but I also think they understand all the blocking and running of the ball that allows for the play to succeed.

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    Essentially, the team must act as one cohesive unit to win. Coach Capers has made sure over the 3 years I've been here that everyone understands that concept, and I definitely buy into it.

[ Q ] What injury prevention programs do you use every Sunday?

    A: Stretching. Lots and lots of stretching. Pre-workout; post-workout; off days. I'm always stretching my muscles.

[ Q ] Have you ever used plyometrics? If so, what kind do you use?

    A: No.

[ Q ] Are there any foods, or habits that people should try to avoid while in training?

    A: Again, I stick to a simple well-balanced diet, but one thing I stay away from is anything greasy. However, when you are in the middle of training and working out really hard everyday, then once a week it is okay.

    I treat myself about once a week to a taste of fried food, but that's really about it.

Nutrition & Football!
Although body types in football differ greatly from position-to-position nutritional needs remain basically the same. At the 49ers we have a Food First approach. We advocate a high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, low-fat diet.
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[ Q ] Do you think it's important to have a personal trainer? If unavailable, what are some alternatives?

    A: Yes, personal trainers are essential, especially at this level of competition. Even if you are a person who really knows what you are doing, personal trainers keep you motivated, keeps the workout fresh and changing, tweaking things to maximize your workouts.

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    For athletes who don't have access to a personal trainer, I recommend that they keep their eyes and ears open at the gym and ask the right people questions. Also read, learn and apply things that work for others until you find what works for you. I also think it is important to find a reliable workout partner.

[ Q ] Supplements are a useful tool in any sport, what supplements do you use during the season?

[ Q ] Who's the toughest player that you have competed against? Is there anyone that talk's serious trash?

    A: Aaron Glenn is the toughest player I have competed against, so far. He's a pro bowl cornerback who is "nails" tough. Trash? No one has ever talked trash to me.

[ Q ] What recovery tactics guarantee that you'll be ready for practice?

    A: REST! - It is extremely important to workout hard, but at the end of the day when you go home you need to kick up your feet and relax, let your body recover and repair.

[ Q ] Playing with David Carr must make your job easier, what drills keep your hands sticky?

    A: Keeping my hands sticky boils down to catching as many balls as possible before, during, and after practice (on and off-season). Knowing the routine is also extremely important.

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    David and I work together to ensure that I know the speed and placement of his ball and he knows my speed and that we both know what the other is thinking when surprise situations arise, like a blitz or change in coverage. Basically, we both need to know what to expect, and we achieve that through practice.

[ Q ] What are some words of encouragement for the hopeful athletes of tomorrow?

    A: Keep pushing toward your dreams, stay focused and listen to your parents. No one can help you achieve your goals more than your parents. Don't listen to outsiders: they will only bring you down and so many of them have their own agendas.

Should Young Athletes Focus On One Or More Sports?
Find out how to get optimal stimulation and skill development for his/her age.
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    A trustworthy, close circle of friends and advisors is invaluable.

[ Q ] Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

    A: Thank you for being great fans of the best professional sports league in the world... the NFL!

    I definitely realize that without our fans, our league and our careers are nothing. It's really their game... we just hold it in trust!

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