Cal Football: Golden Bears Bulking Up This Offseason - Plus 647 Pounds, So Far

Coach Justin Wilcox Says the Bears Want to be a Big Football Team
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Most of us would like to lose a couple pounds.

Not the Cal football team. The Bears are trying to get stronger, tougher . . . bigger.

“This game, when all things are equal, the big guys beat up the smaller guys. That’s kind of what it’s about,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said.

Toward that end, the Bears have gained a collective 647 pounds — and counting — since the offseason began.

That’s equivalent to an average-sized male grizzly bear. It compares with a large vending machine or a grand piano. It’s 125 pounds bigger than the late Andre the Giant, and he was 7-foot-4. 

Of course, those 647 pounds are spread among more than 100 players.

“I don’t know that one guy’s gained 50, but there’s been 4 or 5 pounds, or 8, 10, 12 pounds for certain people,” Wilcox said. “Overall we’re gaining weight and strength. And that’s a good thing. We want to be a big team.

“As long as that’s good weight and it’s functional, we’re going to continue to work at it with strength and conditioning and continue to eat well.”

Players are building themselves up with guidance from Cal’s strength and conditioning and nutrition staffs. No one is dashing over to In and Out and ordering six double-cheeseburgers and a 48-ounce milk shake.

“We definitely want to get bigger,” Wilcox said. “We have some bigger-framed guys that can carry more weight. Obviously, it needs to be good weight.”

Wilcox said the layoff from organized weight-training activities through most of last spring, summer and early fall due to COVID-19 restrictions impacted the players’ ability to add muscle during that long stretch.

“With the uncertainty we all lived with last summer and early fall, it’s difficult to get into a rhythm and a routine, “he said. “We’ve had a better rhythm and routine since the end of the season, I would say. It’s allowed guys to build their bodies.”

Wilcox said there is list of contributing factors to healthy weight gain, including nutrition, weight-training, rest. “It all matters,” he said. 

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo