Future Gators Share Their At-Home Workout Plan
The Florida Gators and the entirety of the NCAA and sporting world are working out a bit unconventionally right now.
While stay-at-home orders are in effect across the country and facilities are shut down, college football teams are finding unique ways to continue exercising and preparing for an upcoming season from home.
The Gators, notably, are being led by strength and conditioning coach Nick Savage digitally. He can't oversee the workouts themselves, so Savage has created tutorials for the team and posted videos on a private YouTube account. In return, in lieu of weights, players are using family members, pets and household objects in order to lift.
But for the veterans across the roster, they have been through the spring program before. They're accustomed to what Savage is looking for in a workout and in terms of progress. Obviously, no one can be expected to 100% match a workout at Florida's training facilities when they're using a hose and flower pots as a barbell replacement, but Savage still has high expectations.
"Everything that they would be expected to do on campus, for the most part physically speaking, I’m expecting them to do to some shape or form at their house, in their backyard, wherever they’re at away from everyone," Savage said on Friday.
"The stuff we sent them home with was basically a generic workout if you have no equipment. Based on what you have, how big your house was or how big your yard was we could tweak it along the way.”
The issue is, what about the players who haven't been up to this point in Savage's training program? Whether it be transfers, early enrollees, or 2020 signees that have yet to enroll, some will require more instruction than others.
Obviously, in these times, that can get a bit challenging. Though, Savage is confident in that group.
“We got a really good class. Our early enrollee guys I think have done a phenomenal job since the day they stepped on campus," said Savage.
"The guys that aren’t on campus, obviously, we want to try to treat and handle the same way because they’re in the same boat as every other student-athlete - gyms are closed, they don’t have this, they don’t have that. I still believe you should be able to provide them something, so I’ve asked the questions that need to be answered and that’ll be down the road, future stuff. But basically, what else can we do to exhaust our resources to make sure our Gators now, future Gators are ready to go when they get back on campus are in the best position to succeed.”
So, what are those young, future Gators doing to keep themselves in shape and ready for football? AllGators spoke with several of Florida's 2020 signees regarding their workout plans, as well as a couple of 2021 commits.
"These are weird times right now," 2020 tight end signee Jonathan Odom told AllGators.
"I'm doing anything to train, working out in my garage, going to local fields and running tons of routes. Doing tons of pushups and sit-ups since I don't have weights and all gyms are closed. Just trying to stay busy and stay in shape."
Odom comes from a football family, which perhaps can serve as an advantage in lieu of weights. His father, Jason, was an All-American offensive lineman at the University of Florida from 1992-95.
Meanwhile, offensive tackle signee Gerald Mincey is perfecting his craft as an offensive lineman while also conditioning.
"[I'm doing] more fieldwork than ever and conditioning," Mincey told AllGators. "Pass pro, making sure I fix a few things before I get up there and compete for a spot."
Mincey is one of four offensive linemen the Gators signed in the 2020 haul, as the team looks to fortify its depth and long-term across the unit. He is the only lineman of the four to not yet enroll in the school and work out with the team up until this point, so this work at home is crucial.
An imposing lineman at 6-5, 320 lbs., Mincey has the physical tools necessary to be a successful lineman in the SEC, but wants to perfect his technique in order to become more complete.
"Quick feet coming out of my stance, making sure my hips are forward, driving off my post and not reaching out," Mincey mentioned of his work in pass protection.
Defensive end Princely Umanmielen is also hard at work, as he committed to and signed with Florida on National Signing Day in February, preventing him from enrolling early.
"Mostly my upper body," Umanmielen said of his workout focus. "I'm gonna try focusing on speed a little more."
Looking at 2021 commits, who obviously wouldn't get the same workout programs that those who have signed received, tight end Nick Elksnis and linebacker Chief Borders are still finding ways to prepare for football - whether it be for a senior season if high school, or when they step on campus at UF.
Elksnis had been going to the gym daily before they began to close. He still meets with a trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Without a gym to attend, Borders has taken an intense workout into his own hands.
"I am doing a workout that my trainer is putting me through that consists of 250 push-ups, 500 crunches, and a mile run and more every day," Borders said. "And on top of that, my weekly workout of chest, arms, shoulders, and back. But I am not leaving the house anymore until things clear up."
While the conditions are far from ideal, the next faces of Florida football remain driven to be the best they can be, while the world waits on sports to return to normal.