Behind the Body: Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Jared Odrick
Dolphins tackle Jared Odrick is a fantastic introductory lesson in deductive reasoning for all you logic-minded kids: The 6-foot-5 player weighs 300 pounds and has only 11 percent body fat … which means … ? The guy has a heck of a lot of muscle. This is the brawn the 26-year-old former Penn State player uses to bowl over offensive linemen and hold his ground against angry guards as he works on upping the 103 total combined tackles of his five-year pro career.
Lots of muscle requires lots of maintenance, though, and Odrick relies heavily on a daily cocktail of dietary supplements, including magnesium, zinc, glutamine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), sleep-assistance vitamins, protein powder, and something he calls “wellness greens,” to feed his force. The Dolphins veteran, picked No. 28 overall by Miami in the 2010 draft, also spends up to three hours per day in the weight room in the offseason, lifting and growing his massive bulk, of course, but also nurturing and soothing it with recovery programs like shockwave therapy and infrared saunas.
Yet as he starts his fifth season with Miami, Odrick says his biggest physical challenge isn’t with his body, but inside his mind. “For me, it’s keeping my mind on the things I can control and letting those things I can’t control out of the door—not letting the outside world come into what you consider your workspace,” he says. Tricky when you’re a starting NFL player and scrutinized by every major sports media outlet, but after five years in the league, clearly Odrick has the mental muscle to do his own inductive reasoning when it comes to focusing on how to play.
26 years old
Training grounds: Miami and Toronto.
Body fat: 11 percent.
Hours spent training per day: Two in the offseason; four in-season. “In the offseason, I’ll work out for an hour, take a break, take some magnesium, zinc, BCAAs, have a meal, and then go train for another hour. The biggest thing I’ve learned in the offseason is not to overtrain.”
Days spent training per week: Six.
Hours spent in the weight room per week: Up to 18 hours in the offseason. “But I do a lot of things—infrared sauna, stretching with stretch therapists, shockwave therapy.”
Go-to workout: Pull-ups. “They’re great for back strength and your lats and total back—that’s what you use as a lineman to hit and shed a blocker and torque your body to throw another 300-pound man out of the way. Pull-ups are the one key thing I’ve focused on over the past year. I try to keep them a daily thing.”
Secret workout: Locomotion drills. “I just started doing this over the past year. It’s drills like duck walks, bear crawls, and the six-inch crawl—things that are close to the ground and that build functional strength through your body and work your mobility through a full range of motion. I do them about twice a week.”
Biggest physical challenge: Focusing on the things he can control. “My biggest challenge used to be staying true to my diet, but my trainer changed my way of thinking about eating. Now, it’s probably not letting other things affect my physical play and workouts. For me, it’s keeping my mind on things I can control and letting those things I can’t control out of the door—not letting the outside world come into what you consider your workspace.”
Best recovery tip: Sleep. “I always try to sleep well and take my sleep assistance supplements. That’s probably the biggest regeneration for me. That and some glutamine.”
Calories consumed per day: “I don’t really count them. I don’t like saying it, but I try to stay close to something called the ‘metro-paleo diet.’ It’s about 90 percent paleo, with some cheat days—you know, helps you maximize muscle and reduce fat gain and inflammation.”
Favorite pre-game meal: Steak and sweet potatoes. “I like getting red meat in before competition, as well as some really good carbs. It tastes good, and it’s really beneficial.”
Typical recovery meal: Protein shake and supplements. “I make my shakes with this paelo protein I have right now, along with some glutamine and wellness greens. Every now and then, I’ll throw in a banana, but bananas make me more tired, so I don’t like to do that if I’m going to work out again. I also take zinc and magnesium and some BCAAs.”
Celebration meal: Philly cheese steak. “A lot of my family is from Philly, and I’m from P.A., too. There’s just something about melted cheese—it does something to me with that chopped-up steak meat, good bread, and fried onions. The combination is hard to describe, but I feel like it sells itself.”
Biggest dietary vice: Restaurant bread. “Wherever you sit down, I like the table bread they bring you, the hot fresh rolls. I’m not supposed to eat them [says his trainer], but they’re free, they’re hot, and they’re fresh. And there’s butter. What are you supposed to do?”
Alcohol of choice: Wine. “I’ve been trying to learn more about Italian wines, but I also like Spanish wines. If I’m out, I’ll usually get a vodka soda—but the emphasis then is on if I go out.”
On the origins of his Pee-wee Herman sack dance: “Two or three years ago, we had a different defensive coordinator, and he made up incentives for turning over the ball and running it for touchdown. If you danced after plays, you got extra points. During that time on TV, they kept rerunning ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,’ and I told a teammate that if I picked up a ball, I was going to do the Pee-wee Herman dance. And I picked up a fumble and did it. But then he said, “You wouldn’t do it during a game, and I said, ‘I bet you I will.’ So in the first game of that season, I got a sack against Tim Tebow and did a dance. Ever since then, the stadium has replayed the music and I do the dance.”
On what others say about his body: “You usually expect someone who weighs 300 pounds to be a little wider [than I am], so I do get all sorts of comments. And spending so much time up in Canada, they’re always commenting on my size and physique just because there aren’t many football players walking around.”
On what he thinks about his own body: “I think it’s come along way from the 11-year ‘Round Mound of Rebound [Charles Barkley’s nickname].' But I really have to give thanks to my personal trainer for helping me develop more these past two years. And I think I have a lot more to do.”