Michigan Elite Conditioning for Athletes is working with high school and college athletes to give them opportunities to succeed at the next level of their athletic careers.
MECA has also worked with NFL players to transform their bodies.
Services provided include:
• High-end personal training
• Sport-specific strength & conditioning
• Functional sports nutrition
• NFL Draft preparation
Strength and conditioning coach David Lawrence has impressed many Lions fans with released photos of physical transformations made by members of the Lions' roster.
As Lawrence explained about Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis,
"I gave him (Jarrad Davis) 2 bars, plates, a squat stand, and a bench. He trained his ass off in his home basement doing 2 training sessions a day and also running 2x a week. The program design was simplistic but effective. He dialed in his nutrition this year and is ready to roll."
SI All Lions caught up with Lawrence to learn more about Davis' physical transformation.
1.) Photos were released of the transformation that Jarrad Davis made in the last 12 months. What work did Davis put in to reach his goals?
David Lawrence: The first photo was taken March 1, 2019 - he came in a bit undersized at 227. We were able to help JD gain weight up to 245, but we were not able to help him reduce body fat. This year there was much more focused effort from him and us on diet, sleep, and reducing distractions and other stressors that was preventing him from getting leaner. It is important to be lean in sports like football because the leaner you are the faster you run and the less inflammation you have especially at the joints.
2.) How will the transformation help Davis on the football field?
Lawrence: Jarrad's maximal strength and power are much higher which will allow him to play at a higher level without being fatigued. He will be much stronger at the point of contact and being leaner will help him run faster and change direction more easily. We really wanted to drive his upper body strength up. JD is such a great athlete, but in the Lions defensive scheme he is always taking on blocks directly. Being stronger at the point of contact will help him shed blocks easier.
3.) Which other Lions players have you trained?
Lawrence: Haloti Ngata, Nick Bellore, Marvin Jones, Christian Jones, Kerry Hyder, Nick Bawden, Alex Barrett, Zach Zenner and Devon Kennard, to name a few. Many of the athletes I get however start training after the last year of their contract is over. They are looking for a new team or coming in to rehabilitate an injury sustained during the season. I have trained over 50 professional athletes in the last 10 years as a strength coach.
4.) How will the pandemic affect professional athletes' training regiments?
Lawrence: It has affected us a lot - we had to switch to remote programming. What most people don't know is only about 50 percent of the guys in the NFL take working out seriously. The other half golf and fish most of the off-season. But they are such gifted athletes that they are able to play and play at a high level. What happens is the guys who don't workout have shortened careers because they get injured or cannot sustain high performance throughout the seasons.
5.) Detroit linebacker Christian Jones said he works out with Davis in what's called "Lions Den" at Davis' residence. What do you recommend for athletes and those who don't have professional equipment to try and stay in shape when gyms are closed?
Lawrence: This is a tough question to answer -- because if you don't have the right equipment you are pretty limited on what you can accomplish. For football -- it's such a savage game. It's unbelievably violent. As an athlete you really need to stimulate muscle, tendon, and bone tissue to grow with external loads -- strength training with weights is most ideal for this. If you make enough money -- which all the guys do, they should invest in a small home gym to stay in shape.
6.) Where can people find your work online?
Lawrence: Visit www.mecastrong.com. Our phone number is 248-773-8000. We are located in Novi and Royal Oak, Mich. We specialize in making professional athletes more money by making them faster and giving high school and college athletes more opportunity to reach their potential.