500 jujutsu squat kicks in a row? Ouch

Crawford

When I interviewed new Dallas Cowboy Tyrone Crawford before the NFL draft for that big feature, one thing I didn’t wedge in was his pre-draft workout regimen.

Crawford is from my hometown of Windsor, Ontario — the closest suburb to downtown Detroit, as I call it. Since January he has been training at Dr. D.S. Ping’s famous training facility just outside nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan.

I asked Crawford — whom the Cowboys drafted in the third round on Friday night, 81st overall — what an average week of training under Ping was like. Hooo-boy:

“We wake up and go right into endurance. We run, like, five miles. And then get on the bike, and get over to the gym. Once we’re at the gym, we get into like a full body workout. Usually heavy squats, heavy bench. We get a lot of calf work in. A lot of different things. We tone up the arms and shoulders, and stuff, and strengthen our shoulders, and strengthen our core. And on Monday and Wednesday we go to jujutsu. We have a jujutsu class. Everybody works out with Doc Ping does it. He just believes in it.”

Seriously? Jujutsu? What’s the purpose?

“For mental focus, and for, like, hands. We work a lot of hands. And that’s good for a defensive linemen too, because we’re always focused on trying to get the offensive lineman’s hands off us. We’re always on our toes, learning new techniques and different punches and stuff. It’s very interesting. We all enjoy it. Our warmup there is 500 squat kicks. Squat down and kick, 1, and up. Squat down and kick, 2, and up. All the way to 500 … When we went in there, our first day, our warmup was 800 squat kicks. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. He just did that to try to break us. When you’re kicking, you’re stretching your hamstring. We call that the dojo, in martial arts. You get a lot of good stretching, everywhere. Finger work and stuff. A lot of crazy things that help a lot.”

Then, of course, there were also position-specific drills, done on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which Crawford and the other pre-draft trainees did a few miles away, in Ypsilanti, at Eastern Michigan University’s indoor facility.

Anything else? Yup.

“There’s a lot of hill work he does with us, too.”

That would be running up hills, always good fun.

“We’re exhausted at the end of the day,” Crawford said. “That’s how Doc wants it to be, because when we go into camp he wants us to feel like it’s nothing.”

Dallas holds its three-day mini-camp for draftees and undrafted free agents alike starting this Friday.

 

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