Several hundred Michigan State Spartans were working around the clock to get ready for their game against the University of Wisconsin Badgers. They heard the warning but their adrenaline pushed them ahead.
“This is a family. We’ve made a deal,” junior Michael Murray said about the work his team was doing in preparation for the Wisconsin game. “You come and you work every day, no matter what.”
Spartans were working on improving Wisconsin’s sagging safety in a grueling effort by college football’s football SWEATS program that teaches college football students how to fully wear a wrestling-style pull-up harness system.
The program provides a structured, structured program for student-athletes that’s not only physically appropriate, but should also increase training and fitness – not to mention positive team dynamics. The program has thrived since it started at Michigan State last spring. The NCAA has also reported success from the program.
When this game was being played back in February, Matthew Leggett, one of the Spartans involved in this program, weighed 177 pounds. Now, he’s 220 pounds. He credits the pull-up harness program.
“A lot of times people are encouraged to watch you on television, but when you actually see yourself in front of a camera and you put on something to help you in life, you’re like, ‘Yeah, alright. I actually do look like that and I feel like that,” Leggett said.
Leggett and the team were the No. 3 team in the country in pulling up per workout.
“The more of the team this fit for, the higher the pull up rate was,” said Terry Yabo, an assistant athletic trainer and director of athletic training for Michigan State.
Most of the athletes work out 10 to 12 hours per day, and the Spartan students who pulled up at least three pull ups and sit ups per workout, the Spartan students had the highest pulling up rate.
“It’s a big deal as a competitor, but it’s not just a competitive thing, that’s a way of life. If you’re going to be successful, this kind of workout is the way you have to work,” said Matthew Labbe, a member of the Spartans strength and conditioning program.
Yabo says the program is so important because it allows students not only to build strength and endurance, but also to take better care of their bodies.
The program has received support from the university, the Michigan State football team, the football coaches, the university president, the athletic director, the athletic trainers, the specialists, and the athletic medicine department.
Watch Saturday night’s Game 7 of the Big Ten Championship on Fox and watch the tape of Saturday’s game on FS1: