- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
Chris Baker shedding pounds as role with Redskins grows
Chris Baker had plenty of incentive.
After tearing the quadriceps muscle in his right leg Dec. 7 while trying to dunk a basketball during indoor workouts, the same day he was activated to the Washington Redskins‘ roster, the big nose tackle weighed more than 350 pounds this spring.
He found a trainer, but not just any trainer. This was 280-pound “body builder at heart” Carl McKinnon at L.A. Fitness in Leesburg, who got him to 330 pounds in a month.
“He gave me his very best, man,” McKinnon said. “I told him, ‘What makes an athlete great?’ I said it’s not what you do in the season, it’s what you do in your offseason. I knew he was going to have the best camp.”
Baker has enjoyed a breakout camp, which came at an opportune time after Chris Neild tore the ACL in his left knee and was lost for the season. Now Baker is Barry Cofield’s backup and should see plenty of snaps, as long as he remains healthy.
But McKinnon isn’t worried about the 24-year-old reinjuring his quadriceps or anything else. That’s because of what Baker called a “grueling” training regimen that was far from it on his muscles and joints. In addition to building leg strength through various methods, Baker did exercises every other day in the pool.
“It was just different because you’re so used to pounding your knees and stuff on the grass and on turf that being able to do the same movements in the water and take off all the impact, it was helpful for me,” Baker said.
Fellow defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins introduced Baker to McKinnon after working with the trainer to recover from his torn ACL last summer. Jenkins isn’t worried about his knee thanks to water workouts in the pool.
“I guess it kind of conditions your legs more because water is putting resistance on your legs,” Jenkins said. “By doing that resistance training, you’re not actually running on the field, so it’s not putting strain on your knees like really running.”
Baker dropped 30 pounds and improved his squat from 200 pounds to 450. Of course, there were hiccups along the way, such as gaining four pounds over a weekend and temporarily topping 331.
Or like when rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III joined Baker and McKinnon for a workout in the pool the week before he finalized his contract.
“He’s fast in water and out of the water. We were trying to keep up with him, but he lapped us all,” Baker said. “It was a hard workout, man. I wound up throwing up at the end of the day. That’s just a part of hard work and letting everything hang out.”
“He would never quit; he did every rep. He was serious. I drilled into him it was his career at stake here. He had to go into that camp and just make a difference,” McKinnon said. “He got lighter on his feet, his speed improved. He really absorbed me like a sponge.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- WILLIAMS: Bill Maher, comedian or bigot?
- NYT's David Brooks: Obama has 'manhood problem' in Middle East
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.