The Secrets Behind RGIII's Rise to Stardom
We may have reached the point where everything that could possibly be said about the Washington Redskins quarterback has been said.
The seemingly endless evaluation of RGIII's play, the constant prognosticating about when and where he will step onto the field next—that's just the start. This is a man whose choice of wife and political affiliation are sources of national conversation. Even his Northern Virginia home has been criticized—by conservative commentator Glenn Beck, a man who, by nearly every indication, has never actually been to RGIII's house.
It's hard to think of an athlete who has captivated the nation's attention in a shorter amount of time than RGIII. Two years ago, he was a promising quarterback making noise at a previously quiet collegiate football program, Baylor University.
Then, the Heisman. Then, the Redskins traded three years' worth of first-round picks (plus a second rounder) for a shot at him. Then, his brilliant NFL debut, in which he threw for two touchdowns and 320 yards (and ran for another 42). Finally, the improbable seven-game winning streak to close out the regular season and launch the Redskins into the playoffs for the first time in half a decade.
Griffin's play was innovative, often improvised but never sloppy, and always thrilling. He pushed the limits of his position, expanding our consciousness about what quarterbacks can do. No one else simultaneously elicited such powerful excitement ("oh yes, keep going!") and terror ("oh no, just slide!"). In an interview with STACK, Griffin once described his playing style as "high risk, high reward."
How captivating was it for fans? Earlier this year, the NFL announced that sales of RGIII's jersey during last season exceeded those of any other NFL player. Ever.
At the start of just his second NFL season, arguably, no player in the league is under more scrutiny than RGIII (although another multi-threat QB upstart out West, Colin Kaepernick, might come close). Certainly none is receiving as much media attention as Griffin, who, according to the Washington Post, has been on the cover of GQ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine (twice) and more than two dozen editions of the capital city's newspaper— oh, and, of course, the magazine you are holding in your hands.
RGIII is also the subject of a book and a TV documentary by Gatorade Productions, RGIII: The Will to Win. Countless hours of televised sports punditry and sports talk radio have been devoted to dissecting his every experience leading up to and through this year's NFL training camp.
So with all of the attention on RGIII, the seemingly endless analysis of every aspect of his life both personally and professionally, what else could possibly be explored? What earthly question remains about this supremely talented young athlete?
How did RGIII become such a force? What did he do to build himself into the NFL's most explosive athlete? How did he develop that head-turning speed and those stop-you-
in-your-tracks moves? How did he perfect that rapid-fire release and laser-guided-missile accuracy?
By all accounts, Griffin was a supernaturally gifted athlete from a very young age. Before he played his first game at Baylor, he nearly earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team as a hurdler. He also excelled at basketball at a young age. But for all of his many gifts, Griffin never relied on natural ability alone.
"Partially, my skills are God-given and God-blessed talent," Griffin says. "But you can always work to refine your talent." We're here to show you how he did that. Click the link below to get RGIII's workout, and check out his nutrition plan below.
Fueling RGIII's Fire
"As an athlete, your body is always in build-and-recovery mode," says Jane Jakubczak, RD, CSSD, of the University of Maryland and former nutrition consultant to the Washington Redskins. "During practices and workouts, you are causing microscopic tears in your muscles. Between training is when your body builds them stronger." For RGIII (and all athletes, really), proper fueling is just as important as time spent on the fi eld or in the weight room. Jakubczak's five rules of fuel for hard working athletes:
Eat Breakfast. You need something in the tank in order to go anywhere. Hundreds of studies show preworkout fueling improves performance.
Fuel Frequently. Eat five to six times per day, with meals or snacks spaced 3 to 4 hours apart. This ensures a slow infusion of nutrients to your muscles and helps reduce body fat.
Refuel Rapidly. After your workout, your muscles are like sponges, waiting to soak up nutrients to help the rebuilding process. Grab a recovery shake with carbohydrates and protein (about 20 grams of protein immediately after a workout is ideal), or eat within a half hour of every training session.
For Energy, Count on Carbs. "Football players seem to be very focused on protein," Jakubczak says. "I have to explain that carbohydrates are really the body's preferred source of energy. Society may think carbs are bad, but they're good for athletes."
Eating Late Is Great. "The whole idea that night eating makes you fat doesn't apply to athletes," Jakubczak says. "If you're looking to gain weight—as many up and coming football players are—I'm a big fan of PB&J and milk before bed."