Starting tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on the Discovery Channel, American Muscle will begin its first season, chronicling the training methods of University of Michigan head of strength and conditioning Mike Barwis. Across eight episodes, you'll see Barwin work with a variety of athletes, including linebacker Ndamukong Suh, cornerback Richard Sherman, NBA guard Baron Davis, center DeAndre Jordan and MLB first baseman Nick Swisher.
From the American Muscle website:
"At a gritty gym outside Detroit [in Plymouth, Michigan], a blue-collar crew uses science, tough love and just-plain-crazy to train average joes alongside the top pro athletes in the country. Legendary strength coach Mike Barwis hates taking orders from people, which is why he started his own place after working for some of the world's biggest sports teams."
Barwis has a degree in exercise physiology, and he's said to have a scientific approach to planning and executing workouts. Although he's trained professional and collegiate athletes for about two decades, he actually gained attention from the producer of Funny or Die, who pitched the idea for the show after having his own training session at Barwis Training Methods in Plymouth.
As intent as Barwis is at pushing his athletes beyond their limit, he and his staff still find time to play pranks on one another, and not merely for the sake of the camera. Barwis commented, "I just told my guys to do what we do. We came in and went to work. We were just ourselves, and they just let it roll."
On working with people with disabilities, Barwis continued: "I loved my coaching career, and I got to do it all, but that has the most value. I think our job in life is to fight for people who can't fight for themselves."
Check out the trailer and the clip below, in which Richard Sherman chats with friend and NFL Draft prospect Vladimir Emilien on how he "remember[s] being hungry..." and how he still gets butterflies whenever he suits up. "If that go away, you lost the love of the game," he says.
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