Yesterday morning, we had the pleasure of spending a few hours with the NFL's most electrifying receiver at Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami. Chad Ochocinco was generous enough to do a quick cover shoot for an upcoming issue of STACK Magazine, and then the perennial Pro Bowler got down to business with an intense workout under the guidance of Pete Bommarito, owner and president of the training facility.
To make sure his muscles and joints were supple and mobile, Ochocinco glided through a quick Dynamic Warm-Up before moving onto the crux of the day's training. Once he was firing on all cylinders and covered in sweat, Ochocinco performed a series of low-level plyos involving 45-degree bounding. The different variations and angles reinforced his strength and explosiveness when cutting off both the outside edge of his foot, an "easy cut" according to Bommarito, and the inside edge, which is a more difficult type of cut.
Ochocinco then exploded through a series of Command Cuts that required him to react to Bommarito's verbal and visual cues to stop, cut and re-accelerate upfield. The drills mimic the stop-and-go nature of the wide receiver position. According to Ochocinco, "Being able to stop on a dime, then re-accelerate explosively is what makes defenders look silly."
After the very first cut and re-acceleration, it was abundantly clear why Ochocinco is considered the most feared route runner in the NFL. As the rapid-fire workout wore on for about 45 minutes under the hot Miami sun, his routes remained precise, his cuts stayed explosive and his motor never stopped. Bommarito was quick to point out that Ochocinco is the most impressive athlete he has ever seen at performing this type of cutting. "His hips, quads, hamstrings and glutes are stronger at high speeds than anyone I've ever seen," Bommarito said. "In other words, he can stop and then explode in incredible fashion."
Although Bommarito speaks about these routes in terms of the science of strength and conditioning, it all comes down to artistic expression for Ochocinco. "Running pass routes is an art form for me," he said. "I can run the same route over and over and make it look a little different every time. It's like creating a masterpiece."
Following the workout, Ochocinco sat down for an in-depth interview, during which he revealed the life lessons he learned from his grandmother, his strategy for dominating the NFL and his plan to wrestle an alligator in the very near future. "I plan on exhibiting some dominance on that gator," he asserted.
Stay tuned to STACK TV for exclusive video content from Chad's workout and interview, and be on the lookout for our upcoming cover feature that details how to perform his entire workout from start to finish.
Photo: Layne Murdoch
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock