Anthony Rizzo is one of the strongest dudes in Major League Baseball.
His monstrous thighs are the size of tree trunks. He launches 475-foot home runs. When he runs out of 45-pound plates to pile on the Leg Press machine, he uses his own girlfriend:
The man’s a beast.
Whenever you come across a workout warrior like Rizzo, you wonder where his motivation comes from. How is he able to bring the energy every time he steps inside the weight room? Often it’s competition with a teammate that brings out the best work ethic in an athlete. But in Rizzo’s case, he says the guy he competes with most isn’t a teammate—it’s a coach. Namely, longtime Chicago Cubs strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss.
“The one person on my team that I do compete the most with is our strength coach, Tim Buss. I push him to push me harder, and he pushes me to go harder when I’m dragging a little bit. So it’s a perfect mix as far as getting the most out of me and me trying to get the most out of him, in a sense,” Rizzo says.
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Rizzo also thanked Buss during his speech at the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory parade. “He really keeps us going every day. It’s such a grind. Tim Buss, every single day, is coming in and getting us going. [He’s a guy] that means so much to the team that really no one knows about,” Rizzo said. Obviously, Rizzo believes Buss has played a huge role in the team’s success.
So, what kind of workouts does Buss typically run Rizzo through? Buss spoke about the regimen at a Nike Training event in 2015. “Circuit training is really what it is. Trying to get him loose, get his core activated, strength, range of motion. Staying away from the real super heavy weights. We’re trying to get him to move with a little more balance,” Buss said.
At the same event, Buss revealed a time during a previous spring training when he really put Rizzo’s physical and mental toughness to the test.
“Yeah, we were doing Bear Crawls. Then we have a 70-by-70 football field setup there in Mesa. I had him doing Sit-Ups, and I had a bunch of bottles of water. I kept opening up the water as he was doing Sit-Ups, I kept splashing him with water the whole time,” Buss says. “Then I made him carry me around the perimeter [of the field] with an extra 45-pound weight.”
Buss is a frequent target of team pranks, which makes a whole lot more sense now.
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