When the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in thrilling fashion to win Super Bowl XLIII, it was their 19th regular and post-season game. Add another four preseason games, and the Steelers endured one very long campaign. To find out how the champs stayed fast, strong and healthy during their marathon climb to football's summit, we talked to the team's associate strength and conditioning coach, Marcel Pastoor, who related how the TRX Suspension System and Power Plate helped the Steelers accomplish their training goals.
TRX Suspension System
Marcel Pastoor: We really like the TRX system. We incorporate it almost on a daily basis in our program. We do a lot of functional things with it, and that's what's so great about the TRX. It's not keeping you in a guided position; it's an open-ended circuit. There are countless things that we can do with it. We do a lot of body-weight lunges. We do a lot of core stability, the legs the upper body. Basically, with the TRX, [there is an] endless amount of things you can do with it. It's great because it's based on body weight, so the overload is there, but you can maintain what you're doing and how you're doing it throughout the motion. I think…in the beginning everyone looks at a new piece and says, "I don't know about this, I don't know about that." But once you get on there and find out for yourself, then you're like, "I'm really getting something out of this"—and you know that because you're not in a guided position, you're incorporating primary and secondary movers throughout all range of the motion.
Marcel Pastoor: The Power Plate is incorporated every day in our workouts, whether at the beginning or the end of our exercise routines. The Power Plate is based on proprioceptive and neuromuscular activity. It's incorporating more oxygen use, because as the plate vibrates it's engaging more musculature than you normally would, for example, if you were standing or getting into a squat. So we make sure that the guys use it. The reason we do it at the beginning of the workout is, we want to make sure the body is properly warmed up; and the Power Plate is the primary exercise we use to get the body adequately warmed up [before] a cardio session. Initially, guys were getting on there and thinking, "Why do I need to get on a vibrating piece? Is this going to help me out?" Like a roller coaster ride, the first time you're on there, you're a little nervous trying to figure out what it's like. But once you get on there…[you] realize that it's actually helping you. The benefits are endless with the Power Plate.
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