Under the direction of first-year strength coach Mike Clark, the Washington Redskins on Monday officially kick off the 2015 season with their offseason workout program.
It's time for a little sweat and hard work.
The Washington Redskins on Monday officially kick off the 2015 season with Phase One of their offseason workout program.
Led by first-year head strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark, a majority of the Redskins players will come to Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., for the voluntary workouts, the first two weeks of which are limited to just strength and conditioning workouts and physical rehabilitation.
Clark – a competitive lifter in college who has a quarter century of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels – said he hopes to set a serious tone from the very start of next week's workouts.
"One of the main things I'll tell them is, 'You're in this room. You're a world-class athlete and you need to train like one,'" Clark said. "'You need to train like one here. You need to eat like one. You need to sleep like one. You need to do everything in your life like you're a world-class athlete because it's going to be very, very competitive.'"
Clark said it's important to parlay to his players that "their time playing this game is very short."
"Make the most of it," he continued. "Don't leave anything to chance."
Clark, who was hired Jan. 27, will work with assistant strength and conditioning coach Chad Englehart on transitioning the Redskins' weight room – and overall workout outlook – into an Olympic-styled approach.
Returning players arriving for workouts on Monday will immediately notice a change in the layout of the weight room, as most of the machines and benches have already been removed in favor of more space.
Clark said he's installed a total of eight platforms available for players to "train dynamically on their feet."
"World-class athletes train on their feet dynamically," he explained to Larry Michael, host of "Redskins Nation." "So we're going to train – at least 80 percent of what we do will be done on our feet."
The Olympic-styled approach, Clark said, allow for more power and explosiveness.
"We'll bench press, but I don't know if we'll do less or more," said Clark, a 2003 USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame inductee. "We will do a lot of pressing on our feet – overhead press, we'll do some kneeling, one-arm dumbbell press."
Most importantly, Clark wants to see the players thrive in a more competitive atmosphere while in the weight room and while conditioning on the field.
"They will compete in everything," he said. "So we'll measure not weight on the bar, but we'll also measure bar speed – how fast you are moving the bar. You can really get into that. How far can you throw a med ball? How high can you jump? All these different measures we'll do will help them train more intently on competing which is their sweet spot."
Phase One of the Redskins' voluntary offseason workout program starts with a team meeting Monday at 8 a.m., followed by two weeks of strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.
Phase Two of the workouts consists of three weeks of on-field workouts, which may include individual player instruction and drills. Team practices can be held on a "separates basis," meaning no live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted during this period.
Phase Three – more commonly known as OTAs – is the final period, and consists of 10 days of organized team practice activity over a four-week period. During these activities, no live contact is permitted, but the Redskins can conduct 7-on-7s, 9-on-7s or 11-on-11 drills.
Washington will also hold its mandatory veteran minicamp June 17-19, which will occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.