You’ve heard the critics and the dismissals: He can’t throw a football, he doesn’t belong on the field as an NFL quarterback.
But Tim Tebow does two things really well. He wins games—35 in three seasons as the starter at the University of Florida, and five in six tries since moving atop the depth chart for the resurgent Denver Broncos—and he works incredibly hard.
How hard? When Tebow was at Florida, he’d run up and down every aisle (about 1,500 steps) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, a.k.a. The Swamp, to build endurance, then would do speed intervals to develop strength and explosive power.
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“Running steps improves muscular endurance, which boosts performance in any sport,” said Tim Tebow at the time. “It helps strengthen both the bigger and smaller muscles in your lower body . . . It’s as much a mental test as a physical one.”
Want to test yourself like Tebow? You can, though it’s not easy. All you need is bleachers—those with at least 20 steps at your local high school field will do (or substitute the stair climber at the gym)—and some time. Try any of these drills, modified from those used by Gators head strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti, C.S.C.S. Use each separately or do them together for a complete workout.
You might not find yourself leading an NFL team to victory any time soon, but you’ll feel great while building strength and endurance.
Drill No. 1 Warm up by walking up and down 90 steps twice. Then perform walking lunges up 90 steps. This helps build strength without spiking your heart rate. If your legs tire, pause and wait 60 seconds to give your muscles a break.
Drill No. 2 The final two sequences are for building stamina: First, make an entire loop through the stadium, running at a pace you can maintain. This should take 15 to 25 minutes, so if the bleachers are small, do it twice or even three times. Rest for 3 minutes, and then do your speed work. Sprint up 30 steps as fast as you can, walk back down, and repeat for a total of 5 sets.