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'Meat and potatoes' fuel OSU football's success

Strength coach Rob Glass and his staff have helped build the Cowboys into consistent winners.
By Gina Mizell Published: July 23, 2012

— When the sun began to rise over the east side of Boone Pickens Stadium around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Rob Glass had already blown his whistle close to 100 times.

That's 30 minutes of work for Oklahoma State's assistant athletic director for speed, strength and conditioning. And he coached for another 11 hours before the day was done, as players rolled in and out to complete another set of offseason workouts.

“Drive through it!” Glass emphasized while demonstrating an agility drill where the players must backpedal, plant and then sprint five yards.

This is Glass' premier time with the Cowboy football team, when the largest bulk of strength and conditioning work is done each year. This week, OSU will conclude its eight-week summer program before players report to fall camp on Aug. 2.

Of course, virtually all college football players are getting up early this time of year. Spending hours in the weight room. Hoping the work done in June and July will lead to a stronger, better-conditioned team on Saturdays in October and November.

So what makes Glass' offseason program unique?

The truth is, the formula is still almost identical to the one he ran during his 10 seasons working with Steve Spurrier at Florida.

“It still goes back to what we call the meat and potatoes,” Glass said. “It still comes down to putting in hard work, lifting, straining.”

In the weight room, players do a total body workout four days a week. Two days are focused on Olympic lifts — where the speed the bar travels is far more important than the amount of weight on the bar — and the other two days are focused on slower lifts like the squat and bench press.

The main goal is to increase overall team speed, something that Glass and coach Mike Gundy have consistently pointed to as one of the top reasons for OSU's recent rise in college football.

“We spend a lot of time on the platform,” Glass said. “We do a lot of Olympic movement. Some people aren't big fans of that, but we know that those things have helped us develop our explosiveness and our speed at a much faster rate than maybe some other ways to train.”

The summer program also features a wide range of agility/conditioning drills and a “metabolics” session, or football-specific drills. Quarterbacks and receivers will run passing drills. Defensive backs will work on backpedaling. Linemen and linebackers will work on gap control.

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