WASHINGTON — A professional athlete's career can often rest solely on his or her physical ability to play the sport at the high level that's demanded of them. Staying in tip-top shape is a priority, and that's no different for Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
For the first half of the season, Washington looked to Heinicke as its commander under center. His job has rested heavily on being mentally and physically fit enough to thrive on the gridiron. For Heinicke, the foundation of his success begins at Georgia Sports Performance.
Dr. Joel Seedman has a PhD in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and trains dozens of professional athletes at Georgia Sports Performance in Suwanee, Georgia, including Heinicke.
"We are bulletproofing their body so they stay out of harm's way. Their bodies feel better, so they walk away from the workout feeling almost like it was therapeutic," said Seedman.
Georgia Sports Performance isn't your average gym with your average Joes, and Seedman is far from your average trainer.
“Once they went through a few sessions and started to see the results. All I do is apply the science and the science speaks for itself. When you apply the science correctly to the human body, the athletes can see things start to change," Seedman said.
Seedman's workouts are centered around science. Seedman uses specialized weight training methods that build muscle and strength, using a functional stability and mobility program.
Many of his training sessions with professional athletes are posted on his Instagram page which has amassed nearly 400,000 followers and millions of likes. Heinicke is often featured in posts showcasing special workouts that would help to strengthen a quarterback's shoulder, arm, legs and core.
“Instead of just doing a bench press, going fast and coming down all the way to their chest, we go down slow and they go down to 90 degree positions, and they feel that 90-degree spot where there is maximal tension, maximal muscle activation. Then they explode up from there," Seedman said.
Seedman calls those workouts that focus on holding 90-degree positions, "90-degree eccentric isometrics." It's a specific lifting technique that Seedman first used on Heinicke six-and-a-half years ago when he was preparing for his NFL Pro Day, but dealing with lingering injuries.
“I could barely bench 135, I had a chipped clavicle and an AC joint sprain, it was tough there. So I went to [Seedman] and I asked what we can do, and he said ‘You don’t need surgery, I’m going to fix you up.' After about 2 months, he had me 20 pounds heavier and looking really strong and I felt good," said Heinicke about Seedman's workouts to get him ready for the NFL.
“For Taylor, we did a lot of shoulder stuff. So, we still have the basic foundational squats, the basic foundational explosive movements that I would have every athlete do, but we had to tailor the workout, no pun intended, to make it more specific for his style," Seedman said regarding his specialized workouts for Heinicke as he worked to overcome injuries after college.
When it comes to training NFL athletes, Seedman partners with skills coach Earl Williams. Seedman focuses on building strength, while Coach Earl, as he's commonly known, works on football mechanics, footwork, and throwing. Coach Earl has worked with Heinicke since Washington's gunslinger was 15 years old.
“See my thing is, not just tell him, but teach him. He’s a pro now, so you just remind him that your body is out of position this way,” said Williams of his teaching techniques when helping Heinicke to stay grounded with what he knows and practice what Williams preaches.
Seedman praises Williams for his coaching style and ability to help professional athletes who come through their doors.
“He’s incredible with football skills. He understands many different positions. He’s been extremely valuable for Taylor," Seedman said.
From football to strength training, what this duo is doing, Seedman calls "The Holy Grail of fitness." His Instagram posts get attention from professional athletes, and workout enthusiasts all over the world, and recently caught the eye of actor, and former NFL player, Terry Crews.
“He really gets into the technique, and I just want to get better, and he trains all these other NFL athletes," Crews tells us.
Crews was visiting Georgia and felt compelled to schedule a workout session with Seedman after seeing some of his viral videos.
“You got to go where the pros go because there’s always magic in the recipe so to speak, and you got to go there. If you find out everyone’s eating there, then there’s something good, and that’s what’s up with Joel," said Crews.
Heinicke adds, "I continue to go back to him every off season, and he's a big part as to why I'm still in the NFL."
Blending science, skill and a mindset of success, Heinicke, like Crews, eats up Seedman's winning recipe, putting it all to the test and practicing what Georgia Sports Performance preaches, on Sundays.
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