Worth The Weight
Arizona State players are pumped about pumping iron at their
gleaming new temple of strength
Arizona State strength coach Joe Kenn loves weights, so he was
psyched when he found out he was going to be able to stock a
workout room that covers a third of an acre. Says Kenn, "It was
better than being a kid in the candy store." The Lawrence
Strength and Conditioning Center, which opened in March, boasts
650 grand worth of weights adorned with the phrase SUN DEVILS
STRENGTH. The 16,000-square-foot facility (more than three times
the size of the old one) includes offices, dressing rooms, a
40-meter track and a juice bar. "Because of the size of the old
room, we were free-weight-oriented," says Kenn. "Now we can
double and triple up on resistance machines, which are critical
The cathedral of muscle does wonders for recruiting. Offensive
line blue-chipper Jake Bingham spurned Lineman U, a.k.a.
Nebraska, in part because Arizona State had better weight
equipment. Of course, a plush weight room means nothing if all
that iron isn't hoisted properly, but Kenn says the first-rate
gear has led to first-rate workouts. "It gives us intangibles
like motivation and improved work ethic," he says. "We call it
the wow effect." --Mark Bechtel
Top of The Food Chain
Vanderbilt isn't dominant on the field, but the Commodores are
fed like champs at the training table
Majid Noori doesn't spend much time on the practice field or
watching film, but he's still considered a member of the
Vanderbilt coaching staff--and one of the most popular, at that.
For the past 12 years the 48-year-old native of Iran, who has a
bachelor's degree in physical education and sports science from
the University of Tehran, has handled the Commodores' culinary
needs. "Every team needs a food coach," says the man known to the
players as Magic.
On a typical morning Noori prepares 20 varieties of omelette
(including crawfish, shrimp or angel-hair pasta) plus the usual
breakfast fare: pancakes, sausages and muffins. For lunch the
Commodores might dig into ham and turkey sandwiches, fruit
smoothies, a veggie tray and three pasta salads. Regular dinner
entrees include duck with parsley sauce, salmon teriyaki, lobster
linguini salad and Irish stew with saffron rice. Steaks, burgers
and chicken fajitas are also on tap. In an average day the team
will plow through 320 pounds of beef, 170 potatoes, 200 bananas,
750 eggs and 125 gallons of fruit drinks. "Just win and stay
healthy," says Noori. "That's my motto." --M.B.
Handled With Care
Treatment centers like Michigan State's are a second home for
Being injured isn't a spa vacation, but mending in the Canyon
Ranch of training rooms takes a bit of the sting out of rehab.
Michigan State players are attended to by a staff of nine
trainers in their 6,000-square-foot sports-medicine center. Among
its features are a $75,000 SwimEx therapy pool commodious enough
for "several 300-pound linemen to roll around like whales," says
head trainer Jeff Monroe, plus a cold tub in which as many as
eight Spartans at a time can dangle sprained ankles or swollen
knees. The facility boasts X-ray view boxes, ultrasound equipment
and an unloader--a treadmill with a harness-and-pulley system that
supports a player's weight, letting him get in a running workout
while putting less pressure on joints. Plans are being made to
add a fluoroscopy imaging device, which will allow team docs to
diagnose injuries on the spot.
Besides its equipment, Monroe likes the room's fishbowl layout.
"The glass walls allow us to supervise all the athletes at once,"
says Monroe, "but it also gives players getting taped a chance to
check in on their injured teammates. It's a social place as well
as a healing place." --Kelley King
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY BILL FRAKES STRONG SHOWING The Sun Devils' heavy-metal arena blows away recruits.
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY QUINTON BACON FINE MESS Noori (standing) prepares gourmet meals for an army of 130.
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY BILL FRAKES GET WELL SOON A staff of nine helps ailing Spartans make quick recoveries.