SEATTLE SEAHAWKS quarterback Matt Hasselbeck underwent surgery last Jan. 18 to repair a torn labrum in his left (nonthrowing) shoulder, an injury that had been worsening since he first sustained it in a 2004 playoff loss to Green Bay. Not long afterward the 31-year-old Hasselbeck, who'd never had surgery, was weighing in at 242 pounds. The Seahawks promptly ordered him to get down to 225 and be ready for drills by training camp.
To do it, Hasselbeck cut down on desserts—"Giving up ice cream was the hardest," he says. "It's summer, and I have three kids under the age of five"—and loaded up on fruit. He substituted his three-times-daily Myoplex bars or shakes with diet versions, and he stuck to lean proteins like fish and chicken for dinner.
Hasselbeck also relied on an exercise machine that employs vibrations to increase circulation and stimulate muscles. The Power Plate—which costs between $2,500 and $10,000 and is a favorite of entertainers such as Madonna, Diddy and the Police—is based on technology developed in the 1960s for Russian cosmonauts trying to keep their muscles from atrophying in space. The machine, which can be found in about 15 NFL locker rooms, relies on a vibrating platform said to make training more efficient. Hasselbeck's three-times-a-week home regimen included lunges (left), squats and push-ups, as well as stretches, all done on (or partially on) the vibrating plate. "I did the same exercises I always do but with a quarter of the weight and half the repetitions," says Hasselbeck. "You feel your entire neuromuscular system working. It wakes everything up."
The classic mix of diet and exercise worked: The slimmed down QB was ready to go for the team's first intrasquad scrimmage last Saturday.
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