After what he calls the worst season of his career, Larry Fitzgerald, one of the NFL's best wide receivers, had a busy off-season. Fitzgerald headed north to Minneapolis, his hometown, with the Cardinals' new quarterback, Carson Palmer, to work on new plays before training camp. Fitzgerald, who doesn't much like losing, financed the whole thing.
With his $5 million base salary about to jump to $13 million, he can afford it. "If I play at my best, I know it gives the team a better chance to succeed," he says.
To that end, he's subjected himself to a routine refined over nine years in the NFL. Here's how Fitzgerald prepared himself – and the Cardinals – for the comeback that seems to be waiting right around the corner.
Play to your strengths.
The off-season is all about getting back to peak fitness. In order to accomplish this, Fitzgerald does horizontal box jumps, Olympic lifting, and a slew of squat variations to cultivate leg strength. But Welle and Cardinals strength and conditioning coach John Lott, are sure to tailor more of his workouts to the needs of his job: running, jumping, and catching. This means footwork drills that keep him nimble, nonstop sprints, and hand-specific workouts to help him hold onto his nickname, "Sticky Fingers."
Credit: Rebecca Zenefski