The Workout That Gives Colts Running Back Jonathan Taylor His Explosive Power

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor breaks free against the Seattle Seahawks.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor breaks free against the Seattle Seahawks.John Mersits/CSM/Shutterstock

You’ve come here for the Jonathan Taylor workout because, while he’s one of the larger running backs in the league, what really makes him a weapon is his explosive power. In order to find that edge, Taylor relies on his trainer Adam Boily at The System 8. Together, they like to shake things up in the off-season (read about his unorthodox cold-weather training here), but also get some gritty lifting sessions under the 226-pound, record-smashing running back’s belt.

Below, Boily’s detailed a superset workout that helps Taylor get game-day ready. It won’t turn you into an NFL-worthy football player overnight, but it’ll build the explosive power all gridiron greats possess.

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The Workout That Gives Colts Running Back Jonathan Taylor His Explosive Power

Directions: For this routine there are three supersets, where two movements are done back to back with no rest between exercises. Follow the set counts and rest times prescribed below. The bands used are 20-pound resistance bands from Sorinex.

SUPERSET A

Perform four rounds of this superset, taking three minutes rest between each one.

1. Barbell Stepups x 5 reps each side

How to do it: Set a box or bench up in front of you and stand behind it with a barbell resting on your traps. Begin the movement by stepping up onto the platform with your right leg, powerfully driving through your foot to stand. Slowly return back to the starting position, then repeat for the other leg. *If you’re not comfortable performing stepups with a barbell, use heavy dumbbells instead.

2. Lat Box Jump x 1 rep each direction

How to do it: Stand next to a 40-inch box with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms by your sides. Engage your core, then jump laterally up onto the box, keeping your head facing forward. Swing your arms up to gain momentum as you jump, then extend out in front of you for balance as you land. Both feet should land on the box at the same time, shoulder-width apart. From the top, step down to the other side to repeat the jump from the opposite direction.

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SUPERSET B

Perform four rounds of this superset, taking three minutes rest between each one.

1. Double-Leg Reverse Hypers x 8 reps

How to do it: Lie with your belly across a hyperextension or glute-ham raise machine with hips aligned at the end of the pads so you have total range of motion to flex without over-arching your low back. Engage core, straighten legs, then flex through hamstrings, glutes, and low back to raise legs. Stop once they extend above your hips, holding the top position for a beat, then lower back down with control.

2. Glute Hamstring Raise: 8 reps

How to do it: Set up a glute-ham machine so feet are firmly planted against the toe plate with quads resting on the pad. Push your toes into the plate and extend your knees so your body shifts forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Engage your glutes and hamstrings, then flex at the knees to raise your body back up. For added difficulty, Boily has Taylor hold a 10- to 15-pound kettlebell (or plate) at his torso.

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SUPERSET C

Perform three rounds of this superset, taking one minute rest between each one.

1. Standing Resisted Knee Drive x 15 reps each side

How to do it: Connect one end of a resistance band to a fixed point on the ground and the other end around one ankle. Stand at a ready position with feet hips-width apart. Explosively drive one knee up in front of you to waist level, swinging opposite arm to mimic a sprint. Return to the starting position in a slow, controlled manner. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch.

2. Standing Hip Extension x 15 reps each side

How to do it: Connect one end of a resistance band to a fixed point on the ground behind you and the other end around one ankle. Stand at a ready position with feet hip-width apart. Engage your core and hip flexor, then powerfully swing one leg forward against the resistance, keeping it straight. Stop when your leg creates a 45-degree angle from your other leg, then return to the starting position in a controlled manner. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch.

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