A Men’s Fitness cover shoot is no walk in the park. In Russell Wilson’s case, it’s more of a run through the gauntlet. Under the blistering sun—and surrounded by a few good men (no pressure!)—the young pro quarterback gamely tackled a Marine Corps obstacle course. In one potentially season-ending challenge, Russell had to clear a horizontal log raised nearly 7 feet off the ground and risk cracking his ribs (upon impact) or twisting his ankle (upon landing).
In this exclusive behind-the-scenes video—shot on location at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia—Russell exhibited the same team-player attitude that he does on the field, attacking each obstacle with intensity, take after take, to ensure that photographer Richard Phibbs captured exactly what he needed. In between set-ups, Russell grooved to Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience and cracked wise with his longtime buddy Scott Pickett. He also shared how he gets fit for gameday: a combination of eating right, a consistent approach, and “tons of pushups” and one-legged exercises, like one-legged squats and lunges. (To build a gridiron body of your own, tackle The Football Body Workout.) Keeping his legs strong makes the Seattle Seahawks QB a dangerous dual threat, keeping opposing NFL defenses honest with his arm and his feet. Long after the last shot was snapped, Russell stuck around to mingle with the Marines, signing autographs and posing pictures with each one. Entering his second season in the NFL, Russell appears to not only be one of the fittest and most skilled athletes in the league—but one of nicest, as well.