Here’s How Saquon Barkley Trains to Dominate the NFL

NFL Combine Football, Indianapolis, USA - 02 Mar 2018 Penn State running back Saquon Barkley runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis 2 Mar 2018
ichael Conroy/AP/Shutterstock


Saquon Barkley might be the fittest player in the NFL. The New York Giants running back is listed at 6’0”, 230 pounds, but he plays the game like he’s even bigger, knocking over linebackers and defenders with ease.

In college, at Penn State, Barkley showed his strength by setting a football team record with a 405-pound power clean, and he ranked third on the all-time heaviest squat list. Barkley’s nickname in the NFL is “Quads” or “Sa-Quads” because of his muscular legs, and over the years he’s found some workouts that help him stay that way.

Barkley previously told Men’s Journal that squats and hex-bar deadlifts are his favorite exercises, because both help him build explosive strength in his legs. That’s important for Barkley’s position, because he’s constantly changing directions and looking for ways to make big gains.

“I try to be an explosive athlete because of the position I play,” Barkley says. “Squats are key for me to build that strength in my quads. I’m able to squat 650-700 pounds. I’m not doing it to put on weight or be a musclehead—those 650-pound lifts are about helping me run through a 350-pound defensive tackle. If I do a 400-pound power clean, that can make me explosive enough to make a linebacker miss and help me jump over tacklers.”

NFL Combine Football, Indianapolis, USA - 02 Mar 2018 Penn State running back Saquon Barkley runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, in Indianapolis
Darron Cummings/AP/Shutterstock

All that worked out well for Barkley in his rookie season with the Giants, as he ranked first in the entire NFL in total yards from scrimmage and won Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Barkley shared his offseason workout routine on the New York Giants’ YouTube page, giving people a look at how he gets so strong: “This training was a little different from last year,” Barkley says in the video. “I got a new trainer, Ryan Flaherty, and he’s challenged me physically with the workouts I’m doing. “[He’s] making sure I’m keeping my goals the same. I’m working to stay strong for 20 weeks of the season—preseason and the full season.”

Here’s a look at some of the ways Barkley stays fit:

A Glimpse at Saquon Barkley’s Offseason Routine:

Deadlift Into Box Jump:

Quad Workout Challenge:

Power Clean With No Strap:

525-Pound Squats:

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