Getting ready for the NFL season is always a challenge. For New York Jets lineman Kelvin Beachum, he’s learned how to get himself into the shape he needs to be to be at his best for a 16-game schedule. While playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Jets over his career, Beachum has been able to figure out what works for him.
Beachum focuses on making sure his foundation and core are strong in the offseason, that way he can continue to maintain that strength during the NFL season. In the offseason, Beachum works with former NFL lineman LeCharles Bentley, who played for six years in the league, making the Pro Bowl twice while starting all 57 games he played.
“Being a successful lineman is all about control,” Beachum said. “You must control your own body weight while also preparing to control your opponent’s. It’s about perfecting this ability to command two dueling bodies and harnessing the strength and endurance to put force through the ground 60-70 times, ultimately putting yourself in the position to win every snap of the game. Each play requires the physicality and discipline to move your body in the right way, while also mastering the mental nuances of your opponent’s body language. A successful lineman is in full control.”
In his career, Beachum has started 70 of the 75 games he’s played, and he’s developed into one of the best linemen in the NFL over the course of that time. Beachum is excited about what the Jets can do this season.
“I love playing in the cold weather,” Beachum said. “We have a great group of guys here, and we’re ready to see what we can do on the field this year.”
Beachum spoke with Men’s Journal ahead of the NFL season about how he trains, why he’s excited for 2018, what it’s like changing teams, and his favorite workouts.
On working out his legs and foundation:
“Lunges and lunge variations are big. Going in different angles, lunges with weights too. The last three to four years, those have been instrumental. Lunges have been so important and so vital, hitting the glutes, being able to know how to squeeze and squeeze from the right places. Those things have been super helpful. Lunges are great for the legs and for the base. They’re good because you’re in different positions, you’re driving from different positions. Your legs can work independently at different points and times, whether you’re unblocking or pass blocking. I really believe that lunges are really vital.”
On working out his core:
“I think farmers walks are so important to your core, because you’re actually walking while you’re doing core, which is hitting the core from a different vantage point. From a core standpoint, I’m from the country originally and farmers walks were something I did as a kid, and that’s something that I still do now, just with a heavier weight. Farmers walks, and I think something you always have to go back to is planks. You never can go wrong just with planks and hold it for a long time. I can’t hold it for three minutes but I can hold it for a minute, a minute and a half [laughs]. Those both really help the core.”
On working with Bentley in the offseason:
“I’ve been working with LeCharles for the last four or five years of my career, and he’s been instrumental, outstanding, and phenomenal for my career and my development honestly. During the off-season, there’s never really an off-day. The weekends are probably the only time I’m ever off, but during the week, that’s where I’m at. I’m at his facility, I’m spending time with him, spending time with the staff, just learning how to be better at my craft. At the end of the day this is a craft, we get paid a lot of money to play a game, but it’s also a craftsman game. You really have to take your craft and really be serious about it, and, being there with LeCharles, I’ve continued to develop as an offensive lineman and I really appreciate him. Not only as a guy that helps me become a better football player, but also just as a man. He’s been a phenomenal figure, as a father, and as a husband. He’s just been great for my career. I really got a lot of respect for him.”
On changing NFL teams:
“There’s pros and cons of changing teams. I think one of the things that you have to think about is the fact that football is football, practice is practice, and the thing is, football is a small fraternity of guys that know each other. You know somebody that knows somebody on another team, so in that fact it’s somewhat easy, it’s the other nuances that you don’t read a lot about, it’s the culture changes between cities, and learning certain things about each place. At the end of the day, it all about football.”