Early in training camp, Trent Williams was talking to me about his offseason workouts.
“I didn’t have a nagging injury like I did last year, so I was able to work on everything, so this year I feel like I’m in probably the best shape that I’ve been in in my five-year career,” he said. And sure, this is the standard training camp line. Williams, though, was particularly passionate in his delivery.
“”I just think I worked really hard,” the tackle said. “Really, really hard. A lot of stuff that we do in the offseason, a lot of people woudn’t dare do.”
“Like running hills in 102-degree weather with weight vests on,” he said. “Doing four sets of 15 on back squats. Stuff like that. Stuff that a lot of people would look at almost like boot camp. I started doing it with Adrian [Peterson] four years ago, and I love the results. So it’s definitely tough to do every day, but when you start to see the results, it makes it easy to get up and do it.”
Williams said for the last month before training camp, he worked out with Peterson and others — led by Houston-based trainer James Cooper — for about 20 hours a week. He said he usually loses about 10 pounds near the start of the workouts, but winds up putting the weight back on as muscle. He said he started camp this year at 338 pounds, three pounds more than he weighed a year ago, and that the last time he did weights before training camp he was squatting 415 pounds on his final set of 15.
And Williams said that Peterson has helped drive these offseason workouts.
“In college, with us coming from the same area, he took me under his wing, always held me to a higher standard than everybody else” Williams said. “Still to this day, if he feels like I’m slacking or I can do better or go harder, he definitely lets me know. He doesn’t hesitate to tell me ‘Hey Trent, it’s time to pick it up, we’ve got to do better than last year.’ ”
Williams said running hills in the sun with Peterson turned his skin tone “a couple shades darker” in recent weeks. So when they spend an hour together in the Texas heat, do they run together? Well. No.
“Hell nah, it’s not worth it,” Williams joked. “I mean, [expletive], he busts his [butt]. I’ve just got my own little pace. I’m not gonna lie and say I keep up with him. He works out at a different pace, definitely. But yeah, to have a person like that who’s accomplished so much and he still works like he’s trying to make the team, for me I have no excuse not to do the same.”
Williams has brought teammates to the sessions; this offseason, Perry Riley Jr. came for a week. And he said the workouts make training camp feel easy.
“Like I said, I feel the results,” Williams said. “I feel like it’s working. I’ve got to continue to stay on this path, and who knows how good I can be, how strong I can get, how [much] better shape I can get in?….[Cooper] works the devil out of us, but we love it. A lot of people come and don’t come back. But a couple cats stay with it, and they see the results.”