Steelers' Hood goes to extremes to add muscle
Ziggy Hood spent the early part of this offseason watching every one of the 833 snaps he played last season.
For the most part, he didn't like what he saw.
Hood, the Steelers' 2009 first-round pick, realized he was slow off the ball, and it was too easy to knock him off his feet.
Considering Hood said he was “feeling sluggish” and not “in tip-top shape” during the season, he knew it was time for a change.
“What better way to help my speed and help my agility but to lose body fat?” Hood said. “I play better when I feel good. When I don't feel good, I don't do as well as I want, and I didn't feel good all the time last year.”
Hood called on the help of Bill Nichol, founder of Outer Limit Athletic Performance in Valencia.
With the recent birth of his second son, Hood wasn't able to travel to his typical offseason workout venue in Atlanta. Hood needed a closer alternative and recalled a pamphlet he came for Outer Limit.
“They wore me out,” said Hood, a self-proclaimed workout warrior. “And I loved it.”
Hood saw immediate results and drastically changed his body composition.
In a four-week span in early March (during Phase I), Hood lowered his body fat from 24 to 18 percent. He lost 18 pounds of fat and gained 20 pounds of muscle, going from 305 pounds to 307.
“I felt a big difference and feel great right now,” Hood said. “You feel good, you play good. You can always improve, and that was one area I would like to improve on, and that's what I have been doing.”
Even though his workouts have dipped from five days a week during offseason practices, Phase 4 of Hood's training will start at the end of the month and last until training camp. He plans to arrive at St. Vincent looking more like a linebacker than a defensive end.
“All that big and looking sloppy, that's out the window,” Hood said. “We are sexy now.”
Hood has become a YouTube sensation, of sorts, with his training. Video of him jumping on top of a 50-inch box from a seated position has more than 6,000 hits in two weeks.
Although he insists he isn't interested in heavy lifting anymore — instead he's focused on speed and technique — there are videos of Hood deadlifting 700 pounds and pulling a 1,200-pound sled 28 yards.
“You can be big and lean and still do your job correctly,” Hood said. “That's what I am trying to do here.”
Hood has contributed since his rookie year. He has started 16 games over the past two years, but he also had Aaron Smith as a safety net.
With Smith gone, the left defensive end spot is his.
“I feel like I took the right steps in learning while he was here,” Hood said. “But now, it is time for me to step up and do my job.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Steelers’ road show boggles the mind
- Penguins fall to 0-3 after losing to Canadiens
- Winger Bennett is bright spot in Penguins’ sluggish start
- 25 arrested in Western Pa., West Virginia child sex trafficking investigation
- Mt. Lebanon approves sharpshooters for deer
- Black church leaders meeting in Pittsburgh target unity at Baptist convention
- New Pa. committee members believed to favor bill that OKs online gambling
- FirstEnergy turns to dewatering to help solve waste issues at power plant
- Littsburgh promotes Pittsburgh’s diverse literary scene
- Clinton, Sanders go on offensive in Democrats’ first debate
- Pitt TE Holtz quietly taking on leadership role, setting example