Publish date:

'The biggest muscle we're trying to train is between the ears'

Wyoming's new strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval arrived on campus and realized that he had his work cut out for him if he was going to help Craig Bohl turn around the Cowboy program.

"Watching the film, a lot of our guys didn't pass the eye test. We had a lot of fat and not enough muscle. We've had to transform their bodies." Duval explained.

But before any of that could change, Duval took the time to develop a relationship and trust with every single player on the roster, according to The Republic. He dug in with each individual wanting to learn about their family history, training habits, academics, and how they like to spend their free time. That was important to Duval because he wanted the players to know that he cares about them as much off the field, as he does on the field.

When Duval took the job initially, he had a plan in mind, but after seeing where players were physically, he scrapped it, Instead, he came up with a new plan designed to increase lean muscle mass, as well as increase growth hormone and testosterone naturally in the body. To do that, he installed an intense training circuit with very little rest between sets that would tax players strength wise, and test their conditioning.

One player described the approach as "do-or-die." Either you get in and do it, or you fail in front of everyone. Needless to say, players are coming into the weight room with a much different mindset than they did in past years.

The intensity of the workouts has helped 16 players add 12 pounds of lean muscle, with many players shedding between 2% and 3% of body fat. The minimal rest time is also having quite the effect on the guys, who get pushed to the limit of their conditioning. Needless to say, garbage cans can be easily located throughout the weight room facility. 

The new approach has proven very effective, but Duval hopes that the biggest advantage is a little harder to measure than lean pounds added or a percentage of body fat.

"We'll get a lot faster transformations than a lot of other people. The biggest muscle we're trying to train is between the ears."