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Check out the changes that Matt Campbell and his staff have brought to the winter conditioning program at Iowa State


"Work Hard, Play Hard" is probably the perfect anthem for this video showcasing Iowa State's winter workouts under the new staff in Ames led by Matt Campbell.

While the overriding theme of competition is something that a lot of programs do with their off season workouts, there are a number of things that may look unfamiliar to some coaches when watching the video.

Take a look.

For example, take those giant PVC-like pipes that players are hustling around with across their chest. A lot of staffs are using contraptions like that with some water, and sometimes sand, on the inside sloshing around to work on their guys core and stabilization muscles.


The other homemade device is focused on improving grip strength and looks to include a wooden block with a chain hanging from it, with a weight attached to the end of the chain. If you think about how important your grip is an nearly every position (blocking, tackling, carrying the ball, catching, throwing, etc.), dedicating time to it in the off season is something that makes a lot of sense, and it's something you probably should be doing.

A few years ago, I was at a clinic where veteran strength coach Al Johnson (who was at Northwestern at the time, and has since moved on to East Tennessee State) went through their entire grip training program at Northwestern. It's not a new idea, but it is an area that a lot of programs are neglecting.