After holding out from OTA’s, training camp and the preseason, Aaron Donald ended his holdout (without a new contract) the day before the season opener, playing in his first game after only three practices with the team. He then proceeded to dominate on the field, playing 115 snaps over the course of 5 days.
Donald gives credit for his peak performance to Dewayne Brown, a 42 year old former college basketball player who founded the company 2/10ths speed and agility twelve years ago, providing high-intensity training for high school, college, and pro athletes.
Donald spent his summer training with Brown in Pittsburgh, training three times a week at the University of Pittsburgh. During the 45 minute sessions, an intense series of workouts beginning with dynamic warm-ups, then kinetic workouts with resistance belts. This was followed by core work with medicine balls, explosions with resistance bands, and footwork drills through 25-yard obstacle courses. Then sprints with a sled or parachute for added resistance. Then flipping tires, followed by maniacally chasing tennis balls. There were breaks, albeit never longer than 2 minutes at a time.
Dewayne Brown would meet Donald for training sessions every morning on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, after brown completed his weightlifting workout with his brother, Archie, in the gym.
Here’s a look at Dewayne Brown’s high intensity, 45-minute regimen:
0:00 to 5:00: Dynamic warmup with a variety of high knees, lunges, squats, turns and other movement stretches that cover 10-15 yards each.
5:00 to 15:00: Three phases with resistance belts. Donald and his brother will each wear one and stay connected with a cord. With lateral resistors on their ankles, they’ll do A and B skips, high knees, butt kicks and other drills, including an intricate one called “Backwards Tapioca.” From there, it’s on to body movement. With his brother standing still, Donald will backpedal, come forward, dart right, come forward, dart left, then “Backwards Tapioca,” with a squat thrust. Four reps of all that. Phase 3 is explosion, which consists of 30 seconds of lunge jumps and one minute of squat jumps, with his brother standing on the cord for added resistance.
15:00 to 19:00: Core workout with a medicine ball, doing explosion exercises including rollback jump slams, push-ups and planks, each of them with unique twists. Usually four different sets.
19:00 to 24:00: Two resistance bands are tied in a knot, providing 200 pounds of resistance. Donald will explode into a 15- to 20-yard sprint, either while falling forward, or after lying on his stomach, or out of a three-point stance, or off a shuffle. His brother, strapped to the other loop, provides resistance.
24:00 to 29:00: Fatigue sets in here. An obstacle course is set up, taking up 25 yards and requiring Donald to perform a different footwork drill for each, with one big jump between stations. No breaks.
29:00 to 36:00: This stage requires a sled or a parachute. The sled, which Donald will load up with somewhere between 45 and 90 pounds, will be dragged 40-50 yards 10 times. With the parachute — used to take some of the stress off his body — Donald will run 20 yards and back, then 40 and back, then 60 and back, then 80 and back, then 100 and back.
36:00 to 41:00: Moving the giant tire, which weighs between 400 and 600 pounds. Three sets of some combination of jumping the tire and flipping it.
41:00 to 45:00: Tennis balls are used for the last drill. Donald will position himself in a three-point stance at the goal line and will retrieve the ball before it hits the ground a second time. His brother will drop it from about the 5-yard line, then take a couple of steps back after each drop until he gets to about the 10.