The key to successful sports performance is a balance between training hard and well-targeted recovery.
The New York Giants’ Justin Pugh explains how he stays at the top of his game doing exactly that.
Gaining 15lb of lean muscle
People often ask what the secret is for making serious gains. Is it food, work, recovery or a combination? Well, it’s definitely a combination of all three, but for me, it really started by getting myself in the weight room. The New York Giants’ strength and conditioning coaches, Jerry Palmieri and Markus Paul, did a great job encouraging me and making sure I was in there every day to get bigger and stronger.
Keeping up your consistency and making sure you keep going is so important. You cannot go to the gym one or two days a week and expect results. You have to go every day and use a clear-cut plan that has an upward trajectory to make strength and muscle gains. The more consistent you are, the better your results are going to be.
The secret to lean muscle gains is old-fashioned hard work and dedication, because getting yourself in the weight room really translates on the field.
Eating for success
I have pre-made healthy meals that are delivered to my house, and I’ve also started making my own food. A healthy diet is the cornerstone of results. At the team facility, the Giants dedicated a lot of effort to rebuild our team cafeteria and equip it with healthier options, and it is definitely paying dividends for everyone on the team.
During many of our organized team activities, I was able to do a lot more on the field without getting pushed around at all – I definitely felt the hard work paying off. With the correct nutrition, I felt as though I had more energy on the field and in the weight room, which quickly translates to results.
Cryotherapy is a new thing that I’ve been getting involved in. Basically, you stand in a tube called a cryosauna, and the machine pumps huge amounts of nitrogen into it. It cools the tube down to around -275°F. The low temperature makes your body feel like it’s going into a hypothermic state, so it starts pumping blood into your extremities as your hormone, immune and nervous systems become activated.
You have to wear gloves and basically a Snuggie so that you don’t get hypothermia, but it helps a lot in muscle stress recovery and with little nagging injuries, like a sore ankle or shoulder. You go in for two to three minutes and burn 600–800 calories. You’re hungry afterwards but the bonus is you’ll sleep like a baby.
To get involved, visit uscryotherapy.com.
Justin Pugh Fun Facts
Justin Pugh Contract
Justin Pugh initially signed a 4-year rookie contract with the New York Giants in 2013 worth a total of $8,345,898. This included a $4,449,744 signing bonus, $7,960,128 guaranteed, plus an average annual salary of $2,086,475 until the end of the 2016 season.
Justin Pugh Salary
In 2017, the Giants decided to take up Justin Pugh’s fifth-year option on his initial rookie contract. This option took Pugh’s salary to an estimated 8.8 million dollars for the season.
Justin Pugh Injury
Pugh initially suffered a back injury in 2017 for the Giants Week 7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Pugh unfortunately again aggravated it against the 49’ers in Week 9 and is currently sidelined as of November 2017.
Historically, Pugh has also suffered from knee injuries.
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