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Transforming an NFL Quarterback by Dan Cerrillo and Matt Hasselbeck - CrossFit Journal

Transforming an NFL Quarterback

By Dan Cerrillo and Matt Hasselbeck

In Coaching, CrossFit, Sports Applications, Videos

September 21, 2011

Video Article

“This is a validation of everything that I’ve done,” says Dan Cerrillo, the owner of CrossFit Bellevue in Bellevue, Wash. “It’s a great honor.”

Cerrillo has been training Matt Hasselbeck, former Seattle Seahawks QB and current Tennessee Titan.

Hasselbeck says his first exposure with CrossFit came from his brother Tim, who CrossFitted and impressed his family with his “chiseled” physique. Their father, Don, a veteran Reebok sports-marketing executive and Super Bowl champion, started CrossFit and also impressed Matt.

“He looked like me,” Matt says. “I need to step up my game.”

Hasselbeck was skeptical at first, but he gave CrossFit a try. He knew it would be hard but good, but he had no idea if it would transfer over to the gridiron.

“The thing I didn’t know is how much of this stuff would really help me in the season,” he says.

Thinking he was already in good shape, Hasselbeck says the workout Cindy was a rude awakening for him.

“He was dying, he was crushed, and he was obliterated,” Cerrillo says.

Since Hasselbeck has been training at CrossFit, both his perspective and his fitness have been transformed.

“I bought in. I love it. I’m in,” he says.

“I feel so much stronger than when I started. I feel ready for the NFL season to come,” Hasselbeck says.

In his first start for his new team, Hasselbeck threw for 263 yards and 2 TDs in a narrow 2-point loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Week 2, Hasselbeck amassed 358 yards and 1 TD in a victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Looks like he was ready for the season.

12min 3sec

Additional reading: If the Shoe Fits … by Kevin Daigle, published Feb. 7, 2011.

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19 Comments on “Transforming an NFL Quarterback”


wrote …

How excellent! Go Titans!


wrote …

Congrats, Dan, on successfully bringing another CrossFitter into the fold - one who just happens to be a big-name player in a big-time sport! What a great side effect of Reebok teaming up w/ CrossFit.

What was the thinking behind the "scripted" 20 work-outs?


wrote …

Matt - great work! Get those elbows pointed forward when you're on the rings! I'll bet your shoulders were on fire with your elbows rotated out like that. Check out Carlo and Kelly's videos on "The Position" to see what I mean.

I'll be pulling for you this season!


wrote …

Mr Cerrillo,

you're a great guy and I'm sure a terrific coach. No wonder Matt had such a good experience with crossfit! Keep up the great work and excellence in everything you do. It's an honor and a privilege to know you.

Tommy Hackenbruck


I believe the concept of the 20-scripted workouts was to make sure none of us selected got to crazy. The idea was to introduce some benchmark workouts and scale as neccessary but to also have uniform data from each box on each workout with each athlete.


Thank you so much Tommy it means a lot. It was great seeing you again, ill be cheering in 2012 when you win the whole thing.


wrote …



wrote …

Awesome video, awesome story. I've got another Crossfitter to cheer for now, along with knowshon.


wrote …

Awesome awesome awesome.

What has two thumbs and just became a Tennessee Titans/Hasselbeck fan?


wrote …

Awesome stuff Dan... Great video and nice story.


wrote …

guess im goin to buy a new jersey :) right on! go crossfit! go hasselbecks!


wrote …

I'm actually pretty shocked that an NFL team would let their starting quarterback do CF. I'm primarily thinking that the team medical/training staff would look at the potential for shoulder injury and conclude it's just too risky. Of course, during the lockout, the team would have no say in the matter.

So, the question is... did he continue Crossfit after the lockout?


wrote …

I'd be curious to know what the twenty scripted workouts were and as for the shoulder issues it really comes down to having a good trainer that 1) wouldn't put you in a position of risk (especially with regards to previous injuries/surgeries/limitations and 2) knows how to scale properly and can put ego aside for the betterment of the athlete. The one thing that I caught was his reaction to a ten minute cindy. i think 20 mintues of cindy is way to much for any first time individual coming into a gym whether they are an athlete or not. First off 20 minutes is just increased volume which in a sense equals decreased intensity. The ten minute range is pushing it but would still fall into a medium volume / medium-high intensity. Plus you take into account the high volume of repetitions of squats and push-ups and I can guarantee anyone would be sore if that was their first time with that sort of stimulus.

A more interesting note would be to study what the 11+ guys who tore their achilles were doing for strength and conditioning.


wrote …

Cool video, one question though: Any particular reason these guys like Knowshon and Hasselbeck aren't doing 20 scripted workouts in CF Football?


wrote …

Great to Dan and CFBV in the Journal! Love the videos working with NFL pro's.


wrote …

That was a great video, except for one thing.... I'm so pissed the Seahawks let him go! I knew Knowshon was a Crossfitter but didn't know about Matt, Cooley, or Marshall. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on them this season. If Matt keeps it up Mr. Cerrillo might be asked to move to Tennessee lol


Phillip Sarris wrote …

Great work Mr. Cerrillo. Good Luck to Matt go light it up this year. I have not heard many critics lately. They are becoming scarce!

CrossFit Rules...


Dane Thomas wrote …

Count me in on being curious on the 20 scripted workouts. Not questioning why, just want to know what was chosen.

I'm with Brian when it comes to 10 minutes being more appropriate for 1st time Cindy. Another 10 minutes is likely to do most first-timers more harm than good, for different reasons based on the individual involved.


wrote …

@Larry Walker,
Hasselbeck was a free agent so the team had no say in what his workout was. Seattle was crazy to let him get away.

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