Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback for the currently 4-4 Tennessee Titans, trained at CrossFit Bellevue in Washington state before the season. Reebok challenged him to give CrossFit a try, and he said he has seen marked improvement since starting.
Hasselbeck’s coach, CrossFit Bellevue owner Dan Cerrillo, said his goal for Hasselbeck’s training was making him healthy and helping him recover from bumps and bruises sustained during a long career with stops in Green Bay and Seattle. Cerrillo focused on slow strength gains and used the rings for many drills, such as static holds.
“This is where I can see him getting stronger, and it’s not so much muscle growth as it is everything’s activating,” Cerrillo said.
Hasselbeck, a three-time Pro Bowl and 2005 All Pro selection, said CrossFit has been a humbling experience for him.
“I took a couple steps back to take a few steps forward, you know, coming in here,” Hasselbeck said. “I just really started from the bottom.”
However, the QB made significant progress. Hasselbeck said he started CrossFit with a wrist brace but didn’t need it after his wrists and hands grew stronger. Cerrillo measured Hasselbeck’s strength gains in longer static holds.
Making progress was gratifying for Hasselbeck, who’s now thrown for over 2,000 yards and 13 TDs at the halfway point of the NFL season.
“The most fun and exciting thing for me by far has been the rings,” Hasselbeck said. “You’re never bored. You’re scared sometimes, but you’re never bored.”
Additional reading: Support Strength on the Rings by Tyler Hass, published April 1, 2007.