O-Line To Normal Guy

Saints O-Lineman Zach Strief Trims It Up

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

Since, I have started the O-line To Normal Guy blog I have gotten a lot of attention from not only normal people looking to lose weight, but also many former teammates from Northwestern, Indianapolis, and other NFL teams curious about leaning up.

Zach Strief is probably the biggest man I have ever met.  At an honest 6 foot 8 inches and 335+ pounds, he takes up the entire doorway. We played together on the offensive line at Northwestern University. He is also an integral part of the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints offensive line.

Zach contacted me in January the week before the Super Bowl, he told me how much he liked the idea of "O-line to Normal Guy" and planned on trimming it up for next season.

Last week I received this email from Zach after being inspired by www.OlineToNormalGuy.com.  He is down 22 pounds of fat, has increased his core stength, balance, and has a new outlook on fitness and what it takes to be a great athlete.

This is what he said...



Gallery sneak peek (3 images):

View the gallery...
Continue reading...

Out of Hibernation O-line To Normal Guy

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

It's officially Spring! Time for me to step it up a notch both blogging and kicking my O-line To Normal Guy plan into high gear. 

So far, my plan is going well.  I am down 27 pounds from my start in January. I have lost 2 inches on my waist, over 3 inches on my mid section, and have been able to maintain my strength.

I started at 296  in January and have been as low as 267.

The Struggles:
  • Weekends: I've found that I can workout like a madman 4-5 days a week and complete ruin all my hard work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday, St.Patty's weekend, and vacations to both Wisconsin (I mean come on the beer and cheese state) and Florida were especially notable setbacks.
  • Peer Pressure: I have to do a better job of going out and saying to NO to friends, family, and fiance' when it comes to food.  I have to realize that every meal is a choice and say "No Thanks" more often when it comes to nutritional choices.
  • Hungry and NOT Prepared: The past few months I have been pretty good about planning my meals ahead of time, but when I am out of food at the house it is easy to cheat and eat bad stuff.
  • Don't Burn Yourself Out With Too Many Workouts: I have been fairly consistent working out with a high intensity.  On that note, I have to be smart not to burn myself out with too many or over training in my workouts.  
Spring Solutions:
  • Clean up the weekends.  For myself I need to relax some, but not completely go haywire.  This means I need to give myself a cheat meal or two but not a cheat 48 hours.
  • Be planned ahead even on the weekends. This means more trips to Whole Foods and less trips to the restaurants.
  • Time to Schedule Out My Workouts: I have been good at motivating myself in both cardio and weights.  A few days a week I will do a double, but I always listen to my body and what it is telling me.  On that note though I need to really stay consistent.  I think planning out my workouts each week will help and keep me accountable.
  • Start up the hill and stadium runs.  Two of my favorite cardio workouts that require it to be nice outside.
  • Add another day of heavy weights: Although my football days of a 600 lbs. barbell on my back are over, I still want to look muscular. I have been able to maintain my upper body strength, but have gotten some comments that my arms and chest look smaller.  That does NOT make me happy and that means I need to dedicate another day or two to pushing some serious steel around.
Overall, I am happy with where I am at.  I have lost over 27 pounds, my blood work, blood pressure and cholesterol are great, I have been able to maintain high intensity workouts and eat healthy more meals than not.  Still need to step it up.  Need to be under 250 by mid July, no excuses.

Gallery sneak peek (2 images):

View the gallery...

Hogs to Honeys- The Starting O-line Sheds Some Pounds

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

It's been 5 weeks now since I officially launched www.OlineToNormalGuy.com. Besides looking to decrease my body weight & fat I want to show other people that with a good plan and work ethic you can transform yourself from "o-line to normal guy." That's is why I started my "Starting O-line" section on the site. 

I chose five guys as my honorary offensive line.  They aren't proffessional athletes or trainers like myself, just normal guys (some who have played college athletics) who have found themselves 25, 50, up to 75 pounds heavier than they should be going into their mid 20's- early 30's.

Every couple weeks I will check in few with a couple of these guys to see how their progress is going.

Matt Ryan:
mattryan (2).JPG

Matt and I were watching football New Years day together and discussing how he had gained more than 30 pounds even though he worked out religously 4-5 days a week.




















Problems:
1) Working long hours in construction and waking up at 230am everyday to squeeze in a workout I found that Matt was really only eating one meal a day.
2) Although Matt was working out hard 4-5 times a week. He had grooved himself into the typical "guy routine"... only lifting, little to no variation, and only upper body.

The "O-line to Normal Guy" Solution:

1) Get Matt not only lifting, but implementing cardio into his daily routine. This is the best way to burn fat and change your body composition along with your diet.
2) Hitting the weights hard and heavy once a week. Putting on a few pounds of muscle will not only sculpt Matt, but burn more calories during the week.
3) Getting Matt to fuel his body with small meals throughout the day. By adding breakfast and small snacks in Matt's day will boost his metabolism and start burning the unwanted stubborn fat.

RESULTS:

Continue reading...

CELL BLOCK Workout #2

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

Looking for a new Cardio challenge?  Try a CELL BLOCK #2 instead of your boring old treadmill routine.

CELL BLOCK #2:
-25 Pulls on the rower
-100 Jumps with Jump Rope

This is the end of one round. Try 5-15 rounds, depending on your fitness level. It's a great low impact workout and exactly what you need to do to burn fat.

If you can get over 2,000 meters on the rower in 10 rounds your moving pretty good!!

What you'll need:
-Rowing Machine
-Jump Rope

*You can replace rower with 30 second bouts of treadmill, stair master, or mountain climbers if no rower is available.


Continue reading...

Eat Like a Champion and Never Be Hungry

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

alison camera alaska 020.JPG

By eating smaller more frequent meals and healthy foods you can shed unwanted fat.

If you've decided to you need to lose weight, I am sure you've also realized that you need to change your nutritional habits.  I say "nutritional habits", instead of "diet" because the word "diet" infers that you plan to temporarily change the way you eat to get a temporary result. Most people who "diet" gain the weight right back within a year. What I want to teach you to do is to eat foods you like and eat often so you can fuel your body, boost your metabolism, and burn off that unwanted fat.




Eating like a champion, doesn't mean starving yourself.  In fact, in my plan you get to eat food you actually like, that will provide you energy, every 2-3 hours.

Step 1: Make a list of HEALTHY food that you like.
  Sure we all like junk food.  Frozen pizzas, hot pockets, and microwave dinners are easy but they are a terrible source of calories. You need to figure out what foods you like that are healthy and make they readily available to you all the time.

Split it up into four categories. This will help you with planning meals and grocery shopping. The four categories are: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and fruits and vegetables. I will go over these in specific this week in my article "Weapons of Fat Destruction: Carbs, Proteins, & Fat".


Gallery sneak peek (3 images):

View the gallery...
Continue reading...

10 Reasons Why the Super Bowl week is SUPER as a player! (Besides the Game)

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

The Super Bowl hype is on! Both the Colts and the Saints are settled in South Florida for the big week.  Most people don't realize how surreal the week before America's largest sporting event really is. Playing for the Colts in 2006 I got to experience first hand all the details that make Super Bowl week as a player well...SUPER!!!

Here is my top ten list of why Super Bowl week is great as a player:


10)Super Bowl Locker Room: After the landing the first night, the team loads up the buses and goes to the stadium.  Every player is recording and wrapping off pictures.  Then you walk into the locker room where you get to see your Super Bowl locker. What a dream to have 'Ulrich' stamped on your game jersey, name plate, and helmet.
9)Snipers at Practice: That's right how could you feel more safe then having marksmen guarding you as you prepare for the big game?  I vividly remember one sniper watching through his scope as he ate Cheetos.

Gallery sneak peek (16 images):

View the gallery...
Continue reading...

Earning the Right to BEAR Down

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

Who knew being a Bears fan could be so hard...
Beardown.jpg

Matt as a Colt in 2006 after SB XLI, and in 2009 at Soldier Field


I grew up on Chicago Bears football.  Walter Payton, the 85 squad, and of course (as a fat kid) my favorite William "Fridge" Perry all plastered my walls. 

25 years later, as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, I found myself on the other sideline, hoping to rob my childhood team of a second Super Bowl victory.  Most of my neighbors, childhood friends, and even a few of my family members called to tell me how bad the Bears were going to destroy the Colts.  We all know the result of that game put a diamond filled ring on my finger, and left the city of Chicago with a sour taste in their mouths.

A year later, I returned to Chicago, moved to Wrigleyville, and found a myself in football purgatory. As a member of the Super Bowl XLI team was I allowed to root for my childhood team?

Was I allowed to be a Chicago Bears fan?

Gallery sneak peek (4 images):

View the gallery...
Continue reading...

Cell Block Week 1, a Quick Killer Cardio Workout

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

CELL BLOCK #1

100 Jump Ropes
 25 Burpess
100Jump Ropes
50 Squat Jumps
100 Jump Ropes
100 Jumping Jacks
100 Jump Ropes
100 Mountain Climbers


If you are looking to lose weight, I can guess what you are already dreading... CARDIO.


Continue reading...

Where's your Goal Line?

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

goals.jpg

"Goals without deadlines are simply dreams"

What are your goals?Are they goals, or are they lofty dreams you hope will happen? What is your plan of attack?

One of my favorites coach quotes is:

Prior
Planning
Prevents
Piss Poor
Performance


Continue reading...

Scientific Evidence: "You Are What You Eat"

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

Scientific Evidence: "You Are What You Eat"

Posted in Nutritional Advice

After my article "Fat vs. Fit- The Importance of Nutrition" was published, one of my clients Dan A. asked, "When you lowered your body fat %, did you also lose weight or were you able to maintain your playing weight while reducing your body fat %?" Great question Dan!

In one year, by changing the TYPES of calories I was putting in my body I was able to do the following:

  • Drop 25.6 pounds of fat
  • Gain 17.1 pounds of muscle
  • Drop 7.69% of body fat
  • Maintain my needed playing weight of 300 pounds

Don't believe me here is the scientific proof:


Continue reading...

Fit vs. Fat - The Importance of Nutrition

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

Most people think that if they are physically fit, they are NOT fat.  Let me tell you from experience that you can be physically "fit" and still be very fat.  Below is a picture of me in 2003. All 327 pounds of me.

Matt Ulrich (right) at 327 pounds in 2003.

The same year, I was 1st place "IRON CAT" at Northwestern University and named best conditioned athlete.  I was shattering records in the both the weight room and in conditioning drills, could run faster and further than most people half my size without a struggle, and yet my nutrition was so bad that when the team implimented the "Bod Pod" (a body fat testing machine), I measured out at over 30% body fat.

Continue reading...

Train With Ron Biggest Loser Competition

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

twr.jpg




For those of you who don't know I am a personal trainer at Train With Ron in Chicago, IL.  It is a private personal training gym. At TWR, we don't sell memberships like a commercial gym. You schedule for an hour to work with one of our great trainers and I promise you we get results.

For 2010, one of the programs D.B. kicked off was a "Biggest Loser" competition. We have to weigh in weekly at TWR and the winner is determined by percentage of weight lost. To enter everyone throws in $25 and it is winner takes all.


Continue reading...

FATMOSTEST Syndrome- Why America is so FAT!

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

truffle shuffle.jpg

The "Truffle Shuffle" a sad American past time.

How you ever wondered why America is so fat? According to the American Heart Association, 66% of Americans over the age of 20 are obese.   That's right 2 out of 3 people in America are a bacon induced heart attack waiting to happen.

So I did sociological study and found the true reason Americans are so unhealthy: FATMOSTEST Syndrome.

FATMOSTEST Syndrome: a combination or gluttonous eating habits, laziness, poor exercise habits, and accepting to be ignorant of the consequences that come with being fat and lazy.


Continue reading...

Let's Kick It Off!!

user-pic
Matt Ulrich

I am a former NFL player and Super Bowl Champion. I've taken the hard work and knowledge I gained during my athletics career and now use it to help others achieve their fitness and athletic dreams.

mattu.jpg
At 16 years old I was told I had the potential to play college football, but weighing in at only 240 pounds I would have to "beef it up" to at least 280-300 pounds in order to be looked at seriously by Division I scouts. So, I set my goal.

Two years and 60 pounds later I had my scholarship to my dream school: Northwestern University! Fast forward another ten years... In that time span my 300 pound frame had earned me a Big Ten Championship, a Northwestern Degree, and even led me to sliding on a Super Bowl Ring in 2007 with the Indianapolis Colts (sorry Bears fans).

I'm not going to lie, gaining weight was a fun ride. You got to eat everything and anything you want, seconds are a must, and cleaning your plate is required. My terrible eating habits and mass building workout routines had developed me into a XXXL size beast that was necessary to be competitive on the front line.


Gallery sneak peek (5 images):

View the gallery...
Continue reading...

Most Active Pages Right Now

ChicagoNow.com on Facebook