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Offseason workouts a big help for Giants Barber

By ERNIE PALLADINO

epalladi@lohud.com

THE JOURNAL NEWS

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(Original publication: April 26, 2006)

 

 

A full-on picture of Tiki Barber finishing his electrifying 41-yard touchdown run against Kansas City last season sits on the corner of Joe Carini's desk at Sports U. Its inscription, penned by Barber to Carini in black Sharpie, reads "Never stop until we reach our goal."

 

Barber won't say what that goal is, but one can bet it has something to do with a 2,000-yard season and a Super Bowl title. Whatever, the offseason physical work that will take the Giants' running back to his own promised land happens just a few yards from that picture.

 

It happens among a cluster of weight machines in this state-of-the-art sports facility in Fairfield, N.J., right across from a basketball court where vigorous teenagers participate in a camp; right across from the batting cages and AstroTurf area, and a sprinting strip where Barber will wind up his one hour of torture.

 

It is a necessary exercise. At 31, Barber needs to be ever sturdier to guard against the nicks and bruises of a long season. The benefits of the high-weight, low-repetition and — just for the record — zero-drug lifting program the 47-year-old Carini lays out for him now will carry Barber to the end of the schedule.

 

Carini, a former national powerlifting champion, said Barber already is 15 percent stronger at this point than he was all last season, according to the tonnage the running back pulls, pushes, and hoists over his workouts.

 

"It's only April," Barber said. "We just got started, and I'm already hitting my maxes from last year.

 

"The thing is, once you get used to hitting high loads, your body doesn't forget it. That's why I've stayed healthy. You build up so much muscle mass that you can overcome things when you get into compromising positions."

 

None of this comes from sitting in a chair and idly shooting the breeze with the affable but intense Carini, of course. The secret is in the machines and how the personal trainer employs them.

 

Some, like the leg and squat machines, can be found in any conventional gym. Most lifters Barber's size don't leg press 1,030 pounds in one shot, though. Nor do they squat 650.

 

Others are contraptions of specific pain Carini thought up himself. Take, for instance, a little number Barber calls "The Yoke." It's a 260-pound frame and adjustable crossbar with flanges for weights at the bottom. On this day, Barber threw an additional 180 pounds on that bad boy and carried it, on his shoulders and then across his folded arms, down the sprint strip for 10 yards.

 

Its subtle forward-and-back and side-to-side swaying as he walked forced Barber to use the smaller muscles in his legs for balance. The increased strength in those will help him cope with the odd-angle hits that take other backs to the ground.

 

"That's why I was able to break so many tackles," he said, referring to his team-record 1,860-yard performance that puts him in line this year to break the 10,000-yard career plateau.

 

Awkward? Yes. Unorthodox? You bet.

 

"I never question Joe," Barber said. "I just do what he asks me. I'm his little guinea pig."

 

He's apparently a perfectly willing little piggy. Carini sold Barber on his power-based philosophy three years ago. Since then, Barber has put 25 pounds of muscle on his original 180-pound chassis. The emphasis Barber has put on weight training later in his career might be a regimen the backs taken in this weekend's draft would do well to follow right from the get-go.

 

Barber and Carini focus on a different area each offseason. Last year it was bulking up the upper body. This year it's agility.

 

"We're not only doing the strength stuff," Carini said, "but also some awkward movement to maximize his agility."

 

But always, it's the weight. And it's all done without the support belt that helps competitive lifters really load up.

 

It's pure body work.

 

"Two days ago, he's doing a shoulder press we call the hammer press, and he's working out with 400 pounds," said Carini, who carries well over 300 pounds on his frame. "Now, he's 210, 212 pounds. Guys my size aren't doing that kind of weight.

 

"Right now, the leg presses are over 1,000 pounds. Shoulder press? Last year, he did one rep of 300. This year, two reps of 325. His dead lift is much heavier than a year ago."

 

The sounds stay the same, though.

 

"Ar-r-r-r-g-uh!" Barber grunted as his shoulders hoisted 805 pounds on the quarter-squat machine.

 

Such is the price of success. But it's only a partial tally. Remember, this is what he does on the side. A typical full week for Barber includes four days of lifting and running in the Giants' offseason conditioning program at Giants Stadium, and five sessions in Carini's little Chamber of Horrors. Nine weight workouts total.

 

"All right, Tiki," Carini said midway through the workout. "Wanna do some squats?"

 

"Yeah, sure," Barber said. "Like I have any choice."

 

It's a wonder he has the energy to call "Walk!" over to the basketball-camp participants that catch his glance between reps.

 

"It's needed," Barber said. "I'd always believed in being lean and cut. But football is played by big, powerful men. Early in my career, I was always nicked and hurt. Now I can play hurt and I don't lose a step."

 

It's all part of making the man Carini calls, pound for pound, the strongest player in the NFL.

 

Working out with Tiki

 

These are two hourlong workouts Tiki Barber did in recent sessions at Sport U. under the guidance of former powerlifting champ Joe Carini. Try them — if you dare! Start off light and increase the weight each set. And remember, don't even think about approaching the levels Barber pushes. Only finely tuned athletes and those with awfully good hospital insurance do that.

 

Workout No. 1

 

1. Warm-up: A little stretching and light lifting to prepare the back and hips for the jolt that lies ahead.

 

2. Dead lift: Barber does these one rep at a time, at 535 pounds. Three or four ought to bring up a fine sweat.

 

3. Butt squat: Barber topped out at 615 pounds on the machine that strengthens the thighs. Four sets of two reps each.

 

4. Hand hold: Throw a bunch of iron on a bar — Barber used 300 pounds — and just hold it until your grip gives out. Five reps.

 

5. Bench press: Yep. Regular old-school bench press, except Barber does it with 410 pounds. Four sets of three reps each, and make sure somebody's spotting you in case the old arms give out.

 

Workout No. 2

 

1. Warm-up: Same as the first workout.

 

2. Leg press: Barber has had as much as 1,030 pounds on this machine. When we saw him, he took it easy with only 960. Four sets of two reps each.

 

3. Quarter-squat: A padded bar on a shoulder-high stand goes behind the neck. Position your feet solidly under the bar and stand up. Barber did that five times, the last two with 805 pounds.

 

4. Full squat: Traditional work for quads. Four sets of two. Barber did 650 pounds the last two sets.

 

5. Arm machine: It's just a bar hinged to the floor on one end with weight at the other. Pump one arm eight times, then do the other in sets of eight to exercise the small muscles of the upper back. Barber went with 95 pounds.

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Guest Floyd The Barber

the constant professional...Tiki Barber

 

 

where would this team be without him or with some other run of the mill back ??

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Funny when I come back over here and read floyds,carbos, and noslbeeds posts they read like a tour deforce as compared to the general forum...

holy shit!!!

 

:LMAO:

 

 

Carbo is like a breath of fresh sewage in a slaughter house.

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Guest Floyd The Barber
Funny when I come back over here and read floyds,carbos, and noslbeeds posts they read like a tour deforce as compared to the general forum...

holy shit!!!

 

:LMAO:

 

perhaps the FAB 4 need to frequent the General Forum and set a tone of regulation as we did on this side of the tracks...

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Guest nosebleed
Funny when I come back over here and read floyds,carbos, and noslbeeds posts they read like a tour deforce as compared to the general forum...

holy shit!!!

 

:LMAO:

 

 

What goes on over there on the other side.....????? :confused:

 

Maybe it's the fact that not many people can be skilled in football, sciences, mathematics, english, psycology, philosophy, et al.

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Guest Carbo
perhaps the FAB 4 need to frequent the General Forum and set a tone of regulation as we did on this side of the tracks...
Good idea, Floyd. I'm on my way over there to add some class to an othewise dying, classless dump. See you on the other side. . .
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Guest Nutty Sack

Could you imagine if Plaxico and Jeremy had the heart, intellect and profesionalism of Tiki Barber ?? The Fab Four would have very little to worry about and could sit back and enjoy our surroundings.

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Guest Lockhart
Could you imagine if Plaxico and Jeremy had the heart, intellect and profesionalism of Tiki Barber ?? The Fab Four would have very little to worry about and could sit back and enjoy our surroundings.

 

 

...................instead Plaxico and Shockey are sitting poolside enjoying their surroundings, while Willie Jo, the Cabana Boy, is running for drinks and Ho-Hos, when he isn't lathhhering Shockey with tanning lotion.

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Guest Carbo
...................instead Plaxico and Shockey are sitting poolside enjoying their surroundings, while Willie Jo, the Cabana Boy, is running for drinks and Ho-Hos, when he isn't lathhhering Shockey with tanning lotion.
I'm curious. Jeremy is fair skinned. Do you think he uses an SPF 15 or 30 to get ready for the season?
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...................instead Plaxico and Shockey are sitting poolside enjoying their surroundings, while Willie Jo, the Cabana Boy, is running for drinks and Ho-Hos, when he isn't lathhhering Shockey with tanning lotion.

 

Show me a media source that says Burress, Shockey, and Joseph aren't working out and are being lazy at the beach.

 

Find it for me.

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Guest Nutty Sack
Did you watch the first eight games of the season?

 

 

Yeah........evidently you didn't watch the last eight games of the season.........here is the a perfect example of a blind man who is happy because he can find his penis once a day with his hands.

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I must agree with the Fab 4 here, imagine if our TE could do the personal workouts that he says help him AND work out with his teammates like Tiki? Plax and Shockey should bow down and kiss Tiki's ass and do as he does and want to be like him.

 

Wonder why Tiki does not work out at the U? Oh thats right, he is intelligent, hard working and actually likes to be around his teamates and take his job seriously.

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I must agree with the Fab 4 here, imagine if our TE could do the personal workouts that he says help him AND work out with his teammates like Tiki? Plax and Shockey should bow down and kiss Tiki's ass and do as he does and want to be like him.

 

Wonder why Tiki does not work out at the U? Oh thats right, he is intelligent, hard working and actually likes to be around his teamates and take his job seriously.

:ph34r:

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Yeah........evidently you didn't watch the last eight games of the season.........here is the a perfect example of a blind man who is happy because he can find his penis once a day with his hands.

Yes, I did. And as bad as Eli looked at times, the only miserable game he really had was against Dallas. Philly was one of his better game of his career until the final quarter. Redskins actually may have been better then we know because of the dropped passes, but I can't really talk because I didn't watch it. And with the way Tiki was playing, all TC asked Eli to do was to manage the game. Unfortunately, he didn't do that in the playoffs but the last few games leading up to it he certainly did.

 

Oh, Eli had a 120 passer rating game 10 ;)

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