November 8, 2007

Insider: Conditioning with Chris Carlisle

Chris Carlisle calls it aggressive maintenance.

USC's strength and conditioning coach does not let up, but, "We've got to do it smart," he said.

With a quarter of the regular season remaining and most players banged up in one way or another, no one gets a pass from conditioning. Carlisle must find a way to work around each ailment.

"Guys are constantly in the flux between being injured and being healthy," he said. "Even guys that play every down out there. You say, 'He's not hurt. Well, there's usually a wrist, or an ankle, or an elbow, or a shoulder, or something that's wrong that we've got to keep working around.

"They'll play on Saturdays, play full speed. But during the week, from Monday to Friday, we've got to put them back together."

Players have what Carlisle calls a 20-hour clock of physical activity. Unless they're fresh off surgery and incapable of working out - Chris Galippo, for example - each Trojan must punch that clock.

"You don't want to bring back a product that's not as good as when it left," Carlisle said.

If a player can practice, he lifts weights twice a week. If he can't practice, he lifts four times a week. With younger players, in particular, they should return to the field in better condition than they started, pre-injury. Here's what Carlisle had to say about a few of the rehabbing Trojans:

  • Tailback Broderick Green (foot injury): "We've got to make sure his weight doesn't get out of hand. We want to keep him between 230 and 235. His upper body - he didn't come from a great background of lifting, so we can work on a lot of technique and get his upper body strong."

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