by Rob Joyce
James Harrison isn’t like you and me. The 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year found his second wind the last few years with the Steelers, after it looked like his playing days might be over following a one-year stint in Cincinnati in 2013. Instead, the 39-year-old will head into his 14th professional season having totaled 15.5 sacks in the last three seasons. A reason for his marginal decline? A legendary workout regimen that puts even the strongest of linemen to shame. Spending over $350,000 a year on taking care of his body has allowed Harrison to become a finely-tuned machine, even as middle-age approaches.
His Instagram was deleted earlier this year, but even looking at a spattering of his posts since early June are enough to put anyone to shame:
5) One major positive of Harrison’s strength: extra fun in the pool. Here is the two-time Super Bowl champion acting as a human trampoline, launching his son well over 10 feet into the air before coming crashing down in the water. Why spend money on fancy slides or diving boards when you have dad?
4) This seems to be a common workout with Harrison and some teammates: Danney-ball. It’s basically volleyball, but instead of hitting a nine-ounce, air-filled piece of leather, you’re whipping a 10-pound medicine ball over the net in 100-degree heat. Naturally, Harrison is quite good at it, as in basically every video he’s posted this summer, he’s winning games against his fellow Steelers 7-0.
3) At the NFL combine every year, one of the tests is bench pressing 225 pounds as many times as possible. In May, Harrison had quite the twist on that basic idea: sit flat on the floor so it’s entirely upper-body strength, and reverse your hands so your wrists are facing you (like a pull-up). It puts your wrists in an incredibly awkward position, setting up potential disaster, but Harrison casually lifts 335 pounds like a champ.
2) Released over the weekend, Harrison moves nearly one-ton of weight on a sled, pretty much because he can. According to the video, he’s pushing over 1,800 pounds!
1) Ever think of lifting weights with your hips? No? Naturally, James Harrison has, and he lifts a lot of it. Six hundred seventy five pounds worth of it, to be exact. And it looks like he could have done a few more reps, had the bar not bent so far that a plate fell off.