What the Hell Happened During “Hell Week”

That's it...nice and easy! And a one and a two

When I heard the reasoning behind Mike Shanahan’s decision to pull Donovan McNabb during the last 2 minutes of the game due to McNabb not having the “cardiovascular endurance” to run the offense, my immediate thought was…what about “Hell Week?”

A big deal was made about the “Hell Week” that McNabb invited his fellow Redskins receivers, tight ends and running backs to last July. It was held in Arizona the week before training camp and was described by the Washington Post as “a week of grueling workouts and team building.” From the Wapo article:

McNabb calls it “Hell Week” because of the demanding nature of his workouts, and also because of the extreme summertime heat. Temperatures around Phoenix this week are expected to climb as high as 112 degrees.
“It’s a different mind-set,” McNabb said of the week. “I prepare guys the way I prepare.”

There, Brett Fischer, McNabb’s trainer, will lead the group through workouts and exercises nearly identical to the ones the quarterback does during the off-season.
“For them, I think it’s an eye-opener what we’re doing,” said Fischer, whose résumé lists him as a physical therapist, an athletic trainer and a strength-and-conditioning specialist. “I think it’s an eye opener for them, comparing themselves with their quarterback, with how hard he’s working out here. To me, it’s him telling them, ‘Hey, I’m taking this thing seriously to the next level. Let’s go to the next level.’ ”

The daily routine focuses on the athlete’s core — abdominals, the lower back, gluteal muscles and hips — and involves everything from traditional weights to resistance bands. Fischer likes to focus on balance, flexibility, joints and areas that most athletes tend to ignore in their regular workouts.

The group also will spend plenty of time on cardio by running steep hills in the desert heat until they finally take a break in the early afternoon.

“People, when they come in here and they see what he does, they’re shocked,” Fischer says. “They go, ‘Man, he pays attention to every little detail in the workout.’ And he’s here from 8 o’clock until 10 o’clock. They go, ‘I didn’t realize he worked this hard. I didn’t realize he had all the flexibility, all the core, all the lifting, all the things done for his body.’ ”

So here we are a few months later and Mcnabb is now “unfit.” I guess all the 14 hour training days were not enough or else they were just a bunch of bs. McNabb appears to be in better shape than I’ve seen him in recent years. Sure I notice him huffing and puffing after a long scramble, but hey…I huff and puff going from the lazy-boy to the fridge for a Bud Light.

McNabb‘s “Hell Week” may have been an accurate title for Redskin‘s fans. Malcolm Kelly injured his hamstring in Arizona and was placed on injured reserve for the year. Colt Brennan and Devin Thomas were also there…they were both cut. Thomas described the workouts as “tough.” McNabb gets pulled at the most important time of the game for…Rex Grossman? The only known participant who seems to be having a decent year is Santana Moss. Maybe next year they should try the “Charlie Sheen” week.

Cheers and Hail

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