The most Exclusive Look at A-Rod… Coming in May

April 4, 2011 – This week, I am settling in to write the Alex Rodriguez feature, which I began conducting interviews for in December.

As I mentioned in this blog over the last few weeks, I believe that this story, which will be published in the May issue of Yankees Magazine, will be the most exclusive portrayal about the Yankees third baseman anywhere.

In addition to the time I spent with Rodriguez in the batting cages of George M. Steinbrenner Field during Spring Training, I was fortunate enough to spend two days with the slugger in Miami.

During the February trip to South Florida, Rodriguez brought Yankees team photographer Ariele Goldman Hecht and I along for two days worth of workouts.

The story will describe the offseason regimen of baseball’s hardest working player. To back that claim up, I will leave you with a brief synopsis (and a few photos) of the second day we spent with Rodriguez. And please note …for most of the offseason, A-Rod is on the diamond, in the gym or on the football field six days a week from 8:00 a.m. (at the latest) until noon. Additionally, from December through the time A-Rod leaves Miami for Spring Training, he completes a cardiovascular workout that is as grueling as the one listed below. As I watched Rodriguez complete “Hell Day” I was left with a sense of amazement.

Friday February 4:

7:58 a.m. –Rodriguez arrives at the University of Miami’s football weight room.

8:00 a.m. – 8:40 a.m. – Rodriguez works out on an exercise bike.

8:45 a.m. – Rodriguez walks to the University of Miami’s practice football field for what is referred to as the “Hell Day” obstacle course.

8:45 a.m. – The obstacle course begins as Rodriguez and his workout partner, Jorge Posada, pull in a 30-yard rope that has 200 pounds of weights tied to it. After pulling the rope in, they run 30 yards with the loose rope and pull it in again. And they repeat the exercise a third time – totaling 90 yards in which they pulled 200 pounds, hand over hand.

8:50 a.m. – Rodriguez and Posada move to station two of the Hell Day obstacle course. They are now hitting giant (monster truck) tires with 16-pound sledgehammers.

8:55 a.m. – Step 3 of the obstacle course commences as Rodriguez and Posada turn over 270 pound monster truck tires, moving them 20 yards downfield and 20 yards back up the field – 40 yards in total.

9:00 a.m. – Rodriguez and Posada move to station four, where they are pushing football sleds 30 yards downfield and 30 yards back – 60 yards in total. This step is completed in less than five minutes, because both players are moving the sleds with maximum strength.

9:04 a.m. – The fifth and final step begins, and it consists of five minutes of one-hand (scissor) pushups. Rodriguez, who later told me, “I would never consider not finishing one of these workouts,” completes much of the four minutes worth of pushups with his eyes closed, due to the strain on his body.

9:09 a.m. – 9:12 am – Rodriguez and Posada walk slowly to the first station. After a three-minute breather, they go through the course for the second time.

9:35 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. – At the conclusion of their second time through the obstacle course, Rodriguez and Posada sit on a wooden bench that is located between the football field and the entrance to the weight room.

9:51 a.m. – 10:02 a.m. – Rodriguez and Posada pick up a baseball and their mitts to play catch from about 25 yards apart.

10:04 a.m. – Rodriguez enters the weight room and goes through a 30-minute routine that includes the following:

*Three sets of clean hi-pulls. The first set consisted of five lifts with 210 pounds of weight. The second set consisted of five lifts with 225 pounds of weight and the third set consisted of five lifts with 240 pounds of weight.

*Three sets of speed squats. Each set consisted of 10 reps starting with 124 pounds and ending with 146 pounds.

*Two sets of three-way lunges and two sets of leg curls

10:41 a.m. – Because of a lunch commitment, Rodriguez elects to skip what would have normally come next – an hour long hitting session in his private batting cage.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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