The Stretch Run

Cleveland Browns Back Chris Ogbonnaya

The Stretch Run - Cleveland Browns Back Chris Ogbonnaya
No one ever wants to see a teammate get traded, especially when he is your most effective weapon on the offensive side of the ball. But when the Cleveland Browns dealt away starting running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, it opened the door for players behind him on the depth chart.

The Stretch Run - Cleveland Browns Back Chris OgbonnayaOne of them just happens to be Chris Ogbonnaya, who will benefit from the transaction. “It was tough seeing Trent go; he was a friend and a good teammate,” says Ogbonnaya. “But this is a business and you can never take any day for granted.”

The Stretch Run - Cleveland Browns Back Chris OgbonnayaThe fifth-year all-purpose back out of the University of Texas does everything he can during the week to be prepared for whatever the playbook calls for, albeit it carrying the football or blocking for someone else. Part of that is what he does in between sets in the gym, not just during them.

The Stretch Run - Cleveland Browns Back Chris Ogbonnaya“I always focus on stretching in between sets, as to not get too tight,” he explains. “Our team has specific stretches that we do that work on our explosiveness.”

An example that Ogbonnaya, 27, gave was pec or tricep stretching (with and without bands) in between sets of flat bench presses. “These protect from cramping and straining.”

Following what the team strength and conditioning staff instructs, the 6’, 225-pounder weight trains either two or three days a week that consists of a full body workout each session. The core lifts- such as bench, squat and cleans – are concentrated on. For cardio, Ogbonnaya will do extra running on the field after practice (sprints and half-gassers) to keep his conditioning levels and heart rate up.

When it comes to his diet, the former Ram and Texan keeps it pretty simple. “Our strength and conditioning coaches are pretty smart when it comes to nutrition,” he says. “So I try to stay away from fried foods, but I love sweets. So I try to balance it out and not eat too much sugar.”

Proteins and green vegetables are what his diet mostly consists of and cheat days are not indulged too often, even though calories are burned off at a good pace from the rigors of practice. “But that doesn’t mean that you can refuel your body with crap,” a laughing Ogbonnaya says.

It appears that the Browns as a whole are buying into that same mantra. They won three in a row immediately following the Richardson trade and have been one of the bigger surprises in the NFL so far.

So keep an eye on them as the enter the ‘stretch run.’


MONDAY – Circuit-type training (before team meetings)

TUESDAY – Players’ off day, so Ogbonnaya gets his workout in earlier in the morning

THURSDAY or FRIDAY – Maintenance workout after practice

Be sure to follow Chris Ogbonnaya on Twitter.

Joe Pietaro

Online Editor-in-Chief, Fitness RX For Men

Contributing Editor, Muscular Development

Co-host, FitnessRX Radio