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NFL Combine Series, Part 6, Body Composition

By: Steve Yahns, MS, CSCS, NASM-PES
Assistant Director of Performance, Lead Methodology Educator
Spectrum Sports Performance

After spending the past few weeks breaking down drills and tests that the NFL combine demands out of athletes, guys still must face the fact that their bodies are up on display for the world to see. Not only are these athletes going to be asked a plethora of questions about everything they’ve been through and everything they know, but their physicality will be heavily scrunitzed. Scouts will debate if a certain guy is big enough or lean enough or if he “looks the part.”

Body Composition
Part of the eye test is if you look the part in your underwear. It may sound funny, but combine prospects will be put in front of hundreds of people in nothing but their underwear, and scouts are looking to see how much they “look the part.” This really has to do with a healthy body composition. Body composition can refer to height, weight, circumference measurements and body fat percentage. Body fat percentage refers to the amount of lean muscle against the amount of body fat. This is calculated in percentages of total weight and how many pounds of lean body mass (muscle, bones, tissue, etc) and how many pounds of body fat a guy has on him. Healthy ranges will depend on the position. As a running back, receiver, or defensive back fat should be much lower than a lineman, but regardless the body fat percentage number is an important one. All positions should focus on increasing their lean body mass and reducing body fat percentage throughout training. Scouts may want “bigger” guys for positions, such as offensive and defensive linemen, linebackers, and tight ends, but they don’t want guys with a relatively high body fat percentage. Increasing lean mass through strength workouts is important, as is burning calories through conditioning. Some positions and guys may require more or less conditioning than others. However, it really depends on the individual.

Eat Smarter
Regardless, nutrition plays a very important role in body composition and most importantly, body fat percentage. Minimizing “unhealthy” foods, such as fast food and junk food, eating balanced meals (meals containing carbs, proteins and good fats) all throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, and taking proper sports nutritional supplements can all help reduce body fat percentage and make you look more like a NFL football player, one that is ready to enter the NFL and perform well. Not only will eating smarter help reduce body fat percentages, but it will also help give more energy on a daily basis. Most importantly, workouts can yield greater results from increased energy and focus.

Be Confident
While looking the part physically is very important, guys must realize the enormity of performing at the NFL combine, and be prepared to have every little thing you do analyzed over and over. Being confident and understanding of this event will go a long way to assure scouts that you are ready to handle not only the NFL combine, but performing and succeeding in the NFL. This isn’t college anymore; guys are not big fish in a small pond. Everyone at the combine is a really big and talented fish, and you need to stand out to succeed. That being said, you have every right to be there as they do. Now, go out dominate at the NFL combine and dominate in your NFL career!!

Edited by Courtney VandeStreek

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