February 19, 2013

The Russell Rules, Pt. 2

AUBURN -- Though Ryan Russell spends his days helping Auburn athletes build their bodies to meet the physical demands of sport, that may not be his most important role.

He's also building character.

The Tigers' strength and conditioning director, hired away from Arkansas State in December, has spent most of the past six weeks working with the football team. Every player achieves at a different level, sure, but that has nothing to do with what's happening on the Plains right now.

Every player is working the same basic routine. A major part of that routine requires the team to work though some grueling exercises together.

"If you're mentally weak, you're not going to be successful in this game," Russell said. "The conditioning we do with them, we take them places physically where their bodies are telling their minds that they can't do this anymore. We have to break through those mental barriers. One of the best parts of my job is seeing kids getting more mentally tough. They grow right before your eyes."

Russell recently sat down with AuburnSports.com to discuss a wide range of topics. The first installment, which debuted on Monday, saw the former Division II wideout discuss his background, the man he replaced (Kevin Yoxall), his overall approach to athletic training and his impressions of the Tigers' state-of-the-art training center.

Today, Russell delves into the specifics of his regimens and why nutrition is the next big thing at Auburn.

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