Weekly Fitness: SMC Football Running Back Miles Nelson

When you look at today's sports and watch some of the big name athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods, you see innate ability at its finest. What goes unnoticed is the amount of hard work and preparation that is put in during the off-season. To give you a glimpse of what it takes to perform at the highest level, I took a trip to SMC's fitness room to interview Miles Nelson, a running back for Santa Monica College football.

Nelson, who has previously played for SMC, will be preparing during the off-season to compete with his fellow running backs for the starting spot at tail back. In order to perform at the highest level, Nelson has incorporated a training regimen along with a strict diet to keep his body at its peak level of fitness.

Nelson explained the difference between his off-season and on-season workouts. "During the \season you work hard, but not like the off-season because you're away from football, which allows you to really push yourself," said Nelson.

Specifically, Nelson tackles squats, leg presses and power clings, mainly lower body workouts. Primarily focusing on just muscle-building isn't enough to be a top-notch running back; Nelson must also practice skill position workouts to complement his strength with speed and agility. "I like to focus on my explosion and work on getting in and out of my cuts by doing cone drills, running up sand dunes and running 40 yard dashes," he said.

Being physically fit, however, is only half the battle. To stay healthy and in-shape, athletes must also practice healthy eating habits. During the football season, Nelson keeps a strict diet that consists of high protein meats along with fruits and vegetables.

Are there any foods he can't resist? He responded with a smile, "Yeah, chicken and pork chops."

Nelson is inspired by Devin Hester, wide receiver for Chicago Bears, "because of his speed" and Earl Campbell, running back for Houston Oilers, "because of his power," Nelson said.

Outside of football, Nelson seems to do it all. "I'll play anything, from tennis, basketball, or croquet. I'm an athlete."