How Joe Flacco Better Absorbs Hits

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One certainty about being named a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player—besides that trip to Disney World— is that you become more of a target. “ Joe needed to put on more muscle to defend against hard hits,” says Brian Kane, co-owner of Evolution Fitness in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Flacco’s trainer for the past three years. “But we didn’t want bulk just for the sake of bulk— we couldn’t sacrifice speed, mobility, or athleticism.” That’s why he had Flacco do big lifts to build muscle, followed immediately by moves that would enhance his mobility and agility. Flacco’s favorite series of exercises mimic receiving a snap, dropping back, and setting up to throw: back squats, then cable face pulls using a rope handle, and finally side-plankrows. This off-season, Flacco added 7 pounds to his already chiseled 6’6″ frame, bringing him to a rock-solid 252 pounds.