KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Rock Gullickson has 39 years of strength and conditioning coaching experience, and he learned long ago that the secret to a healthy body is through the stomach.
“It’s a mindset and a decision that has to be made,” Gullickson told SEC Country. “It’s understanding that, if I want to take this to the top, my body is the vehicle to my success, and I have to take care of that vehicle.”
Tennessee’s offensive line was the first to make a visible transformation under Gullickson’s direction during the eight-week workout session leading into spring drills.
Preseason All-SEC candidate Jashon Robertson attributed the offensive line’s gains — and in some cases, weight losses — to a healthier mindset and diet.
Gullickson said it’s a constant message.
“We talk about it all the time, that there are three ways to change your body, and No. 1 is your workout, and we can help the guys with that. No. 2 is rest and recovery, it’s up to them and most do OK with that eight hours of sleep,” Gullickson said. “But we tell them if you really want to make a difference in your body, your nutrition has to change.
“Everybody’s learning curve is different. You see the light come on for some guys right away, and some guys it takes a couple weeks, couple months or a couple of years.”
The sooner the Tennessee players take their diets more seriously, the better the team will be, he said.
“In the NFL, I tell the guys the biggest change that those guys make is their commitment to feeding themselves like a champion,” Gullickson said. “It’s understanding you have to prime the pump, you’ve got to fuel the motor and make sure that everything is right that goes in, so you can get as much out of your body as possible.”