Home > Uncategorized > Not So Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaat Albert and the Stupid Football Test

Not So Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaat Albert and the Stupid Football Test

Say what you want...he's a Bad man!


Once again, for the sixth time, Albert Haynesworth has either failed to complete or opted not to take the Washington Redskins fitness test. The test is simple…… it’s 6 back and forth 50 yard sprints (for a total of 300 yards) completed in 70 seconds followed by a three and a half-minute rest and then another set of six 50 yard sprints completed in 73 seconds.Apparently this test, must be completed before a player can practice at training camp although it was administered to no NO OTHER PLAYERS (that should be a big red flag that it might not have anything to do with being physically ready to play football). 

“Haynesworth is the only player required to take the test, having boycotted the team’s offseason conditioning program.”- ESPN.com newsservice 

Sounds like punishment to me. But evidently, and must I say, erroneously, Shanahan continues to justify the use of the test as a measure of “football shape” because Haynesworth is having problems with his left knee and is attributing that to the failed or non-attempted tests. 

For Shanahan, the knee problem helps vindicate the coach’s decision not to have him practice. ……”Hopefully with treatment it gets better and he gets in football shape,” Shanahan said. “And he’s out there ready to play with his teammates.” 

“It’s like someone sprained an ankle,” the coach added. “If you sprain an ankle, you can’t run. If you can’t run, you can’t practice. He’s got to get in football shape.”-ESPN.com new service 

Shanahan is correct, an injury must, must, be healed before an athlete begins training. If Haynesworth has a knee injury the SPORTS MEDICINE staff should be REHABBING it. Maybe I’m the idiot, but I don’t see how having a 315- 330 pound man who runs like a gazelle…… 

Coming out of Tennessee after his junior season, there was little doubt Haynesworth was a rare athlete. He was immensely strong and ran 4.78 seconds in the 40-yard dash – an amazing time for a player his size.“- Greg A. Bedard, The Journal Sentinel 

… run a bunch of 50 yard wind sprints in a minute plus, rehabilitates a knee injury. I would assume the acceleration and deceleration (yes, I know it’s actually negative acceleration…thanks) ie. stopping and starting, forcefully, while under fatigue would do more to injure Haynesworth than rehabilitate any injury. 

Oh wait it does: 

Effect of Fatigue on Knee Kinetics and Kinematics in Stop-Jump Tasks – Jonathan D. Chappell, MD 

Clinic Relevance: Fatigued athletes may have an increased risk of noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury. 

Does Endurance Fatigue Increase the Risk of Injury When Performing Drop Jumps Kieran A. Moran 

From the abstract, “The neuromuscular system was affected negatively by endurance fatigue at 15 and 30 cm, indicating that coaches should be aware of a potential increased risk of injury in performing drop jumps when fatigued. 

Short Duration fatigue alters neuromuscular coordination of trunk musculature: Implications for injury– M.Gorelick 

Conclusions: “Short-duration (<2 min) maximal back extension prompts significant changes in muscle activation and deordering of the Erector Spinae in healthy individuals. Intense, short-duration lifting tasks, commonly found in manual-handling activities, may leave the spine susceptible to increased risk of injury although workers may not perceive the activity to be particularly strenuous.” 

So it seems fatigue has been shown, in a number of various cases, to affect the body and increase the chance for injury even in short duration activities. So lets follow the Redskins line of thought here: 

  • Our best player (or at least biggest investment) has an injury…
  • instead of using the sports med. and  strength and cond. teams to rehabilitate the injury we have him…..
  •  run…….No SPRINT…. repeatedly, fatigued, 50 yard wind sprints….in 70 seconds.. on multiple consecutive days…
  • because that will rehabilitate his injury
  • and he’ll be in “football shape”
  • because football or more specifically (injured) Defensive Lineman must run repeated 50 yard sprints many times within a minute during a FOOTBALL GAME….
  • because most plays, in said FOOTBALL GAME,  last about 70 seconds each.
  • Ohhh, wait ….I mean….damn, NFL plays last about 3- 7 seconds..
  • why is he doing this test again?
  • “football shape”…you must be in “football shape”

Logic wins…again….. “Football Shape” Dogma BUSTED: 


 This test has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with getting Haynesworth on the field and physically prepared to play. It has everything to do with punishing him for not participating in offseason workouts this past offseason. Which is fine…but don’t act like it’s a “conditioning” test…call it what it is..PUNISHMENT

The longer things like this are passed off as “conditioning” the worse the problem gets. Think about how many area youth and high school coaches will use this “test” now and think that it has validity. News stations are even having anchors do the test as if having them complete it actually means something. Never even taking into account; THE TEST IS WORTHLESS, it showcases no physical qualities that are necessary to play NFL football. 

In fact because these news anchors are more like normal people (50/50 distribution of fast and slow twitch fibers) and less like Albert Haynesworth, who I would guess, like most elite athletes, has a far greater distribution of fast twitch fibers than the average joe does. (That’s why they are so much faster/ stronger/ more powerful than the rest of us).  It stands to reason then that average joe’s would perform more favorably on any “conditioning” test as the length of the test increases and the aerobic system and slow twitch muscle fibers become increasingly involved in the test. 

Lets see them beat BIG Albert in the 225 bench test, the 40 yard dash, the max squat, powerclean, max strength/ speed whatever….I’m putting everything on Al…or we could just have Al train to play football for a couple of weeks and let them get their 300 yard shuttle time down a couple seconds…then strap the pads on and see what happens. I’m thinking Terry Tate….

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    The minicamp and offseason workouts were mandatory, so he should have a punishment. And, the Redskins conditioning coach Ray Wright explained, “Haynesworth was the only player required to take the test because he was the only player not to attend 50 percent of the team’s offseason workouts. However, the players did run the same drill as part of those workouts in the spring.” Plus he did not attempt the test on consecutive days. Thursday and Fridsay he failed, Saturday and Sunday were taken off, Monday he stopped because of irritation, and Tuesday he took off (Note that the days he took off he was doing stationary biking and treatment.). Also, doing only the stuff athletes do in a game or competition is not the way to train. You have to be all around fit to be an athlete. Haynesworth’s job is to be an athlete; there should be no excuse for not passing this test.

    By the way, that video of Terry Tate is hilarious.

    • everydayathletetraining
      August 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

      I’m not arguing whether or not Haynesworth should be punished. I’m arguing that this 300yard shuttle test is nothing but punishment and in fact is both ill-logical and has nothing to do with “football shape”. The test and the way the Redskins have administered/ allowed Haynesworth to dictate its attempts fails the goals of physical preparation.

      Football is dominated by the ATP-PCr (creatine- phosphate) system (6 second plays) and the aerobic system (45 seconds of recovery between plays)….neither of which are effectively tested (or trained for that matter) in a maximal/ sub maximal effort 300yard sprint test. That test stresses the glycoltic system, which has little to no effect on a football play. These should explain this point in full…..

      “doing only the stuff athletes do in a game or competition is not the way to train. You have to be all around fit to be an athlete.”

      True, in a very general sense, but not entirely and especially not at the elite levels. “Fit” must be put into a context…essentially you must always ask, “how much of this quality do I need to succeed”. For example, the 300 yrd test is totally appropriate for a hockey player but would be worthless for a marathoner…the context of the biodynamics and bioenergetics must be taken into consideration, especially at the highest levels of sport.

      This article from James Smith explains this point in greater detail-

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