Meet seven Colorado athletes whose superhuman training programs and otherworldly self-control over their diets allow them to push their bodies to extremes—all for a shot at being the very best.
Outfielder, Colorado Rockies
Height: 6 feet 1 inch
Weight: 215 pounds
Average weekly training hours in season: 35
Hometown in Colorado: Denver
When you’re as talented as Carlos Gonzalez—and a team offers you an $80 million contract—you work hard to stay off the disabled list. The Colorado Rockies left fielder devotes at least an hour after every game to injury prevention. He works with a strength coach, two athletic trainers, and a massage therapist to get stretched and kneaded and then hits the hot and cold tubs to help alleviate the issue of the day. ◗ The routine is critical to keeping alive the dream he’s had since his older brother introduced him to baseball as a five-year-old in Venezuela. When it comes to workouts, CarGo’s objective is to work twice as hard as everyone else. “I lift weights like a guy who’s going to hit in the cleanup spot,” he says. “In the offseason, I run like I’m a leadoff hitter.” But his workouts aren’t just about getting ripped. Gonzalez uses plyometrics (jump-training exercises designed to increase muscle power and explosiveness) and resistance training (bands or weights used to improve strength, tone, muscle mass, and endurance) to make sure he is a complete player: one who can steal bases, hit the long ball, and throw guys out. ◗ Though he’s still a few years shy of 30, the outfielder says he approaches every weight-training session, run, and practice with the knowledge that it could all end tomorrow. His focus on the details on and off the field has helped him improve as a player, but when he’s at bat, all of that disappears. “When you step into the batter’s box, the last thing you’re thinking about is your mechanics,” he says. “It’s just natural.”