Matt Gianesses met with Don Somerville, the trainer that’s shaped the offseason for many New York Jets…
Over the past few weeks, many on social media acknowledged the eye-opening physical condition several Jets players are in. Behind the conditioning is a man named Don Somerville. Somerville owns a gym named “Different Breed Sports Academy” in Teaneck, New Jersey. Players such as Le’Veon Bell, Quinnen Williams, Frank Gore, Breshad Perriman, and Bradley McDougald make their way to Don multiple times per week. On Sunday, I took the treacherous trip from Long Island to New Jersey to see what the hype was about.After several wrong turns, somehow finding myself in Manhattan, and one quick bathroom stop, I arrived at the academy. My first thought upon entering was how Different Breed (or DBSA) was the perfect place for a gym junkie. Machines galore, state of the art equipment, and a large boxing ring centerpiece (seen in multiple Le’Veon Bell Instagram posts.) As someone who hasn’t been inside a gym in months (thanks Covid), I was ecstatic to feel the old familiar energy.
Somerville is a former amateur boxing champion who once competed in the 1996 nationals. Today, he’s a boxer-turned trainer who works with some of the best in the business. From NFL athletes to professional basketball players, athletes go to Somerville to reach their desired figure. His slogan, “What we do is absolutely different” hangs in large font behind the front desk. From the looks of his Jets clients, the slogan rings true.
I interviewed Somerville and relayed him the questions my Twitter followers, (shameless plug: @jetsopinion), wanted to know. Somerville uses his boxing background to form idiosyncratic programs for each client. “Our unique training regimen entails off-site training, hill running, on-site training and cardiovascular activities. It’s all high intensity with minimal breaks.” When asked how that translates to football, Somerville replied, “Every play you’re smacking somebody. The average player is gassed when he gets to the sideline. Takes off his helmet to breathe. Our guys will sit out there ready for the next play, and the next play.” The high intensity training he puts his guys through not only prepares them for in-game action, but has made them visibly leaner. Quinnen and Bell in particular.
When asked about injury prevention, (given injuries were so prevalent for the Jets in 2019), Somerville said, “overall physical wellness reduces the chance of injury, and these guys are in the best shape of their lives.” Somerville pointed to a member of the gym scrolling resting next to the weight rack. “You see that?” he said, “We don’t do that.”Somerville participates in the exhausting routines with his clients. This drives them to work even harder. For anyone questioning his physical limitations at 50 years old, his following quote is your answer, “If you’re going to run that race with me, you’ll see I’m an apex predator. Let’s show these mother****ers what we can do. They don’t write about what they don’t see. They don’t see you laid out on the turf shaking. They don’t see the work we do. But come Sunday?” Somerville, smirked. “They’ll see”.
Le’Veon Bell and Frank Gore get very competitive when training. Somerville says there’s an understanding between the two. They need to show up and work. They both play the same position. They both could land in the Hall of Fame. And they both want to win now. “Le’Veon has a battery in his back right now. He don’t stop. He’s got me leaving the gym at 2am when I need to be back up at 5am for work. He’s hungry.”
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As one would expect, each player has a different workout routine for their different body types. A DL at DBSA won’t train exactly like a RB, but they do share a similar mentality. “If we hear you’re running the hill five times, we’re running the hill five times with hand weights. If we hear you’re running the hill five times with 5lb hand weights, we’re running the hill five times with 8lb hand weights. Then we’re doing pushups. We’re built different. And we’re one step ahead of you.”
My visit to Different Breed Sports Academy concluded with a quick Facetime with Le’Veon Bell. Something that would excite any follower of the team. Don Somerville’s passion for his work was clear and evident as he spoke. The Jets players are in good hands, and DBSA is the real deal.
FaceTiming LeVeon lmao pic.twitter.com/NDwSZhe54v
— Matt (@JetsOpinion) August 9, 2020