Another great article on Boston's routine (90+ pills a day!):
I bolded all the really great parts since its pretty long, but it is a great read.
David Boston hears the gasps and whispers, he senses the stares and double takes. It doesn't matter if Boston is on the field or in the locker room, people can't help looking in his direction.
Wide receivers aren't supposed to have the physique of a young Schwarzenegger and the quickness of a pickpocket. They're supposed to be big or fast, not big and fast.
SEAN M. HAFFEY / Union-Tribune
David Boston, looking in a pass at camp, figures to have a size and/or speed advantage over most opposing cornerbacks.
On the move, No. 89 shouldn't be hard to spot during tonight's exhibition opener at Seattle.
"He's one of those guys that might be like a Bo Jackson or Eric Dickerson, guys who came along before their time," former Chargers cornerback Alex Molden said of Boston, who has been timed in under 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash despite carrying an astonishing 245 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame. "They're not supposed to be that big and run that fast, but they do."
Boston, who led the NFL with 1,598 yards receiving two years ago, doesn't think in terms of revolutionizing the position, but perhaps he should. And while he has the physical dimensions and skills to leave a mark on the game, that's just one of the things that makes the Texas native different, if not unique. His commitment to nutrition and diet might one day change the way some players look at maximizing their potential.
No tea party for Boston
An offseason day in the life of Chargers receiver David Boston:
Wake up. Supplements (8 pills).
Breakfast, 3 free-range eggs, 6 egg whites, 1 tbs. non-GMO Lecithin powder, 4 oz. organic sirloin, supplements (25 pills).
Pre-workout. Shake, supplements (8 pills).
Lunch, 10 oz. orange roughy, 2 cups organic broccoli, 1/2 cup (cooked measure) organic black beans, supplements (20 pills).
Post-workout shake, supplements (8 pills).
Dinner, 2 free-range grain-fed chicken breasts, 12 asparagus spears, supplements (20 pills).
1 cup strawberries, 1 cup cottage cheese, nighttime supplements (12 pills).
Workouts consist alternately of medicine ball exercises, ankle and foot strength exercises, 40-yard sprints with 90-second recoveries, grip training alternated with catching 50 footballs between sets, weight training.
Pushing the envelope
Arguably no football player has pushed the boundaries of training and nutrition as far as Boston has. He and trainer/nutritional therapist Ian Danney rely on science as well as traditional training methods, as running back LaDainian Tomlinson learned one recent morning.
Tomlinson awoke at 5 o'clock to find Boston, his roommate, getting an IV drip to replenish vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
"I was like, 'Man, you're crazy,' " Tomlinson said, chuckling. "But that's David."
Actually, that's just the beginning:
During private on-field workouts, Danney pricks one of Boston's fingers, draws blood and measures the level of lactates – byproducts that contribute to muscle soreness – on a portable analyzer so Boston doesn't exceed a specific fatigue level.
Boston takes an average of 90 dietary supplement pills a day to ensure his body has the correct balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients; he also has his intestines flushed through hydrocolonic therapy to help his body break down and process the supplements more efficiently.
He eats only specific things at specific times, depending on his workout regimen. The goal is to keep his nutrient levels and hormones balanced to maintain his energy level and recuperative powers.
Total annual cost for nutrition and training: $200,000.
"It's very complicated," said Danney, a former member of the Canadian bobsledding team who has a degree in biochemistry from the University of Alberta. "In the NFL, there are very, very few players doing this . . . Running around the field at 245-plus pounds, playing wide receiver, that's kind of uncharted territory.
"We've got to be on top of things and know what's going on and have a good road map so we have something that we can look back on and modify things in the future. We need quantitative data. If we run a workout that consists of eight 40-yard dashes, I need to know the time of each one he runs in that workout. Everything is filed, including his lactate level."
Boston said he got into dieting seriously two years ago, then took it to another level when he joined forces with Danney, whose company, Performance Enhancement Professionals Inc., works with professional athletes in many sports.
"Sixty-five to 70 percent of everything is your diet," Boston said. "You are what you eat. Once you get your diet down perfectly sound, when you start lifting weights your gains become more and more and you recover more and more quickly.
"When I changed my diet and started eating exact things at certain times – a certain amount of protein, a certain number of calories – every time I lifted, I started gaining and gaining and gaining, and I haven't stopped yet. Ian breaks it down to a perfect science. He knows exactly what he's doing."
Boston, aware of the rumors and innuendo that have accompanied his weight gain the past five years – he played at 206 pounds as a rookie, 210 his second year, 235 his third and was in the low 240s last season – brings up the S-word without anyone asking.
"People see me walking around, in the locker room and elsewhere, and they wonder," Boston said. "Obviously, there are questions raised, 'Does he take steroids? Does he do this? Does he do that?'
"I have to hear this from a lot of people. But there are things that I do lifting weights and through my diet that make me the way that I am."
As a youngster growing up outside Houston, Boston was always one of the smaller kids in his age group. But he excelled in various sports largely because of his speed . . . and genes.
His dad, Byron, who is in his ninth year as an NFL line judge, was an oustanding athlete who played college football; his mother, Carolyn, was a state high school tennis champion.
It wasn't until the summer between his freshman and sophomore years that Boston began to mature physically. His high school football coach estimated he grew from 5-8 to 6-2, with none of the awkwardness that normally accompanies such spurts.
Older brother Byron Jr. learned as much when he returned home during a college break. As usual, the brothers went to the front yard for a game of basketball. But the pecking order changed for good on one play, when David drove and Byron defended.
"It came out of nowhere," said Byron Jr., who is 5 years older. "I was coming to block his shot and he slammed it out of nowhere. That's when I knew things had changed."
Boston went on to earn all-state honors in high school and all-conference recognition at Ohio State, where he caught the winning touchdown pass in the Rose Bowl as a freshman. After three seasons, he turned pro and was selected eighth overall by the Cardinals in the 1999 NFL draft.
The transition was not smooth. Accustomed to being on successful teams, Boston now was with a club that would win just six games his first season, three his second, seven his third and five last year. The only thing uglier than the win totals was the fines he accumulated his first couple of seasons for taunting opponents.
But those were nothing compared with his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of cocaine and marijuana two offseasons ago. Boston, who was about to enter his free-agent year, weighed all the possibilities and pleaded no contest rather than fight the case in court.
"Every family goes through certain types of situations, and those situations are magnified if you're a professional athlete," Byron Sr. said. "They're often times blown out of proportion, and the circumstances involving this situation were very, very bizzare, should never, ever have happened.
"David made a decision not to pursue it, to just get it over. Because in pursuing it, we – as well as the attorneys and everybody – really feel like this was just a trumped-up deal. . . . There are a lot of extenuating circumstances that, had it been me, I would have never folded my cards. But I'm a little different than David. He'd rather just forget about it and move on."
Not a big talker
In Boston, the Chargers have a fabulous young player (he turns 25 this month) who says he will do whatever he can to help the team win a championship. But just as he will give, so too must the club.
Boston acknowledges that he is an introvert who is set in his ways. His family and agent are trying to persuade him to open up more, to develop more ties with teammates and the community, but Boston says it's a slow process.
"I'm not a guy that's going to speak to everybody, say 'hi' to everybody every time I see them, even teammates," he said. "Some people do think that it's rude, or some people take that as he's an arrogant individual. But I'm not a big talker. I really don't say much to anybody. Most of the time I'm a little short; that's just how I am.
"It has nothing to do with being rude or not wanting to talk to them or not being willing to hang out with them off the field. Guys are like, 'Do you want to come over and hang out?' Nah, I've got other things to do."
That honesty rubs some folks the wrong way, but Boston shrugs it off. He visited only the Chargers during free agency, but he heard that some teams had made up their minds to back away from him because of perceived character issues.
"It doesn't bother me at all," Boston said. "In this league, it's all about the respect you get among your peers. If I go in the airport and I see Donovan McNabb or I see Champ Bailey, or someone that I have that much respect for and they respect me, to me, that's more important than if this team or that team doesn't want me to play for them. That doesn't matter, because I feel like I'm a good enough athlete to stand my ground."
Chargers strong safety Kwamie Lassiter played the past four seasons with Boston in Arizona, and he believes Boston has been miscast.
"David is his own person, and when it comes down to it he has everybody's back on this team," Lassiter said. "He's going to sell his soul to make a play and help this football team. And regardless of what you think of him, the guy's very smart; he's very intelligent. He's not just talking just to be talking. Whatever's going on with him, he took time to research it."
Boston's representatives were up front with the Chargers when the sides met the first week of free agency. They told the club about his training habits and how he wouldn't attend all the voluntary offseason workouts because he was working with his own trainer.
Now, Boston is trying to educate the Chargers about how they can get the most out of him on the field. Unlike last year's leading receiver, Curtis Conway, he doesn't believe it's in his best interest or the team's best interest for him to be on the field every play.
"They need to know the type of receiver that I've always been," Boston said. "If you're going to try to develop me into a Conway type of guy, I'm not an every-down guy. If I make like a nice catch on a dig, I'm going to need to come out of the game because I'm physically heavy. I have a lot of tissue, a lot of blood. I'm not in that type of shape. I'm in shape, but I'm not in that type of shape. I train for explosion, to be at my highest level for four or five plays, then come out for a couple.
"I'm a guy that really made my name by catching slants and making yards after the catch. I'm not really an 'out' runner; I'm really a guy that catches hitches. Guys back up off me because they're scared to death of my size. So if they just throw me (quick) routes and hitches and slants, and I make yards after the catch, that's where I can be successful.
"I think Cam (Cameron, the Chargers' offensive coordinator) is slowly understanding that. But I think he's just trying to install a certain offense that we've got to get down this camp. But when the season comes he's going to realize that when these guys start backing off, all you need to do is throw me a quick stop, I'll take 1 or 2 yards, and I'm going to get you 12 yards. I'll give the guy $100,000 if he tackles me before that. I mean, he's going to be 180 pounds; I'll be embarrassed if he tackles me."
Simulating game moves
Danney focuses on explosion and accommodating resistance during Boston's strength and speed sessions. All the running and lifting are meant to simulate things Boston will do in a game. There is no conditioning just for the sake of increasing endurance. It's all about gaining quickness and explosion.
"The way a lot of these people train, they're worried about how long you can maintain and how long are you going to go," Danney said. "Are you going to be just as fast in the fourth quarter? So they kind of get into the mode where, let's say for example, you're a cornerback and you're a 4.4 guy; they want to make sure that you're a 4.4 guy all the way through, that you can run that fast when you need to in the fourth quarter.
"The way we look at it is, I say, 'OK, that's great if you're a cornerback and you're a 4.4 guy. But I'm going to get myself to a 4.2 guy. That way, No. 1, I'm faster than you to begin with. And No. 2, even when I get tired, if I fall off, chances are I'm still faster than you because I'm significantly faster than you
to begin with. So it's a different approach, as opposed to just condition, condition, condition. It's like to maximize your peak potential, you work to the lowest percentage of what you've got to do. That's a little bit different than the mentality of a lot of training in the NFL."
One thing Danney concentrates on with Boston is strength-to-weight ratio.
"The speed aspect is not unlike a race car. It's horsepower to curb-weight ratio. So if the curb weight goes up, the horsepower has to go up. And as long as your training is eliciting that effect, you can continue to get fast over short distances anyway."
The more Boston lifts and maintains his diet, the bigger and heavier he gets. The key, he said, is that he hasn't sacrificed speed for size. But can there come a point at which he's too big?
"As I start to gain confidence in my size and speed, Ian's got me to where it doesn't matter how much you weigh, it's about how you carry your weight and how your body is proportioned with each chain," said Boston, who took a couple of anatomy and physiology courses during offseasons in Arizona. "I have no weak links on my chain, on my body. So, nothing slows me down. That's why I'm able to run as fast as some of the guys that are 175 pounds. I can keep up with them at 80 pounds heavier.
"Everything I do is about trying to make a play. The bigger and stronger I am, or the more explosive I am off the ball, that DB's getting out of there. Or if he's jamming me, it just helps my whole game because, if you line up and you're bigger, faster, stronger than somebody across from you, what is he thinking? He's going to have some doubt. I don't have a doubt when I line up against anybody who I know that I'm bigger, stronger and faster than. That's a big part of my game.
"Bodybuilding, I'm not into that. I hear the people's reactions, screaming out about the way I look, but it gets on my nerves so bad. That's totally not what I'm into. . . . I'm interested in making plays. I'm interested in winning a championship, and we've got a chance to do that here.
"I've been first-team All-Pro, I've gone to the Pro Bowl, I've done all that. The only thing I haven't done is win a championship, and I'm going to do everything I can to help this team do that. I don't want to revolutionize the position; that's not something I even think about. I just want to get bigger, stronger and faster than anybody across from me. It just gives you a certain amount of confidence when you line up."
San Diego, SuperChargers
San Diego, CHARGERS!