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Lights, camera, lift

Marc Morehouse, CR Gazette –

IOWA CITY — Part of the “get to know Mark Weisman” process came earlier this week in a tweet from Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.

He put out a link to a YouTube video shot in the Iowa weightroom during camp in August. It was right on the heels of fullback Mark Weisman’s breakout performance last week of Northern Iowa. The video shows Weisman preparing to “speed squat” 490 pounds at the top of the lift. Weisman completes it in .92 seconds, which really isn’t a second but it illustrates the point.

“Normally, you’ve got good strength if coach Doyle is out there spotting you,” senior center James Ferentz said. “He’s [Doyle] the only guy who can pick up that giant rock in the weightroom, too. If coach Doyle is in your rack, you know you have some serious weight on the bar.”

Weisman, a 6-0, 235-pound sophomore, is way into this stuff. You can see him in another YouTube doing something called the “heavy prowler push.” You will get a hernia just watching.

“I’ve always had an interest in it, getting bigger, at first when I was younger,” said Weisman, who, of course, wants to be a strength coach when he playing days are over. “I really appreciated it and that’s what I’m majoring in, health and human physiology, so I really have an appreciation for it.”

The speed squat came during a “max day,” which is what you’d think it is. After three or four weeks of building up, the players test their limits. As you can imagine, the weightroom comes alive.

“It’s definitely a big day,” Weisman said. “It shows all the preparation, the work you put into it. Everyone is going crazy in there. It’s a crazy atmosphere.”

When something cool is about to happen, occasionally someone on the strength staff breaks out the camera.

You saw Weisman’s speed squat this week. Last summer, Iowa strength uploaded a video of offensive tackle Brandon Scherff performing a hang clean of 400 pounds.

“Yeah, when he brings out the camera, he’s going to pick the baddest dude on our team and watch Brandon Scherff hang clean 400 pounds or Mark do his thing,” quarterback James Vandenberg said. “The three guys you’re going to film are [James] Morris, Weisman and probably Brandon Scherff.

“I’d be a close fourth.”

Of course, Vandenberg was kidding. Although, and as usual, his center had his back. James Ferentz said not to let Vandenberg fool you. He’s sneaky strong.

Weisman said he didn’t see the camera come out for this video. He was deep in whatever zone you have to enter to speed squat 490 pounds in less than a second.

“You see coach Doyle in there and he’s slapping me, that gets you pumped up,” Weisman said. “When he’s right behind you, you better get that weight up.”

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