At 6’5″ and 305-pounds, Jake McDonough towers over most people at the Boone YMCA. But in the NFL, he’s your average defensive lineman.
“There are a bunch of guys who are about my height and weight.”
McDonough played for Iowa State University, The Washington Red Skins, The Indianapolis Colts and The New York Jets. He’s now a free agent, which means he could get a phone call from a team at any time.
“That’s literally how it happens,” said Mc Donough. “Last year I was here working out on Christmas Eve and I got a phone call from the Colts.”
McDonough was on a flight to Indianapolis the next day. That’s why staying in shape is not an option – it’s a requirement. This workout is focused on legs.
“I can hear the legs starting to scream,” laughed McDonough as we hoist 220-pounds a hundred times on the leg press machine. He loads the bar with a thousand pounds.
“This is where it’s about to get a little dicey.”
Determination is written all over McDonough’s face.
“My mentality is somebody’s always out-working me. So, I gotta keep pushing through, cause I want to out-work everybody, just keep on pushing through the pain.”
When he can’t find the right equipment in the weight room, McDonough improvises.
“I didn’t have a sled, so I use my car. I push and pull my car for a workout.”
We stick to the machines. After 25-squats, we hit the quadriceps, hamstrings and abductors. You have to be tough to make it through this workout, but Jake has a soft side too. He’s a youth leader at the YMCA. He organizes after school activities for the kids and tries to serve as a role model for kids who come from broken homes.
“I’m kind of like a big brother, looking out for them,” said McDonough.
To us, he’s a reminder that with a little hard work, anything is possible.