LaRon Landry: Gridiron Granite
Whenever LaRon “The Hammer” Landry isn’t terrorizing opponents on the football field, he’s in the gym building up his fearsome physique with an extreme workout regimen
By Craig Davidson, Senior Editor
“I grew up in Metairie, Louisiana, with two older brothers; it was a competitive household. I got into playing peewee football and I was physical from the jump; I started playing middle linebacker and got the nickname ‘The Hammer’.”
HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND THE NFL DRAFT
“I was a four-sport athlete in high school: football, basketball, baseball, track. Coming out of school I was a quarterback/safety two-way player; but my college, LSU [Louisiana State University], recruited me just as an athlete, no specific position. My freshman and sophomore years I was coached by Nick Saban; he started me at cornerback but moved me to safety — it suited my instincts and my physical style of play. After playing my junior and senior seasons under Les Miles, I was taken by the Washington Redskins with the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft.”
“There have always been two: Ronnie Lott and Sean Taylor.”
A MAN OF MANY NICKNAMES
“Dirty 30,” in reference to both his uniform number and gritty playing style.
“Iron Man,” on account of his freakish physique.
ON HIS KILLER MINDSET ON THE GRIDIRON
“I’m gonna keep this as clean as possible [laughs] … basically, my mindset is, y’know, to dominate. I don’t see anything, don’t see the crowd; I’m just fully in tune. And my whole mindset of domination is: Let my presence be felt. The way I let my presence be felt is, make everybody fear me. Be aware of me, where I am, what I’m capable of doing.”
“I kind of put together my own thing and work with a trainer I’ve known for years. Basically, the team workout … [laughs] the team workout’s a little easy for me now. Okay, I’m not gonna say easy, but — not as intense as I like it to be. I’m accustomed to workin’ real hard. Even though some of my workouts seem like they’re perfect for bodybuilding, they’re all football-related. I mix and match a few team-mandated workouts with my own. I get the best of both worlds.”
PUSH/PULL — LOVE/HATE
“There are some parts I like and certain parts I hate to work out. I always do a push and a pull. I do, say, chest and back — work those bodyparts together. I love those days. As far as legs … y’know, that’s the powerhouse and I take it to an extreme. I’m dedicated to working on my legs but I’m not gonna lie — it kills me.”
MEAT AND POTATOES DIET
“My brother [Jacksonville Jaguars safety Dawan Landry] is who I get most of my information from in terms of how to eat … I’m a high-carb and -protein guy — complex carbs, don’t matter. I can eat anything. Doesn’t affect the way I look or train. I do try to eat something every 2–3 hours.”
LARON’S CHOICE FOR BUILDING EXPLOSIVE POWER
“For me, I do box squats. You’ve got to be real strict on your technique. I come down real slow and explode up. And I don’t mean like one of these half-squats — you’ve got to get really, really low. Thighs below the kneecaps, right? I do a lot of glute work, too. Power cleans, high pulls, lunges — anything that’s real explosive with my hips.”
HOW TO BUILD MASSIVE PIPES
“Man, like, really and truly — any sort of workout you put me though with biceps and triceps, it’s going to show. I just think it’s more genetic than anything. I do like to push it to the limit, and really focus on the weight, but there’s no specific curl or move that does it. It’s more the way I focus on it. And I do some interesting moves: one I hammer curl up, butterfly out, flare out to the sides and work all parts of the arm.”
First career sack: Game 9 of his 2007 rookie season. “The Hammer” nailed New York Jets QB Kellen Clemens behind the line of scrimmage for a big loss.
First career interception: 2007 opening-round playoff game versus the Seattle Seahawks. Landry intercepted All-Pro QB Matt Hasselbeck twice in the second half.
TOO BIG FOR AN NFL SAFETY?
“I can say that the more weight I’m carrying, it just makes me more powerful — I don’t lose speed at all. I’d say from 225 pounds and up I feel more, y’know … I can be more hurtful upon my opponent. But then at, say, 220, I’m more explosive. It all depends on who we’re playing. Once I find out that week’s game plan, what’s needed of me, I can dial up or down. If it’s a coverage game, I go lighter. If I’m gonna be in the box, stopping the run game, then it matters who the back is — is he slick and quick, or is he a bull? If he’s a bull I’m gonna go heavy, match power for power, because I know my power is gonna overpower his power. If he’s a fast guy and explosive, I’m gonna drop down a little and we’re gonna play that game.”