Brian Orakpo, his Web site and chains
This week, Brian Orakpo announced some sort of launch for his Twitter account and his Web site. He did so not because he's a social-media freak, like some of his teammates, but because he'd been besieged with requests.
"The fans been wanting a web site from me for so long so I finally got it up and going," he told me. "Usually I'm not a big guy to do social networking and all that stuff, but at the fans' request I went in and did it."
His social media efforts are in their fledgling stages, but if there's one theme, it's this: chains. The background of his Twitter page is the iconic image of him in Texas hoisting chains. One of the videos included on his site is an ESPN piece on his weight-room process, featuring repeated shots of him with chains. And his new t-shirt design has a background of criss-crossed chains.
So, why chains?
"It's something that I incorporate into my workouts and my regimen all the time," Orakpo said. "It just relates to the beast out there. That's why it says Rak the Beast."
Orakpo said he started with the chains at Texas, where many of the Longhorns did such workouts. (He also runs up hills wearing 45-pound vests, but I didn't see any vest-themed t-shirts, so I'll ignore that.)The Redskins don't use chains at their facility, but Orakpo has them in his home gym, and still works out in Austin during the offseason, where he can again use chains. Apparently, you tie them to weights, both to add poundage and to work different muscles than you otherwise might.
"It really helps with adding more explosive power, [experiencing] different weight changes as you would with an offensive tackle throughout the game," Orakpo told me. "If you're benching, the chains are rattling and you kind of feel the weight changing, so you have to make sure your stability is there, and also you add a lot more weight to it. You can get 30-pound chains, 50 pound-chains, 45-pound chains....It really helps with core work, stability, all that stuff that you need out there on the field. Especially at the position I play, you've got to be explosive, and that really helps with explosiveness."
Orakpo's marketing guy knew about all this and suggested the chain imagery be incorporated into his t-shirts, and the second-year player immediately agreed. He wants you to go buy the shirt, although his online store doesn't appear to be working just yet. Well, put it on your Thanksgiving wish list, I guess.
"Hopefully a lot of people get on this Web site, get their t shirt going, and then we can put out a lot more stuff out as the season goes on," he said.
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