Nov. 5, 2002
By Peter Stuhldreher
Many people grow up wanting to be the best at something. Wanting to be the best was never enough for Notre Dame senior center Jeff Faine. He is one of the hardest workers on the Irish football team because of a passion inside him to be the best in the nation at his position. It is this desire that would not allow Faine to sit out when he injured his ankle earlier this season. It is that same desire that keeps Faine in the weight room an average of 25 hours a week in the off-season.
“My coach in high school taught me to love (lifting weights),” says Faine.
“I did it in high school as a sport and came to love it and it grew from there.”
So what could you do in the weight room for 25 hours a week? Faine has a regimen set out by the Irish strength and conditioning staff, but he stays around after that regimen is complete and supplements extra lifting of his own.
“Obviously our strength coach has something already set up for us,” says Faine.
“But I try to stay around for an hour or so afterwards and do a little extra stuff to fine-tune my body.”
So with all that time in the weight room, how strong is Jeff Faine?
“The most I have benched is probably around 440 pounds and the most I have squatted is probably around 650 to 660 pounds.”
After completing a workout routine as intense as the one Faine puts himself through on a daily basis, he must work up a good appetite. But don’t pass him a burger or fries.
“I try to stay healthy and a lot of the guys on the team call me a health nut,” says Faine.
“I try to stay as healthy as possible, especially in the off-season, so I eat a lot of chicken breast and a lot of tuna and try to stay away from the fried foods and stuff like that.”
Through his discipline and work ethic, Faine has built and maintained a strong and healthy body that has helped him become an All-America candidate this season. Faine has the opportunity to become only the second center to ever win the Lombardi Award and the first player to win the Lombardi and Rimington Award in the same season. He was named a preseason first-team All-American by Street & Smith’s and was ranked as the fifth best center in the nation according to both Lindy’s and Street & Smith’s.
He has visions of playing in the NFL once his time at Notre Dame is done, but after football is over, he aspires to pass on his discipline and workout habits to others by being a strength coach and nutritionist.
If he is as demanding of his future trainees as he is of himself, the youth of America better look out for Jeff Faine the strength coach. However, so should football coaches who are looking to hire a strength coach, because the results produced by Faine’s desire, coupled with his work ethic and workout program, are unquestionable.