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How one Nashville gym is training the NFL's players in the off-season

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Posted at 10:49 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 11:30:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — As NFL training camps open up this week, players are expected to be ready to hit the ground running.

One Nashville trainer is quickly developing the reputation as the guy to turn to in order to get ready.

Josh Cuthbert’s gym — a rented space at Nashville FitLab — doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a NFL facility or high-end fitness center. But the simple workout box has served as home to Cuthbert’s workouts with more than 20 current and former NFL players.

“This place kind of keeps you humble,” Bengals wide receiver Trent Taylor said before a recent workout. “It’s not about how fancy everything is, it’s just about doing the work. A lot of people get lost in just doing all the fancy, cool stuff for Instagram, but we get after it in here.”

It’s the people doing the work that is the most important part of what Cuthbert’s built in his Alpha Strength Training program that usually runs two groups of six to eight players throughout the offseason.

“That’s what I love about the guys I work with,” Cuthbert said. “They want this. They want to grind. They want metal. They want iron. They want to hear it clang. They want to throw stuff. They want to jump. They just want to get in here and get after it day in and day out.”

Cuthbert, who played college football at Louisiana Tech, started his training career at a sports therapy clinic, working hand in hand with doctors. In 2016 he branched out on his own to get into the personal training business, parlaying his contacts into clients both in and out of professional sports.

“I started with Josh after my rookie year and really liked the way he went about things,” 49ers offensive lineman and former Vanderbilt standout Justin Skule said. “He’s a guy that really understands what’s best for me. It’s a very personal program.”

Cuthbert’s first NFL client was Eric Decker. He then began working with 49ers star George Kittle just before he broke the single season record for receiving yards as a tight end.

As word spread, interest in Alpha Strength grew.

“Every year we’ve got more and more people showing up to work with us and to work with Josh,” Taylor said. “I think that’s just a testament to his work ethic and how much he puts into this stuff.”

This offseason Alpha Strength had 19 different NFL players in the gym, not counting a two day stint in which Cuthbert worked out the 40-plus tight ends in town for Kittle’s Tight End U camp at Vanderbilt.

Several teams are represented by guys in the gym, including the 49ers, Packers, Lions, Bengals and the Titans with Dillon Radunz and free agent tight end Austin Hooper.

“I don’t make any promises,” Cuthbert said. “What I found most enjoyable about what I do and this group that I have is the environment that we’ve built. You’re not going to be babied. It’s not going to be easy. We’re still going to work and we’re still going to work extremely hard. So, when people call me I want to make sure they know what they’re getting from an expectation standpoint. There’s are the expectations I have of you. If you give me everything you have, I promise you you will get better.”

With offseason training, the proof is with the results on the field in the fall. With clients now sprinkled on different teams throughout the NFL, Cuthbert’s Sundays have become much busier in recent years.

He considers his clients as family, so watching their games can be a nerve-wracking experience.

“Sundays are a lot harder for me now,” Cuthbert said. “My stomach gets in knots, I get nervous. I’ve got my daughter in my arms and we’re celebrating. I’m so bought into these guys on a personal level, so every time they succeed, it does, it feels good. It’s something deep inside of me that knows the work that we put in, not only on my end but on their end, has come to fruition.”