Saquon Barkley on His Offseason Training and Why He Loves Squats


Even before he broke out as one of the most exciting players in the NFL, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was getting attention for his work in the weight room. While playing at Penn State, Barkley set a football team record with a 405-pound power clean and ranked third on the all-time heaviest squat list. Not bad for a guy who stands at just 6’0″.

Following his electric rookie season where he ranked first in the entire NFL in total yards from scrimmage, the league decided to put a focus on Barkley’s incredible lower body—namely, his quads—by collaborating on a fun contest for fans that’s part of the NFL 100 celebration: the Quad Squad Quad Challenge.

“Grinding hard in the weight room is a way of life for me and I’m a big believer that hitting the gym with teammates or friends helps build a stronger group dynamic, and pushes the mind and body to go further,” Barkley says. “I’m excited to share my training techniques and motivations with fans and inspire them to push themselves in the weight room or whatever life goals they are working towards.”

As seen in the video below, the challenge is for fans to follow Saquon’s workout, doing four different moves (Lunge Hold, Squats, Jump Squats, and Squat Holds) in their own video and sharing it on social media. To enter the contest, all fans need to do is shoot their own video, then upload it to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @NFL and #NFL100Contest before June 4. The winner will get the chance to come to New York, do a personal training session with Saquon, and see a Giants preseason game.

We spoke with Barkley about putting together the Quad Squad Quad Challenge, his favorite workouts to do in the gym, and why he loves squats so much.

Men’s Journal: What’s the significance of the NFL 100 celebration (and the NFL 100 Super Bowl commercial) to you?

Saquon Barkley: It’s crazy to think that the NFL has been around for 100 years. Being part of the new wave and next generation for 100 years to come and participating in the Super Bowl commercial is just amazing. I grew up an NFL fan, and I remember when I was a little kid that I wanted to be in the NFL one day. Now to think about it, I’m here living my dream. It’s truly an honor to celebrate all the athletes that came before us.