November 10, 2011

Gym Rats: Marquette Asst., Team USA and Hamilton Goalie Scott Rodgers

by Robbie Levin | | Related: Gym Rats: Berger, Appelt

Former Notre Dame goalie and new Marquette assistant coach Scott Rodgers is a hard to miss presence in the weight room, chains nonwithstanding.
© Anne Ryan (all)

You would be forgiven if you mistook Scott Rodgers for a middle linebacker. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Team USA and Hamilton National goaltender, and new Marquette assistant coach, is ripped from head to toe. He has a commanding presence between the pipes. He's hard to plan for and even harder to play against.

Rodgers isn't the prototypical goalie. And that's just the way he likes it.

"Knowing that I stick out in my sport, knowing that it's my bread and butter and how I play the position, that kind of drives me to lift like that," Rodgers said. "Knowing it's rare to be big and rare to be good and big, that's what gets me in [the weight room] every day."

His workout habits were formed as a ninth-grader, when his father woke him up every day at 5:30 a.m. to take him to the gym at MacArthur High School on Long Island.

Since then, the weight room has been a second home for Rodgers.

"That routine just kind of stuck," said Rodgers, who in September joined the coaching ranks as an assistant under Joe Amplo at Marquette. "If I don't get a workout in every day, I kind of feel sick. I feel like something's missing out of my day."

For as physically robust as Rodgers is, his mental stamina is just as impressive. Rodgers faced several hurdles during his time in South Bend: he sat on the bench for three years behind All-American Joey Kemp and tore his hamstring midway through his senior season before rallying to lead the Irish to the 2010 NCAA championship game.

"Dragging yourself to the gym, I understand that's a big problem for most guys," Rodgers said. "They'll say, 'Oh, I work until 5 p.m. and then I don't want to drag myself to the gym,' or, 'I had school all day.' But you've got to want to be in there, because what you're doing is bettering yourself and your game."

Q&A with Scott

What's your favorite workout?
Anything where I can do complex things, like the man-ups or a dumbbell complex, something where I'm getting my whole body involved. I never want my workouts to become tedious. I always try to mix it up to a point where I'm never plateauing and I'm never bored.

What's the hardest workout you've ever done?
A punishment day workout, where guys get in trouble. That could be hand-sled pushes, where you can't lift the sled off the ground. Or flipping a 400-pound tire with a partner for 50 yards. Basically, something that's painful. Those are the hardest ones, where you've got to go through those fast. Guys are throwing up and whatnot.

What is your diet like?
I'm doing a lot of snacking and a lot of shakes. Those shakes can be 350-400 calories a shake. On the weekends I let myself loose. I can eat like a savage if I want. During the week, I try to go chicken, turkey, stay away from white breads and stay with the grains.

Suggested Workouts

Sledgehammer Hold

  • This exercise helps with injury prevention while increasing muscle endurance and building strength.
  • Use two 25-pound sledgehammers.
  • Position your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Grab one sledgehammer in each hand and fully extend your arms, putting the onus on your front, middle and rear deltoids.
  • Keeping your arms even with each other and parallel to the ground, hold the sledgehammers for one minute. Rest and repeat for three lifts.
















  • This is a metabolic workout that builds mobility and explosion.
  • It requires two dumbbells. Rodgers uses 40-pounders.
  • Start in push-up position, with one dumbbell in each hand.
  • Do one pushup.
  • Spread your feet shoulder width apart, and with your body still parallel to the ground, do one row with each arm, pulling the weight up to your chest.
  • Keeping your hands in place, explode forward with your feet so that your body lands in a squat.
  • Stand up, bringing both weights above your shoulders.
  • Do one military press above your head, working both arms simultaneously.
  • Rodgers recommends sets of seven reps each.



Speed Press

  • This works your arms and chest. Rodgers recommends it for defensemen looking to improve their crosscheck and develop fast-twitch muscles.
  • Clip together chain links and add those to a bench press bar. When the bar is down, the chain links should rest on the ground.
  • Lower the bar to your chest, then push the bar off your chest as fast as possible.
  • Drop the bar quickly and repeat that explosive movement.
  • Rodgers recommends six reps per set.
  • Rodgers uses five chain links, each weighing 11 pounds. He adds weights totaling 135 pounds. With the weight of the bar, Rodgers benches about 260 pounds in this exercise.
  • Weight is not the main concern, Rodgers said. Rather, it's the explosion of the bar off the chest. "Speed is of the essence."










A version of this article appears in the November issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Click here for a Gym Rats feature on UMBC coaches Kelly Berger and Amy Appelt, and check back to for tips from Northwestern's Erin Fitzgerald and Mercyhurst's Ian Wild. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 350,000-plus members today to start your monthly subscription.

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