Greg Latta trained hard and trained naturally on his road to the NLF

Greg Latta trained hard and trained naturally on his road to the NLF

There has been so much news lately regarding professional athletes abusing sports supplements and the legalities of steroid use. Many athletes resort to performance enhancing drugs not only to help put added distance on their drives or to score more touchdowns, but to help prevent or slow down injuries.

There is a local athlete who recently signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent who took the long road in reaching his dreams. His name is Greg Latta, a massive 6’5” 265-pound defensive end with 10% body fat and a physique like Zeus! His dream of playing football started after a long career as a basketball player. His big chance came when Purdue University recruited him, and he accepted a full ride to play Division 1 football. Many say it is his exceptional athleticism that attracted both college and professional scouts. He did not have more than two years of real college football experience before the Broncos called him up and wanted Greg to join the other rookies at training camp.

When Greg was in ninth grade he was 6’1” and 170 pounds, with a very lean stature. You could see that he had room for growth with very long limbs. It was during his 10th grade year that Greg opened up and wanted to learn how to become a healthier, stronger athlete. Through the process of building his core, working on balance, and Olympic style weightlifting, he could see himself starting to take shape. The many countless hours he was putting into the gym and on the court was paying off. By 11th grade Greg was 6’4” and 240 pounds. 

Throughout his high school basketball career, everything his strength coach taught Greg would follow to a tee. His father would visit Costco weekly and often come home with 5 gallons of whole milk, 10 pounds of steak, 6 cartons of eggs, 6 loaves of whole wheat bread and 4 bags of lettuce. Not once did Greg ask or inquire about performance enhancing supplements. Listening to his trainer’s daily lectures, Greg would literally swallow up the information and store for future use. You could say he is a student of the game. 

There were times after practice that the janitor would bring a large mop to soak up all of Greg’s sweat off the floor, and instead of grabbing sugar-riddled Gatorade, he would drink a specially mixed electrolyte drink full of vitamins and minerals to naturally replenish what he had lost.

After two years playing at Purdue, he was 6’5” and 275 pounds of pure muscle. Many asked Greg what supplements he was taking to add so much weight. At team luncheons and dinners, he would seriously load up as he was instructed to eat often and have mostly protein on his plate. After serious weight training sessions, he would try to have an energy shake consisting of amino acids, protein and fruit. Greg was religious about this routine and hardly ever veered away from it.

Thankfully, Greg never sustained a serious injury during his 9 years of training. He followed the plan set forth for him to a tee – a rigorous stretching and warm-up routine followed by strength training, field work, and finally a recovery phase of therapy. 

I remember when Greg was playing basketball that he was told he would be trained like a football player; he needed to be tough and strong to play center in college. That program certainly paid off for him.

Greg Latta is an exceptional example of doing things the right way. He didn’t need to use performance enhancing drugs or supplements to get big, fast and strong. He is an inspiration to many who want to work towards a professional athletic career, and I hope his story inspires others to take the same road.

Michael Butler is co-owner of Kinetix Health and Performance Center and can be reached at (760) 200.1719 or [email protected].

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