The Preparation of NFL RB Tarik Cohen(N.C. A&T)

The preparation of NFL RB Tarik Cohen
from Coach Jimmy Lamour, with Lamour Training Systems

We had the opportunity to prepare one of the most explosive athletes to ever wear a NCA&T uniform for this NFL combine and pro day. Our hope in this article is that you will see what it takes for an athlete to maximize their abilities. We do not recommend young athletes and HS athletes to follow his plan as every athlete is an individual. A younger athlete does not have the same physical abilities as an elite NFL RB, so they must be trained according to their abilities.

1 – Mental Advantage Plan – This is a program developed by my wife Charlene Lamour to maximize the focus and program adherence of the athlete. An athlete will only be as accomplished as they believe they are mentally. A tool that we like to use is our Accountability Sheet which lists the activities that each athlete must accomplish weekly to reach their goals. This sheet is handed in every Monday and areas of improvement are discussed. Tarik Cohen showed a distinct mental advantage as he always competed against himself and often times we had to hold him back from more repetitions. We prayed after our sessions to ensure we remembered what our end goal was.

2 – Nutrition- The importance of a sound meal plan cannot be overlooked. This ensures the athlete’s body is contributing to inflammatory responses and aids in recovery. Also, it will help the athlete not carry too much body fat. Lastly, the right nutrient combination will ensure the athlete has the required energy to accomplish the task required. Tarik’s agent hired a nutritionist to ensure that he was given a plan that would fuel his goal of adding muscle mass and weight.


3 – Recovery- We enhanced recovery by emphasizing that proper rest of 8 hours a night was recommended. You cannot perform at your best if you do not get enough sleep. Sleep is when growth hormones are released and muscles are being repaired. It does not matter how great your workouts are if you cannot adapt to them during recovery. Also, we performed assisted isolated stretching as our means of lengthening the correct muscles. This type of stretching focuses on contracting the muscle that is the opposite of the muscle you are stretching. That releases the muscles you are stretching to a greater degree. Also, we addressed mobility based on Tarik’s restrictions which greatly enhanced his sprinting and power abilities. Lastly, we performed a foam roll technique and stick activation technique which activated the correct muscles as well as improved the muscle tissue quality.

4 – Strength Training- Our strength training focused on keep the bar off his back and only used the squat once a week. The reason being is Tarik had a solid strength foundation and the amount of sprint/jump training during that time provided some leg strengthening opportunities. We stayed within a certain rep range and percentage of maximal effort depending on how he felt that day. We also used our supplemental exercises to work on his conditioning by increasing the pace. Also, we enhanced the speed of the movements by adding band assistance and single leg exercises to work on any imbalances that would hinder his explosive abilities.

5 – Speed Training- Tarik came in running a 1.55-1.56 10 yard dash. Our goal was to ensure he worked on his acceleration technique. We provided video analysis to show him when he ran his best times he was directing the power underneath his hips. We reinforced the sprint technique through arm swing drills, 1st step explosive medicine ball plyometric, sled pushes, and electronically timed 10’s. The end results was Tarik ran the fastest 10 yard dash out of all the RB’s at the NFL combine.

Remember, that speed training has to be an all-out effort and that only happens if you rest properly in between each set. When you are not fully recovered you will not be speed training, but working on conditioning. Lastly, we made sure he was timed electronically as that is the most efficient way to ensure progress as you are timed the same way every time.

6 – Environment- We provided a highly competitive environment as NFL, CFL, HS athletes, and NFL prospects were training while Tarik was there. It makes you rise to the occasion when everyone around you has the same goal in mind. It also gives you an incentive to go the extra mile when you are having a bad day. We fueled the environment with music, jokes, and all-out effort. It is an interesting occurrence to watch how the environment changes from each NFL Draft Class we train yearly.
7 – Position Specific Drills- Tarik’s agents hired Natrone Means formerly of the San Diego Chargers to help him sharpen his RB drills. Football players must remember everything else is a general means of preparation. You must improve your ability at your position to become a football player. The other qualities such as speed, conditioning, coordination, strength, and mobility enhance your football ability.


The best part of the journey was watching Tarik be projected as a 7th round to Projected Free agent. He exceeded those expectations and was drafted in the 4th Round by the Chicago Bears. It does not matter what others say if you believe otherwise. I encourage athletes that are serious about playing on the next level to commit to working hard towards that goal.

Jimmy Lamour is a former Guilford College in Greensboro, NC All South Defensive Back. He set the record for interception return yards at the school. Upon Graduation, he tested numerous philosophies on strength and speed through seminars, self-study, conversation with renowned strength coaches, and training of hundreds of athletes. This led him to develop the 4.30 40 Speed System a system that helped him improve his 40 yard dash from a 4.66 to a 4.30, which gave way to many professional football workouts.

He later developed Lamour Training Systems with the help of his lovely wife Charlene to help athletes improve their performance and receive knowledge he missed out on as a child. He continues to consult with several division 1, prep schools, and high school coaches. LTS has helped many football athletes play at the D1, D2, and D3 levels. He believes that his passion to see young men become all God intended them to be and provide knowledge of the defensive back position which will allow young athletes under the tutelage of Pick 6 Academy to flourish. He is currently certified as a Youth Fitness specialist, 7on7 Performance Director, and High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist.

He is also a PowerPlus Mouthguard Ambassador. Also, Coach Lamour is a devout Christian. He has two children Camdon (19) and Micah (12).Sign up for his newsletter to receive his free speed report at on For more information, call 336-257-9151. Sign up for Camp before it closes at Ask about our 8 week Combine Camp ready program for $399.