Tavares has played for both these proud franchises and has learned much from both head coaches, brothers John Harbaugh (Baltimore) and Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco). You can bet Gooden's Niner teammates have been picking his brain for two solid weeks, looking for tips and advice on how to defend the potent Baltimore offense that Tavares scrimmaged against and practiced with for three long years.
You can also bet that special teams play is going to have a huge impact on the final score of Sunday's game. When two defenses of this caliber are on the same field, every yard is precious, and the team that starts with the ball closer to its opponent's end zone is going to have a terrific edge.
Tavares Gooden, with his rare blend of size, strength, and speed, will have a lot to say about which team gains the upper hand in the special teams contest. Back in March of this year, we talked to Tavares about the upcoming season and also about his supplementation and exercise regimen. Needless to say, Tavares's high hopes about the Niners 2012 season have proven to be well-founded.
ProSource: What does it take to succeed on special teams? And what makes you one of the best?
Tavares Gooden: I take pride in being the most physical person on the field. I feel that I have been blessed to be a big, strong and fast human being. God has given me the tools. On special teams, I always want to be able to physically dominate my opponent, and that starts in the weight room. I know as long as I'm pushing myself harder than everyone else, then I will be able to go that extra mile on game day. A lot of it comes down to Mind over Body. You have to teach your body how to be strong when you're tired. If you can achieve that, the game becomes easy because you are physically and mentally stronger than everyone else.
ProSource: The Niners emerged as a huge success story this year. What do you think is your most important contribution to the team's success?
Tavares Gooden: Almost every game we played, we won the field position battle. That starts with high-level special teams play. I believe that you have to excel in two out of the three team phases to compete for a championship, and in our case we had a great defense and a great special teams, plus an efficient offense that controlled the ball and scored enough points to win. We had a bunch of guys who were hungry and really wanted to win. Guys like myself who were on other teams that came to San Francisco, we had a chip on our shoulders because we believed we had something to prove.
ProSource: What supplements do you use? Do you use them daily? How have the supplements helped?
Tavares Gooden: Usually, I'll just drink a protein shake after I finish a workout to try to keep my muscle mass up. I notice that when I take additional protein, it helps me keep weight on. That's important to me because in my profession we burn so many calories. If I don't get those calories back then I start losing muscle mass and then strength. I can't have that.
ProSource: You are using NytroWhey Ultra Elite from ProSource. What is it about this protein powder that makes it superior to others you have used in the past?
Tavares Gooden: NytroWhey Ultra Elite is miles ahead of any other protein I've tried. There's really no comparison. I've never seen any protein that ramps up muscle growth like NytroWhey Ultra Elite. First off, I should say, the taste is sensational. I like all the flavors, especially the Chocolate, and it's easy to mix, which helps. With most other proteins, you have to take them 3 to 4 times a day for best results, but they don't taste good, so it gets to be a chore. With NytroWhey Ultra Elite, I'm always looking forward to my next shake. Since I've added NytroWhey to my regimen, I have more energy and I feel my body recovering faster. I used to be sore the day after hard workouts, but that's over now. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in--bigger, stronger, faster--and NytroWhey's a big part of that.
for a chance to win this product!
ProSource: Glad to hear it, Tavares. And best of luck in Sunday's game!
Tavares Gooden's Workout RegimenExercises can differ everyday, but here's a basic sample workout.
Dumbbell bench, 5 sets of 10, starting with 80s and working up to 120 lbs, increasing my weight by 10 Pounds each set. In between reps I do what we call a superset. I do another exercise instead of resting. I usually do a pull up or lat low row exercise. With the pull up I strap a 25 pound weight to my weight belt and do 6 sets of 5. With the Lats I use a hammer machine and I usually put three 45 pound weights on each end of the machine. (6 in total). And I do 8 to 10 reps with a double pump at the top of the squeeze. I do abs with a med ball. I do around a total of 100 to 300 abs depending on how I'm feeling.
Lower Body Lifting:
I'm an olympic style lifter. I love to power clean. I do 5 sets of 3 then I do 4 sets of 2 as the weight gets heavier. I usual start with 15 kelos on each side then I usually end with 55 kelos on each side. Then I go from there to back squat or front squat. Usually do 5 sets of 3 then 4 sets of 2. Starting with 185 and ending with some times weight up to 465. Lounges with 40 pound kettle bells in each hand. 6 each leg.