The Broncos boast one of the NFL’s best pass rushing departments, with players such as Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and Derek Wolfe leading the way.
In an effort to improve even more, the group turned to an unorthodox source.
Factory X Muay Thai, where some of the world’s best mixed martial arts fighters train, has become home to several Broncos defenders of late. Wolfe and Miller started the trend, which quickly expanded to include others such as Shamarko Thomas, Chubb, Will Parks, Jeff Holland and others.
The hour-long sessions are designed to challenge the body in every way possible with a unique mix of striking and pass-rushing, with an emphasis on proper breathing and muscle stamina. Even for a professional football player they can be too much.
“I don’t ever bend over or lay down during workouts,” Wolfe said. “This is the only workout where I’m like, ‘I gotta lay down.’”
Instructor Marc Montoya leads the workouts, which are about more than striking or releasing any steam with power punches. There is no kickboxing or wrestling, because players don’t need any added strain or risk of injury.
What they do gain, though, is significant, from cardio, to muscle stamina, to hand-eye coordination, to core work, to balance, to hand speed.
It’s a break from the norm of the NFL offseason designed to maximize its effectiveness.
“I think as men, we all enjoy doing that. It’s definitely team bonding. Especially with me and Derek. I’ve been with Derek for eight years now and it’s just another thing that we can add and work on our relationship,” Miller said.