Friday, August 17, 2012

Sizing him up: D-lineman Agostinho adds bulk with offseason strength plan

Kansas defensive lineman Keba Agostinho stretches during warm-up exercises at the Fan Appreciation Day open practice Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive lineman Keba Agostinho stretches during warm-up exercises at the Fan Appreciation Day open practice Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at Memorial Stadium.


Of all the body transformations by Kansas University football players this offseason, one player’s journey has been the most talked about.

Whether it’s head coach Charlie Weis marveling about the player in the photo book strength coach Scott Holsopple made for him — images of every KU player before, during and after offseason conditioning are in it — or Holsopple himself talking about how it all happened, defensive lineman Keba Agostinho appears to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of KU’s new strength program.

“He’s one of those guys where you look at the picture and say, ‘Who is that?’” Weis said of the junior from Katy, Texas.

From the time he was a senior in high school to the end of last season, Agostinho gained three pounds. From the time Holsopple got ahold of him in January to today, Agostinho gained 30. But it was not just hours in the gym and thousands of biceps curls that helped Agostinho bulk up from 252 pounds to 283. It also took a complete overhaul of his mindset, particularly with the way he ate.

“You can’t just eat to eat,” Holsopple said. “You have to eat with a sense of purpose and know what you’re putting on your plate. So you have to have some type of — buzzword — discipline. But, also, when you’re working to extreme fatigue, your body wants to go into, as I call it, ‘Night night.’ You want to rest, you want to lay down, you want to sleep. Those are the types of situations that make it kind of hard.”

That certainly was the case for Agostinho, who recalls setting his alarm on the weekends for much earlier than he would like just to make sure he got up to eat. After wolfing down a high-protein breakfast, Agostinho almost always went back to sleep. And always with a full stomach. After all, the early-morning meal came just a few hours after a late-night snack designed to pack on the pounds, as well.

“You gotta eat something with a lot of protein,” Agostinho said. “Before I went to sleep, I always ate two bagels with a lot of peanut butter on ’em and chocolate milk.”

Holsopple said KU’s nutritionists created the meal plans, but he was there, eating with them nearly every day, to keep them accountable.

“I’m kind of the enforcer of it,” Holsopple said. “Because I’m there all the time.”

While Holsopple deflects the credit for the transformations back onto the players — “It’s nothing I did,” he said. “Each individual buys into what he has to do to become a better football player and to help the team.” — Agostinho said he could never have done it alone.

“We set up a whole plan of how I was gonna gain weight and what I had to do everyday,” he said. “It was hard because it’s something you have to be disciplined to do, but it paid off in the end so I’m really glad. I even surprised myself. I knew I was gonna gain weight, but I didn’t know I was gonna gain 30 pounds.”

Agostinho said Holsopple’s plan of attack helped make the end goal realistic.

“We took it day by day and weighed in every day,” he said. “By the end of the week, I saw I had gained five pounds. It was weekly goals. It wasn’t something that I just planned to gain all this weight so fast, it was something that I had to take day by day.”

The extra meals and added weight have allowed Agostinho to move to back to the position where he flourished during his final two seasons at James E. Taylor High — defensive tackle.

During his first two years at KU, Agostinho was stuck at defensive end.

“I was 250 pounds,” he said. “I had no choice but to be outside.”

But that did not keep KU’s coaches from preparing him for a return to tackle.

“I’ve always told Keba I thought his best position would be inside,” defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt said. “But his size was more suited for an outside player. Now that he was able to put on some weight, Coach Weis and I thought that would be the best place for him because we were trying to get more athletic and more active inside.”

Asked when they first thought about making the move, Wyatt answered quickly.

“When Keba got up to 283 pounds,” he said with a laugh. “So far, he’s looked good.”

Because he has experience at both positions — Agostinho was a unanimous all-district selection as a D-lineman in high school and has played defensive end in all 24 games of his KU career — the KU junior said he was comfortable at either one, but added that he was happy to move back inside.

“Coach Wyatt’s been to Nebraska, TCU, Alabama,” Agostinho said. “So if he tells you something like that, you gotta believe it because he’s seen ’em all.”

On KU’s first depth chart of the fall, Weis listed Agostinho as a starter at defensive tackle. The Jayhawks have brought in several newcomers to bolster the D-line, but one of the few veterans they have said he was not discouraged by the added competition.

“That’s something every team needs,” Agostinho said. “Whether I end up starting or not, if I know I was competing with a guy who out-worked me then I’ll at least be happy that the right guy is in there and he deserves to be in there.”


741hawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Wish we could see some of the before and after pix.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 9 months ago

They should make a calendar like the "Girls of KU", and sell them.

RJ King 9 years, 9 months ago

Share some of the bedtime bagels and peanut butter with Jeff Withey.

cozzhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Eating bagels before bed? I'm going to say probably half the weight he gained is fat and the rest muscle. Imagine if these guys were on diets that optimized their health instead of bagels and peanut butter.

Kman_blue 9 years, 9 months ago

If my assumption from your initial question is correct, in that you think eating right before bedtime is bad or prone to make people put on fat, there's been several studies which debunk that. They've shown eating right before bedtime is no worse nor no better than eating at any other time.

Also, with coach Holsopple I doubt anyone put on a lot of fat. Check out some of the recent photos or video of Keba. He doesn't look like he put on much if any fat to me.

Here's a photo from practice:

Here's a video with him being interviewed in the middle part.

Eric Dawson 9 years, 9 months ago

I don't know the studies you are referring to, Kman, but everything I have read on the subject (and I've had to read far too much due to my own weight battle since back and feet issues have kept me from running as I've gotten older) confirms that limiting nighttime eating does help with weight loss. I've yet to find one that says otherwise. Here's a link to a recent article on one of the latest studies.

Now for the "However" -- like you, I doubt that any KU players put on a lot of fat under Holsopple. None of the studies I've read about over the last 10 years have involved subjects being put through regular, disciplined workouts of the intensity the KU players are doing now. It is a fact that weight cannot be gained without having extra calories beyond what the body burns each day, and that muscle mass cannot be built without work, the carbs to fuel the work so the body doesn't steal from muscle mass for the fuel it needs, and the protein to build up that muscle mass. And no, I'm not a nutritionist (and I don't play one on TV), but one of my best friends is, and he and I do talk shop at times because of my health. (What a drag it is getting old...)

Sam Brockert 9 years, 9 months ago

I also have something to add. You have to remember that they all were trying to gain weight. Eating a late night snack can counter the weight you naturally lose in your sleep, mostly water weight, but some of it is fat.

Kman_blue 9 years, 9 months ago

I'd have to dig through the journals I read the synopsis in(can't recall which journals I read them in which doesn't help), but a couple of studies just came out over the past couple of years. i.e. they're quite new.

The conclusions I recall reading were that the timing of eating had little to no impact on overall weight gain and zero impact on long term fat storage and how much people ate overall was the main driving force behind weight gain. They also made mention of inactivity as a contributing factor. They made distinctions between short term fat storage and long term fat storage (UBSQ adipose tissue versus LBSQ adipose tissue) saying that there was zero effect of the timing of meals on long term fat storage (LBSQ adipose tissue) and fat storage patterns. So, the body may temporarily store your late night meal in short-term fat(UBSQ), but it quickly metabolizes that and you don't put on weight because of it unless of course you eat too much all the time and are inactive then the body may transfer it to long-term fat. That's what I remember from the study synopsis's I've read.

On a less scientific note, several of my doctor friends claim one of the best ways to help counter weight gain in older age is to workout and try to build and maintain increased muscle mass as that greatly increases metabolism so you burn more energy all the time even when just sitting down. Of course, this is just anecdotal but more than 1 of my medical doctor friends have said this to me in general conversations on the subject (my dad has some similar problems that it sounds like you may have).

Jory Collins 9 years, 9 months ago

Bagels w/ peanut butter and milk is a great combo for building muscle mass. Your wrong but even if you're right, 15 lbs. of muscle with 15 lbs. of beef for a DT is pretty good.

Stan Unruh 9 years, 9 months ago

Anyone know if Ty McKinney has arrived?

Brad Avery 9 years, 9 months ago

“You gotta eat something with a lot of protein,” Agostinho said. “Before I went to sleep, I always ate two bagels with a lot of peanut butter on ’em and chocolate milk.”

Perhaps someone should explain the difference to the players and staff between protein and carbs. If that's what he ate to get bigger, it's almost all carbs, which the body stores as fat.

Chris Bruning 9 years, 9 months ago

bagels lots of carbs, peanut butter is great for natural protein, and milk is good for you in more ways than just protein. You must not get it, you gotta have the fat, dudes not just trying to cut up and get shredded like trob. He is trying to add weight and with the lifting and conditioning turns the fat to muscle. Nice schooling you

Al Martin 9 years, 9 months ago

Exactly. When you're expending as much energy as elite athletes do, you have to have carbs just to keep up with the energy expenditure.

Jeez, guys, give Holsopple some credit for knowing his job...

orbiter 9 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps someone who obviously has no idea what it takes to be a real-life, highly trained athlete should put down their "Soft in the Middle? lose your gut in 8weeks" issue of Men's Fitness. Swim season is nearly over.

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 9 months ago

eh I wouldn't say it's too bad, the kid is 20 years old and is destroying his body every day, his metabolism is through the roof. If you're looking to put on weight, its a good way of getting enough calories in. Now the bagel and chocolate milk might not be the greatest of choices due to the high amount of sugar in both.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 9 months ago

Depends on the type of bagels. And while CHOCOLATE milk does add some sugar, if it gets him to drink it then it is beneficial.

Nathan Anderson 9 years, 9 months ago

Probably not the best choice before going to bed, but choc. milk is a great post-workout drink

Bville Hawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Geeez, half the posters so far are f**ing experts in sports nutrition who apparently know more about sports nutrition than Holsopple and the professional nutritionists and dietitians that work for the athletic department.

KU79 9 years, 9 months ago

All it takes is half a brain...and a computer.

CRAZY4KUSPORTS 9 years, 9 months ago

It's like that with every article on here. Everyone knows more than everyone else. You have people on here correcting grammar all the time. Read the articles, enjoy them and be excited for these kids. It seems to be they are very excited for the season. Go Hawks!!

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 9 months ago

"thousands of bicep curls" . . . that will definitely put on the weight. . . ಠ_ಠ

Nathan Anderson 9 years, 9 months ago

That's what it takes to get a Matt Tait physique.

Michael Luby 9 years, 9 months ago

I really dont follow football at all, much less college ball but I really really hope KU makes some noise in football this year. I want them to prove all the negative hype people wrong. Are they good enough to be a top 25 team this year?

labbadabba 9 years, 9 months ago

No, but they'll be good enough to beat some teams in the top-25.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

Maybe the headline should read. " D-Linemean...adds bulk and shortens life."

The good news is that at 6'-2", he has a fairly large body frame to distribute the weight. I am 6'-4" and weigh in at about 290 and though I certainly need to keep losing weight, the bulk seems to distribute OK.....of course I'm about 40 years older too, so OK is relative!! :)

labbadabba 9 years, 9 months ago

I doubt you're burning 6,000 calories a day as well...

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

NNAAWW....a wife twelve years younger...that's what will eventually get me!! But boy, what a way to go!! :)

Kman_blue 9 years, 9 months ago

Coach Grunhard was 6'2" 311lbs. during his playing days with the Chiefs. I guess he better have a will made up! He could go at any minute.

(it's a little joke! hard to convey when you're joking over the internet)

Jory Collins 9 years, 9 months ago

All you nutrition experts need to check your facts. Bagels are surprising high in protein at around 11 grams per serving. Add in peanut butter and milk which are both high in protein you have a terrific combo for gaining muscle mass.

KGphoto 9 years, 9 months ago

All you crazy health nuts make me lol. I think I'm gonna defer to Holsopple's obvious advantage in experience with this specific discipline. The entire article is based on the fact that Keba is the poster child for Holsopple's methods. They work! Keba was able to accomplish exactly what coach set him up for.

How the heck can anybody sit here and argue over it. There's photographic evidence for pete's sake!

Personally I think it's pretty amazing, and I hope all that dedication pays off for #96 in the form of sacks and TFLs.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 9 months ago

Seriously, KG, if we didn't argue over it, what purpose would our lives hold right now? I'm ready to go bonkers on a Friday afternoon in the office and I'm more than a little irritated that Mr. Tait hasn't bothered to fake some news or come up with another article for the afternoon or at least make a recommendation for a movie or a bar! I'm jonesin' man!! I need my football fix!

Come on, Matt!! I need something to tide me over until tomorrow.

Matt Tait 9 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, man... Weird not being able to check out the team for the past couple of days, but back at it tomorrow morning! In the meantime, I've been working on a couple of cool things for next week, along with the regular dosage of features and updates. Hang in there... Hang in there!

bad_dog 9 years, 9 months ago

Some things are best when eaten in the prone position...

Pbbut 9 years, 9 months ago

I trust the coaches know what they're doing and hope it translates to performance on the field. One play that sticks in my mind from last year is against OU. Keba is pushed 12-15 yards downfield, the OU runner is on the ground, and Keba's still not off the block. Can't happen.

Bobby Burch 9 years, 9 months ago

Matt — or anyone else that might know — do you know when Weis will announce our redshirts for the year? I'm wondering if Parmalee will get one for more time to bulk up ...

Bville Hawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Charlie also said everyone is a player at this point and will be used if the coaches feel they can help the team. Four games or so into the season then some of the guys who haven't played yet will be considered for a redshirt.

OKHawkFan 9 years, 9 months ago

Ugh!! Holsopple has no clue about nutrition!! Now I'm an internet nutritionist expert. First off chocolate milk and bagels?!?!? Seriously all you need is coco rice crispies. You get your carbs and at the end the chocolate milk straight from the bowl...ummm I love choco crispies milk.. Next replace the peanut butter with some Jack Links Beef Jerky!! Dislaimer: I work as a consultant for Kelloggs and Jack Links...

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