CFL host Brodie Lawson uncovers the strength and determination that goes in to the workout regimes of the League’s brightest stars.

TORONTO (March 13, 2018) – The Canadian Football League (CFL) premiers a new multiplatform event ‘The Grind’ which brings CFL host Brodie Lawson across Canada and the Southern US to learn what it takes to get physically and mentally fit for the 2018 football season.

Lawson goes beyond the average gridiron grind – doing drills on a Florida beach, engaging in MMA-inspired sparring and hitting the gym in a firehall in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She’ll also find out how a player juggles his 8 kids, while still getting his reps in!

Exclusively on the CFL Facebook page, fans can watch a “Behind The Scenes” of Lawson’s adventures on the road each Thursday, then tune in to a full workout video every Tuesday.

The premier episode takes fans to Katy, Texas with Willie Jefferson, Derel Walker and Reggie Begelton as well as a quick stop at Bo Levi Mitchell’s high school. Click here to watch the first episode.

Fans can also start a fitness journey of their own with instructional Instagram stories every #MotivationMonday with that week’s featured players. 

The series is further supported via a 100-day social media workout challenge #TheCFLGrind. CFL fans will also be able to purchase limited edition The Grind merchandise in the coming weeks on CFL.ca.

The series includes appearances from Reggie Begelton (CGY), Brandon Bridge (SSK), Duron Carter (SSK), John Chick (EDM), BJ Cunningham (MTL), Andrew Harris (WPG), Willie Jefferson (SSK), Jerome Messam (SSK), Marken Michel (CGY), Diontae Spencer (OTT), Courtney Stephen (HAM), Derel Walker (EDM), Odell Willis (BC) and Bear Woods (TOR).

Below is ‘The Grind’ Distribution Schedule:

Week 1

March 8 - The Grind BTS vlog - Brodie Lawson visits Bo Levi Mitchell’s high school and get all the Friday Night Lights vibes! The team also meets up with Ottawa REDBLACK SirVincent Rogers for some good old Texas BBQ – maybe not the best meal to eat the night before the first workout.

March 12 - #MondayMotivation - Willie Jefferson instructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

March 13 - The Grind workout video - The Grind visits Willie Jefferson, Derel Walker and Reggie Begelton in Katy Texas and joins them for a gruelling three-hour workout which includes some unique mobility training with resistance only found at a few gyms across North America!

Week 2

March 15 - The Grind BTS vlog - Diontae Spencer is all about southern hospitality! He welcomes The Grind behind the scenes (BTS) to his hometown of New Iberia with a proper Louisiana crawfish boil and a tour around his high school.

March 19 - #MondayMotivation - Diontae Spencer instructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

March 20 - The Grind workout video - Diontae Spencer wanted to take his training to the next level this season but when his trainer suggested boxing…he reluctantly agreed. The Grind visits an MMA style gym for a barefoot weightlifting session, boxing and many, many dance breaks.

Week 3

March 22 - The Grind BTS vlog - When he’s not playing football Bear Woods is all about music! The Grind BTS joins Bear in his living room for a jam sesh before he tours us around historic Montgomery Alabama.

March 26 - #MondayMotivation - Bear Woods instructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

March 27 - The Grind workout video - Bear Woods spends his off-season in small town Wetumpka Alabama. His garage gym gets a little drafty in the winter so instead Bear takes his workout to the local fire station. Known around the league as always being the first guy in the gym, Bear makes no exceptions for The Grind so we meet at the Wetumpka Fire Hall for a 5am workout. Rise and grind!

Week 4

March 29 - The Grind BTS vlog - The Grind BTS gives a look at how physically demanding this trip has been! On only three hours of sleep Brodie tries to push through the toughest workout of the trip!

April 2 - #MondayMotivation - Odell Willis instructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

April 3 - The Grind workout video - Odell Willis works out in a group in a South Atlanta gym – this episode of The Grind proved to be one of the toughest workouts yet!  A 1.5-hour training session followed by a 1 hour group cardio class…you have to see it to believe it.

Week 5

Arpil 5 - The Grind BTS vlog -  Brodie arrives in Florida and we take you to see all the Jacksonville sites as we film for The Grind including the home of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp! We meet the Chick kids and hand the camera over to them.

April 9 - #MondayMotivation - John Chick instructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

April 10 - The Grind workout video - John Chick is a father of eight with one on the way! The Grind joins him in his backyard where he trains to stay in game shape, but also trains clients in the off-season. With eight kiddos running around The Grind gets a look at how this CFL vet makes gains while keeping up with his growing family.

Week 6 

April 12 - The Grind BTS vlog -  It’s a 4:30 a.m. start for Brodie and the crew as they make their way from Jacksonville, Florida to Ft. Lauderdale! The team takes in the beautiful Ft. Lauderdale beach for the workout and joins Duron Carter, BJ Cunningham and Steph Logan for a Jamaican lunch.

April 16 - #MondayMotivation - John Chick instructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

April 17 - The Grind workout video -: Brodie hits the sandy beach of Fort Lauderdale, Florida to join Montreal Alouette receiver B.J. Cunningham and Saskatchewan Roughrider receiver Duron Carter for a very specific work out designed to take advantage of the resistance running on sand provides to make players more explosive, more agile and more ready for the requirements of being a CFL target.

Week 7

April 19 - The Grind BTS vlog - The effects of the seven workouts in 11 days have finally caught up with Brodie as she battles the flu and tries to push through her final workout in the Florida heat…with a fever.

April 23 - #MondayMotivation - Marken Michel instructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

April 24 - The Grind workout video - Brodie heads to Plantation, Florida to hook up with Calgary Stampeder receiver Marken Michel who returns to his alma mater American Heritage High School to work with the same trainer who first put him on the path to becoming a professional football player as a teenager.

Week 8

April 26 - The Grind BTS vlog - Brodie joins a huge group of CFL players working out in Mississauga and is back to The Grind after a few weeks off! Brandon Bridge and Chad Owens join the crew for a lunch post workout.

April 30 - #MondayMotivation - Chad Owens nstructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

May 1 - The Grind workout video - Brodie returns to Canada to hit the Athlete’s Training Centre in Mississauga, Ontario where a large group of CFLers gather to work with trainer Shea Pierre.  Brodie joins Roughrider quarterback Brandon Bridge and Hamilton Tiger-Cat defensive back Courtney Stephen, among many others for a gruelling workout then snares a few passes from Bridge thanks to the tutelage of CFL All-Star Chad Owens.

Week 9

May 3 - The Grind BTS vlog - What better way to start Mark’s CFL Week than with a workout!? The crew arrives in Winnipeg for the second busiest week of the year and meets up with hometown hero Andrew Harris.

May 7 - #MondayMotivation - Chad Owens nstructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

May 8 - The Grind workout video - Brodie travels to the hometown of the CFL’s 2017 Most Outstanding Canadian Andrew Harris to join him for a workout. Harris and his Blue Bombers are looking to take a big step this season and snap the CFL’s longest Grey Cup drought and Brodie will get a first-hand look at the work required to make that dream a reality.

Week 10

May 10 - The Grind BTS vlog - The team joins Jerome Messam for the last workout of the series! The team reflects on The Grind and we treat Jerome to a post workout meal in exchange for for his best stories from the road.

May 14 - #MondayMotivation - Jerome Messam instructional workout video on CFL's Instagram page.

May 15 - The Grind workout video - Brodie joins Jerome Messam to test herself against one of the league’s top running backs.  Messam has had an outstanding career with two Most Outstanding Canadian awards to prove it; but the only thing missing from his resume is a Grey Cup.  Messam battled injuries in the 2017 season and now, after joining a new club in free agency, he’s working hard this off-season to be ready to finally win that elusive Cup.

Lucas Barrett

Coordinator, Communications, Canadian Football League

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