During his first couple years in the NFL, Wes Schweitzer did not feel that great. He was a pro athlete, sure, but he was having physical issues that he felt were hindering his development. A trainer based out of Santa Cruz, California, named Austin Einhorn suggested an unusual remedy.
"I was one of the strongest people in the room, but I had a lot of injuries, hyperextended elbows," Schweitzer said. "And he's like, 'hey, why don't you try some climbing holes…and literally in five minutes I felt pain free after [being] in pain for months."
Schweitzer was hooked. He spent time during the pandemic while still in Atlanta at a climbing gym and gained 15 pounds of muscle.
"It changed my game," the offensive lineman said.
The benefits of his climbing workouts, Schweitzer suggests, were on display last season when he was forced to step up for the team in a big way. Washington was marred by injuries, losing several players along the offensive line at various points throughout the season. Schweitzer had to step in for Brandon Scherff at guard and Tyler Larsen at center.
The game Schweitzer played at center was the first he had ever started in that position, and Washington won. He took "a lot of pride in" that victory where he excelled out of his comfort zone and attributes that ability in part to his climbing workouts.
"Now I could play three spots and feel strong and confident," Schweitzer said. "So, it's made a huge impact on my career."
Schweitzer has found a lot of cross over in the skills required for climbing and those required in a good offensive lineman. As long as he is an NFL player -- and perhaps for many years down the line -- you can find him on the wall.
"Grip strength, core strength, just all around," Schweitzer said about how climbing has helped him. "There's so much to the offensive line play. I'm constantly doing this [grip motion] all the time, that's the sport and rock climbing is that but in really hard positions. So, it has a huge transfer. It's unbelievable what it's done for me."
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Saturday, August 20, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- NBC Sports Washington's Pete Hailey offers some interesting insight into Commanders mouthpiece usage.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier writes about what could lie ahead in Jahan Dotson's rookie season.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd writes about Brian Robinson Jr. ball security and run style.
- The Richmond-Times Dispatch's Michael Phillip writes about coach Jennifer King's offseason development.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd also writes about how Phidarian Mathis is no stranger to patience.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about Jonathan Allen's mentality after his Pro Bowl-caliber season.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about Sam Howell's upcoming development year.
- The Richmond-Times Dispatch's Michael Phillips catches up with Chase Young after preseason opener, NASCAR weekend.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier lists his takeaway from the preseason opener.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about two standout rookie performances against Carolina.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about Carson Wentz's Commanders' debut.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes gave his takeaways from Washington's first preseason game.
- The Washington Post's NIcki Jhabvala writes that Washington's wide receivers still have plenty to prove this season.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd lists five Commanders whose snaps against the Panthers will mean more than most.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux gives five storylines to watch during Washington's preseason game against the Panthers.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes about what you should be looking for against the Panthers.
The Washington Commanders have arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, for their second preseason game against the Chiefs. Check out the top photos of the players getting on the team plan. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- 3 standouts from Week 4 of Commanders training camp
- 3 keys for Washington's preseason game against the Chiefs
- J.D. McKissic stays steady in Commanders' packed RB room
- Training Camp Notebook | Diving into Jahan Dotson, Antonio Gibson's possible roles on special teams
- Media roundup | Nate Kaczor breaks down kick return duties
- Training Camp Notebook | Rivera dives deeper into Commanders' DE Depth
- Hail Mail | Weighing Washington's options at WR
- From the booth | We all needed to see something
- Training Camp Notebook | Jahan Dotson grabbed two red zone TDs, defensive line disruptive on Day 16
- Media roundup | 'These past two days have been a delight' for Curtis Samuel
- Training Camp Notebook | Dyami Brown makes four catches as Commanders prepare for second preseason game
- Brian Robinson introduced his physical style to Commanders fans in the preseason opener
- Jon Allen ranks No. 88 on NFL's Top 100 players list
- 5 takeaways from Washington's preseason opener against Carolina.
- Numbers to know from Washington's preseason opener
- Media Roundup | Brian Robinson said FedExField 'felt like home all over again'.
- Instant Analysis | Late Sam Howell surge not enough in 23-21 loss to Panthers
- Competition among Commanders' WRs intensifies ahead of preseason
- 3 keys to Washington's preseason opener against the Panthers