Joe DeLamielleure has had a variety of jobs in his working life -- pro football lineman, owner of a waste disposal company, college coach. So what's the former Lynchburg resident and Liberty University coach doing now? If you've asked yourself that question, you might be interested in this recent piece from the Charlotte Observer:
"Joe DeLamielleure is an NFL Hall of Famer with Popeye forearms, a bulging upper body and tree trunks for legs.
"Part of the Buffalo Bills' offensive line that paved lanes for O.J. Simpson to rush for a then-record 2,003 yards in 1973, he looks like he could still knock linemen for a loop.
"The 56-year-old Charlotte resident said he maintains a weightlifter's build by working out with gigantic, stretchy green, blue and red rubber bands known as resistance bands.
"While bands have been around for decades, they've long been considered the apparatus of choice for elderly people and physical rehab patients, not hard-nosed, muscle-bound types.
"'I'd like to challenge anybody who doesn't think bands are tough,' said DeLamielleure. 'These things will kick your butt.'
"Today, he's training people in resistance band workouts at his YogaFlex studio in Ballantyne, which teaches yoga as well.
"DeLamielleure (pronounced De-LA-ma-LEAR) and other proponents say the bands help improve cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and strength, yet they're easier on the body's joints compared to free weights. The bands are color-coded for various resistance levels. Some fitness authorities say that while bands may have a place in workout regimens, they also have limitations.
"DeLamielleure insists he's not riding a workout trend of the moment. The six-time Pro Bowl participant was first turned on to flexibility exercises while playing football in the fifth grade. The coach had the team use towels and jump-ropes to stretch and do other exercises.
"Although he lifted some weights during his NFL days, he took grief from coaches for staying away from squats and dead lifts he felt could cause injuries.
"In 1992, when he was coaching football at Liberty University in Virginia, he discovered the heavy gauge rubber bands. He says they've helped him stay fit and injury free while many of his fellow NFL players are now suffering. DeLamielleure was shocked by how stiff and out-of-shape many of his peers looked during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003. It's what inspired him to develop the 'Joe D Bands' exercise program."