Leonard Fournette’s sauna strategy for weight loss isn’t a wise one

NFL: JUN 07 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Minicamp
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The tale of Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette ballooning toward 260 pounds became a slow-time story, for good reason. First, it was the slow time. Second, long gone are the days of football players shutting down from the end of one season to the start of the next one.

They stay in shape all year long. Also, Fournette plays for a team that has the ultimate example at the quarterback position of a constantly disciplined diet.

As noted earlier today by MDS, Fournette’s trainer has downplayed the situation. Among other things, Jordan Bush said that Fournette was losing weight by sitting in a sauna, every day.

A former executive with multiple NFL teams saw the sauna comment a a red flag. Sweating off the weight by sitting in a sauna leads to dehydration, which can lead to cramps while performing — and other problems.

Long-time NFL athletic trainer Mike Ryan, now the Sports Medicine Analyst for Sunday Night Football, shared his thoughts on the matter via text message.

“Sitting in a hot sauna may result in a lower number on the scale but it’s simply from water loss,” Ryan said. “In doing so, dehydration from this weight-loss game plan puts the athlete at a higher risk of exertional heat illness.  

“High-performance athletes needing to lose weight are better served by prolonged exposure to hot-weather training while being well hydrated.  I’ve witnessed plenty of NFL players shortcut the safe method to reach their training camp weight, and it often impairs both their safety and performance.”

The best approach for NFL players to losing weight is to avoid having to do so. When that fails, the sauna approach, per Ryan, should be avoided. Sitting in a sauna and seating away water may help a player reach his weight goal, but it could otherwise hurt him, literally.

29 responses to “Leonard Fournette’s sauna strategy for weight loss isn’t a wise one

  1. Regular use of a sauna is incredibly healthy. It mimics a light physical workout due to elevating your heartrate. And there is nothing to prevent you from taking a water bottle in the sauna with you. When done with an intermittent fasting or a keto diet, it will lead to burning fat. Google it.

  2. I wad going to say the exact same thing about only losing the water weight. The sauna isn’t going to burn away his excess fat. You need to diet and exercise to burn that off quickly.

  3. Dude, they just said why it is bad. Did you read the article? Most importantly it puts you at a higher risk of injury. It might be fine for guy in a rec league bit with the tool, and knowledge at hand there should be better ways to lose weight. Better yet be half of what Brady is in that regard and you won’t have to worry about it, and I am not Brady fan.

  4. Saunas are great for overall health but won’t go far for weight loss. It’s just water weight.

  5. You don’t need a sauna when you live in Tampa this time of year. Tampa itself is a sauna in July.

  6. You’re supposed to be a professional, this is your livelihood. Why would he even think it would be ok to put on this weight? It’s a distraction and a liability and undermines what Brady and the Bucs are trying to accomplish. Even as a rb you would think you would be especially in tune with your body.

  7. Why would proper hydration be important when practicing under a blast furnace Florida August sun, about 98 degrees and 90%+ humidity?

  8. Boxers often have to resort to this for quick weight loss prior to weigh-in, then quickly try to rehydrate and gorge on protein prior to the fight to add as much mass as possible. Sauna is a quick get under the mark maneuver and not a fix for the long term. It has also led to the literal physical collapse and major medical/metabolic critical illness of more than a few fighters.

  9. Regular sauna use is certainly not “incredibly healthy”. An experienced fitness professional says so right in this article.

  10. Leonard should be fined a good chunk of salary for turning in a fat slop in less than 3 months. You had ONE JOB during the off season…stay in shape, heck ,get in BETTER shape than the previous year.

  11. It’s water weight–not fat. This guy is going to balloon when his career is over. Stop eating sugar and fried foods, Lenny.

  12. “Sitting in a sauna and seating away water may help a player reach his weight goal, but it could otherwise hurt him, literally.”

    No need for “literally”….Sentence reads the same as:

    “Sitting in a sauna and seating away water may help a player reach his weight goal, but it could otherwise hurt him.”

  13. It has to be done with diet and exercise. Dehydration can put you in the hospital or worse.

  14. Let me tell you something about the Keto diet;
    You only have to have cauliflower mashed potatoes once to know YOU AIN’T EATIN THAT @#$% AGAIN!

  15. Hydrate , eat right eat light. Get out just before sunrise and run some miles on the Bayshore fitness trail .It will change your body , mind and life.

  16. This is like high school wrestlers making weight.I know it used to be common as recently as 20 years ago and maybe now still?This is how gallbladders and who knows what else calcify.

  17. I wish injury on NO NFL player, or any pro or amateur athlete. Nonetheless, it’s hard not to giggle at this one. As a Packer fan I say, you go Lenny….get in that sauna and sweat your way into shape. While I’m not a doctor, dietician or certified trainer of world class athletes, I have no doubt that sauna training is the answer. Maybe he’ll be watching Richard Simmons videos while he’s in there? Next stop Canton for Lenny Fournette.

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