Tallahassee, FL -- 59 days until FAMU kicks off the season in Nashville against Tennessee State. The Rattlers are in the midst of their summer offseason workouts, but are fighting more than just time until fall camp opens up.
"This is only going to make us better. The hotter it is, the better. Teams that come down here ain't going to be ready to play in this."
The heat. Throughout the week the Rattlers brave the high temperatures and the humidity to get stronger for the season.
"When they're tired, they're bending over, when their hands are on their knees, we're going to be standing up, just like this, ready to go. Ready for the next play."
Russell Barbarino has twenty years of athletic training experience. He is using the heat as an advantage to prepare for training camp in August.
"In the past they usually have trained early in the morning, which we still do, but we started training in the heat more to get acclimated to the heat more. When camp comes their body is a little more prepared for the rigors of the heat."
Training in these conditions does come with risks. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are most common. The FAMU training staff pushes to get the most out of every work out, but at the same time, take extra precautions when working out under the sun.
"We want to push the envelope, but is it worth risking the person's health? No."
Barbarino adds that beating the beat is as much a mental challenge, as is it physical.