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Behind the Scenes of the 49ers OSP


They are the brains behind the 49ers offseason conditioning program, who spent countless hours designing workouts that got the very best out of their players.

Their efforts prepared the 49ers for the intensity of their first offseason under Mike Singletary while carrying out his vision for the ball club within everything they did.

They did so over the course of the offseason by improving the team's lean muscle mass and increasing stamina while reducing excess weight.

Head strength and conditioning coach Duane Carlisle and assistant strength coach Mark Ueyama were those brains behind the operation.

The duo largely flies under the radar for their contributions to the success of the 49ers offseason minicamps and organized team activities. But without them, the players wouldn't have been able to practice with great intensity while supplementing a laborious workout regiment on the side.

Before the on-field work at team headquarters, the fourth and final block of the 14-week offseason conditioning program saw the players lift weights either before or after practices with the focus of increasing explosive power and maintaining the level stamina built during the three previous blocks. Now that the offseason practice schedule has concluded, the veterans have gone their separate ways, while the rookies will remain in town for another week to continue working out at team headquarters.

All of the time spent in the weight room during the offseason appeared to have transferred over to the field immediately, as the players looked to be in mid-season condition. Although the pads were not being used at the practices, linemen looked explosive coming off the ball. In addition, skill players on offense and defense displayed powerful lower body strength demonstrating the time spent working out by breaking to the football in the blink of an eye.

Between the two coaches, the dialogue was constant with both coaches bringing new ideas into the fold. But whenever a new workout was discussed, they would always stop and ask each other, "Would this workout fit into our overall objectives?"

"We meet every day to go over what we're going to do for that day and we meet at the end of the week to go over what we're going to do for the next week," Carlisle said of the dialogue between he and Ueyama during the offseason workouts.

"That's been something we've done from day one,"


Uyema added. "And we do that every single day. Every morning throughout the day we're working off each other and complimenting each other."

Carlisle has been with the 49ers for five seasons and is entering his second year as the head strength coach. Prior to his experience in San Francisco, he's worked with various professional franchises like the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Devils Rays. His experience dates back to 1989, when he worked as an assistant at Penn State.

With all of Carlisle's experience working with various athletes, Ueyama has learned a ton of valuable knowledge on how to work with professional athletes among other important lessons.

"His emphasis of how everything we do is relationship-based has influenced me," Ueyama said. "You have to have a good report with the guys and one of the biggest things I've learned from him is how he is always reiterating that we have to preach coach Singletary's message in everything we do."

Ueyama joined the strength staff prior to the 2008 season after serving ten seasons in the college ranks as an assistant at Arizona State (2001-2003) and then as head strength coach at Utah State (2004-2007). Since joining the 49ers, Ueyama has brought a lot to the team's strength program, including mixed martial arts training. Specifically, sparring with boxing gloves has emphasized players working on hand speed, balance and cardio.

"On top of it, it's a good workout," Ueyama explained. "Although it's hard to hit the mitts for 20-30 minutes, some of them would rather do that than hop on a cardio bike. It changes things up and the guys really like it."

Ultimately, the players have taken to the variety of strength and conditioning methods brought to the table. From hill training, weight lifting, boxing, sand running and on-field cardio work – the players have enjoyed the challenging workouts presented by Carlisle and Ueyama.

"We've gained the player's trust and so the guys come into work, knowing what we've put together is something they're going to benefit from," Carlisle said.

The team bonding the inside the weight room walls certainly transferred to the practice field and can only help as well when it comes to on-field success come gameday.

"It's the foundation of what they'll do on the field this upcoming season. Guys are working hard together towards a common goal and that's to win," Carlisle said. "Coach Singletary has made it very clear what he expects from them every time they take the field. He wants guys giving everything they have to get better. And that's what the players have done."

Thanks to the efforts of Carlisle and Ueyama, the 49ers will have even more power to their punch when they reconvene for training camp in a month-and-a-half.

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