Conditioning critical to Piroli, Steelers
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
Sunday October 10, 2010 12:10 AM
WEXFORD — If the Steelers make it to the Super Bowl, Anthony Piroli will have helped them get there.
Even though the team has its own strength and conditioning coach, several Steelers turn to Piroli to help them become bigger, stronger and faster.
“Anthony does a great job with a lot of us,” guard Chris Kemoeatu said. “He’s a real smart guy — not just as far as working out, but also with rehabbing and stretching.”
Piroli, a 2003 graduate of Aliquippa High School, is one of two performance specialists at the Power Train Sports Institute in Wexford.
Power Train was founded over 20 years ago in Lancaster. It now has facilities in Mainheim, Wexford, and Cherry Hill, N.J., where several Philadelphia Eagles train.
After serving as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh under renowned strength coach Buddy Morris, Piroli has been working at the Power Train location in Wexford since May of 2009.
“Anthony is very loyal to Aliquippa,” Steelers tight end Heath Miller said. “He knows a lot about WPIAL sports, especially football. And he’s a pretty good trainer, too.”
Piroli, a two-year starter at center when he played for Aliquippa, was introduced to strength and conditioning philosophies from his father. His dad, Art Piroli, has been the Quips’ strength coach for years.
Anthony Piroli earned a degree in Exercise Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As a senior, he served as strength coach for IUP’s football team. He then got his Masters in Exercise Physiology from Pitt.
When Power Train opened its Wexford branch, Piroli was the first person hired.
“Because my dad runs the weight lifting program at Aliquippa, I knew when I went to college what I wanted to do with my life,” Piroli said.
Among the Steelers who work out at Power Train are Miller, Kemoeatu, linebackers James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons, tight end Matt Spaeth and several offensive linemen.
A number of Buffalo Bills also train there during the off-season, including linebacker Paul Posluszny, a Hopewell grad, and defensive end Aaron Mabin.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker, who attended Pine-Richland High School, is a Power Train client. Several local college and high school athletes also train there.
“We do everything for the athletes we work with,” Piroli said. “We bring them in and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. It’s a comprehensive program that includes strength training, speed work, stretching, diet, injury prevention and restoration work the day after games.
“It’s not a cookie-cutter program. It’s all individual work. We really zone in on these athletes.”
Piroli sees the Steelers he works with extensively during the off-season. During the season, he usually sees them Monday mornings before team meetings and on Tuesdays when players are off.
Piroli may also seem them occasionally on weekends and on game days at the team hotel where he helps them stretch.
“I know (Piroli’s) helped me become a better football player,” said Steelers guard Trai Essex. “He’s obviously very good at what he does.”