Montgomery relies on running, yoga to lose weight


Jenna Reeves/ Iowa State Daily

D’Vario Montgomery poses at football media day. Montgomery ran with his dog, King, and took yoga classes to lose 30 pounds in the offseason. 

Luke Manderfeld

This past offseason, ISU redshirt junior receiver D’Vario Montgomery wanted to lose weight off his undesirably large frame.

So he did what few other football players do, grabbed his dog collar and strapped it on his American Bulldog, King, and ran. To add on to the oddities, he also attended a yoga class in the summer.

The unconventional style worked.

Montgomery dropped 30 pounds during the offseason, bringing his weight down from 246 to 206. The workout helped him in his rehab process after recovering from an exploratory surgery in his knee that removed a piece of bone.

On a daily basis and as much as two to three times a day, Montgomery ran with his dog, King, a route comparable to the distance from the Jacobson Athletic Building to HyVee in west Ames— 4.4 miles in total, according to Google maps.

The running helped Montgomery lose his undesired weight and helped King just as much.

“[I would run] everyday, honestly,” Montgomery said. “[King] loves to get out and run around, and I needed to lose the weight and it helped him out a lot. He got a lot bigger and I got a lot smaller.”

Coupling flexibility with endurance, Montgomery joined a yoga class with nine other teammates during the summer.

Despite feeling “really sore” after the first day, Montgomery gave himself a challenge to see how long it took him to do yoga without the after-workout pain.

“[My body] was pretty sore. It was really sore, actually,” Montgomery said about the first day of yoga. “I took it upon myself to see it as a competition to see how fast we could get used to it.”

As for on-the-field results from the yoga and running workouts, Montgomery said he has gained more strength and flexibility that has translated to his play. He said he now has extra range to catch a ball closer to his knees or make more athletic movements.

“[The yoga] was pretty intense and I wasn’t expecting what I got but I got a lot out of the class,” Montgomery said. “It really helped out and I can tell on the field.”

It isn’t just him that is noticing a difference.

ISU wide receiver coach Tommy Mangino has noticed as well. Mangino said it isn’t just Montgomery’s play on the field that has grown in the offseason, it’s his maturation and understanding of the game.

“He’s really growing up and understanding what we are trying to do as a program and on offense,” Mangino said. “He’s changed his body and put himself in a position where he can go for a longer amount of time and be on the field as much as he can to contribute.”

Head coach Paul Rhoads has taken notice as well. He said that Montomery now understands the importance of preparation and it has paid dividends on the field.

“He just told me he had a good practice,” Rhoads said. “He’s changed his body, if you noticed, he’s leaned up, he’s lost weight. …He’s really matured.

The 2014-15 season brought success to Montgomery’s career at Iowa State. When redshirt senior Quenton Bundrage went down in the first series of the season with an ACL tear, it was partly on Montgomery’s shoulders to ascend to a star role.

Along with now-graduated Jarvis West, Montgomery helped the passing game gain national notoriety. He led the team with 605 receiving yards and finished fourth in receptions with 44.

This season, Montgomery will be a part of a trio of receivers that can contend to be the best receiving core in the Big 12. Montgomery and sophomore Allen Lazard combined for 1,080 of the Cyclones’ 2,981 receiving yards. With the return of Bundrage, the field could open up for more yardage through the air.

“It’s a good feeling walking onto a practice field knowing you have guys that can make plays,” Mangino said about the three receivers. “They’ve improved their game too and they know that.”

For Montgomery’s following act this upcoming season, he feels like the drop in weight and a successful recovery could give him an advantage to help the passing game.

“I feel a lot more explosive, a lot shiftier, I guess you could say,” Montgomery said. “I can really tell the difference between when I played last year and this year.”