Caleb Banks has had a pretty simple daily routine since arriving in Bloomington. Wake up. Train. Spend most of the day in the gym. Go home. Go to sleep and wake up ready to do it all over again.
That led to Banks and the rest of Indiana’s top 10 freshman class — Jalen Hood-Shifno, Malik Reno and C.J. Gunn — spending several hours each day with Cliff Marshall, Indiana’s director of athletic achievement. And after about a month of working with Marshall, the Hoosiers freshmen have already seen noticeable improvements.
Gunn reported to campus at 186 pounds, and Marshall is aiming to reach 200 by the time he returns home in August. Gunn weighed in at 199 pounds Thursday, having already added 13 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-6 frame. Banks has seen similar gains through his work with Marshall, going from 200 to 215 pounds in his first month at Indiana.
Marshall enters his sixth year at Indiana after serving 10 years as director of performance at Ignition Athletics in Cincinnati, where he trained over 10,000 athletes, including NBA, MLB, MLS and NFL talent.
Marshall also served as a strength and conditioning assistant for the Cincinnati Bengals, as well as a fitness ambassador for the NFL from 2015 to 2016. In that role, he wrote training articles for NFL.com and produced video content for the NFL Network. Marshall’s training program has also been featured in Muscle and Fitness Magazine, on ESPN and in USA Today.
“I’ve known Cliff Marshall since my rookie year in the NFL,” said seven-time NFL Pro Bowler AJ Green. “I used him as my personal trainer because he believes in Total Athlete training. His performance program focuses on improving the quick muscles, which is exactly what I need to continue playing at a Pro Bowl level every year with the Bengals. I appreciated his wisdom as it made me more of a complete athlete.”
Scroll to Continue
Since coming to Bloomington, Marshall has remodeled Cook Hall’s weight room into what is now called “The Lab,” which is filled with state-of-the-art training equipment and technology. He also collaborated with team physician Larry Rink and athletic trainer Tim Garle to create the IU Excellence Academy, which includes the Tobias Nutrition Center.
Gunn has realized the importance of nutrition and sleep since committing to Marshall’s program, which emphasizes the need for proper recovery from exercise. Gunn said college basketball was more like work compared to his time at Lawrence North, which showed him how vital it is to be in top shape to adjust to the speed of the college game.
“It’s all really important to the process,” Gunn said. “You have to take all the factors into account and really lock yourself in and stay disciplined.”
And perhaps what paved the way for player buy-in to Marshall’s approach was how easy he was to relate to. Hood-Schifino noted that Marshall often sends motivational messages to the team to make sure they stay dedicated to training and nutrition.
Marshall took incoming freshmen fishing during their first week on campus, and recently a group visited the Monroe County Fair with Marshall.
“In addition to being a strength coach, he’s just a great guy outside of the weight room,” Hood-Schifino said.
Related Indiana basketball stories:
- HULLS EXPLAINS APPROACH TO RECRUITMENT: As Jordan Hulse takes over the team and recruiting coordinator for Indiana basketball, he’s keeping a close eye on the intangibles he possessed as a Big Ten champion. Hulse is working to build strong relationships with recruits and believes his Indiana roots and overseas experience will help in all aspects of his new job. PRESS HERE
- GUN WORKING FOR 3-POINT SHOOTER INDIANA NEEDS: Lawrence North High School product C.J. Gunn joins Mike Woodson and an Indiana basketball program with a reputation built in part on 3-point shooting prowess. This is an area where Indiana has struggled recently, but Gunn is working to close that gap. PRESS HERE
- BANKS’ JOURNEY TO INDIANA: Caleb Banks received 10 stitches in his eye during the state championship game, and he went head-to-head with Jabari Smith, the No. 3 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The versatile freshman is quiet, humble and may not realize how good he is — or how good he can become — but surrounded by talent in a basketball-crazy Indiana environment, Banks is right where he needs to be. PRESS HERE