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Ben Roethlisberger is combating old age with new offseason workout program

At age 32, Ben Roethlisberger is discovering that things are a little different when you're older. In order to maintain his high level of performance, Big Ben has added the help of a nutritionist and a personal trainer to his offseason training program.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes in the NFL there are players who are just so athletic for their position they simply do not need to do what their peers do in order to be competitive.

For virtually the entirety of his career, this has been the case for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Owing to the fact he won't run a 4.4 in the forty yard dash Roethlisberger is often overlooked when discussing the NFL's best athletes, but at 6 ft 5 inches, 240 lb(ish) with a cannon for an arm, Roethlisberger has a perfect build for the quarterback position.

Add to that his underrated ability to gain yards with his feet and his well documented strength and agility when avoiding the pass rush and Roethlisberger has been one of the premiere athletes for his position in the NFL his entire career, possessing natural gifts other quarterbacks would kill for.

However, as the old adage goes, father time is undefeated.

At 32 years old Ben Roethlisberger is no longer the young gunslinger who could rely on his natural talent to get by. Physical decline is part of the natural process for professional athletes, but that doesn't mean Roethlisberger must take it in his stride.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger has been pursuing a new off-season workout program, enlisting the help of a personal trainer and a nutritionist for the first time.

According to Roethlisberger his weight is down, his endurance is up and his arm is stronger than ever.

"My arm is stronger than it’s been in my career, I believe. Even in [spring] practices and minicamp, the receivers said, ‘Ben, that ball is getting to us a lot quicker, with a lot more spin on it, it feels real good.’ That should translate into better play."

Much has been made of Roethlisberger's personal growth, both as a cerebral quarterback as well as a team leader. The extra effort in the off-season to be in the best possible condition can be seen as an extension of Roethlisberger's continuing maturation.

When asked why he had decided to do additional off-season work now, Roethlisberger responded that the time was simply right.

"That youth wears off. You start getting to 32, it’s time. As your body deteriorates, your natural talents start to go a little bit. You have to bring in physical working out, building, taking protein and doing extra stuff.

"I want this year to be my best year and, if I have to do extra things, I’m going to do it."

There is a great deal of promise surrounding the 2014 Steelers as the begin 2014 training camp, and of course there is a great deal of uncertainty inherent at this time of year in the NFL. One thing Steelers fan can be certain of is that Ben Roethlisberger is taking the necessary steps to be as good a quarterback as he possibly can.