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L.A. Angels Pitcher C.J. Wilson Dishes on Strikeouts, Workouts and His Enviable Hair

Written on July 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm , by

Hanging with “Mane Man” C.J. Wilson

To one of the guys, C.J. Wilson might be most well-known for his success on the pitcher’s mound, but to the ladies, his boyish good looks and a great head of hair are what stand out (sorry girls, he’s recently engaged to supermodel Lisalla Montenegro). Head & Shoulders also took note of his flowing locks and signed him up as their “Mane Man” for the 2012-2013 MLB Season to launch their “Season of the #Whiff” campaign. We stole a moment with him before last week’s All-Star game to chat about the details of the campaign and got him to spill some of his great hair secrets as well as his pro-workout routine.

Tell us about the Season of the #Whiff Campaign and why it’s important to you.
“The Season of the #Whiff (strikeout) campaign is with Head & Shoulders, the MLB and the RBI program. The RBI program is really cool because it brings kids that wouldn’t normally be able to play baseball onto the baseball field. It gets them equipment, places to play. Obviously being a baseball player, it’s been a life-changing opportunity for me, so I wanted other people to get that opportunity. For every strike out or “whiff” this season, Head & Shoulders donates one dollar to the RBI program, so as you can imagine, over the season that becomes a lot of money, and then they have special contests for every month for different teams. If their fans tweet #whiff, they total that up at the end of the month, and whoever wins gets  $10,000 per month for their local RBI program, so it’s a really cool thing overall.”

Pitchers have a lot of pressure on them throughout the game. How do you keep your cool on the mound?
“You just have to trust your preparation. A lot of pressure is on you because you initiate the action. You have a ball in your hands, so you have to not screw up, basically. One of the adages of baseball is good pitching beats good hitting, so you have to trust that the odds are in your favor. If you make good pitches, the guys are going to strike out the majority of the time. You just have to hope the odds stack up, so that if they do get a hit, it’s not when a bunch of guys are on base. You have to try to throw strikes and strike out as many guys as possible. At least that’s the way I try to pitch. Go for the whiff!”

Do you have any pre-game rituals that you do before every game?
“Yeah, definitely. I try to visualize the opposing team and how I’m going to pitch to them, so that I have a game plan. For the most part, you get acclimated to it. You start as a little kid, and even when I was a little kid, I threw the same exact way that I throw now. It’s just something that I’ve always done. You trust the training and make sure you’re wearing your shoes and socks. I’ve actually left the locker room with my jacket and glove, but didn’t have my hat. Even as a grown man, you still make those little mistakes, but you just have to try to make it as much about routine as possible.”

What are your workouts like?
“My workouts are kind of all over the board because I try to train all of my different systems. You have to have endurance in terms of recovery. As a pitcher, you pitch for basically two straight hours, so your body is up for all that time. You have to do enough volume between running and lifting weights to be able to handle that. At the same time, if you don’t train the right way, your body can break down pretty easily. A lot of guys have arm injuries because the little, tiny muscles in your arm that you can easily injure if you do something like lift up a jug of milk the wrong way, those are the ones that hold our arm together. We have to do all these weird exercises with rubber bands and three pound weights. If you go to the gym and see someone doing these exercises, you’re going to be like, ‘What is wrong with that guy?’ because they are clearly not very difficult, but if you do them for 10 minutes straight, then it is difficult. It’s very specialized in that regard. Other than that, I do Crossfit, cardio and sprints.”

You’re a Head & Shoulders “Mane Man,” and you have a good head of hair, so what is your typical hair care routine like?
“Other than using Head & Shoulders as often as possible, I don’t really have much that I do. I try not to put a lot of product in it because we have to wear hats, so if you wear a lot of pomade or something and it gets in your face, it kind of becomes a mess. I try to keep it long so that it lies down. If it’s short, I have to put stuff in it to tame it. My hair sort of just does what I need it do to. I guess I’m naturally gifted in that way. No performance enhancers here!”

So what do you love about the new addition of the Old Spice scent to the Head & Shoulders line?
“It smells manly. There’s definitely a confidence thing to it. When you’re shopping, you’re attracted to certain colors. For me, the blue and red put together is a cool combination. I’ll look at it, then open the bottle and smell it, and I’m like ‘Oh, that smells good!’ I think all of the Old Spice products smell good, whether it’s the body wash or the deodorant. It smells homogenous. You maintain some of your unpolished manliness, which is kind of the charm.”

Do you have any other grooming products that you like?
“The biggest thing to me is the stuff that I shave with because I have very sensitive skin. I have to shave in regular intervals otherwise I get skin issues. If I’m the spokesman for any type of grooming product, I can’t have some sort of caveman beard. Brett Keisel (Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end a fellow Head & Shoulders Mane Man) has a crazy beard, but his beard is the most beautiful, manly beard I have ever seen. I’m the clean-shaven guy, so I kind of have to stay that way.”