Pro Athlete Power Training:
8 Pros Spill Their Training Secret
You can’t open a glossy magazine with the word “muscle” in the title without being bombarded with lifting, cardio, and diet advice from the world’s top bodybuilders. Names like “Schwarzenegger”, “Coleman”, and “Yates” are touted as bodybuilding Gods whose advice must be followed if you want to have any chance of a buff physique.
While it may be beneficial to follow the advice of people you want to become, there are a number of huge caveats to this mindset when it comes to crafting a ripped body. Yes, the bodybuilders that fill the pages of muscle mags are freaks. But on the other hand…they’re freaks. I don’t know about you, but I’m not aiming to be 275 lbs. with a 4% body fat. I just want to turn some heads at the beach!
Also, keep in mind that these guys are “professional”, which suggests a certain level of time and effort that you may not have. How many of us, with a job, hobbies, friends, and kids have 5 hours to spend working out? Not many of you, I’m sure. Then there’s the “supplements” that these guys use. I’m not pointing any fingers, but it’s a well-understood notion that professional bodybuilders use some sort of “pharmaceutical enhancement” as part of their regimen.
So where does that leave us? Asking the guy one bench over what he eats for breakfast? Luckily, there’s a massive group of guys (and gals) who have physiques that are so ripped, balanced, and bulky that they’d make a blind person stare at them. Best of all, while they do spend a fair amount of time training –a prerequisite for success –their urine is so squeaky clean that it would pass with flying colors at the Tour De France.
Who are these true Gods of physiques? Professional athletes! You may not be able to see their bodies underneath their pads and jerseys, but believe me, they’re packing. What’s even cooler than how they look is what they can do. I personally can’t picture Ronnie Coleman out running a linebacker or maneuvering around a pass rush. Athletes have the physique and they know how to use it.
Fortunately, you don’t need to try out for the Chicago Bears to match them. Nor do you need to quit your day job, hire a pompous agent, and start negotiating for a multi-year contract with the Yankees. Lucky for you, I’ve put together the training, habits that has catapulted these 8 athletes head and shoulders above mere mortals like yourself.
It’s time to stop watching and worshiping pro athletes…and become one of them.
Athlete #1: Terrell Owens
In his heyday with the 49ers, “TO” was the man on and off the field. When he wasn’t attracting passes his way like an electric magnet, he was inventing some crazy celebration that made him such a polarizing figure. But underneath that playful and aloof aura is the body of Greek god. Six foot three, 225 lbs., and 3% body fat. Seriously.
Here’s what he does to craft his physique that’s unparalleled in the NFL:
Limited Free Weights
Yes, you read that right. Because of a hamstring he suffered while lifting, TO has become one of the most vocal opponents against free weights. He claims that we use them too often, they don’t build functional strength, and that they make us injury prone.
I’d usually assume that these were the words coming from the mouth of someone with a few screws loose, but because TO’s saying it, I’m all ears. He does use free weights for certain heavy lifts like deadlifts and squats, but for nearly everything else, it’s resistance bands. This is especially true during the season when he needs to save his joints for Sunday.
Rubber Band Man
If you’re like most fitness nuts, you’ve scoffed at the resistance bands that desperate puny people use to “lift weights”. Well you can add Owens to that list of the puny. “The man behind the Owens body”, trainer Buddy Primm, is a huge proponent of resistance bands. In fact, TO has come out with his own exercise plan based almost entirely on resistant bands. He claims that convenience factor aside, resistance bands actually work the muscles harder and most effectively than free weights.
Is he crazy…or is he crazy? I did a bit of digging in the exercise literature and here’s what I found.
It turns out that there’s a lot of truth to what TO touts. The primary advantage of using resistance bands is that you get continual tension on the muscle throughout the eccentric (up) and concentric (down) portion of the lift. For example, if you do a bench press, the actual stress on your muscles get less and less as the bar gets farther away from you.
On the other hand, resistance bands actually put more stress on the muscle during the eccentric phase. What this means in practical terms is that your muscles simply work harder with resistance bands than they do with the equivalent resistance of free weights. For you at home, you can grab a pair of resistance bands and use them in place of exercises that you already do: like bench presses, bicep curls, and upright rows.
Like most pro athletes, TO isn’t interested in squatting 600 lbs. to impress the cutie on the elliptical trainer. She won’t be so impressed as he gets sandwiched between two 300lb. linebackers. He abhors barbells because they create muscle imbalances, which make you less effective on the playing field. Instead, he’s all about using dumbbells or bands with different weights, single joint movements, and lifting while balancing on one leg or a Swiss ball.
Athlete #2: Kobe Bryant
In a recent interview, Bryant stated that when you train, “You’re going to have to feel some pain, you’re going to have to feel like your lungs are burning, and you know, you want to spit up blood, that sort of thing.”
What was that? Spitting up blood? Move over Arnold, now that’s a hardcore athlete. . . .
Athlete #3: Cliff Lee
Athlete #4: David Beckham
Athlete #5: Sidney Crosby
Athlete #6: Brock Lesnar
Athlete #7: Michael Phelps
Athlete #8: Bruce Lee