Honestly, I’m kind of modest guy … so I don’t talk a lot about my athletic accomplishments.
But for the purposes of this post, I’m going to share with you a bit about how I trained when I was at the peak of my pro football career … vs how I train NOW … so YOU can learn from my “mistakes”, and get the best results from your current fitness program.
At the peak of my pro football career, I weighed almost 310 pounds. I squatted over 600, benched 450 and power cleaned 375. I was also pretty athletic – I had a 34 inch vertical jump and ran the 40 in under 4.9.
BUT … this was at the expense of a few things:
1 – I was constantly in pain – heavy lifting all the time, combined with hundreds of collisions a week, just in the process of practicing and playing my sport, left me constantly banged up.
2 – I had horrible flexibility and mobility. I could barely reach my own back to scratch an itch or wash it in the shower. And it took a LOT of effort to reach down and tie my shoes.
3 – I was badly imbalanced – a lack of much uni-lateral lifting and the constant injuries left me with some serious imbalances on either side of my body … which just fed right back in to the pain and injury cycle.
Now if you’ve played competitive sports in the past … or you’ve just lifted hard and heavy for years … some of what I’m talking about here may sound familiar to you.
Lifting heavy and neglecting mobility, flexibility, balance in the body can lead to a lot of problems.
GOOD news is … there is a solution. Now, my goals and approach are much different. I take a totally different approach to training. And I feel literally like a new man!
Currently, my goals include:
— Maintaining upper body muscle and “looking like I work out”
— Staying pain-free
— Being able to DO stuff … play with my daughter as she grows up, run mud runs, play pick-up basketball, whatever … but STILL also be able to lift relatively heavy too.
The approach I take to my workouts now, after over 15 years of training myself and working with literally thousands of training clients over the years, can be found HERE.
I train with barbells most of the time and still do the basic lifts – deadlifting, squatting, and pressing variations.
But I mix these with kettlebell lifting and body weight exercises in a strategic way to maximize strength AND athleticism AND keeping my body healthy and feeling good.
I have put this system into a workout manual and set of coaching videos, called Barbell / Kettlebell Hybrid Training 2.0.
Here is a sample workout for you that follows this approach:
1 – Warm Up (30 sec ea, 2x thru the circuit)
12 body weight squats
6 push ups with rotation
15 jumping jacks
10 leg swings each leg
2 – Strength work
trap bar deadlift – 4×5, work up to 295 on last set
walking lunge, body weight only, 3×8 each leg
3 – KB Complex (complete all exercises on one arm without setting the ‘bell down)
KB suitcase dead 5
KB swing 5
KB clean 5
KB front squat 5
KB push press 5
Three rounds each side, no rest between sides, set KB down and rest about 30 seconds after completing a round on each side
To sum up, if you want to get strong AND athletic AND stay pain-free, MIXING barbell training and kettlebells and body weight is the way to go.
And again, the workout above is just a one-off sample … to really get the best results from this training method, I suggest you grab the full program I’ve put together HERE.
Thanks, train hard, and talk soon –
– Forest Vance, MS, RKC II