Drew Brees’s Workout Style: Mind Over Matter
The starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints is not your typical quarterback. He stands at 6 feet and 209 pounds, which is 3 inches shorter and 11 pounds lighter than average for the position. However, he does not let that get in his way.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Brees as saying, “The body will only go as far as the mind will take it.” His workouts are not your typical day at the gym. You will not find him bench pressing 250 pounds; instead you will find Drew Brees challenging his body in new and innovative ways.
Some of his favorite pieces of equipment are the TRX, medicine balls, and resistance bands. These pieces of equipment allow him to focus on improving balance, core stability, and power, but today we’ll just focus on the TRX.
Todd Durkin, his strength and conditioning coach, works with Brees five days a week for three hours. Each day has different types of exercises but they all have the same goal in mind, “to be the best and to constantly improve.”
The TRX Suspension Trainer
This is Drew Brees’s “go to” piece of equipment. Designed by a Navy Seal, the Remember to always warm up before starting any exercise routine. Rest is important when working with the TRX, so perform these five exercises in a row with a 30 second break in between. Then repeat from the beginning 3 times. Form is also important. Always engage your core and keep your shoulders and neck relaxed.
• Sprinter’s Start With Hop – Face away from the TRX. It should be on outside of the arms with a handle in each hand. Feet should be in a staggered stance with your back nice and flat and core tight. With the front foot stays in same position, take the back knee and hop up as high as you can, really driving that knee up toward the ceiling. Then return it to start position. Repeat this as fast as you can. Perform 30 per leg and then rest for 30 seconds after you finish both legs.
• Power Pull –– Put right handle through the left handle and pull so that you now have one handle to work with. Facing the TRX, hold on with left hand with elbow should bent to 90 degrees. Feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width with knees slightly bent. Take a couple of steps toward TRX so your body is at a slight incline. Now straighten your left arm, letting your body drop back in a straight line and allowing your right arm go straight back toward the ground. Pull your body back up to start with your left arm. Repeat 20 times and then switch to the other side. Rest for 30 seconds. Remember this is a power pull, so drop, rotate out a little and then pull up.
• Incline Press – Keep straps in single hand mode and lengthen so the handle is closer to the floor. Take TRX and put your right foot through the handle. Chest is facing the floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Walk your hands back so your leg is straight behind in air at 45-degree angle toward the ceiling. In push-up position, drop and perform 12 push-ups. If you need more of a challenge bring your left leg up and hold next to your right leg and perform your push-ups. Switch feet and do 12 push-ups with other leg suspended.
• One Handed Bicep Curl – Face TRX and keep handles in single handle mode. Shorten TRX and grab the handle with your right arm. Palm should be facing upward and arm should be fully extended. Keep opposite arm by your side. Walk your feet in so your body is at an incline. Keeping elbow raised, pull yourself up toward the wall and then release. Perform 12 and then switch arms.
• Chest Press – Face away from the TRX with a handle in each hand. Your body should be at a 45-degree angle with the floor and the TRX band should be above your arms coming down from wall. If the band is rubbing against your arms then your hand position is too low. Bend your arms at the elbow and drop your body toward the floor and then press back up. Make sure throughout movement you keep eye level up so your chest stays high. Need more of a challenge? Try lifting one leg off the floor for entire set. Repeat 15 times.
Keep It Competitive
Durkin explains that Brees does not like to lose. “He’s a fiery competitor”, and this makes Brees’s workouts even more fun. To get the same result, try timing yourself for 30 seconds and seeing how many repetitions you can complete. Keep track so the next time you can challenge yourself to beat your previous number. If you lose, drop and perform 50 push-ups. These little challenges in your workout can give you the intensity that an NFL quarterback’s has.
Remember Brees’s motto, “the body will only go as far as the mind will take it.” Use this in your workouts to push yourself even harder. The TRX will challenge you physically and mentally because it is not easy. When you push your mental toughness to a new level, you will see results that you never imagined you could have.