06 Jul No Excuses – How I Ran My Fastest 40 Yard Dash By Training In My Backyard
As a trainer, I hear all the excuses in the world when it comes to not working out. I hear things like “I don’t have time”, “I don’t have the money for a gym membership”, “I don’t know what to do” etc. You name it, I’ve probably heard it. All of us can come up with reasons why we can’t go to the gym or workout but chances are it just a matter of your priorities. If there’s a will there’s a way and in this article I will talk about a time where I couldn’t afford a gym membership prior to a pro football tryout and trained in my backyard with great results.
Before we get started, I’m a huge advocate of going to the gym. This should be a top priority when it comes to taking control of your health. Sometimes you legitimately can’t make it to the gym, in these short term scenarios, you can make the most of your time at home with home workouts. Those of you who followed my story have heard me talk about how broke I was while coming out of college. You’ve also heard about my aspirations to play professional football. With no agent, I had to bankroll any training, travel, and tryouts myself which isn’t easy when you’re not working. There was a particular tryout coming up for a development league. It was a new football league looking for recent college graduates with no pro experience. I thought this would be a great way to get some recent film to send to NFL scouts.
The tryout was 5 weeks away and at the time I couldn’t afford a gym membership. Knowing I had to do something I utilized my resources to the best of my ability. I had these resistance bands made by Bodylastics, a decent sized backyard, and weight belt. I sat down and experimented with a variety of exercises until a came up with a program that I could do for these 5 weeks. I trained each muscle group twice a week and treated the workouts as if I were hitting the weight room. I would either clip the bands onto the gate or anchor them in the garage door and I focused on pushing/pulling the weight as fast as possible, and slowly lowering the weight. Bands look easy but they really burn because there’s constant tension on your muscles being worked. I also did speed drills with the bands. I would put my weight belt on, clip the bands onto the belt buckle and the other end onto the gate and would do resisted sprints, resisted lateral shuffles, a variety of resisted jumps, and resisted footwork drills. I was in my backyard training every day as hard as I could.
I knew I really wanted to do well, and despite what most people think, the competition at pro tryouts outside the NFL is really good. The NFL is a numbers game and every solid player won’t make it, there’s just not enough room. I knew that I would be competing against guys who had agents that paid for them to train at performance facilities or with certified strength coaches. Here I am training in my backyard with resistance bands so I knew I had to give 100% on every rep. Since I had not trained this way before I didn’t know how the results would carry over but I knew I gave it my all with the resources I had so I was okay with whatever the results were.
At this point you may be wondering how I did. Well needless to say, my hard work and effort paid off. There were over 200 players there and I ran the fastest 40 yard dash time (which also was my fastest 40 yard dash time I ever ran) with a 4.34 second time. I never felt quicker in all my years of playing. It was amazing how well I moved. Every sprint and cut just felt effortless and I was blowing by guys. It was one of the best tryouts I ever had. Unfortunately, the league never got going due to a lack of funding but nevertheless in front of professional scouts, I ran a 40 yard dash time people thousands of dollars for training to achieve, while training in my backyard.
Moral of the story, don’t hide behind excuses of why you can’t workout. If I can train for a pro tryout in my backyard, you can find a way to get a workout in at home. It’s not a matter of resources, it’s a matter of priority. Don’t be that person who makes excuses, be the go-getter that knows what they want and will utilize what they have until they get it.
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