To be the best at your craft, you’ve got to train like the best when nobody's watching. For some of our favorite athletes such as Tom Brady, LeBron James and Sidney Crosby, we get lost in their perfection on the court, field or ice rink, however, what we rarely discuss is their training routines on route to the greatness we see while they're performing their craft. In this article, we’ll get a sneak peak at just how hard these three pioneers work during the offseason.
We’ll also take a unique look at other athletes and that includes race car driver Danica Patrick and the fastest man alive Usain Bolt. Pro wrestlers such as WWE stars Triple H, John Cena, Brock Lesnar and The Rock will also be featured on the list. You’ll be amazed at how hard these guys work out on a regular basis.
From Brady’s band work to Brock running in the street with a 180 pound log over his shoulders, we’ll feature a wide variety of workout plans in this article. Enjoy and like always, be sure to share it with a friend. Without further ado, here are 15 crazy workout plans you won’t believe your favorite athletes follow. We begin with Conor McGregor and his training style for his past bout against Floyd Mayweather. Grab a protein shake and let’s get started!
15 Conor McGregor - Fighter Anaerobic System
During his fight prep for the bout against Floyd Mayweahter, one can imagine that McGregor raised the stakes pertaining to his training. However, he used a similar style to his MMA training undergoing a Fighter Anaerobic System of training, which is basically high-intensity volume type workouts that’s all about endurance. He used a similar training type during his MMA days, however the difference this time around is he was training more so for a marathon than a sprint, given the number of punches a boxer must throw during a match, which is drastically different from the UFC that requires endurance as well but a lot more explosiveness particularly with takedowns.
As one might expect, Conor was training six days a week on the regular with one off day during his prep to the fight. His diet wasn’t easy either packing in nine meals a day which consisted of 4,000 calories - when you’re burning so much, fueling up is essential, especially for the rigorous type of training Conor underwent.
14 LeBron James – Versaclimber Training
When you’re the master at your craft, you know you’re doing something right. For NBA players, a crucial time for training is during the offseason, LeBron James knows a thing or two about that as one of the hardest workers off the court. Yea, it’s cool and all to see his prowess on the court, however, you’ve got to respect his hustle off of it as well.
His way of staying in shape isn’t the most conventional, James has stated that he loves taking a Versaclimber class, which are basically exercises performed on a step climber, if you’ve ever utilized a step climber you’re likely cringing at the thought of just walking on it let alone performing exercises. He also works on his lower body by taking Pilates and spin classes as well. Like most of the others on this list, James trains everyday during his offseason and wakes up at 5 AM to exercise, now that’s dedication!
13 Triple H – Functional Training
We recently discussed Triple H’s physique in an article that was recently posted here on TheSportster. In the article, we discussed the fact that The Game is now training under a new type of program. With his joints giving out, bodybuilding training was no longer working for Hunter. For that reason, he turned to functional training and he appears to be ten years younger because of it, especially in the ring.
His functional movements are more centered around speed and agility, the overall purpose of functional training is to improve one’s athleticism and create a stronger bone density - which makes an athlete less injury prone. Among some of Hunter’s most remarkable lifts include Incline Pressing 100 pound dumbbells for 26 reps and as if that wasn’t impressive enough, he also hit 275 on the bench press for 16 reps.
12 Lindsey Vonn – Intense Lower Body and Cycling Work
One would assume that Vonn takes it easy during her offseason away from skiing but man oh man is that not the case and according to Vonn, her offseason work is crucial to her success once ski season begins.
Vonn spilled some of the details pertaining to her summer workouts which consist of five to six days a week of training and oh, each session lasts six hours! Endurance and strengthening her lower body is essential, Vonn uses the bike for three hours a day to increase her leg strength, a body part which is huge when it comes to skiing stability and speed. She also loves heavy upper body movements along with various other strength based workouts such as the classic squat. Leg training is huge when it comes to Vonn’s success, though she admitted she also likes to have a day of fun at the gym which entails abs and other body parts she doesn’t necessarily need to focus on but does on that day.
11 Sidney Crosby – Plyometric Exercises & Strength Training
Like LeBron earlier in the article, not only is Crosby the master at his craft but he also uses the offseason as an important time to get his physique to next level and ready for the season. After taking time off, he begins his training with a light but hard jog uphill, the footage was captured by NHL.com as he trained alongside Nathan MacKinnon, it’s no wonder Nathan’s off to a tremendous start, training with Sid in the offseason certainly helps.
Jogging uphill is only the beginning, once the offseason plan is in full effect, the two biggest priorities are getting him stronger, especially his lower body and getting his cardio levels back up there. Preferred movements by Sid include squats, deadlift and lunges. He also includes plyometrics, which are a staple in an NHL’ers workouts, those types of exercises include box jumps and a variety of other body movements.
10 Usain Bolt – Core-Centric Training & Explosiveness Development
Ever wonder what it’s like to train as if you were the fastest man in the world? Well, we’ve got the answers. Although we’ve documented Bolt’s love for the nightlife numerous times here on The Sportster, we need to give him some love for his intense training regimen.
Due to his big frame, Bolt has the advantage of covering less ground than his competitors during a race. For that reason, he spends 90 minutes alone on explosive workouts that help in giving him that edge earlier on in a race. He also spends time on muscle building but admits that getting too bulky isn’t necessarily a good thing for his speed. In terms of leg movements he enjoys hamstring curls and leg extensions. As for his other movements, Bolt utilizes a core-centric type of training which consists of total body movements.
9 The Rock – High-Intensity Weight Training
As one might expect, The Rock’s workouts are high-intensity and straight to the point. Rock admitted that he would spend hours in the gym and that was only hurting his gains. Nowadays, Rock’s sessions are between 45-60 minutes, though the intensity is high as ever.
His routines are basically catered towards muscle building and a bodybuilding style. The Rock no longer wrestles and nowadays his main goal is looking jacked in front of the camera so for that reason, don’t expect any ballistic one rep movements. Instead, Dwayne’s all about conventional exercises with a rep scheme of 12, 10 and 8. His breaks between sets are also short with a 90 second rest period.
Dwayne takes his workouts very seriously using it as a form of meditation upon waking up. The guy starts off his workouts at 4 AM, now that’s remarkable and oh, he also has a travelling gym as well!
8 Albert Pujols – Conditioning, Stretch & Conventional Work
When you think of intense athlete workouts, baseball players at times tend to fall under the radar due to their stature. Players like Bartolo Colon certainly don’t help things, however, if you dig a little deeper you’d be shocked to find out just how hard these guys work, especially with upper and lower body work.
Albert Pujols workout plan is a perfect example of how rigorous the offseason training truly is. A warm up consists of 30 minutes of cardio followed by 20 minutes of stretching, staying loose is essential for MLB players. The exercises are quite extreme and six days a week, twice a day. The workouts consist of morning training and afternoon training. Rep schemes are pretty grueling from 20 all the way down to six, yikes! Full body conventional movements are included in the workouts, extension and stretch work is also essential in keeping the players feeling good after and during a workout.
7 Brock Lesnar – Explosive Circuit Cardio Training & Bodybuilding
Lesnar’s a freak and his training early on in life certainly justified that, Lesnar took a different approach to building his strength, speed and power. With no gym in sight and living on a farm, Brock made his own weights and found unique ways to stay in shape. One of them was slugging a 180 pound tree on top his shoulders and running down the street with it, still living on a farm nowadays, we wouldn’t be too shocked if he still uses the unconventional workout to build his extreme strength and speed.
When it comes to his WWE training, Lesnar uses a bodybuilding approach, though his cardio remains on point as he uses an intense circuit type form of working in his cardio. That consists of bike work along with explosive movements such as intense hammer sledge work, medicine ball throws and a variety of other grueling body weight type movements.
6 Floyd Mayweather – Variety Of Conditioning Work & Functional Movements
With a record of 50-0, one can assume Floyd’s got a pretty good workout scheme on route to a big fight. His early training weeks before a fight consists of two days off along with work catered to improve his speed, velocity, and stamina. Sparing and technical work is the goal for the first workout of the week, not to mention intense cardio that consists of a 40 minute run, usually spanning five to six miles. Day two features 30 minutes of swimming as conditioning, along with a circuit dedicated to building his speed and precision. Tired yet?
Wednesday is a lighter day for Floyd meant for shadow boxing along with yoga movements. Thursday is an off day and that’s followed by intensity once again on Friday and Saturday followed by an off day Sunday which is full of rest. As the fights get closer, Floyd takes his training to another level.
5 George St-Pierre – Strength & Conditioning
Gone since 2013, fans weren’t really sure how to take St-Pierre’s decision to return to the octagon. Age 36 and not having fought in the last four years, fans we were worried about GSP. Not only did he have to undergo crazy training but he also fought in a weight class he wasn’t familiar with adding to the allure of it all.
Well, it turned out just fine as St-Pierre capped off the storybook moment with a dramatic victory against Michael Bisping. Fans appreciated the victory and hard fought bout from St-Pierre, but we must give him the same kind of love for his pre-match workouts. St – Pierre really challenged himself this time around putting a major emphasis on his stand-up striking ability, his weakest point. As for his training schedule, Georges trained six times a day along with two separate sessions. Lots of boxing and ground work was featured in his training along with strength and conditioning work.
4 Danica Patrick – High Intensity Body Weight Training & Yoga
One would assume that NASCAR drivers hardly workout, but don’t tell that to Danica Patrick who’s a fitness freak off the track. Patrick has taken a liking for yoga movements and she’s demonstrated her skill via multiple social media platforms, her yoga prowess is pretty remarkable and can you see for yourselves via Instagram.
Patrick recently released a book dedicated to her workouts and diet, the workouts generally consist of high-intensity exercises lasting 20 to 30 minutes. Basically like The Rock, she builds a quick sweat early on. Preferred movements include body weight mat base exercise. The workouts are easy given the fact that they hardly require anything aside from a yoga ball, medicine ball and light dumbbells. However, the exercises aren’t the easiest mixing in core movements and stability work.
3 John Cena – Olympic Lifts
John Cena is an absolute freak of nature. He loves lifting heavy weights and that’s been well documented in the past with some of the most grueling lifts you’ll ever see. We’ve seen John not only squat 611 pounds (which means he can squat the Big Show for reps) but he also deadlifted 638 pounds, the guy is an absolute freak and his type of training would even entice a bodybuilder to convert to that style of training.
Cena’s first love however was bodybuilding, John pursued a career in the field before his WWE days. After his heavy lifts, Cena reverts to his old style of training hitting bodybuilding movements which is why he has both the look and the power - making him the ultimate WWE Superstar.
2 Tom Brady – Pliability
He’s 40, still in tip top shape and the best QB in the entire NFL, the dude’s got to be doing something right. Similar to Crosby and LeBron James, Brady uses pliability as a main focus pertaining to his workouts. The biggest goal for Brady isn’t to muscle build and develop his body parts, instead, he puts a focus on adding flexibility to his muscles, a must for someone playing the QB position. Doing a bench press exercise certainly won’t cut it.
Brady intensely targets his muscles with the pliability work, the depth of the exercises help to extend and soften the muscle as well, adding flexibility. Along with body weighted movements, Brady loves to utilize bands as a part of his workouts which really aids in adding the flexibility factor to his joints. This type of training is monumental in aiding his durability.
1 Tiger Woods – Low Intensity Stability Work
Before his back issues would creep in, Woods followed an intense program which focused on weight training and cardiovascular activity. His two main focuses training wise included manual therapy, which consist up stabilization and stretching movements along with high-rep weight training, which builds his balance, control, speed and endurance.
Nowadays, since his back injuries, Woods has toned down the workouts taking on the exercises from his own home. The workout intensity has dropped significantly with more of a focus on stability. The main goal for Woods at this stage in his career is all about feeling good, and stretch work is the key to his new workouts. Perhaps Danica Patrick can show him a movement or two? You’re mind likely went to a dark place after reading that and we don’t blame you...