7 Keys to Athletic Success

At Hardbody Athlete, we believe in a holistic approach to training that incorporates balance across multiple areas of fitness. Chris Shugart’s article on balance got us thinking about how this principle applies not just to diet and exercise, but to the entire spectrum of athletic training. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a regular person aiming for peak performance, these principles remain consistent.


Most trainees fall into three camps:

  1. The all training, no diet camp
  2. The all diet, no training camp
  3. The lifestyle self-saboteur camp

To achieve progress, balance between training and lifestyle approaches is essential. At Hardbody Athlete, we integrate a holistic training philosophy that applies equally to athletes and regular clients. Our approach remains consistent: focus on comprehensive development rather than isolated aspects.


Here’s a breakdown of how we structure each training session to ensure balanced development across all key areas:

  1. MAMP: Mobility, Activation, and Movement Preparation

This modern warm-up phase is designed to prepare your body for the workout. Jogging on a treadmill isn’t enough. We use dynamic warm-ups like those found in the Magnificent Mobility DVD and the Parisi Warm-up DVD. The warm-up should be tailored to your mobility needs, with tight athletes spending more time on this phase, incorporating foam rolling and static stretching as needed.

  1. Injury Prevention

Injury prevention is a critical part of our warm-up. We address problem areas with targeted exercises, such as YTWL movements, push-up plus, and mini-band walks. This phase ensures that any potential issues are addressed before the main workout begins. One to two sets of 8-10 reps should suffice, taking about 6-8 minutes.

  1. Core / Pillar Training

Core strength is paramount for both athletes and fitness enthusiasts. We prioritize core training early in the session to ensure it gets the attention it deserves. A typical core session includes a stability exercise, a rotational movement, and a hip flexion exercise. Spend about 4-5 minutes on this phase, selecting different exercises for variety and progression.

  1. Elasticity/Reactive/SSC Training

This phase involves explosive body weight exercises or plyometrics to enhance sports performance and reduce injury risk. We focus on quality over quantity, with exercises performed for 4-8 seconds. This includes a mix of linear, lateral, single, and double-leg movements, controlled based on the exercise’s intensity.

  1. Resistance Training Portion

Strength training remains a cornerstone of athletic development. We use an alternating set system to maximize efficiency and balance training. Typically, this phase lasts 20-30 minutes, with the resistance portion comprising about 50% of the session. For aesthetic goals, this might extend to 60%, but balanced development remains the focus.

  1. Energy System Development (ESD)

ESD encompasses all forms of cardio, from steady-state aerobic work to interval training and metabolic complexes. This phase, lasting 12-20 minutes, can be done during the session or separately. It’s essential for conditioning and can be tailored to enhance fat loss if needed.

  1. Flexibility – Regeneration

The final phase focuses on self-myofascial release and stretching. Using tools like “The Stick” or foam rollers, we address soft tissue quality and flexibility. Spend 10-15 minutes on this phase, incorporating various stretching techniques to improve range of motion and recovery. Post-workout shakes are also introduced here.


A typical session at Hardbody Athlete averages about 50-55 minutes, though it can extend to 70-80 minutes for clients with additional needs. The key is to balance time across all areas to match your goals. Even adding a few minutes of specific work in each area can significantly enhance your progress.

At Hardbody Athlete, our holistic approach ensures comprehensive development, preparing you for peak performance and overall athletic success. Balance is the key to unlocking your full potential.