Yesterday I noted a news feature from Travis Haney of the CHARLESTON (SC) POST & COURIER and Joe Person of THE STATE (SC) in which Steve Spurrier’s daily exercise routine was presented in meticulous detail.
(Fitness Pro Pauline Nordin Critiques Coach’s Touted Personal Workout)
To his credit, the head football coach of South Carolina, who just turned 65 and is a former elite athlete, still looks to be in reasonably good condition for his age. (Witness his posing for the newspapers shirtless.)
As Haney and Person actually worked out with Spurrier and recorded quotes from him throughout the process, we got a lot of very specific information on an exercise routine Spurrier has been doing for decades - and swears keeps him in optimum condition:
“When I was in my 40s, I never thought I’d coach into my 60s. But now, shoot, I feel better than I did when I was 45.”
With that kind of conviction from the coach, I thought I’d call on an expert in the exercise field, professional fitness model and certified personal trainer Pauline Nordin, to examine Spurrier’s claims.
Nordin, a native of Sweden who runs the popular fitness blog FighterDiet.com, is a former competitive bodybuilder who has been profiled extensively in countless fitness magazines, including Muscle & Fitness and Flex. Based in Los Angeles, she’s also served as an on-camera trainer in the production of television’s The Biggest Loser reality show.
I emailed Nordin the Spurrier article and asked for her reaction to his published exercise routine. Nordin, who is also an accomplished fitness blogger, wasn’t shy in her critique of the coach’s workout:
Weights: He’s (Spurrier) doing a lot of repetitions to keep his heart rate up but it appears he’s not really lifting to build muscle because the reps are extremely high.
Cardio: Was he having a conversation with a writer while doing his cardio? If he was, that isn’t intense training. At least not intense enough for what I think he should be doing.
500 situps and 500 pushups: Why is he doing that many repetitions? Why not add weight? He must be doing them so fast that he’s just bouncing up and down, which needlessly stresses his joints and tendons.
Conclusion: I would like to see his form on all the exercises. In watching football players train over the years, for whatever reason, many tend to lack proper form. A lot of throwing around, not really targeting the muscles at all. Just a little bit of everything.
His training style to me sounds very old school, but not in a good way. I wouldn’t call his workout really smart or progressive training.
But hey, if he’s happy, I’m cool with it!
After receiving that critique of Spurrier’s workout, I requested Nordin provide me with some workout tips for a man of the coach’s physical condition and age.
1. Adding weights builds muscles that degenerate with age. By stimulating muscle-building with lower reps and heavier weights - along with perfect form - his body will rebuild new lean mass. High repetitions normally don’t achieve that regenerated muscle.
2. Increase the intensity with intervals when doing cardio. They don’t have to be super intense, but peaks and valleys increase the hormones in our body that keep us looking young.
3. Slow down the tempo! By bouncing during reps you run a higher risk of tearing ligaments and muscle fibers.
4. Quality instead of quantity. There is no reason to force two hours of “work” into one hour. That only proves he’s not really pushing himself. It’s like a hamster on the wheel: spinning, spinning but not really getting anywhere.
Would it be unreasonable of me to also describe the recent fortunes of the Gamecocks football program under Spurrier as, “spinning, spinning but not really getting anywhere“?