We recently visited sunny San Diego to see Boston Red Sox slugger Adrian Gonzalez’s unique workout and hear his life story. At the end of the day, we left the Gonzalez Sports Academy (GSA)—a facility in Chula Vista, Calif. run by Gonzalez and his family—with an incredible workout that will force you to “fire every muscle.” So says Tom Green, the academy’s head trainer, and Gonzalez himself, one of the game’s humblest athletes, in an exclusive interview.
An MLB Workout
Over the years, Gonzalez has developed into one of the most powerful hitters in baseball. The elite first baseman can send balls high over outfield fences with a simple flick of his wrists. But to maintain the incredible power that has catapulted him to the highest level of MLB superstardom, Gonzalez must perform explosive movements and exercises that continually engage his core—the source of any hitter’s power.
On the day we visited, Green began Gonzalez’s workout with a series of dynamic exercises to get his blood pumping. His goal was to increase the challenge on Gonzalez’s body as he moved from exercise to exercise. Green divided a 60-yard straightaway track into 20-yard increments for Gonzalez to perform Skips, Lunges and a slew of other standard warm-up exercises. But “standard” cannot be used to describe the rest of his workout.
The first exercise? Three sets of Backward Weighted Bear Crawls (photo above). After that? Three or more sets of Reverse Lawnmowers, Seated Sled Rows, Hanging One-Arms Rows, Tire Flips and Rope Planks. Each exercise (except Tire Flips) was unique. But the movements covered a wide range of motion that athletes of every sport need to use. Stay tuned to watch video coverage of the entire workout and to learn how to adapt Gonzalez’s exercises for your sport.
Gonzalez comes across as a real down-to-earth kind of guy. He feels uncomfortable calling himself an “All-Star first baseman,” preferring to simply state his name and position, as if he were still playing little league baseball in Mexico.
Gonzalez shared his story of growing up in Tijuana and, as a teen, splitting time between that large Mexican city and Chula Vista. He also discussed how his religion and family have been driving forces in his life. He believes in living every day like it’s his last, and you will see that in the way he trains and lives his life.
In addition to running The Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation with his wife, the four-time All-Star often drives 45 minutes to the Gonzalez Sports Academy to work with younger athletes. He gladly signs autographs for all the Little Leaguers running around, leaving them with ear-to-ear smiles across their faces.
Come back soon for video coverage of our sit-down with the three-time Gold Glove winner. Meantime, take a look at his comments on being the MLB 12 The Show cover athlete and check out the forthcoming Spring 2012 issue of STACK magazine for a cover story featuring Gonzalez.