When Greg Nixon was a junior in college, he discovered that track, not football, was his true calling. Everything had to change— especially his workouts.
On the track, Nixon follows crisp white lines around a 400-meter oval. His path to becoming a gold medalist wasn’t nearly so clear.
After starting his college sports career as a wide receiver at Grambling, Nixon transferred to D-III Howard Payne. The track coaches there recruited him after seeing him run, and in his first year as a sprinter, Nixon won a national championship in the 200-meter dash—a feat he repeated his senior year, when he also took the top spot at 100 meters.
Nixon has since switched to the 400-meter oval, and the results have been even better. He’s won two U.S. championships and five medals (three gold) in international competition.
Along the way, he overhauled his training. “I do full-body workouts, not just chest or legs like you’d do for football,” Nixon says. “Everything is at a fast tempo. We want to get our heart rate up. In the beginning, it’s crazy. But over time you get better at it.”
Here are three moves from Nixon’s heart- pounding conditioning workout.
Split Stance Water Buckets
Assume a split stance, lean forward at the hips and row dumbbells toward your torso in an alternating fashion.
Sets/Reps: 2×10-12, switching forward leg on each set.
BOSU Ball Up-Downs
Start in a plank position with your elbows and forearms on a BOSU ball. Rise up onto your palms one at a time, then lower down to your elbows one arm at a time.
Sets/Duration: 2×60 seconds
Rope Pull with Plate
Fasten one end of a 30-foot rope to a weight plate. Stand at the other end of the rope and, using a hand-over-hand motion, drag the plate toward you.
Want more? Download Greg Nixon’s full workout from stackconditioning.com.