(Excerpt from “The Universal Athlete“) The training equipment in this section is essential for athletes to help increase speed and strength. The Exer-Genie is “tension”-based resistance training taken to another level. It has been around for years. It has the ability to create resistance from 1 pound to 600 pounds of resistance. This resistance is constant and smooth. When performing sled pulls the sled can move from side to side and the weight will fluctuate on the athlete.
When I use the Exer-Genie, the resistance stays the same, which is perfect because it can also help prevent accidental injuries. The Exer-Genie is also great for helping me activate certain muscle groups, especially the glutes. The Exer-Genie is an essential piece of equipment for athletes. I wish I had this training equipment when I was at Florida State. I truly believe my 40-yard time and track and field times would have seen a tremendous improvement. As a trainer, I have witnessed the benefit of the Exer-Genie. In college, I raced against Jacoby Ford and C.J. Spiller from Clemson. They posted ridiculous times in the 60 meters. They were running consistent 6.5’s, and we were running 6.6’s. I remember before one track meet I saw their coach with a resistance band giving them resistance through some drive-phase work 10 to 15 minutes before they ran. At that time, I had no understanding of why but now I know why.
When a football player is getting ready to test on the bench press test they warm up by overloading. If a player’s max is 375 pounds, he will warm up and finish with 2 to 3 reps of 285 to 305 pounds. This helps to awaken and recruit the muscle fibers needed to help the athlete move 225 pounds with ease. Once the player gets on the bench for the test, benching 225 pounds feels like 135 pounds.
I used this same technique to warm up before sprinting events. In 2015, I participated in the National Rugby Football League combine in Los Angeles, California. We tested in the 40-yard dash in the Coliseum. I brought a stretch band with me and had someone hold it while I drove out for about 10 to 15 yards. I performed a total of 2 to 3 reps. About 10 minutes after doing those drives I then ran the 40 and posted a 4.28 on slightly wet grass. I stayed in my drive phase for nearly 30 yards. I felt so powerful that I could have continued in the drive phase a little longer. Since it was a 40, which is only 36 meters, I had to get into top-end speed and finish. This was the same technique that the Clemson Track and Field coach was using for Jacoby Ford and C.J. Spiller.
Imagine if I would have used that technique – my personal best would probably be a 6.51 to 6.53 instead of a 6.59. I’m still thankful I ran that time, but I wouldn’t mind going faster.