Gridiron Grit: Strength Training with Rip It Up World Fitness

October 4, 2011
by Justin

When I think of the club, I don’t think of a anti-theft tool put on steering wheels or a hot location in the 30 mile zone of Hollywood, California. The word club makes me think of football’s greatest defensive lineman, Reggie White.

There has yet to be a player in the league who has been as dynamic at the point of attack since the Minister of Defense retired. If you want to bring the pain like Pastor White, you have to have a strong chest and biceps.

When it comes to chest and bicep workouts, I think of Mike Haynes. Haynes is an ex-basketball player who decided after he graduated from college in Texas, that he wanted to be a fitness icon. His foundation of basketball gave him a competitive edge, so the prospect of taking on the mega fitness corporations and starting his own business, only excited him. Here are a few workouts from Rip it Up World Fitness Owner, Michael Haynes.

Workout #1: Incline Bench

What you’ll need: A Spotter

The incline bench is an incredibly important workout for football players. The extension of the workout simulates the motion you want execute if ever confronted by any opposition. Whether you are a receiver, trying to get out of a defensive back’s bump-coverage, or you are a lineman attempting to control your opponent at the point of attack, this lift will get you great results.

For this lift, my suggestion is that you use weight that’s subject to the size of your natural opponent on the field. Wide receivers do not need to lift heavy, because most corners aren’t heavyweights by any standard. Lineman should consider weight over 200 pounds, based on the natural size of most players at that position. The most important aspect of this lift is to control the weight. You will avoid hernias along with wrist, shoulder and chest muscle damage, if you lift properly.

Workout #2: Flat Strip Bench

What you’ll need: Two Spotters

Burnout bench sets are important for muscle stamina and definition. The definition is personal perk, but in the fourth quarter, muscle stamina can be the difference between a win or a loss.

The Strip-Style bench Mike is doing is a simple workout; the only thing you’ll need is two people spotting you to quickly get your circuit completed and efficiently shock the muscle. Shocking your muscles is a concept that helps facilitate explosive growth and incredible power. Your body is similar to your brain. It needs to have a variation of strength building concepts to thrive at its highest level.

Use a comfortable grip style when lifting your weight near our max. The technique has a waterfall approach, in that as the weight is decreased, your intensity increases while you lift to failure.

Workout #3: Barbell Bicep Curls

What you’ll need: Two Barbells

This is another simple exercise that can make you into a superior tackler. This lift will increase your effectiveness as your wrap up an offensive player. This workout is also great for offensive skill players who have fumbling issues. Be sure to lift weight that you are comfortable doing high repetitions with.

Workout #4: Cable Pulley Based Arm Extension Circuit

What you’ll need: A Two-Sided Cable Pulley System

Mike’s method of training is non-stop and seamless as he goes from one workout to the next, on the cable pulleys. These three cable-based lifts are great ways to prevent any missed tackles or fumbles.

Mike initially does a lower level extension, before he moves into the mid and high-level lifts. These exercises are very effective in strengthening the shoulders, forearms, chest and biceps. Every muscle mentioned is integral to increases top performance in football.

Here is the video of Michael Haynes, the owner of Rip it Up World Fitness, showing you every workout listed above:


When lifting weights you have to understand the amount you are trying to lift, versus the amount you should be lifting. Outside of running backs, most skill players should be focusing on creating muscle endurance, through high repetition, low weight workouts. For lineman, power at the point of attack can really take your game beyond the high school level. I suggest high impact heavy weight lifting for that designated position. For both types of lifts, control in paramount. A good portion of my Freshman year of college was spent nursing my right shoulder, after I attempted to power lift with the strongest guy on my team. Don’t try to impress anyone. If you stick with your initial limits that you can deal with at this point, you’ll end up progressing to elite levels of strength. Check back next week, when I give tips on leg workouts. This is the Hempstead Huddle, signing off.

Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.

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