Rob Boughton was one of the first new regular clients I had come into Kurisko Fitness Training. I had a relationship with him and his family from my years managing a hockey shop in East Lansing. For years he had played both goalie and skated out as a forward. He had come into the shop a lot the last year I was there because his feet doubled in size. Everytime he outgrew another size he needed to buy both player skates and goalie skates. I felt bad for his mother and father because they were shelling out a lot of dough.
When I left the hockey business to pursue my full time venture into the world of personal training I wrote handwritten letters to all of my good customers from the hockey business. I wanted to thank them for all of the business they did with me over the years and to let them know what I was going to be up to. A few of them contacted me and said they would like to come train with me at my new place. Rob was one of them.
Rob came out to my new little studio shortly after it opened. Like I always do with everyone who inquires about training, I sat down with him to talk about goals. Goals are really the only thing worth talking about. You can tell a lot about a person by simply asking them what they are interested in accomplishing. I get bored when people give me bland, generic answers. I am always hoping to hear something cool. Something that I will be able to work with.
Rob was in 8th grade at the time. He told me that he would like to get his weight down to 200 pounds and be the starting goalie on his varsity hockey team by his senior year. At the time he weighed around 275 pounds and was over 6 foot tall. He had just turned 14.
I told him that it sounded like a nice goal and we would have to see what we could do, but first we had to learn how to squat.
After I showed him how to perform the movement without the bar we headed to the power rack. I had him take out the empty bar to do a set of 5. He did fine. I put a twenty-five pound plate on each side of the bar and had him do another set of 5. Again, no big deal. He did fine. I pulled out big plates and threw them on. Another set of 5. Same deal.
I asked him how difficult the set of 135 seemed and he told me it was easy. I tokd him that we didn't need any ego involved and that I wanted him to be honest. He told me it was easy.
We loaded 185 and did another set of 5. It too was easy.
I told Rob to sit back down on the bench for a few minutes because we needed to talk a little more about goals. He said okay, so I asked him an important question.....
'Rob, have you ever thought about playing football?'
He told me that he did love football, but hadn't really considered seriously playing it.
I said to him, 'Rob, a young man of your size would probably do quite well on the field. Dropping down to 200 over the next few years to play goalie may not be a very natural thing to do. You might be better served getting as strong as you can and taking advantage of that god-given size.'
He was puzzled because I was a hockey guy and I was trying to talk him out of training for hockey and into playing football, but a twinkle did come to his eyes. I think he liked the idea of training to become huge and powerful, and then going out to smash people on the football field.
We started training and ran linear progression. Rob showed up each session and worked hard. He got his squat up into the 400's, his bench around 300, and his deadlift into the 500's by the end of his freshmen year. By his sophmore year he was moved up to the varsity team. His size, strength, and dedication helped him do very well on the field.
What was also nice to watch as a coach was the shift that occured. He was no longer big, uncertain, shy Rob, but rather Big, Strong, and Confident Rob. The difference was noticable.
He just recently finished his senior year and he contacted me last week to tell me that he was named All-State and made the area Dream Team.
He also told me he has been talking to a few college's about a possible scholarship and is busy finishing his senior year playing varsity hockey as a power forward. Deciding to get strong was a good decision for Rob. It has had a tremendous impact on his high school experience.
Now we get to see what we can do before he heads off to college next year. You can bet it will include a lot of heavy squatting, pressing, and pulling.
As the great Bill Starr said, "The Strongest Shall Survive." Nice work Rob!!