It rarely happens. In fact, possibly only one or two other times have we discussed other fitness programs here. It isn’t that I don’t believe other coaches have good ideas, but there are few that I believe have put together comprehensive systems that I want to put my name on the line endorsing. Well, Martin Rooney’s Training for Warriors programs isn’t just “another program”.
Having seen Martin present several times I can tell you he is absolutely one of the best! It is impossible to not feel like you got better in some way by listening to him speak! Martin has worked with some of the top athletes in the world and military units as well. That is why I do believe in his Training for Warriors program and instead of just blasting out some promo, I wanted to bring Martin himself HERE to speak about his program and some of the cool things they are doing. I wanted to bring some of the very best in fitness to you! Of course, you can’t miss that DVRT will become a part of the Training for Warriors program!
JH: Martin, great to have you on for an interview. Has your travel schedule gotten any lighter?
MR: Thanks Josh and glad we could set up the interview too. Lighter? Well maybe as light as yours! Actually have been traveling almost every weekend of 2013 spreading the word about my TFW System. But I cannot complain, being in demand is something I am very thankful for.
JH: Absolutely and I know what you mean for sure. Having known you for years, I know you are up to exciting things. For the people not as familiar with you, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got to developing the TFW program?
MR: Sure. I am originally from New Jersey and went to Furman University for exercise science. I was a school record holder in the javelin throw there and then went to the Medical University of South Carolina for my physical therapy degree and Master of Health Science. In a weird twist of fate, I made the US Bobsled team and found myself training alongside fantastic athletes at the Olympic Training Center for the next few years.
JH: I know many people must ask you this, but was bobsledding fun?
MR: Fun? Not exactly. It was an amazing experience to represent the US internationally, but the event back then was physically demanding and quite dangerous. Imagine being on a frozen roller coaster that can come off the track at any time and you are not in any control! After the handful of crashes I had, I have ot be honest and say I was unsure why I was really doing it.
JH: Wow, not the answer I expected. So how then with a physical therapy degree did you get into the fitness industry?
MR: During my time on the team, my driver was Olympic silver medalist, Todd Hays. He was also a pro mma fighter and got money for our sled from fighting. I became very interested in this and when bobsledding was over, I pursued combat training with legend Renzo Gracie. Renzo took a liking to my training and almost immediately I was training many of the top fighters in the world. We were traveling around the world winning fights and I was constantly “tinkering” in an attempt to make the training better. As the training continued to improve, my fighters were getting more fit, losing fat and building muscle. Although this was a positive by product of the training, it was not what I sought. Actually I was seeking wins for my fighters.
JH: Man, from bobsled to the cage? Sounds like you like to live dangerously?
MR: Ha. On the contrary. I was there to use my training to keep them all safe and injury free. Since my fighters were winning and getting more fit in the process, I got an interesting call one day. An editor at Men’s Health called me to tell me that he and some of the staff were experimenting with my Training For Warriors system. Not only did he think the training was as cool as I did, but he was also seeing the same results of fat loss and muscle gain. Just as I was feeling good about what I had created up until that point, he asked me an interesting, yet simple question: “Why is the fat loss and muscle gain happening?” Although I had developed the TFW system that was producing these results, my only answer was “I don’t know!” This question, however, set me on the path to research and further develop the methods that produced these results. And I realized these results were available for anybody.
JH: What is the TFW program? Is it just another workout program?
MR: Well, I guess the best way to simply describe it is that the Training For Warriors program is a program born from producing world champions by using physical, technical and mental training. But, these results are not just reserved for fighters, they are available to anyone ready to bring out their inner warrior. I definitely can say that this is unlike any program out there. Although I am constantly asked if this is like Crossfit or P90X, I can say aside from the fact there is sections of physically demanding training, this is not like either. My system, which started earlier than the other two is not a sport or contest, but an art that is designed to personally develop people through exercise. Now over the last two years, we have over 1,200 certified trainers in the system and over 80 facilities worldwide running the program. If it was like everything else, I don’t think we would be having such growth.
JH: Having seen you present, I can understand that! What do you see as the biggest needs for people that want to accomplish their fitness goals.
MR: This is a great question. You see, Josh, most people want to lose fat, build muscle and feel good about themselves, but they think soreness and fatigue are the keys to goals. I think these are weak indicators that results will happen. Yes, you may need to produce some of both to make gains, but in the 2-3 workouts a person does a week, it will not be enough. There has to be things that happen during the session that help people to control their behaviors and habits outside of the gym. This is where my TFW System and my network of certified trainers comes in.
MR: Hurricanes are TFW’s form of metabolic training. But this is only a piece of TFW. We have evals, warmups, strength training, power training, nutrition, and mental development in addition to this to make the program complete. The Hurricanes are one style of training that is applied a couple times a week in addition to the other aspects. It is, however, perhaps the most popular aspect of TFW. People really love it and yes, depending on how you apply it, we have people from 16 to 60 doing them on a daily basis around the world.
JH: Can you describe what makes for a Hurricane?
MR: Sure. As I tell all my students, the name isn’t just to sound cool, it is to get them to understand why it works. A Hurricane workout is one which involves a brief, yet powerful storm of exercises that cause a certain level of disturbance that requires the appropriate amount of recovery afterward to produce fat loss and muscle gain. The template for a Hurricane does not change: one form of a sprint variation followed by two exercises repeated for nine sets. You can perform a Hurricane in a gym, at a field, or even if you don’t have any space. Young or old, male or female, beginner or expert, the Hurricane can give you an endless number of workouts for the challenge you need.
JH: I have seen this in action and saw the power of that storm! How does DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training fit into Hurricanes and the overall TFW philosophy?
MR: The greatest strength of TFW is its versatility. Since we are not linked to one piece of equipment or exercise we are able to use training tools and constantly evolve with the industry. As we have discussed, I am not only a fan of DVRT, but believe it is a powerful complement to our energy system work. We use the Ultimate Sandbag in not only our Hurricanes, but also in our energy circuits, tabatas, complexes and during strength sessions. This year on tour I was able to have over 350 people workout with both the Ultimate Sandbag and my Hurricanes. It was amazing.
JH: This is for sure. Thank you for the great information and tell us where we can find out more about the TFW System.
MR: In addition to all the articles and information that I share on the Training For Warriors website, I have been offering certification events in the TFW System around the world. Over 1200 people have been through the course and now there is an online version for people that can’t make a live event.
JH: Can you tell everyone more about that course?
MR: Yes. My online course will be offered to students only one more time this year so that I can offer the highest possible service and support to the class of students that register. We are running the course again this month, with registration opening on Wednesday September 25th. If anyone wants to get a taste of the course to see what it is about and learn more about TFW, they can go to the TFW Certification website and sign up for our “Free TFW Video Course” CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT
JH: Great stuff and best of luck with the program. Thanks again for your time and I know we will catch up on the road soon.
MR: Thank you Josh. And maybe my next project will be Training For Road Warriors!