2020 was the year of the pivot for so many of us. We shared how Armored Fitness had to pivot, and we know so many of you did too! This month we visited with one of our customers, John Sinclair. He shares about his pivot of 2020. He was a co-owner of a gym, but thanks to Covid-19, he's elected to move his operation to his garage. He calls it the SIN-Bin (a play on the penalty box where he says he spent lots of time playing hockey in Canada).

John is a Canadian but moved south to the sunny skies of Florida 7 years ago (way less snow to push the XPO Trainer through in Florida!). He coaches young developing athletes - mostly high school athletes and some college athletes (you can get a glimpse into his training and gym on his Instagram).

But he's also a trainer of the trainers! He has been coaching and educating coaches for almost 25 years. He serves as the Director of Programming for the Institute of Motion and ViPR PRO. He's an international consultant in the fitness, health, and sports industries (and has consulted for some of the big names, including Nike, 24HR Fitness, SKLZ, Hyperwear, Technogym, PTA Global, ACE, IDEA, NLL, NHL, NBA, NFL, and WTA).

So since now everyone wants to know what you have in your home gym, we asked John. We wanted to know what's in the trainers' trainer garage gym?

My garage gym is outfitted with a Concept 2 Rower, a Concept 2 bike, and of course, the XPO sled. For resistance training, I use an Eleiko weight lifting competition bar, LuXioaJun competition plates, Kettlebell Kings, Hyperwear SandBells, PowerBlocks, ViPR PRO, Core Tex, PowerPlate, Blaze Pods, and lots of boxing gear, including three heavy bags.

Why did you purchase XPO Trainer(s) for your gym?

The XPO Trainer was the first major piece I ordered after the Covid lockdown started. I ordered it because I wanted a sled that I could use on the road or sidewalk outside of my house. I didn't want a traditional sled that would smash up the asphalt and make a bunch of noise. I wanted something portable and easy to move around and store. And most importantly, I wanted a piece that would challenge the nervous system with a push loaded sprint much like the bobsled (Cool Runnings anyone?! it's not Jamaica, but Florida's a close second!).

What benefits do you see when you or clients add sled training to a workout routine?

There are benefits and consequences to training with the XPO sled. Benefits include resisted sprinting that has an immediate and direct impact on pushing your anaerobic threshold, as well as developing your CNS height and breadth. Challenging the nervous system to deal with high load with intentional explosive power is a must for the sports I coach. The training I do would be considered athletic development for soccer, tennis, lacrosse, baseball, hockey, and football athletes.

When the sled comes out, the athletes know what work is coming.

A consequence of this type of training is the training load is exponentially increased. Therefore the amount of training stress and total stress the athlete is going through is magnified. Careful balance of that stress needs to be monitored. I do not use the sled when athletes are stressed, fatigued, or just not "crisp." They need to come in feeling at minimum an 8/10-10/10 energy level and enthusiasm before I prescribe this device. I follow the same advice personally when I am training. If my heart rate variability measures less than an 8/10, I won't use the sled. 

What makes the XPO Trainer different from other sleds you've used?

Obviously, the braking system is a huge effect on the CNS. You can still have the effect of full intentional speed, whereas with other sleds when you increase mass, you just slow down. It doesn't feel like you can accelerate with other sleds how you can with the XPO. 

What is one of your most memorable workouts using the XPO Trainer?

The first day I received it and tested it out. I wanted to test distances and make sure I understood the effect that distance, volume, and effort had on my body so that I could better coach my athletes. I did ten reps of 90 meters in one direction and then 90 meters coming home, and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my 25+ years of training. I still have not replicated that effort to this day!

We loved the caption John used on Instagram after his first XPO run -

"This is my inaugural work out with the XPO 2 sled! This thing is EVIL 😈  and I love it it a crazy sadistic way. If you’re watching this think Airdyne/assault bike but with a sled. The harder you push the greater the resistance. And the best part is you can use it with any one. No need to change weights around. Today I coached Dana and Sofia with it. Same set up I used. The 45lb plate is to keep the back wheels down. Doesn’t affect the ride! Let me know if you want to take Satan's Sled for a rip. Armored Fitness has created a beautiful device of torture."

Thanks for the nickname, John. We are glad that you added Satan's Sled to your gym's torture devices!