Armored Fitness Equipment

The XPO Trainer from an Athlete's Perspective - Matt Skura, Offensive Lineman for the Baltimore Ravens

The XPO Trainer from an Athlete's Perspective - Matt Skura, Offensive Lineman for the Baltimore Ravens

We love seeing professional athletes using the XPO and sure put a big smile on our face when Baltimore Raven Matt Skura shared the cutest video of his daughter pushing the XPO saying, "I go fast. Come on!"

Cuteness aside, we knew we wanted to hear how Matt was using the XPO, as year-round training for professional athletes is vital. Matt shared that he tried out for football for the first time in 4th grade. But since they formed teams by weight class, he ended up being bumped up to play with 5th and 6th graders. Practices were hard with the older kids able to push him around, and without much knowledge of football, it was a one-and-done season of football for him.

He picked it back up in middle school and then in high school went through the recruiting process and ended up attending Duke University. While at Duke, he went to three straight bowl games, a conference championship and Matt's senior year, they won their first bowl since 1961. 

In 2016, Matt went undrafted to the Baltimore Ravens and worked his way to a roster spot in 2017. Since then, the Ravens have won the AFC North conference twice, made the playoffs twice, and broke the single-season rushing record in the NFL. 

"One of my favorite aspects of playing football is creating a close bond with the guys in the locker room and carrying that friendship off the field. My best friends are all guys I have played football with." Matt also says, "It's the ultimate team sport, and it's an experience and job like none other!"

Why did you purchase an XPO Trainer for your home gym?

I purchased the XPO Trainer for my home gym because I needed a sled to push to simulate the movement of the job as an offensive lineman, but I didn't want one that would create a lot of noise from the metal skid plates and annoy my neighbors. It seemed like the perfect match for the things I needed to work on, like leg strength and conditioning.

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

The biggest benefit I see to pushing a sled is getting a total body workout instead of isolating one area of the body. Your arms, leg, and core are all activated and needed to push a lot of weight (or resistance with the XPO). It is great for a finishing part of your workout to take it to the next level. 

What makes the XPO Trainer different from other sleds you've used? Thoughts on comparing it to a traditional heavy sled?

All of the sleds I have used in the past have been the traditional skid plate ones that do not have wheels. The XPO Trainer is different in the sense that it creates more resistance the harder you push it, and the 3-wheel configuration makes it easy to maneuver when you have to turn it around or go around a bend. Also, the versatility of it makes it easy to train for strength, conditioning, or both. 

How do you typically use the XPO - warm-up? Work out? Speedwork?

I use the XPO Trainer for multiple types of workouts. I will add more reps when I want to train for strength and when I want to train for conditioning, I'll increase the distance pushed and push it at a higher rate of speed. 

Do you use it year-round? In season? Off-season?

I will probably use the XPO Trainer mainly for offseason use.

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

My most memorable workout with the sled was when my daughter wanted to take a little ride on it with me. She had a lot of fun, and it added extra resistance for me!

Thanks so much, Matt, for sharing your experiences with us! Keep up the hard work, and we look forward to seeing you on the field and watching some Baltimore Raven football this fall!

Follow Matt on Instagram: @mskura62