Patrick Willis is not just an NFL linebacker; he is considered one of the best inside linebackers in the league. Winner of several awards including the Jack Lambert Award and Butkus Award, Willis credits his on-field performance to his training.
Patrick was introduced to resistance training exercises when he was young. He spent a lot of time around his Uncle, who was a boxer. Intrigued, Willis fashioned his own workout equipment using bricks and blocks in place of dumbbells. But that has changed. Today, Willis follows a strict workout that keeps him in top shape on and off the field.
The Patrick Willis Workout Philosophy
Willis workout revolves around building his core muscles. As Willis points out “your core provides stability for everything – explosiveness, agility, and strength”.
Willis core exercises consists of a mix of hanging leg raises, bicycle crunches, V-ups, side planks, Russian twists, and planks—exercises that activate his core muscles in different ways. Willis core is so strong; he is reportedly able to hold the basic plank positions for up to 4 minutes
However, instead of training all his muscle groups at once, Willis breaks his exercise routines and targets a different muscle group each day. For instance, on Monday he focuses on his upper body, and then focuses on his lower body on Tuesday. When working out, Willis prefers to use the dumbbell press, because it allows him to effectively build both arms to have equal strength. He also pays a lot of attention to his back muscles.
Different strokes for different folks. Where some athletes avoid cardio routines, Patrick Willis embraces it. His workout always begins with a short cardiovascular workout. He uses this to get his muscles in shape. Willis’ cardio workout contains a mix of shadow boxing, jump roping, and sprints. He also prefers to do his core workouts prior to doing his lower body workout, this way his core muscles are activated.
All told, the Willis workout takes an average of 60 to 120 minutes to complete depending on your fitness level. To do this work out, you should factor an average of 60 to 90 seconds between each task.