WWE has long been a breeding ground for fitness idols. The birthplace of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena, pro wrestlers are undeniably great athletes... and incredible entertainers as well.
One of the WWE's fittest is Irish-born, 36 year-old Finn Balor. A lot leaner than most others on the current WWE roster, Balor's training is relatively simple, relying on core strengthening body weight exercises with limited lifting involved.
When looking at the focus of Balor's training, his muscle mass can be attributed to his use of eccentric training. Eccentric training involves placing the muscle under load for longer by engaging in a slower lengthening of the muscle, ie. the 'down' phase of a movement. (For a bicep curl, this would be the lowering of the weight towards the floor, at a slower pace than the upward phase.)
We look into what builds the body of a WWE champion, and below are some of Balors go-to gym based exercises. Steal his moves your own journey to a championship title.
Medicine Ball Push Ups
Placing the medicine ball under one hand produces an instability that requires the core to be further engaged. This movement not only targets chest and triceps, but the added challenge will hit your core as well.
Medicine Ball Slams
Balor would include this movement to work on power, strength and speed. Raising the medicine ball over head and slamming it on the floor can work everything from shoulders, back, abs, triceps, to glutes and quads.
Rope climbs provide great grip strength whilst targeting a host of upper body muscle groups. Try these legless, so that your full bodyweight it carried through the upper body.
Close Grip Bench Press
Whilst still working the chest muscles, the close grip puts extra weight on the triceps. This is one of the exercises where Balor can be seen using eccentric contractions, spending 4 seconds on the lowering phase of his bench, before raising the bar again in an explosive movement.
Bosu Ball Spiderman Push-ups
The uneven surface of the bosu ball again engages the core beyond normal push up requirements, while the leg raise engages the obliques in an active side-crunch motion.
TRX Bodyweight Rows (underhand grip)
This exercise is great for bicep isolation, using the body as weight. Slowly lower your body on the way down (there's that eccentric contraction again) placing the bicep under tension for longer for maximum gains!