Rising Champion Micah Parsons

Since being drafted to the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, in round one, Micah Parsons has proven his worth to the team and laid the foundation for an excellent career in the NFL.

Great achievements aren’t without their challenges though, and Parsons has had a few to overcome. The difference between him and those who don’t make it may well come down to his attitude – about winning, losing, and keeping his focus on what he needs to do in the moment and for the future.

That’s a theme, when Parsons hits a potential roadblock. He acknowledges when he could have done better, and then presses forward to get there. That’s helped him mature both as a person and as a player. The results, in fact, are undeniable.

High School to College

Parsons was a key player for Harrisburg High School, helping them achieve a championship while he was there, and catching the attention of Penn State College football scouts. His performance there is noteworthy too.

At Penn State, he started 12 out of 13 games, accumulating 109 tackles (14 for loss), five sacks, 26 quarterback hurries, five deflected passes, and four forced fumbles. He won the Butkus–Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year award, a consensus All-American title, and the 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic defensive MVP.

Heading for Greatness

Parsons is not only one of the top college recruits in the country, but he’s also achieved some great personal goals. He plays for his favorite team – a Cowboys fan with his dad since childhood – and even bought a house for his mom with his first pro contract. We’re sure both parents are very proud.

After opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, he went pro with a four-year rookie contract worth $17 million, a first-round draft pick to the Cowboys. He shifted back to his high school position of defensive end for his rookie year, covering for an injured teammate.

He excelled as a pass rusher, finishing his first season with 84 total tackles, 13 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He was selected for the Pro Bowl, first-team All-Pro honors, and the unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year title.

He maintained this level throughout the 2022 season as well, with 13.5 sacks, 65 total tackles, three passes defended, and three forced fumbles. He was also awarded the NFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 2.

He continues to improve and achieve on the field and off.

The Attitude of a Winner

Parsons expresses a powerful blend of ownership and positivity in his attitude. After a loss to the Arizona Cardinals, he remarked “I think we just beat ourselves. We put ourselves behind the eight ball a couple times. It wasn’t championship football… The outcome was definitely shocking. It definitely hurts. I take full ownership.”​

Likewise, when asked if the San Francisco 49ers were a superior team, after suffering a loss to them, he responded with “I don’t think [the 49ers] are at a higher level than us. I think we’re the same caliber playoff team. Same talent. Same standards. I just feel like we need to reconsider… and fix some things. The score doesn’t really show what happened out there.”

And sometimes that’s the case. Sometimes we make errors, miss a goal, or luck just isn’t with us that day. We have to dust it off and try again… and that’s what Parsons does.

He has grown to become a supporter of rookie players, acknowledging the difficulty in adjusting to the NFL and saying how they need to support rookies more. The transition from college ball to the national league is a big, big step. In remembering how Tom Brady “destroyed” him on opening night, Parsons says “You just gotta learn and stay positive! Never make the same mistakes twice!”

When asked about what he, Micah Parsons, needs to do, he responded with “Micah just has to put his head down and just work, forget last year. I’m just really focused on this year and what I’m going to do. I’m not going to think about what I did before. I’m just thinking about how I can be dominant this year.”

That sounds like the attitude of a winner to us.

Parsons at the Hidden Gym

Parsons takes advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities and coaches at Hidden Gym, including a high-powered boxer training regimen, with TMack Elite Training, that keeps up his discipline and explosive power on the field. At Hidden Gym, we’re about knowing that none of us has reached perfection, that none of us will – but that doesn’t stop us from pushing ourselves toward perfection, to be our own best, to reach the goals that we might have thought impossible.

Micah Parsons is a great addition to the Hidden Gym family, and we’re proud to have him training with us and adding to the winning attitude we foster here.

Overall, Parsons’ NFL career stats as of 2023 include 194 total tackles, 40.5 sacks, 8 pass defenses, 7 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, and 1 touchdown. His rapid rise in the NFL is hopefully just the beginning for him, and we plan to be here, supporting and assisting his training goals, professional and personal achievements, and benefitting from his champion’s attitude.

As he himself says, “Be phenomenal or be forgotten.” Let’s be phenomenal together.

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

Bedros Keuilian – American Dreamer

Bedros Keuilian is a prominent figure in the fitness industry, and an all-around great guy. Born on June 18, 1974, in Armenia, Keuilian’s journey to success is marked by a classic tale of the American Dream. That dream didn’t just happen to him though, that’s not how it works. The American Dream is something a person has to strive for, work for, and take with his (or her) own two hands. It’s a lot of effort, but for people like Keuilian, they wouldn’t want it any other way.

His Young Life

Keuilian’s family immigrated to the United States when he was just six years old, escaping communism in Armenia and seeking a better life across the Atlantic, far from home and everything they knew.

His early life was filled with hardships. Back in Armenia, under communist rule, resources were scarce, and the political climate was oppressive. Keuilian has spoken about his early life in Armenia as being fraught with hardship and the constant struggle for even the most basic of necessities. That’s a lot for anyone, but especially so for a kid.

Upon arriving in the United States, Keuilian and his family settled in a cramped little apartment Southern California, and though things were better, his early years in America were not easy. He faced poverty, cultural adjustments, and the struggles of assimilating into a new society. These experiences, however, played a crucial role in developing his resilience, work ethic, and determination to succeed.

Keuilian often speaks about his early life’s impact on his later success, in fact, highlighting how adversity can forge strength and drive in individuals. His journey from a challenging childhood in Armenia to becoming a successful entrepreneur in America is a testament to his perseverance and ambition.

People respond to hardships like these either by buckling under them, or fighting their way out of them – way out of them! Keuilian chose the latter. His challenges instilled in him a strong work ethic and a determination to succeed at whatever he takes on. One of those areas of success, is the fitness industry.

Fitness Entrepreneur

His interest in fitness began at a young age, influenced by his desire to improve his physique and self-esteem. This passion led him to pursue a career in the fitness industry, initially working as a personal trainer. Keuilian’s entrepreneurial spirit pushed him past that though, and in 2009 he founded Fit Body Boot Camp, a fitness franchise that emphasizes high-intensity interval training and group workout sessions.

Keuilian’s business acumen and innovative approach to fitness have helped the brand expand rapidly, with hundreds of locations across the globe. His leadership and vision have been pivotal in the company’s growth, making it one of the most recognizable names in the fitness franchise sector.

The explosive growth of Fit Body Boot Camp is obvious, and it was even recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America – multiple times! As the founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp, he has set his company on its way toward becoming one of the most successful ones, too. This achievement underscores his ability to scale a business effectively and reflects the strong market demand for his fitness model – but that’s not all there is to Keuilian’s success.

Coach, Mentor, Speaker, Author…

Aside from his success with Fit Body Boot Camp, Keuilian is also known for his notable contributions as a business coach and mentor. He has a passion for helping other entrepreneurs achieve success in their business ventures, too. This passion led him to establish his coaching and consulting business. Through his programs, he provides guidance on marketing, sales, and business development, drawing from his own experiences to help others grow their businesses.

Keuilian’s influence extends beyond his businesses. He is a sought-after speaker and author, sharing his knowledge and experiences through books, seminars, and online content tailored to a no-nonsense audience that wants to succeed in a big way. His book, Man Up: How to Cut the Bullshit and Kick Ass in Business (and in Life), reflects his straightforward approach to business and personal development.

Keuilian often shares insights and motivational quotes. He has said: “Your past does not define you; it prepares you.” This statement reflects his belief in the power of personal transformation and the importance of overcoming adversity to achieve success.

Bedros Keuilian’s life story is a testament to the power of resilience, hard work, and entrepreneurial spirit. From his humble beginnings as an immigrant, to becoming a leading figure in the fitness industry, his journey is inspiring, and serves as a blueprint for aspiring entrepreneurs and fitness enthusiasts alike.

Keuilian at Hidden Gym

Keuilian was in Dallas to be on Hany Rambod’s podcast, and after the job was done, he was on the hunt for two important things: BBQ, and a good gym for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).

I don’t honestly know how the BBQ thing worked out for him – let’s be honest, this is Texas… I’m sure he did fine! – but when it came to finding a place to roll (that’s what the Brazillian JuJitsu guys call a training session in BJJ), he of course came to us.

The facilities here at Hidden Gym suited him well, giving him an extensive gym to warm up in, a ring in which to hone his fighting skills, and a great place to shower and wind down after he was done.

A lot of fighters like to train with us, and it’s not difficult to figure out why that is.

Hidden Gym offers specialized facilities and equipment catering to MMA and other fighting athletes. It hosts Mezger Martial Arts, providing a comprehensive environment for combat sports training. In addition to the boxing/fighting ring, the gym is equipped with a full-service weight room, as well as HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) tools, and powerlifting and strength equipment. Additionally, it includes a full cardio selection and a functional training space, with lots of room to move around, making it a versatile venue for athletes at various levels of their martial arts journey, from fitness enthusiasts to amateur and even professional fighters​.

There are even excellent recovery and wellness facilities, and a supplement store.

Whatever a fighter needs to keep sharp, we have it here, and that’s why guys like Keuilian, like Hidden Gym. If you are a fighter, at any level, or want to become one, why not stop by one of our locations and see how we can help get you there? We’d be happy to meet you.

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

Hany Rambod – The Pro Creator

Hany Rambod was born in Kuwait in 1975 and moved to the United States when he was just one year old. Growing up in San Jose, California, he began to get interested in bodybuilding in his teens – a hobby he continued through college. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) with a bachelor’s degree in biology, focusing on Neurophysiology. He wouldn’t become a Mr. Olympia himself, but he would be responsible for getting more people to Olympia titles than perhaps any other trainer or coach.

Nicknames

The Pro Creator

One of his nicknames – the Pro Creator – was given to him due to his significant contributions as a strength and conditioning coach and nutritionist in professional bodybuilding. He has worked with several high-profile bodybuilders, athletes, and celebrities, helping them to maximize gains and reduce recovery times. His clients hold multiple titles and many other accomplishments that leave no doubt as to the skill and efficacy of Rambod’s assistance.

Rambod coached Jeremy Buendia to multiple Mr. Olympia Physique titles. Buendia is well-known for dominating the Men’s Physique category at the Olympia competition. Perhaps one of Rambod’s most famous clients, Phil Heath, was coached to seven Mr. Olympia titles under Rambod’s guidance. Heath is one of the most celebrated bodybuilders in the history of the sport. In various interviews and social media posts, Heath has expressed gratitude towards Rambod, highlighting how Rambod’s expertise helped him achieve peak physical condition and secure his Olympia titles.

Although more closely associated with another coach for much of his career, Rambod also has worked with Jay Cutler, a four-time Mr. Olympia winner. Cutler is known for his incredible mass and symmetry. Rambod worked with “The Persian Wolf,” Hadi Choopan, too, who has made significant impacts in the IFBB Pro League, competing fiercely in the Mr. Olympia competitions.

A top competitor in the IFBB Men’s Physique division, Andre Ferguson has also benefited from Rambod’s coaching expertise, achieving high placements in major competitions. Nicole Wilkins, a top figure competitor, has been associated with Rambod as well. She is a multi-time Figure Olympia champion and is known for her symmetry, conditioning, and overall presentation.

22X Olympia Winning Coach

Rambod is also known as the “22X Olympia Winning Coach,” because of his remarkable track record in coaching bodybuilders to win a total of 22 Olympia titles. While there are other highly respected and successful trainers in the bodybuilding world, such as Charles Glass (the “Godfather of Bodybuilding”) and George Farah, each with their own impressive lists of successful athletes, none have been publicly recognized to surpass Rambod’s notable achievement of coaching athletes to 22 Olympia titles.

Phil Heath, a seven-time Mr. Olympia champion, has publicly praised Hany Rambod for his coaching techniques, guidance, and the significant role Rambod played in his bodybuilding career. Heath has often attributed a substantial part of his success to Rambod’s unique training methodology and his comprehensive approach to nutrition, training, and preparation strategies.

The Pro Creator. The 22X Olympia Winning Coach. Nicknames well-earned, in our opinion.

FST-7

One of his contributions to the bodybuilding world is the FST-7 training program. FST-7 stands for Fascial Stretch Training 7, and is designed to target the fascial layer, found beneath the skin and above the muscles. It is particularly known for its approach of performing seven sets for a final exercise, aiming to enhance muscle growth and definition.

Phil Heath has credited FST-7 with helping him achieve an unparalleled level of muscle fullness and definition. Heath has often highlighted how the FST-7 program allowed him to push beyond his limits and achieve the muscle density and size necessary to dominate on the Olympia stage.

Jay Cutler, another Mr. Olympia champion, has worked with Rambod and utilized the FST-7 principles in his training. Cutler’s commendation of FST-7 often focuses on how it helped refine his physique, particularly in bringing out the detail and vascularity in his muscles.

Jeremy Buendia, too, a multiple-time Men’s Physique Olympia winner, has attributed part of his success to incorporating FST-7 into his training regimen. Buendia has praised the system for its ability to enhance his muscle fullness and separation, which are critical factors in the highly competitive Men’s Physique category.

Business

Rambod founded the company Evogen Nutrition in 2008 and remains the CEO of the company. Evogen Nutrition specializes in fitness and training supplements tailored for bodybuilders and other specialized athletes – a perfect marriage between academic and athletic endeavors.

Rambod has also appeared in several major films that focus on bodybuilding. He was in “Generation Iron,” where he was featured as the trainer for Mr. Olympia Phil Heath. His expertise has been sought in various bodybuilding and fitness magazines, where he shares his knowledge and insights through columns and articles.

His career is marked by his dedication to the field of bodybuilding and fitness, both as a coach and an entrepreneur, significantly influencing the industry’s landscape.

At Hidden Gym

Rambod has utilized Hidden Gym in Texas for training sessions that emphasize his FST-7 training system. In June of 2023, he conducted an intense FST-7 chest workout here at the gym, to great success. This session was aimed at achieving significant chest development through his advanced training techniques.

We know that Hidden Gym is an exceptional venue for such high-level bodybuilding preparations, and it’s always nice when other notable pros see that too. Each location has comprehensive facilities and services, including personal training and wellness and recovery, making Hidden Gym a fitting choice for athletes like those trained by Rambod. A reputation as a unique gym experience emphasizing strong gym culture, best-in-class staff, and a supportive environment, is something we prize and continue to improve upon.

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

Ed Connors – Going for Gold’s

Ed Connors is primarily known for his role in the development of Gold’s Gym into a global brand. His journey in the fitness world is not just a story of business acumen but also of passion for bodybuilding and nurturing talent. His impact is difficult to measure, other than to say that many thousands of pro and amateur athletes have benefitted from his career in one way or another.

In the Beginning

Ed Connors started his career as an architect, but soon turned his attention to the fitness industry. His architectural background played a crucial role in designing and enhancing the layout of Gold’s Gym facilities, making them more functional and appealing to fitness enthusiasts. This act may have been the single most powerful influence on the way gyms and fitness centers look today, all over the world.

In 1979, Connors, along with partners Tim Kimber and Pete Grymkowski, purchased Gold’s Gym, which at that time was just a single, albeit iconic, gym in Venice, California. This acquisition marked the beginning of a new era for Gold’s Gym and for Connors himself. Neither one would be the same again.

And then there was Growth

Under Connors’ leadership, Gold’s Gym expanded rapidly. He was instrumental in franchising the brand, turning it from a single gym into a global phenomenon. The gym became synonymous with bodybuilding, attracting enthusiasts from all over the world and becoming a well-known brand even among those outside of the sport. At the time of this writing, there are an estimated 700 Gold’s Gyms in over 30 countries around the world.

Connors had a vision of creating a community around fitness and bodybuilding, and through Gold’s Gym, he achieved that on an unprecedented scale. The gym’s association with the “Golden Era” of bodybuilding in the 1980s and 1990s helped solidify its legendary status, with Connors at the helm.

It was an impact that endures even today.

More than Business

Connors was not just a businessman; he was also deeply embedded in the bodybuilding community, and the impact he made on individual careers was as powerful as the one he made in the industry.

He had a keen eye for talent and was known for spotting and nurturing future stars in the industry and the sport. Many of today’s renowned bodybuilders and fitness personalities were once under his mentorship. His commitment to the sport went beyond just running a successful gym chain; he was a mentor, a guide, and sometimes even a financial supporter of young athletes.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Connors’ contribution to the fitness world is his role as a host. He opened his home to hundreds of aspiring bodybuilders, providing them with a place to stay as they pursued their dreams in California. Staying at Connors’ house became a rite of passage for many in the bodybuilding community, and his home was fondly referred to as the “bodybuilder’s hostel.” This unique form of support helped many athletes focus on their training without the burden of high living costs in Venice, where Gold’s Gym is located.

Life in the House

Being one of Ed Connors’ house guests was an experience that many bodybuilders cherished. It was not just about having a place to stay; it was about being part of a community that shared a common passion for fitness and bodybuilding.

Connors was known for his hospitality and his willingness to help young athletes navigate the competitive world of bodybuilding. Guests often recounted how Connors would take a personal interest in their training, offering advice, and sometimes even managing their careers.

Boosting Careers

The impact of Connors’ support system cannot be overstated. It provided a stable foundation for many athletes, allowing them to train effectively and make the necessary connections in the industry. This nurturing environment contributed to the success of many champions and helped sustain the bodybuilding community through its formative years.

All Rounder

Ed Connors’ legacy in the fitness industry is multifaceted. He is a visionary business leader who transformed Gold’s Gym into a global brand, a mentor who guided many athletes to success, and a generous host who supported the dreams of countless bodybuilders. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the fitness world, shaping the direction of the industry and the careers of many of its stars.

Plus he’s just a nice guy.

The Book

If by chance you want to channel Ed’s successful and friendly vibe, you’re in luck! Ed has a new book out, called The Three Muscleteers. It’s the story of Gold’s Gym and its seminal part in the development of the fitness industry. But it’s more than that.

It wasn’t long ago, after all, that most mainstream athletes – football, baseball, and basketball players, for example – didn’t lift weights as part of their training. Not at all. Coaches, trainers, doctors, and other stakeholders were opposed to it as a safe and useful form of training, especially for women. It took Pumping Iron (featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger), Joe Weider’s magazines, and Gold’s Gym’s colossal success to push the sport into the spotlight and show what weight training could do for athletes across the whole range of sport.

The Three Muscleteers highlights the importance of taking risks, creating the perfect team, and never giving up. As Ed says, life is half fate and half what you do with it.

What will you do with yours?

Ed at Hidden Gym

We were honored to have Ed make the trip to attend our Grand Opening in Dallas. Jeff Dwelle, one of our trainers, was once one of Ed’s “house guests,” and his own career reflects the multifaceted, high-level kind of training and mutual support that Ed is famous for. Coincidence? We think not.

That kind of thinking lies behind everything we do here at Hidden Gym. It’s not about just one aspect of fitness, or a tunnel-visioned way of looking at a particular sport or athlete – it’s about building a community of athletes and support staff who elevate skill, increase success, and help to build careers and better lives through commitment to athletics and athletes. We each lift others up and drive them on, and in turn are lifted up and encouraged ourselves.

 

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

Check out Ed Connors’ book, The Three Muscleteers, here, on Amazon.

Steve Weatherford: Punter and Philanthropist

Steve Weatherford is known not only for his exceptional athletic achievements in the NFL, but also for his inspirational post-sports career and his deep involvement in community and spiritual activities. His life is a testament to the power of his determination, his faith, and the relentless pursuit of excellence in everything he puts his mind and hand to.

Luckily for more than one pro football team, that sport is one of the things he aimed his attention to. But let’s start at the beginning.

Early Life and Education

Steve Weatherford was born on December 17, 1982, in Crown Point, Indiana. From a young age, he showed a keen interest in sports. That was a passion that was supported by his family and community. With good people behind him, and his innate talent and determination, he was bound to go places.

His athletic journey began in earnest at Terre Haute North Vigo High School in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he excelled in several sports, particularly in football and track and field. Weatherford’s high school career was marked by impressive achievements and state-level accolades in track events, which showcased his early talent and set the stage for his future in athletics.

You can bet that colleges paid attention.

Collegiate Athletic Career

Weatherford’s prowess on the field earned him a spot at the University of Illinois, where he played college football as a punter. His college athletic career was distinguished by significant accomplishments, including his booming punts and strategic play that made him a vital part of the Illinois Fighting Illini football team.

His skills were not confined to the gridiron though; Weatherford also continued to shine in track and field. This successful diversity in training and focus would not have been easy to maintain, but it no-doubt contributed to his development as a well-rounded athlete.

Professional Football Career

After a successful career at the college level, Weatherford entered the world of professional football when he signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent back in 2006. His NFL career spanned over a decade, during which he played for several teams, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, and notably, the New York Giants.

Why notably? Because when he was with the Giants, he achieved one of his career highlights — winning Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. Not only did he get the ring, but his performance in the big game was particularly memorable. His precise punting played a crucial role in the team’s victory, earning him widespread acclaim.

Throughout his NFL career, Weatherford was celebrated not only for his athletic performance, but also for his exceptional fitness and health regimen. He is well known for the intensity of his workouts. His dedication to maintaining peak physical condition was evident in his playing style and his off-field training routines. This is a dedication that continues to this day.

Life Beyond Football

After retiring from professional football, Weatherford did not step away from the spotlight, but instead he used his celebrity to redirect his passion and energy into other endeavors.

Active in his church and his community, he hasn’t stopped putting his all into his goals – he’s just changed arenas. He has made a significant impact as a motivational speaker, fitness coach, and philanthropist. Even in non-official capacities, his care and commitment to his community is evident in both his words and actions.

Fitness and Health Advocacy

Leveraging his experience in sports and continuing his commitment to fitness, Weatherford has become a prominent fitness coach and health advocate. He shares his extensive knowledge and motivational skills to help others achieve their health and fitness goals. His programs often emphasize not only physical and mental wellness, but spiritual well-being too, reflecting his holistic approach to health and clean living.

Motivational Speaking and Philanthropy

As a motivational speaker, Weatherford inspires audiences with his life story and lessons learned from his sports career. He often speaks about the importance of setting clear goals, the power of persistence, and the value of resilience – all drawing on his own experiences of overcoming challenges on and off the field. Coming from someone who has reached the very top in his chosen career and sport, these words have real impact.

Weatherford’s philanthropic efforts are another cornerstone of his post-NFL life. He is actively involved in numerous charitable activities, particularly those that support children and families in need. His work extends to various initiatives that promote health, education, and well-being in communities.

At Hidden Gym

A significant aspect of Weatherford’s life is his active involvement in his church community. Weatherford integrates his faith into all aspects of his life.

As a personal friend of Steve Kuclo, a long-time member of the Hidden Gym tribe, Weatherford has been known to bring groups of young men and boys from the church they both attend, to Hidden Gym to show them around, teach them some workout skills, motivate them, and demonstrate that he cares about their well-being and futures. We’re proud to be a part of that, however small.

He is known to begin and end his intense workout sessions with a prayer, a practice that underscores the importance of faith in his daily routine. His commitment to his spiritual life is a testament to his belief in the power of faith to guide, uplift, and motivate. Did I mention that his workout sessions are intense? It’s worth saying twice. Maybe three times…

His story is not just about athletic success; it’s also a story of personal growth, community service, and spiritual dedication. He remains a prominent figure in public speaking, fitness, and philanthropy, continually striving to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

He’s done so for us, here at Hidden Gym, and he’s welcome back any time.

Are you ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

Reigns Reigns – Champion in the House

Roman Reigns is one of the top wrestlers of the WWE. Not only is he a very successful professional wrestler, and an actor, but he’s also a former professional football player, both in the NFL and CFL.

Born on May 25, 1985, in Pensacola, Florida, Reigns is a member of the Anoa’i family, a renowned Samoan American wrestling dynasty, which includes WWE Hall of Famers like his father, Sika Anoa’i of The Wild Samoans, and his cousin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Reigns is a big guy, too, standing at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 meters) tall, and weighing approximately 265 pounds (120 kilograms). His imposing physical presence and athletic build have been significant assets to his professional careers on the field and in the ring, contributing to his performance on the field and his persona as a dominant and powerful competitor in WWE. Add a dash of charisma and a talent for whipping up the energy of a crowd, and he really does reign in the arena.

Football Foundations

Before his wrestling career, Reigns played college football at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a standout player. After college, he pursued a career in professional football and had brief stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, as well as the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League.

Reigns played defensive tackle, which demands a lot of a player: Large size for taking out a running back or taking down a QB, protecting that line of scrimmage, and the presence of mind to always stay alert for changes of play.

Football wasn’t his place to reach the very top though; that happened once he left the gridiron for the lights and drama of the wrestling ring.

Getting a Hold on Wrestling

Reigns signed with WWE in 2010 and began his career in the testing grounds of Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) before transitioning to the big show of NXT. He made his main roster debut in 2012 as part of The Shield, a trio consisting of Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose. The group quickly became one of the most dominant factions in WWE history.

The Shield made an immediate impact upon their debut at WWE’s Survivor Series, interfering in the main event. They quickly established themselves as a dominant force, known for using superior numbers and tactics to overwhelm their opponents. They worked seamlessly as a unit, showing a level of coordination and teamwork that was rare among factions.

Their unique attire, which consisted of tactical vests, cargo pants, and combat boots, gave them a paramilitary appearance, and their entrance through the crowd, rather than down the traditional entrance ramp, added to their renegade persona. The group was a real crowd pleaser.

Each member of The Shield achieved individual success within WWE too, capturing various championships. Together, they also held the WWE Tag Team Championship, with Reigns and Rollins holding the titles. In fact, each member went on to become a major star in WWE. Their eventual breakup in 2014 was a significant storyline, leading to solo careers for each member where they continued to be prominent figures in the wrestling world.

After The Shield disbanded, Reigns rapidly rose to prominence within WWE. He is a multi-time world champion, having won the WWE Championship and the Universal Championship several times over. Reigns is known for his powerful wrestling style, signature moves like the Spear and Superman Punch, and his catchphrase “Believe That.”

On Screen

Reigns is also involved in other media, having appeared in films and television shows, including a role in the 2019 movie “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” alongside his cousin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His persona, both in and out of the wrestling ring, has made him one of the most prominent figures in professional wrestling today.

Out of the Ring and Off Screen

When away from the ring, Roman Reigns is known as Joe Anoa’i. He is married to Galina Becker, and the couple has five children. Reigns is not only a family man but is also actively involved in charitable work.

Lemons

In October 2018, Reigns publicly announced some bad news. He disclosed that he was battling leukemia, a condition he had first been diagnosed with in 2007 but which had been in remission until it resurfaced. That kind of news can break a person’s spirit and end an athletic career.

Lemonade

He took a tough thing and made the most of it though. His announcement brought widespread attention to the disease and humanized him beyond his wrestling persona. Reigns took a hiatus from wrestling to undergo treatment and successfully returned to WWE in February 2019, announcing that his leukemia was once again in remission.

His charity work includes efforts to further raise awareness and funds for leukemia research.

Hidden Gym

Reigns has an experience at Hidden Gym not shared by many people. When the time came for Wrestlemania, in Dallas (2022), he and his trainer, Neil Hill, needed a place to work out the day before the match. For security reasons, however, they couldn’t just amble into the gym and pump some iron. Special arrangements needed to be made.

We sent out an announcement stating that there was a plumbing emergency in the gym, and so we needed to close early that day. (A little white lie for security reasons.) Once the gym was empty, Reigns, Hill, and the security team came in and he did a private workout prior to the next day’s big event.

We’re happy to say that Reigns won Wrestlemania the next day, and we’re super proud to have played a small part in helping him do that.

Thanks to Dave Palumbo, Roman’s security team, and the Hidden Gym family for making that happen.

Reigns continues from one success to another, and we wish him all the best. We might even see him at the gym again sometime, and he’s certainly welcome any time.

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

Neil Hill – Do, or do not. There is no try.

Neil Hill is a prominent trainer and advisor with over thirty years of experience making champions. Hill is known as “Yoda” to his clients and friends in the bodybuilding world, for his ability to take an athlete’s potential and develop it into something truly extraordinary – just like the Jedi Master.

He has been a personal trainer, nutritionist, and mentor to some of the world’s top athletes. He’s accomplished some pretty notable things as an athlete himself, too.

Early Life and Career

Hill was born in Deeside, North Wales (UK), and was drawn to bodybuilding early on. He started lifting weights as a teenager and quickly made a name for himself on the competitive bodybuilding circuit. Hill’s dedication to the sport led him to win numerous titles, including the British Championship in bodybuilding in 1991. This victory marked a significant milestone in his career, helping to establish his reputation and paving the way for his future successes in the industry as a coach and trainer.

His success as a competitor laid the foundation for his future career as a trainer and nutritionist, by giving him the credibility he needed to put his unique ideas into practice in a high level of the sport.

Transition to Coaching

After achieving personal success in competitive bodybuilding, Hill transitioned into coaching, where he has made an indelible mark guiding others toward their own goals and accomplishments.

He is the founder of Y3T (Yoda 3 Training), a unique training methodology that emphasizes the importance of varying intensity, volume, and angles, to stimulate muscle growth and prevent injury. Y3T focuses on cycling workouts to prevent plateaus and injuries while maximizing muscle growth. The variety and cycles also keep the workouts fresh and interesting to the athletes, who might otherwise be doing endless repetitions of the same moves and sets.

Hill’s approach has been adopted by many elite bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts worldwide.

Notable Achievements

Hill’s reputation as a top trainer was solidified through his work with several high-profile clients.

Perhaps most notably, he has been the long-time coach of James “Flex” Lewis, a fellow Welshman and professional bodybuilder who has won the Mr. Olympia 212 title an impressive seven times, consecutively, from 2012 to 2018. Under Hill’s guidance, Lewis has developed into one of the most dominant competitors in the 212 category. Hill’s guidance and training strategies have been instrumental in helping Lewis not just achieve, but also to maintain his championship form over the longer term. No one-hit wonders here.

Hill has also worked with William Bonac, another top professional bodybuilder. Bonac has been successful in the IFBB circuit, securing numerous victories and high placements at major competitions, including the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia. Hill’s training methods and nutritional guidance have been integral to Bonac’s success.

Johnnie O. Jackson is another powerhouse of bodybuilding who has benefitted from Hill’s assistance. Known for his incredible strength and muscularity, Jackson worked with Hill to refine his physique and performance, leading to successful outings in bodybuilding competitions.

Hill has even worked with Roman Reigns, one of the top WWE Wrestlers and Wrestlemania winner. You can learn more about Reigns in the post “Reigns Reigns – Champion in the house.”

Philosophy and Methods

Neil Hill’s training philosophy centers around the concept of intelligent bodybuilding. He advocates for a holistic approach, focusing not just on physical training but also on nutrition and mental health. Hill is known for providing his clients with personalized training plans, carefully tailored to the individual needs and goals of his specific clients. In them, Hill emphasizes the importance of nutrition and recovery in achieving optimal performance and health.

Personal Life

Outside of his professional achievements, Hill is known for his commitment to family and his philanthropic efforts. He often speaks about the importance of balance between personal life and professional ambitions, and he actively supports various charitable organizations. He focuses on children’s programs, local sports, and other groups related to health and fitness.

Legacy and Influence

Hill’s impact on the bodybuilding industry is profound. Through his innovative training methods, successful coaching career, and contributions to fitness education, he has inspired countless individuals to pursue their fitness goals.

His legacy is not just in the personal titles he’s won, or just in the champions he has trained, but also in the broader shift towards more scientifically informed and holistic approaches to bodybuilding and fitness.

Here at Hidden Gym

That kind of intelligent and holistic approach to bodybuilding is a big part of our thinking here at Hidden Gym. We work hard as a community, but we also make sure to get the most for that effort by learning from people like Neil Hill.

Hill chooses Hidden Gym for his workouts with high-profile clients when he’s in the Dallas area, and has been doing so consistently since 2009. That may be because our philosophies and attitudes align so well. We provide a wide range of equipment – and a lot of space to use it without crowding – as well as other facilities and services designed to look after the whole athlete, promoting peak performance in key areas without ignoring other important aspects of health and well-being.

If an athlete puts in the time, does so with intelligence and strategy, and has a quality team of people there to support those efforts, then goals will be reached. We’re happy to be that team supporting Hill and his clients when they are in town – and we would be happy to be that team for you too.

 

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

Mr. Olympia, Derek Lunsford – A True Competitor

Hany Rambod puts Derek Lunsford and Andrei Deiu through a leg workout at Hidden Gym

Among the other giants of the sports world that walk the floors here at Hidden Gym, is Derek Lunsford, world champion bodybuilder. Like many champions, he didn’t always know exactly what path his life would take. Though his world-class achievements have been in the bodybuilding arena, his athletic path didn’t start there.

The Beginning

Lunsford began getting serious about competing when he was in high school. Soccer and wrestling were his sports of choice, and he was pretty good at both of them. He then attended the University of Southern Indiana (USI) for his higher education. While at USI, he focussed his studies on health and fitness. This academic background provided him with a solid foundation in the principles of nutrition, exercise science, and health management.

When he moved on to college, however, he found himself at a school that lacked a wrestling team – he had time on his hands and a competitive fire in his heart that needed an outlet.

Since he loved to work out, he decided weightlifting would fit. He never achieved significant competitive success in it, but it is very probable that weightlifting served as the transition between wrestling and bodybuilding, bridging the gap between his first sport, and the one that would eventually see him achieve more than one Mr. Olympia title – and he’s not done yet.

Bodybuilding

It didn’t take Lunsford long, once entering the pro bodybuilding world, to rise to prominence, despite his height of 5’6”, once considered too short to compete against taller men in the field. He proved that wrong again and again, taking multiple wins at NPC Championships across different weight categories from 2015 to 2017.

In 2017, he won the IFBB Tampa Pro in the 212 division and placed 5th in his first IFBB Mr. Olympia appearance in the same division. Over the next few years, he consistently placed within the top ranks at the IFBB Mr. Olympia. Finally, in 2021, he took the 212 division title of Mr. Olympia.

Lunsford didn’t stop there, switching to the Men’s Open division in 2022 and taking an impressive second place in his debut competition. In 2023 he bested that, taking the Men’s Open Mr. Olympia Title, and becoming the first ever two-division Olympia Champion.

The Engine

Lunsford didn’t get there by sitting around thinking about it, or through some fluke of genetics – his training regimen is as rigorous as you would expect of any world champion bodybuilder… and that’s a hard-working group!

Lunsford trains six days a week, rolling through different muscle groups and allowing for recovery between those focused sessions. He begins with some high-rep warmups using (comparatively) light weights, then moves on to drop sets to achieve muscle fatigue. A shoulder workout, for example, might include dumbbell lateral raises, seated dumbbell shoulder presses, and face-pulls. When the muscles are warmed up, exhausted, and allowed to rest a few days, the cycle repeats.

The Fuel

You don’t ask that much of the body without giving it something to work with, and Lunsford’s diet and nutrition are as carefully curated as his workouts.

He eats every two to three hours, aiming for 50-60g of protein per meal. He gets this by eating a lot of chicken, egg whites, avocados, and rice. To aid in muscle recovery and growth, he includes the other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats) too.

He is a vocal advocate of cost-effective supplementation in the form of multi-vitamins, whey protein, and amino acids.

Competition Form

When he isn’t in a competition phase, his 5’6” frame carries 240lbs on it, but he leans down to a cool 215 for the competitions. He is impressive, to say the least. His dedication to intense training, a strict diet, and strategic competition planning have established him as a formidable and respected athlete in the bodybuilding community. We’re excited to see where his skills and passion take him next.

Outside of the Gym

Lunsford isn’t limited to life in the gym, he also has a growing family at home, a wife who supports his demanding career, and a stable base upon which to rise in his sport of choice.

Inside Hidden Gym

We couldn’t be happier to have a class act like Lunsford choose Hidden Gym as his base of operations. We offer the best there is in equipment, trainers, recovery and support facilities, and the kind of vibe and attitude top-notch athletes need – whether they’re professional or not. What we get in return is a thriving, mutually driving community of people who are reaching their maximum potentials – and even pushing that bar further and further as they grow and develop.

Life isn’t all about the gym, but an ambitious goal and the satisfaction of driving toward it certainly makes life better. When one of our athletes reaches that ambitious goal? We all celebrate with them.

You could join us, and join Lunsford, at a place where – no matter your initial level, or whether you have some professional goal in mind or not – you become part of a community of serious athletes, determined to strive toward greater heights in fitness and nutrition.

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

Amari Cooper: Precision and Power

Spend some time at Hidden Gym and you might see one of several NFL players working out, making the most of the state-of-the-art facilities and expert trainers. Among them is Amari Cooper, renowned wide receiver and former Dallas Cowboy.

Amari Cooper with Boxing Coach Tony Mack and fellow NFL Athletes Dwayne Eskridge and Elijah Moore

High School Career

Cooper’s football foundation was forged under the close eye of coach Billy Rolle, at Miami Northwestern Senior High School in Miami, Florida, where his skills as a wide receiver earned him a solid reputation as one of the best high school players in the country. He suffered a knee injury in his junior year and still managed 16 catches for 175 yards and four touchdowns. He and future NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater were teammates during high school, and honed each other’s skills as they both became noteworthy players to watch. By the end of high school, Cooper was ranked the 6th best wide receiver and 46th overall player by ESPNU.

He went from there to the University of Alabama, looking to improve his skills within their prestigious football program.

College Career

He joined the Crimson Tide at the University of Alabama, under head coach Nick Saban from 2012 to 2014. Even as a freshman, Cooper made his mark, but his breakout year was 2014, when he achieved 124 receptions, and took 1,727 receiving yards in a single season – breaking school records on both counts and icing the cake with 11 touchdowns. In his sophomore and junior years he became Alabama’s all-time leader in receptions (228), receiving yards (3,463), and receiving touchdowns (31).

He finished third in the running for the Heisman Trophy which, for a wide receiver, is a rare and impressive achievement. He also won the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver.

His college career ended when he entered the NFL Draft in 2015.

Amari Cooper with Boxing Coach Tony Mack and Dallas Cowboy Micah Parsons

Professional Career

He was selected fourth overall in the 2015 Draft and took on his first pro role as one of the Oakland Raiders (now the Las Vegas Raiders). He took more than a thousand receiving yards in his rookie season and earned a place in the Pro Bowl. He stayed with the Raiders until the middle of the 2018 season when he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys.

With the Cowboys, Cooper earned multiple Pro Bowl selections and helping to move the team toward its playoff ambitions. He stayed with Dallas until 2021, when he was traded to the Cleveland Browns.

As a wide receiver for the Browns, has shown impressive performance. In the 2023 NFL season, he played 15 games, recording 72 receptions for 1,250 yards, averaging 17.4 yards per catch, and scored 5 touchdowns. His longest reception was a whopping 75 yards.

His career stats include 667 receptions for 9486 yards and 60 touchdowns, showing his profound impact as a wide receiver. He also has experience in rushing, returning punts, and even one passing attempt in his NFL career.

His high level of performance continues, and he is a great example of what it means to be a hard-working, dedicated player making the most of his natural talent and hard training.

Beyond the Field

Off of the football field, Cooper hosts youth football camps, participates in charity events, and gives of his time and money to help his community. He’s an education advocate, highlighting the high value he puts on education – despite being a football star. He enjoys art and literature, reads in his spare time, and develops his mind as well as his body.

He is more than just a football player alone, and in both arenas, on and off the field, it is a blending of precision and power that seems to underpin it all.

Precision

Cooper is known for his precise route running, reliable hands, and the mental acuity to make crucial plays in crucial moments. A lot of this stems from a natural talent and deep understanding of the game, but that natural talent will only take an athlete so far. It’s the strategic, expert training and nurturing of that talent that turns it into something great enough to join the level of play the NFL demands – and its fans love.

Perhaps this ability to make decisions under pressure is improved by his love of chess. He considers the game a way to sharpen his strategic thinking and mental discipline, both on the field and off of it.

Power

That trained precision only does so much on its own, too. Without the powerhouse that a honed body provides, that precision would be squashed on the field. Building muscle mass, quick-twitch explosive power, and a body used to being pushed past its comfortable limits – this is the other side of the pro player’s coin.

This is true of the mind of an elite athlete as well. The mental power required to push through a hard workout, to drive the body to new achievements – and repeated exhaustion – over and over again… this requires a powerful mind, too. Chess and boxing are both ways to increase mental power, too.

Bringing These Together

Cooper trains at T Mack Elite Training at Hidden Gym as part of his continued efforts to build his precision and power on the field. Part of this training takes place with elite boxing coach Tony Mack, a leading expert in the Sweet Science, and a man well acquainted with marrying sudden, explosive power with precision and mental control.

Cooper’s journey from high school underdog to NFL star showcases his resilience, skill, and determination, making him a standout player in the league​​​​​​. His determination, dedication, and willingness to develop both body and mind make him a great fit here at Hidden Gym.

We believe in training the whole athlete, and doing so to elite levels, whether that athlete is a pro, an amateur with gold medals in their sight, or simply someone who wants to get the best from themselves. At Hidden Gym we are not concerned with the level our athletes come in with; we’re here to help you achieve the goals of where you want to be.

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

 

 

Paige Hathaway – Partner Workout

Paige Hathaway and HG Owner Tawna Eubanks perform a fun partner workout at Hidden Gym!

Paige Hathaway is known for her work as a fitness cover model, entrepreneur, and social media star. Born in Minnesota, United States, her early interest in sports, general athletics, and fitness, laid the foundation for her future career​​​​​ – and she’s built a lot on that foundation!

High School and College

Hathaway showed a love of health and fitness in high school, and showed promise as a soccer player too. She went on from there to complete a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine before embarking on a career in fitness modeling.

Career Launch!

In 2012 she took second place in the Ronnie Coleman Classic and her career shifted into high gear. She won the Flex August Bikini Model Search in 2013 and appeared in numerous fitness magazines like “Fitness Gurls,” “Women’s Health and Fitness,” “Oxygen,” and “Inside Fitness.” She spent the next three years as the face of the brand Shredz and launched her own “Fit in 5” challenge workout, designed to get participants fit in just five weeks of training.​​

She has shown prowess in the social media world, sharing her journey and inspiring people to reach their own fitness goals and potentials. Her following is significant, loyal – and seeing success in their own journeys.

Business

Her efforts have led to participation in several areas of business, including fitness programs and challenges (including the “fit in 5” program), brand endorsements and collaborations. She’s launched her own fitness-related clothing and accessories line, a thriving social media channel with her own content creation, supported by advertisers, and her own website for promotion and retail sales. On top of all of this, she also offers personal training and coaching, public speaking, and workshops on health and fitness-related topics.

Non-Business Life

When she’s not building a business, or honing her own fitness, Hathaway shows a keen interest in interior design, expressing her creativity through decorating and organizing spaces – one look at her home on social media will highlight some of her great results.

Hathaway also embraces the cultural richness of travel and varied cuisines, taking advantage of her professional and personal opportunities to see the world.

She also advocates for the welfare of animals, sharing content that highlights her own pets and encourages her social media followers to share the importance of responsible pet ownership.

Her Training Style

Hathaway maintains a strict, year-round diet to ensure she gets the nutrition her elite training needs, without taking in too many calories, or the wrong kinds of foods – though she allows herself a cheat day once a week.

In her workouts, she favors a mix of high reps and plyometric workouts that focuses on legs, abs, and cardiovascular fitness.

A plyometric workout (also known as “jump training” or “plyos”) consists of exercises that increase muscular power and improve overall explosiveness. The fundamental principle behind plyometrics is to rapidly stretch the muscles (called the eccentric phase) and then contract them (the concentric phase) in a short interval of time. This process is known as the stretch-shortening cycle. It’s a dynamic, enjoyable, and effective way to feel the burn!

Want to see a sample of what this looks like? Check out this video. You’ll see Hathaway and workout partner, Tawna Eubanks, doing:

  1. Jump Lunge | Squat Combo
  2. Kneeling Squat Burpee combo
  3. Double Sided L-Sits Perform each movement 60 seconds on / 30 seconds rest
  4. Glute Bridge combo
  5. Bulgarian jump squat combo
  6. Lunge squat combo
  7. Curtsy lunges high knee combo

At the Hidden Gym

Hathaway uses the cutting-edge facilities at Hidden Gym to both work her body and restore it, and to support her nutritional and motivational needs. If you live in the area, you can too! The community at the gym is supportive and motivating, using partner training and mutual encouragement to help fellow gym-goers toward achieving their own goals.

Elite athletes like Hathaway do a lot to inspire others, leading by example, showing the clear benefits of high-level fitness, and modeling the discipline and work it takes to achieve and maintain high levels of physical ability and well-being.

We’re proud to have her here with us, and we’re proud to make some background appearances on her social media posts. Keep an eye out for new content on her platforms (links below) and for other inspirational people who meet together on their path to personal growth and achievement at Hidden Gym.

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!

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