Lacrosse pro and New York Lizard’s midfielder, Paul Rabil, does so much more than masterfully impose his will on the field with the unyielding grace of his powerful wand. Rabil is a media visionary, a businessman bent on success, a sports fashionista, and, most relevant to this blog, he is a fascinating interview subject. Rabil recently took some time out of his busy schedule globetrotting and spreading his particular gospel of LAX to talk to us about training, cheat meals and life goals. Read on to meet the man behind the flow:
TRX: Paul, I noticed you are wearing a TRX Earn It shirt, thanks for repping the brand! How were you first introduced to TRX Training?
PR: I found the TRX straps when I was a senior in college at Johns Hopkins University. It was one of the first iterations of the straps, and I've been using them to ignite balance, stability, strength and overall functional training to my workouts.
TRX: You’ve been putting out a lot of cool lacrosse training videos with the Rip Trainer, seems like you’re really innovating the way people train for the game. How were you first introduced to the Rip Trainer?
PR: I was first introduced to the Rip Trainer in my rehabilitation phase after I had surgery on my abdominals. The Rip was incredibly helpful in engaging my core strength and mobility as I laid the new groundwork for recovery.
TRX: A little secret about TRX: When we introduce people to our gear and training, especially athletes at a high level who have never used bodyweight-based training, it’s usually met with a little skepticism. They ask, “How can I really get elite-level results only using my bodyweight and this tool?” But then they are quickly converted. What was your “ah-ha” moment?
PR: Improved balance, range of motion and strength. Simple as that. If you spend your entire life doing linear lifts, bulking up and thinning out, you create multiple layers of stress in your shoulders, and through your back. By using the straps and Rip, I reorganized the way I was strength-training, allowing me to do functional work with less stress, even on one leg at a time.
TRX: You’re a pretty muscular guy. How many days a week do you do strength and conditioning workouts, and how do you incorporate TRX?
PR: My workouts vary depending on the season. The offseason is when I really step on the gas and work towards functional improvements. I'll incorporate TRX equipment during my warm ups, and all of my circuits. I train with my strength and conditioning team anywhere from 5-7 days/week.
TRX: Do you ever use TRX to warm up for your on-field practice?
PR: Yes, all the time. I use both the straps and Rip activate core muscle groups that I rely on during the games. Even better is how easy it is to travel with the equipment.
TRX: What is your favorite thing to listen to when you are training lately?
PR: Lately, I've been listening to a lot of 90's and 2000's rock. Stuff like System of a Down, Staind, Linkin Park and Korn.
TRX: What is your favorite post-workout snack and what is your favorite “cheat meal?”
PR: A constant for me is Whey Protein after workouts. I like to have my shake all ready for my final lift or movement, and finish the drink in the gym before I leave. Regarding a specific cheat meal, I really try and eat clean all the time. In reality, however, I can probably count 1 or 2 things I could cut from each meal!
TRX: Do you have any big training goals for 2015, and is TRX helping you to achieve them?
PR: I'm always working to improve my explosiveness, balance, and stamina. As a part of my circuit training, TRX equipment will play an integral part in those improvements.
TRX: If you could give a word of advice to kids who want to play lacrosse at a high level, what would it be? What mistakes have you made that they can learn from?
PR: Functionally, make sure you warm up and warm down. Those are what I consider the "nuts and bolts" of training, because if you don't warm up and down properly, the "nuts and bolts" will begin to wear, tear and fall apart.
TRX: Where do you see yourself in five years and how is TRX going to help you get there?
PR: In 5 years, I see myself continuing to be one of the best players in lacrosse. There's a ton of wear and tear in professional sports, so to have a partner like TRX in my corner, helping me prepare, recover and rehabilitate through the contact of our sport will be incredibly important.
For more from lacrosse star Paul Rabil and TRX, check out all of his lacrosse-specific training drills here: