What does Drew Brees like to talk about when he’s not busy slingshotting spirals into the end zone and the trusty hands of his wide receivers? TRX Drew Brees Sweepstakes winner Mike Johanns knows: “Anything but football,” he said.
A Meet-and-Greet with Brees was just one part of Johanns Grand Prize from the sweepstakes and he discovered that like any normal guy, the MVP quarterback talked about everyday things. “He shared stories about the start of his day, preparing breakfast for his kids and how the time got away from him so he got a late breakfast, which isn't a good thing on conditioning days,” said Johanns, who as a Texas-native and Purdue alum, has a lot in common with Brees. “He was very down to earth and created a very informal environment.”
When Johanns, 59, received the call from TRX congratulating him on winning the sweepstakes, he said he initially thought it was a scam. Even when he was physically on the plane to San Diego with his son-in-law Kyle to meet Brees and workout with his trainer Todd Durkin, Johanns had no idea what surprises were in store for him. “TRX and Todd really upped the wow factor for this whole experience in two ways. First, they allowed me to bring my son-in-law, which was a great opportunity to train with him,” said Johanns regarding Kyle, a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps currently stationed at Camp Pendleton.
But the better curveball was that Johanns’ interaction with Brees went far beyond discussing breakfast. “Todd allowed us to train side-by-side with the NFL players. You just get this huge sense of their athleticism and their conditioning. We were just working to survive; they were pushing, competing and training at an incredible level,” he said.
Durkin challenged Johanns and Kyle to keep pace with Brees and Saints running back Darren Sproles through a typical pre-season workout. Watch this video for a taste of the workout, which consisted of eight-minute quarters of intense training with two-minute breaks in between. The five workout stations featured metabolic conditioning drills, weight lifting, battling ropes and TRX Suspension Training and Rip Training. Durkin even added on two bonus challenges: A Prowler race and a card game that worked on coordination. “Todd tried to warn us about the pace of the workout. The first 20-minute warmup could constitute a workout for a lot of people,” said Johanns. “I was actually glad when I got to the TRX stations and I knew I could survive that part of the workout.”
Johanns was first introduced to TRX by a trainer about three years ago. “I was hooked from the first Atomic Push-up. I was amazed at how difficult it was and impressed at how challenging it was,” he said. “The aspect I value tremendously is it’s easy on the joints.” He’s sustained a number of injuries over the years, including three shoulder setbacks, similar to Brees. “Todd and I were talking about how a lot of these pro football players, especially big linemen, after three-to-four years they can’t lift the massive weights and Suspension Training helps them build strength. I can really identify with that in the training I’ve been doing.”
Since that very first Atomic Push-up, he’s added the TRX Rip Trainer to his diverse training toolbox of kettlebells, sandbags, weights and the Suspension Trainer to incorporate into his daily workouts. He’s also taken two TRX Education Courses to help advance his training, and recently joined TRX’s exclusive, new club for trainers, TRX CORE. “I’m so excited about TRX CORE. I didn’t join because I want to build my personal training business, but because there’s so much info out there about new exercises, how to do the exercises, how to cue the exercises,” he said. “I’ve incorporated most of what I’ve seen into my own training. It has amazing instructors and it’s an incredible offering that takes it to the next level.”
Johann’s day with Drew ended with a fun throwing session out on the football field, where even Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer joined. “It was a really special opportunity for me on multiple levels. Randy and his team at TRX, and Todd and his team just did an outstanding job. Truly a once and a lifetime opportunity,” he said.