What makes a Great athlete?

What makes a Great athlete….Great?

I get questions often about programming for athletes.  Either through Weightlifting, Powerlifting or Sports Performance.  After I answer these questions A LOT of people look at me a little strange.

For the most part I tell them they need the basics, strength, power, hypertrophy, movement pattern, mobility, coordination in complexity.  Then I tell them they need multiple workouts.  I give them this breakdown.

  • Athletes who are just starting off (no physical background):  2 days a week
  • Athletes who have been in sport but don’t train:  3-4 days a week
  • Athletes who have been in training but never sport:  3-4 days (they should up their sport practice not training).
  • Athletes who have been in sport for 4 years and train for longer than 1 or 2 years:  7-8 workouts per week

Don’t get all wide eyed and say your kid isn’t training enough.  That’s not what this means.  This article is about what a Great athlete looks like.  So don’t think that your 10 year old kid needs to be in the gym 8 times a week doing pointless movements when he/she can get this in regular physical activity such as playing with friends.

This article is for those who don’t understand why their “gains” have stopped. You only workout 3 days a week at 1.5 hours each session.  So that means you are only putting your body through 4.5 hours of stress in 168 hours (7 days x 24 hours)  Something doesn’t seem right there right?

I can guarantee any GREAT athlete, and I’m talking most collegiate level athletes and all professional athletes have at one point in their athletic career done multiple workouts in a week.

Here is the number 1 reason why great athletes need multiple workouts.  Their bodies ADAPT to nearly everything.  Any stimulus you have through a workout will eventually make your body adapt to it.  Some athletes take longer than others but eventually everyone adapts to their appropriate load.

And lets face it the more time you spend on the field or in the weight room will make you better.  You get more time reacting, lifting, and moving.  Which will make you better.

Now here comes the other end of this…..If your multiple workouts are STUPID workouts doing pointless things the amount you improve will be very minimal.  For example….If you bench press 7 times a week…Yes your bench press will go up…but it won’t go up as much as it could with proper planning and programming.  You will also come up with this issue called overuse which leads to Tendentious.  And nobody got time for that!

So if you are a coach reading this and you think that 1 workout  a day for your Junior or Senior kids is enough to take you to the Next Level….I have other news for you.

A great athlete plans and prepares with the best coaches possible and attacks every situation with knowledge and guidance.  They do multiple workouts in a week, all to reach their ultimate goal.  Great athletes all have a great coach behind them.

And believe me when I’m talking about athletes it means every facet.  Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Crossfit, Strongman, Sport, etc….


Forte Vita








Rockin & Rollin

Today is the first day of Next Level Barbell

Pictures will come on the next post as we are just finishing up with the “esthetics” of the facility.  I can guarantee people will be blown away with what myself and a few other leaders in the community have put together.  This will be the mecca of training in the Midwest if not the country in a short while.

I’ll give you a little breakdown.  The facility itself is a 10,000 sq ft industrial warehouse.  With the gym being split into 2 modes of training Crossfit Lemont and Next Level Barbell.  Our Barbell club will house 2 competitive teams a powerlifting team and a Olympic Weightlifting team from youth to master athletes the age does not matter.

At Next Level we only train elite athletes so our sports performance side of training is very competitive.  We train any athlete that is willing to work hard and leave their egos at the door.  From girls soccer to wrestling we tailor our workouts to what that athlete needs.  We target weaknesses and build from there.

What sets us aside is our coaching, facility, and atmosphere.  Like always I provide the best atmosphere for any athlete to succeed, whether it be from challenging the athlete physically or mentally,  we will get the best results.

As a coach  I can guarantee if you are an athlete of mine I will fight to the death to make sure you get what you came in for.  I will have your back in and outside of the training facility.  I will make sure your grades are up to snuff and you are staying out of trouble.  I don’t put up with any B.S. and it’s for your benefit as a student-athlete.

If you can’t tell I’m excited to have partnered with such great people.  This training facility is a family friendly, goal oriented, tail whipping gym.  Like none around!


Forte Vita!

Coach Rustman


The New

My thoughts have changed a bit

When I first started the gym I had 2 different blogs.  I didn’t like doing those blogs at the same time because it took away from my time with both.  So I ended up doing some Workout demonstrations and blog for my other site steel yard strength a strictly offensive line and defensive line blog.  I did that for about 2 years.  I am at a point now where there are things I want to talk about more.  Kind of like a mash up of the good, the bad, and the ugly around the fitness and sport world.  I see a lot of great things coaches are doing and A LOT more bad things that coaches do.  This is happening in every spectrum of fitness and sport, and it’s been happening for a very long time.

So I am going to strictly blog on this site now and it will be a mash up of everything I do and deal with as a coach/athlete/husband/father (my dog) and as a human.  I will blog about offensive and defensive lineman still but it won’t be the direct focus.  I plan on pushing a lot more “educational” videos out there to help people out.

A big part of this is because I wanted to go a different route,  As many of you know I pretty much only train athletes, not only that but elite athletes.  I also train serious in competitive Olympic Lifting and also coach it as well.  And this is why my thoughts have changed.

Myself and other leaders in the community have started a Non-Profit Lifting Club for less fortunate kids in the Will County area.  It’s called Forte Vita Lifting Club (Strong Life).  We will train Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting both competitively and as a tool for after school programs to help kids with behavioral and social issues that are out of their control.  This is a full pledge 501 c 3 non-profit organization so we will run solely on donations and sponsorships.  I will be running the Olympic lifting portion and a very well known Illinois Powerlifter will be coaching the powerlifting portion.  Anyone is welcome to train, in either sport but will have to go through the membership interview first.

We will soon have a website up with more information on how to become a member and also how to donate.  Since we are a non-profit organization all donations are tax deductible and will help someone get off the streets and into something positive.

I have always dreamt of starting up something that can help the community and help get young adults on the right track, and now here is that chance.  I am very excited to be starting this up and I hope that you can become a part of this in some way, shape, or form.

As for now I am done chattering!  Stay posted on this and and become a part of the newsletter to get some great FREE information about workouts, and just all things fitness and sport related.