In episode 124 of the “Celtic Warrior Workouts” on YouTube, host Sheamus is joined by fellow Irishman and WWE Superstar Finn Bálor for an unorthodox routine designed to test body and mind. Bálor was the first-ever WWE Universal Champion and is known for consistently staying in phenomenal shape.
Bálor’s physique results from switching up his training regularly and often by feel depending on what equipment is available on the road. Bálor aims to train five to six days weekly, alternating between upper and lower body sessions. Check out his offset training session with Sheamus in the video below to challenge their balance:
“We’re loading the bar only on one side…to engage your core,” explained Bálor of the offset strength and stability workout. “Obviously, [you’re] not going to move a ton of weight, but it will challenge you differently.”
This type of “offset loading” is challenging, so to prevent injury, adding weight in small increments is a safer option. Offset loading develops the ability to control weight through a broader range of motion, improves overall balance and coordination, and significantly emphasizes the core.
Finn’s “Fiddly” Offset Workout
Here is the workout, filmed on location at Oak Strength in Loves Park, IL, followed by a complete breakdown.
Offset Strict Overhead Barbell Press — 3 x 6 on each side.
Offset Trap Bar Farmer’s Carry — 3 x 1 on each side
Offset Swiss Bar Bench Press — 2 x 6 on each side
Offset Bent-Over Barbell Row — 2 x 6 on each side
Hand-Walk — 50 Yards
Bálor’s nutritional preferences feature a low-carb diet, though oatmeal with a scoop of protein is a staple of his diet. Those carbs came in handy for the efforts put forth in the gym.
Bálor’s warm-up was inspired by the Gaelic football he played in his youth and the teachings of his former mentor at the WWE Performance Center, Sean Hayes. With the tendons loosened and the blood flowing, the WWE icons got down to business.
Resistance Band Kettlebell Farmer’s Carry and “Thorstvedt” Torso Stretch
“I think I invented [the Thorsvedt stretch] in Japan, in the Dojo,” said Bálor of the side-to-side stretch, named after the Norwegian professional footballing goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt. Each wrestler held out a small medicine ball laterally while standing on one leg and extending the other. The appearance resembles an arabesque in ballet or a goalkeeper reaching to block a shot.
Overhead Press & Trap Bar Farmer Carry
Bálor set up the barbell for overhead presses with weighted plates on one side. He explained that once the first set is performed, you can move around to the other side of the bar instead of reloading the opposing end.
For the trap bar farmer carries, “it forces us [to the side],” said Bálor. “Engage to stand up straight and walk in a straight line. Put it down, turn around, come back.” Sheamus had never tried anything like this before and was keen to share with Bálor and his viewers the principle of leaving one’s ego “at the door.” The popular workout host doesn’t mind dropping the weight to try new ideas, no matter how “weird” they may seem initially.
This forces the body to adapt and work on those imbalances. It might not be your shoulder…could be your hip, core, anything, but this works up the whole chain.
Sheamus doesn’t necessarily have one strong side but could identify if he favored his right or left on each movement. Bálor mentioned it takes time to train the brain before increasing the weight with offset loading.
The high-flyer of the ring has popping calves but builds them through functional exercise rather than isolation. “I’ve never trained calves a day in my life, mate,” he told Sheamus. “I don’t train calves, and I don’t train arms.”
Swiss Bar Bench Press & Bent-Over Barbell Row
With his muscles shaking, Sheamus found the swiss bar bench press more challenging than anticipated for his left side. Still, he smashed two sets of six reps. “The narrower the grip, the harder it is,” explained the founder of ‘The Bullet Club’ in Japan and the current leader of Judgement Day in WWE.
[Related: Pro Wrestler Matt Cardona Talks Gym Bag Essentials, Chest Workouts, and Staying in Shape on the Road]
The Finisher: Hand-Walk
While the two brawlers are adept at hitting each other with odd objects in the ring, they use them differently in the gym. With baking trays under each foot, they assumed a push-up position.
We’re going to hand-walk up the turf, pulling our feet behind us. We’ll engage our core, work the shoulders, triceps, and chest.
They raced 50 yards pulling on their hands before reversing and pushing their way back.
More Training Content
Featured image: @wwesheamus on Instagram
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