Stretching and keeping it simple: The routine that has helped Shane O'Connell qualify for the NFR
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN
When it comes to both his diet and his training, bareback rider Shane O'Connell is old school.
His typical meals are bacon and eggs for breakfast, a ham sandwich for lunch and steak for dinner. For his workout routine, it is a lot of stretching and the occasional practice on the spur board.
"I don’t work out other than my one 25 pound dumbbell I mess around with," he said.
He knows more and more cowboys are hitting the gym these days, but the 25-year-old says it's important to find what works for you and the South Dakotan has certainly has found something that works. Currently he is No. 9 in the world, he made the NFR in 2018 and he's finished in the Top 20 four times in his career.
TCC: What is a typical workout for you and why are you doing each exercise?
SO: I stretch a lot just to get my muscles going and take out the kinks.
TCC: What muscles are you trying to target and why?
SO: Back, neck, hips and riding arm are what I work on.
TCC: Do you change how your workout depending on the time of year?
SO: If I’m at home, I gotta keep my muscle memory alive somehow. If I’m gone, I gotta stay mobile somehow.
TCC: Is there a food you are trying to eat more of?
TCC: Anything unhealthy you’ve tried to cut out recently?
TCC: Did you play any other sports growing up?
SO: Wrestling, football and just grew up on horseback.
TCC: Has anyone had an influence over your outlook on your diet and training?
SO: Wrestling coaches taught me discipline while cutting weight.
TCC: Did you do anything differently to help you qualify for your first NFR?
SO: I went back into my high school wrestling room a couple of weeks before the finals and worked out the way I grew up in the same wrestling room. It was actually a trip down memory lane.
TCC: Has your diet, training and nutrition changed at all since turning pro?
SO: It’s hard to go to a 100 rodeos a year. Just little things like a lot of water after I ride and stretching all the time helps me keep going.
TCC: Is there a guy on the road notorious for his exercise routine?
SO: I worked out with Tim O’Connell once and was sore for a month.
TCC: Do you do anything to prepare yourself mentally?
SO: I try and stay calm up top until I get to the rodeo and then I fire up mentally and get my mind focused in.
TCC: What has been the best advice someone has given to you about mentality?
SO: Face your fears and take the pain.
THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN EDITED AND CONDENSED FOR CLARITY