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?

SO: Greens.

TCC: Anything unhealthy you’ve tried to cut out recently?

SO: Chips.

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