World champion decathlete Trey Hardee on getting fit and giving back to the community he calls home.
By Ryan Nail, photos by Dustin Meyer
Trey Hardee is a lot of things to a lot of people here in Austin. He is a husband, a good friend to those around him and a dog owner, but to the world, Trey Hardee is known as one of the best athletes on the planet.
Hardee first made the U.S. Olympic team in 2008, for the Beijing Olympics. In 2009, Hardee qualified for the World Championships in Berlin. At the World Championships, in 2009, he took home the gold medal and title of world champion. In 2010, Hardee took the silver medal in the heptathlon at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar. He has successfully defended his world championship title, making him the third decathlete to ever win back-to-back World Championships. At the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, Hardee retained the world decathlon title with a final point tally of 8,607, defeating his compatriot, Ashton Eaton. At the 2012 Olympics in London, Hardee won the silver medal, finishing runner-up to U.S. teammate Eaton.
Hardee attended the University of Texas and continues to be an Austinite. If you follow Hardee on Facebook or Instagram, you can plainly see how involved he is with the Austin fitness scene. You can find him training at different gym locations, from the Onnit Academy in the downtown area, to the Crossfit Jaakarhu on South Congress Avenue, to the UT track and field facility. Hardee says those in Austin’s fitness scene naturally encourage one another for the betterment of every individual, which creates a greater community. Fitness is much more personable here in Austin. Austin’s fitness community focuses on family and takes pride in keeping things local.
One of the ways Hardee gives back to our community is through The Flatwater Foundation. The Flatwater Foundation is dedicated to providing those diagnosed with cancer, their families and loved ones access to mental-health therapy and family support. This includes access to both traditional and non-traditional methods of psychological counseling.
One partner helping Hardee’s cause is Dynamax, the largest medicine ball company in the world. Dynamax has partnered with Hardee to come out with his very own Dynamax Limited Edition Trey Hardee USA Ball, with proceeds from any balls purchased going directly to The Flatwater Foundation. Hardee believes he is fortunate to be where he is at this point in his career and life, and that it’s an honor to be able to have his own medicine ball, with proceeds going to help people.
“If this partnership can mitigate or help someone or ease those pains left behind from cancer, that’s what it’s about for me. It’s a really cool partnership and cause, so if you are in the market for a medicine ball, no other supports a cause like the Dynamax Limited Edition Trey Hardee USA Ball.
“When training for my decathlons, I use the Dynamax medicine balls to develop quick-twitch muscles for explosiveness when I am competing, so the partnership with Dynamax was a natural one,” says Hardee.
I asked Hardee what he was most ex- cited about as he trains to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“I’m blessed to be in the position that I am in,” he says. “I am enjoying every second of the journey to make my third Olympic team, with the hopes of ending up on the podium again.”
For more information on The Flatwater Foundation, visit flatwaterfoundation.org. For those looking to support Trey Hardee’s cause through buying the Dynamax Limited Edition Trey Hardee USA Ball, visit medicineballs.com/trey.
RYAN NAIL is the owner of CoreFit Training.
TRAIN LIKE AN OLYMPIAN
In the straight-legs lift, hang from the Olympic rings or a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and your leg gripping a medicine ball. Keeping your legs and back straight and using a slow, controlled motion, raise your legs until they’re parallel to the floor. Slowly lower your legs. That’s one rep. Do four to six. A progression would be to try to raise your feet above 90 degrees. Keep perfect form as you raise your legs; don’t swing them or let momentum do the work. Concentrate on keeping your butt down, as if you’re sitting on a chair.
The overhead forward exercise is great for hip mobility, core work and developing power for the entire body.
When working for explosiveness and core work, the hip toss-catch is a great exercise, which serves as both a central nervous system primer and is a good full-body power developer.
Medicine-ball training increases power and stability of your core. “Between the legs forward” increases power and stability of your core while giving you the explosive power you need to perform.