Train Like an Athlete

Build a body that performs onstage and off.


A break-dancer turned wrestler who migrated into bodybuilding in college, Danny Hester believes that training like an athlete has been critical to his bodybuilding success. “I train professional fighters,” says Hester, 44. “I own a gym with a boxing ring, and I get in there and spar with them. I’m a bodybuilder, so people are amazed that I can move like I do because they think I’ll be muscle-bound.”

In the gym, Hester’s more concerned with making a mind–muscle connection than with the amount of weight on the bar—going through the motions without “feeling it” isn’t the way to train, in his book. “To look great is fine, but I want to be able to use my muscles, too,” he says. He adds that how you train translates to your onstage presence: Train like an athlete and you’ll carry yourself like one.

Hester’s also developed a unique way of balancing his life. “I eat right and train every day,” he says. “That way, when something comes up, I’m still at 95%. I have friends who get all screwed up when a wrench is thrown in. That doesn’t bother me.”

Hester's Chest Routine

Concentrate more on feeling your muscles work during this routine—don’t get caught up in how heavy the weights are.

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 5
Incline Bench Press 3 12
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 12
Dumbbell Flye 1 30