WWE’s Tommaso Ciampa is consistently ripped in the kind of way that makes you want to ask him what his gym routine is like. Fortunately, the bone bender from Boston is a fitness fanatic, and is happy to share the methods behind his muscle. Ever heard of an earthquake bar? Well, you have now!

“I love fitness,” says Ciampa. “I love the nutrition side of it, I love the experimental side, I kind of feel like that’s what the whole journey is.” As a two-time NXT champion, Ciampa has also held the NXT tag team titles with his current partner Johnny Gargano, and they are now plying their trade on Monday Night Raw where the duo is collectively known as #DIY. This team is one of the hottest acts around, mixing strength and agility.

Ciampa, who made his pro wrestling debut in 2005 and was trained by Killer Kowalski, is known for some scintillating work between the ropes but for him, it all starts in the gym. Having undergone cervical fusion surgery several years ago, Ciampa understands that taking care of his body is an essential part of making sure that his career lasts as long as possible. To that end, this grappler loves to get to grips with the “earthquake bar.”

What is an earthquake bar?

The principle behind the earthquake bar, often referred to as a tsunami bar is that the lifter has to compete with the Oscillating Kinetic Energy (OKE) to keep it stable. The construction of this ‘bandbell’ type of bar  has evolved over time and features bamboo (or other wooden) attachments on either side. Weights can then be hung from the attachments using bands, meaning that as you lift up and down, the attached weights will sway and bounce in all directions. This chaotic movement requires your mind and body to make multiple micro-adjustments as you lift, activating the muscles in a completely different way to a simple upwards and downwards journey.

Why this move is a good idea to improve stabilization?

Ciampa was first introduced to the earthquake bar at his local gym, ‘Top Performance Sports’. “And, they’re like a big, strongman gym,” he says. “So, that’s great, especially for like the shoulder joints, and just the stability factor. But then, I got away from it forever, and I didn’t have one, and then I visited there on a (WWE) live event tour, and my trainer Murhp (CJ Murphy) was like; ‘you gotta get one.’ He had the bandbell, set it up, it’s just unreal for like a chest press, shoulder press finisher, helps the joint stability a lot. You just feel a lot better after it, (with) a way lighter load too.”

Ciampa explains that since the earthquake bar lift is more of an explosive task, he doesn’t get sore from doing it, and need not max out on the weight because the OKE movement is making the lift difficult enough as it is. “It’s just a real-good-feel-good, I’ll say that much,” he adds.

WWE superstar explains that competing in highly physical matches, like the ladder match that #DIY had at WrestleMania XL, requires him to get a feel for what volume he can lift in the gym without bringing a negative to his performance in the ring. For mega-events like WrestleMania, Ciampa explains that he goes into “recovery mode” a week ahead, with an aim to reduce any inflammation and make sure he’s able to perform at the highest level. Ciampa, 38, explains that he’s learned that there is no quick fix that can get someone fit and healthy, and that it takes time to get to a place where you can be comfortable with making small steps.

“It’s just a journey,” he says. “At least now I know that, maybe when I was younger I had specific goals, but now it’s just enjoying the process.”

Catch Tommaso Ciampa on WWE Monday Night Raw on the USA Network, and follow his journey on Instagram!