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As the bros were hitting middle school, their father, Gordie Sr., a co-owner of G&G Fitness in upstate New York, set up a fully equipped weight room for his five sons—Dan, Chris, Gordie Jr., Glenn, and Rob— for them to begin hitting the weights in their Amherst, NY, basement. Their intro started with low weight and high reps “so we would get used to the movements and to build strength for coordination,” Dan says. “Apparently it was a good plan.”
Whether they were breaking balls or breaking into dance between sets, and no matter the occasion—gearing up for game time under Friday night lights or getting their pump on before Saturday night shenanigans—the Gronks always made time to lift as a team. “In high school, we’d be like, ‘Let’s get a workout in before we go out,’ so we were all buff and everything,” Dan says.
Their athletic success is a well-documented tribute to the success of sibling camaraderie: Four of the five brothers were drafted in the NFL, with Rob, the most well known, a two-time Super Bowl champion and three-time All-Pro tight end with the New England Patriots. “With my brothers and I having each other, it helped significantly in two ways,” says Dan, a 2009 seventh-round draft pick by the Detroit Lions who played four seasons in the NFL as a tight end. “First, it was leading by example. The younger brothers were able to see how working out made you a better athlete. Second, we kept each other accountable and helped push each other to be the best we could be.”
So the logical next step in the family fitness evolution would be to create their own brand of group fitness—Gronk Fitness Programming. It’s a functional training class that differs from most, according to Dan, as it’s designed from actual pro sports training experiences, making it particularly attractive to ex-jocks as well as weekend warriors. At a Gronk Fitness Programming session you’ll experience a game day atmosphere: team captains, huddles, all-out intensity exercises, a two-minute drill, and even Gronkisms like their family slogan, “Get Your Mind Right,” which means “stay focused.” The workouts are even intense enough to impress Rob. “When he was hurt last year, he checked out a class,” Dan says. “He said, ‘Wow, this is so legit!’ And I’m like, ‘Obviously, Rob.’ ”
The benefits of Gronk Fitness Programming, according to Dan, are vast: The high-intensity aerobic and strength circuit will burn more calories and boost endurance in about half the time of a traditional workout. It’s also low impact, which will save your joints. And since the workouts are designed after actual sports programs, it’s fun, challenging, and beneficial to both athletes and wannabe athletes. With the group members constantly pushing one another, it’s a natural team builder, which helps participants feel accountable and stick with the program. “We want people who aren’t in their zones to push themselves and beat their physical goals, but also leave there knowing they can achieve things that they haven’t before,” Dan says.
There are eight stations. Perform a variation of one exercise from each station for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, then proceed to the next station. Do this for three rounds with a 90-second rest in between rounds.
After you complete 3 rounds, perform this 2-minute drill: Perform any two exercises as fast and as hard as possible for 60 seconds each.
Complete a cool down after your workout with some light stretching and foam rolling.