Talented stars, killer physiques.Read article
Long before he became a World Series champ, Hunter Pence was just like any other meathead—with a love of heavy iron and aspirations to get huge. “I grew up with Arnold’s Encyclopedia,” says the Giants right fielder. “I always wanted to lift as heavy as possible.”
But when Pence made the bigs, team trainers forced him to back off the weight. What he gave up in plates, though, he’s more than made up for in intensity. Under the watchful eye of trainer Nicole Gabriel of Explosive Performance in Tampa, FL, the 6’4″, 218-pound Pence pushes himself through off-season workouts designed to be difficult enough that the rigors of a 162-game regular season might seem easy by comparison.
“She pushes me,” says Pence, who batted .277 and hit 20 homers for the Giants in 2014. “My workouts now are never the same thing twice. One of the things Nicole taught me was to train legs in every single workout. All your power comes from your legs.”
“He’s one of the most dedicated and disciplined athletes I’ve ever trained,” says Gabriel, who provided the following workout, sampled from Pence’s off-season programming. It’s designed to build explosive strength and speed.
DOWNTIME: Pence unwinds with video games, including MLB 15 The Show on PS4. “I’m pretty excited that they added historic players like Nolan Ryan this year,” Pence says.