Member Spotlight: Adriel Tam’s skill-based workouts

Posted October 28, 2017

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Longtime member Adriel Tam lives just across the street from the Rival and is a frequent presence in the gym. As lifelong fitness enthusiast, over the years Adriel’s workouts have evolved from boxing routines, to bodybuilding pyramids, and into a mixture of weightlifting, gymnastics, and agility drills. With an endless search to constantly challenge his body in new ways, Adriel’s workouts always peak our interest. We caught up with him recently to get to the bottom of what tools and principles he uses to build his routines.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your fitness background.

A: I hadn’t even walked into a gym until college – I went to Seattle Pacific University –  that was when I learned about fitness. I had done some martial arts as a kid, but then got reintroduced to fitness when I was in college, and that was so big for me. As a freshman, I probably spent more time in the gym than in school and then I was introduced to a weightlifting gym in my sophomore year when the guys on my floor wanted to do a weightlifting competition. That was the first time I had ever been into a weight-room. Everyone has their strengths, and mine happened to be my legs. So I won that squat competition with around 350 pounds. Ever since then, I’ve been really active in fitness.

Q: What does your typical routine look like?

A: I usually train six days on, with one day of rest. One of my training days is actually more of a stretch day where I do a lot of body weight exercises and keep things light. At my age, I don’t really need a lot of weight. I just need to maintain the ability to move well. I don’t feel like I need to get big and super strong anymore, I just want to be able to move to play the sports I want to play and do the things I want to do.

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Q: What sports do you play?

A: I do some flag football and I still go to a martial arts gym, MKG Martial Arts in Northgate.

Q: We see you doing a lot of agility work on the field. Where did your interest in that begin?

A: Josh (Hunter, Rival Trainer) and I worked out a few times together a few summers ago, and he showed me some Instagram videos of some agility drills he was working on. I wanted to learn how to do them, so I picked it up as a way to challenge my body. I love picking up something new every once in awhile to see if I can do it.

Q: Can you break down the workout you did for us today?

A: I always do a lot of stretching before hand – a lot of yoga poses. Then I warmed up with jump rope and practiced agility with hurdles. I focused more on proper foot placement, rather than speed, to get my body to coordinate the muscle memory to land each foot correctly. I also incorporated hand movement with it as well. So it’s more technical work rather than cardiovascular, but it was obviously hard. After that I did a little bit of ring work to get the core engaged, and then some stability ball and barbell squats. I added in some push drills, but then backed off because my elbow was hurting. Lately I’ve been doing the 5×5 principle with my squats which I’m liking a lot. Then I like to finish with a little bike ride to get some sweat on.

Q: How have your workouts evolved through the years?

A: When I was young, I did the “typical guy routine,” which was back day, chest day, arm day, and then skip leg day. I did pyramids and supersets, but as I started to learn more about the body, different trainers taught me different things, and I learned that each body is so unique – you just have to listen to what it wants. I try to focus on the weak areas and strengthen the strong ones. So I don’t really have any set routine that I do, it’s more about how my body’s feeling and if there’s any particular thing I want to focus on – whether it’s gymnastics, squatting, or agility stuff.

Q: Why is it about Rival that keeps you coming back?

A: The equipment quality here is fantastic. There is so much gear here. Rival is so open to bringing in new equipment and trying different things. Even seeing them getting rid of the machines that no one really uses any more to free up space and invest in more functional-based gear is really cool. Besides that, it’s a really cool looking gym. I remember the gym first opening – I live right across the street. I honestly thought it was going to be some “foo foo” gym. But my wife wanted to see it, so we came in, looked at it and it was actually really cool and the people were super nice. So we decided we’d give it a try – it was worth it to us, and it still is. Over time, getting to know everyone here in the gym has been really great. Everyone’s really laid back and there’s no egos. I’ve been to tons of gyms over the years and this is one of the best I’ve ever worked out in.

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