Meet Alvaro ‘Al’ Montoya.
This soon-to-be 29-year-old Cuban American is in the midst of an incredible career as a professional athlete.
Al Montoya is a professional ice hockey goal tender who currently plays with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. He started his professional ice hockey career when he was signed to the NY Jets in the summer of 2005, following three years playing on the ice for the University of Michigan. Following graduation, Montoya was a first round, sixth overall 2004 NHL entry draft pick — just one of the many testaments to his incredible talent.
Al Montoya is an incredible athlete. His dedication to physical fitness places him in the elite category among even the world’s top athletes. And I’m proud to say that he’s also my brother.
I’ve served as my brother’s fitness coach since I started working as a CrossFit trainer in 2009. Al is an incredible example of someone who has been successful thanks to his dedication and perseverance. He maintains an intensive strength and conditioning program, which serves as the perfect foundation for keeping his body in top condition — a requirement among all professional athletes.
As a layman, it’s difficult to understand how much professional athletes require both mental and physical preparation in order to take on the intensive demands of their season. An athlete’s body sees tremendous demands and it takes a powerful sense of motivation and dedication to maintain your body at that level for years on end.
Like a physical building, you need a strong foundation; without it, everything crumbles. This is true whether you’re an elite athlete, someone who’s just starting with CrossFit Training or even my 91- year-old grandmother, who is also among my clients!
This foundational strength training and conditioning is an integral element of my brother’s training, both during the season and during the off-season. And it’s just as important for my CrossFit clients!
You need a robust foundation, even if it’s not your favorite part of your training regime. Think of it like a musician. You can’t learn how to play an instrument if you haven’t mastered the fundamentals, like learning how to read music. Learning how to read music is a prerequisite for the good stuff — playing an instrument! You can try to play the instrument without learning how to read music, but it makes learning how to play the instrument much more difficult and your potential is dramatically limited. The same goes for your body. You can’t become an athlete if you don’t establish a strong foundation in all those important fundamentals.
My brother Al is an incredible source of motivation and inspiration as he is the epitome of what it means to be an elite athlete. His physical and mental strength never creases to amaze me. In fact, it’s this mental strength and dedication that really sets the professional athletes apart from all others. It takes a lot of discipline and mental strength to push past the pain, the injuries and the fatigue. For most people, skipping a day at the gym isn’t the end of the world. But in cases when your entire career depends upon your physical performance, skipping a training session takes on an entirely new meaning. It takes a very rare type of person to push beyond those perceived limitations, challenging your body’s physical abilities and working to achieve a performance that’s at the next level.
Workout of the Day
ME Lower Body
Five sets for times of:
Wall Ball x 15 reps
Pull-Ups x 15 reps
Rest 60 seconds