Blair O’Donovan is a Strength & Conditioning Coach who has worked in the NHL, NFL, NBA and for the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald's All American Game. Blair coached at Gonzaga College High School in Washington DC under Steve Turner, the Gatorade National Coach of the Year. In 2012, he founded Healthy Baller and in 2013, became partners and co-owners with Matt Boyd. In 2018, Blair accepted a position with the Washington Wizards as Director of Player Preparation and later returned to Healthy Baller in 2020 to help expand the Hoopers’ Program.
In 10 minutes I would focus on big compound lifts such as trap bar deadlifts, leg lifts, bench press or push-ups, pull-ups and single leg exercises. I would mix up the rep ranges from 6-8, 50s and 20s, to 3-5. I would also switch up the hand position for different variations. Transcript: "If I had 10 minutes a day to build strength, what I do, and why I funny enough, my schedule is hectic enough at times where that's all that I really have. I'm used to sessions like this, you know, micro dosing, I guess we could call it, but in a perfect world, 10 minutes, I'm focusing on the big lifts, of course, big compound lifts. I'll go through the ones. I prefer the most trap bar deadlift is going to be one of those. It's my main main bilateral lift leg lifts. Certainly a picking up a body push soar, call it a bench press or a push-up upper body. Pull love the pull up some variations everything you can do there and then lastly I'll prefer like a single leg exercise. Really working a lot on skater squats and single leg on supported. And within 10 minutes, I can easily get three to four productive hard sets within that time frame. And what I probably would do is and I've done this in the past is spend a few weeks. Rotating rep, ranges anywhere from six to eight and do some high high rep work 50s and 20s. Bring them down to 325's, just mix and match and you get a lot of variety for those rep. Ranges, of course, but then I also like the concept of like same same, but different, so you can take all those same movements and if you change your hand position a little bit on the bench, press from a normal position to a close grip. It's very different if you take your, your pull up position and And you go to neutral grip or mixed grip, very different. And a lot of ways to play with variations there that can last forever. So, that's how I go about it. Honestly, is it at the moment and hopefully it helps out"
I would rate myself a 7.5/10 because I've had a lot of fun and cool experiences in my career, including working in the fitness industry, travelling the world, and helping athletes and teams. I still get to do what I love to do and have a ton of fun. Transcript: "This is a funny one on a scale of 1 to 10. How cool would I rate myself? To be honest with you I have to procure myself a seven or an eight maybe I'll just call it seven and a half you know, mostly because I've been really fortunate to do a lot of fun and cool things and throughout my career, I'm 42. Now, I've been working in the fitness industry for more than 20 years and been able to travel the world and helped a lot of athletes and coaches and teams and I continue to do that. I've had experience in in three different, professional leagues and I still get to do what I love to do and and I still play a lot of basketball and and golf and have a ton of fun. So I feel like that's a pretty cool so that for me will warrant a seven and a half."
It's important to give your body a break from training every 12 weeks, whether it be a few days or up to a week. Training lightly can also be a form of a break. Transcript: "The question is, how often should you give your body a break from training? Well, this depends on a lot of variables but you're going to be looking at you know. Training frequency, volume intensity. Are you an athlete non-athlete? There's a lot of variables involved to answer this question, but I think it's safe to say in general every 12 weeks or so, you should look for an opportunity to take a breather. Whether that be just a few days or maybe even up to a week. Again, purely depends on what's going on that time of the year for you or you are, you're an athlete getting ready for a season. When are you and the offseason of your training? But definitely safe to say, I think, you know, whether you let off the gas pedal for a few days or a week. Remember that you don't have to stop training altogether. Just training lightly, can be a form of a break, as well. So there's a lot of ways to get the job done."
My most unhealthy habit is drinking too much coffee and indulging in Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the end of a long day. Transcript: "What is my most unhealthy habit? Most people might disagree with this but for me for a little while, but it was drinking too much coffee. I would love being wired up and just fired up. And about six months ago, I just stopped it cold turkey and if it hadn't been feeling so much better and sleeping better and all that. And so I really miss coffee. I love it. I know it's super healthy for you, but for me it was just really, just, I was just getting to trembly and just too, too wired up. It was a little too much for my body. Outside of that, I'd say I'm definitely guilty of like crushing Ben & Jerry's at the end of a long day. I can do that without blinking an eye, but generally I pretty darn. Well, 90% of the time, but that's about it for me."
Overall, I think the "knees over toes guy" has been great. He's been able to create a system and standards that help people progress in their fitness journey. He's also been able to reach out to a wide variety of people, from younger athletes to older adults who just want to stay healthy. It's important to remember to work your way up to any program and not jump headfirst into it without proper understanding. Transcript: "What are my thoughts on these overtones guy? Honestly, I think he's great. He's done a great job. Marketing look, he has a story to tell. He had several injuries a long time ago and he built himself up to be in a strong fit. You know, and jumping and jumping really well. Now, and, you know, he's a story that a lot of us can relate to a lot of people around the world can relate to, and want to be. And so, in that aspect, you know, it's a great success. He's sharing some some good information to get people talking thinking, learning challenging each other. But you know, to be honest, with you years ago I remember it was it was a big No-No to have you know, considered to have your knee, go over your toe in a certain movements of particular lunge, you know, squatting that sort of thing. It was it was considered a bad deal. But much of our everyday lives are spent and movement, you know, knees over toes. I mean, just going down the steps as pretty difficult to not have news over toes. Going down your steps, you know. So overall, I think he's been great, you know, like I said, just getting the discussion going, Owen, and and people thinking and talking what a funny story for me is, you know, I know he's really reached out, you know, pretty to a pretty wide spectrum. I had a 50 plus year old Hooper, you know who just wants to stay fit and strong and healthy. You know, telling me he was doing the news over toes program, you know, which is, which is pretty cool. So but you know, like anything else, you have to, you have to work your way into a program into a system. You know, you don't want to dive headfirst and just pick the, the first sexy, Exercise you see off Instagram and then make judgment off that and you know he he's done a good job creating a system and standards and progressions and regressions. So I think there's a lot of positive in the knees over toes guy and the approach he has"
To determine a desired load for weighted squat jumps, you can take the jump height from an unloaded jump on a just jump mat, then find a weight that allows you to achieve 70-75% of that range. This is a safe and effective way to get a good stimulus when dealing with youth athletes. Transcript: "How do we determine desired load for weighted squat jumps? Well, we typically are using just jump mat. We're going to get a vertical jump and unloaded vertical. Jump on the just jump mat and based off that number, we're going to take 70 to 75 percent of that, that range and and try to find a way that would match that that percentage of their initial unloaded jump, and that tends to work pretty well for us. Especially, we're dealing with youth athletes. It seems to be a safe enough. Arrange and a good enough range to get a proper, a good stimulus, a bit of a loaded jump. We're totally doing that with dumbbells. Sometimes even the track bar, but I don't like to go too much higher too much heavier just because mechanics can get kind of sloppy. I'm always kind of, you know, worried about, you know, bad landing or Landing mechanics, you know. So try to save very conservative on that end. But yeah, we take like I said, unloaded jump. Take that measurement off it just jump Matt. And then find a weight that I will allow us to achieve about 7075 percent of that range."