Beloved, record-setting wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers Donald Driver retired in 2012 and since then has won Dancing with the Stars (2012) and written a bestselling memoir, Driven. Known for his power on the field, he took a break from his intense workouts after retiring--and found himself sluggish and unhappy.
He took it upon himself to get back into the best shape of his life--and along the way has become THE go-to guy for training other pro athletes as well as regular people just looking for a great workout at his Dallas gym Driven Elite Fitness and Health Center. With his trademark motivational energy and charisma, he now shares his 3D's: the determination to eat for weight loss; the discipline to achieve high-intensity, muscle-building workouts; and the drive to push yourself to your best. Whatever your starting level, this workout blueprint will guide you to peak performance, with targeted nutritional and motivational advice for each of its 3 levels. Filled with insights and insider stories from his life on and off the field, Driver also offers a clean eating plan with 25 recipes targeted to caloric needs as well as 50 photos of him demonstrating the exercises. This is your path to peak performance and phenomenal fitness.
Be Determined. Get Disciplined. Drive to Greatness.
|Product dimensions:||7.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
It’s the hard that makes it great.
As a former professional athlete, I have been lifting weights and working out for most of my life. Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, medicine balls, suspension trainers, bands, prowlers—if it can be lifted, hoisted, stretched, pushed, or pulled in the pursuit of strength and muscle, I have tried it. Not only that, but I’ve also had the privilege of working out with some of the smartest coaches and strongest people in the sports world. Massive guys capable of bench-pressing a refrigerator. And after all that trial and error, all that practical experience, I’ve come to learn one irrefutable fact: more than any muscle, the strongest part of the human body is the mind.
For all its marvels, at its core the human body is essentially weak. Given a choice, it will almost always choose the path of least resistance. The body has to be manipulated and tricked in order to achieve results. That’s why we call it training. Because anytime your body is challenged to operate or function outside its comfort zone, it will rebel. Why? Because it’s flesh, and flesh enjoys comfort. When the body is truly challenged, pain—either physical or mental—will be involved at some level.
But what I always tell people willing to accept this challenge is this: pain is weakness leaving the body. I love to use inspirational quotes or sayings—some original, some borrowed—that embody great truth in their simplicity. The pages of this book are peppered with many of my favorites. This one about pain is frequently heard at my gym. The body doesn’t desire to change or grow because it can be painful. Because it isn’t easy. If it were, we’d all be in perfect shape. In order to achieve a heightened fitness level, your body must undergo a transformation of some sort. The catalyst for this change and the reason you can and will endure any of the challenges presented by my program, and by life, is your mind.
As the mind is composed of your thoughts—whether they be positive or negative—it is a powerful tool. Probably the most powerful tool any person possesses. Thoughts precede actions. The limits we put on ourselves are created by our minds. When I played for the Packers, nobody liked coming to Green Bay. The blustery conditions, snow, and frigid temperatures were extra players on our side of the ball. Southern teams like Tampa Bay or Miami, or domed teams like Detroit—who at one point lost twenty-four consecutive games in Wisconsin—were completely intimated. You could see it in their eyes. They’d be covered from head to toe and drinking hot soup and we’d psych them out by wearing short sleeves and acting as if it were nothing more than a brisk fall afternoon. Even when those teams were more talented than us, we’d still win. Our minds were our weapons. We beat them because of our will. Whether you think “I can” or “I can’t” when presented with the prospect of achieving a goal, you’re probably right. And if you’re like most people I know, you’re probably selling yourself short. I’m betting you’re more capable than you think.
When something is difficult, like losing a lot of weight, changing your diet, or elevating your fitness to a higher level, your thoughts are the first to challenge whether it’s possible. You look at a picture of a younger you in your twenties and think, “I’ll never look like that again.” If you allow them, these types of thoughts can dictate and control the outcome before your body ever comes into play. If your mind tells you to quit, or that it can’t be done, your body will follow. If your mind tells you to fight and push through, your body will endure the more difficult path. Through mental strength and focus, the mind has the power to will the body past fatigue, pain, and failure. It can override negativity and spur great gains if you let it.
Don’t just take my word for it. A study done at Ohio University and published in the Journal of Neurophysiology found that subjects actually got stronger by simply thinking intently about exercise. No weights, no movement, just imagery of intense arm flexing for eleven minutes, five times a week. By the sheer force of their minds the subjects increased the size of their biceps. Now I don’t believe you can achieve a healthy lifestyle by simply thinking about it. Dreams don’t work unless you do. And my program involves a lot more than just mental sweat. But I want you to realize what an asset mental strength can be. I want you to realize that you can—and will—become driven to achieve your goals.
Because the opposite is equally powerful. I’ve come across countless people at my gym and on the exercise shows I appeared on who were undermining their fitness efforts with negativity—“I’ll never be fit,” “I can’t eat healthy”—before they even gave themselves a chance. It’s just a classic example of allowing their past to adversely impact their futures. But what you’ve been will not determine who you’ll be if you’re willing to undertake real change. You can’t neglect something as critical as improving your health because you’re afraid of the challenge. Replacing the negative thoughts you have about your body and well-being with positive emotions and beliefs is a critical first step on your road to better health. Along with it, you need to learn the value of tolerating discomfort and things you don’t like to do. And by conquering these minor roadblocks, you’ll gain the self-confidence to tackle other hurdles in your life.
Think of all the things in your life that you’re proud of. It could be your marriage, your job, your family, or a professional degree. Maybe it’s even a skill such as playing an instrument or a material possession like your house. For me, my wife and kids and that Packers uniform I wore for all my years in the NFL are tremendous sources of pride. No matter what you think of, I guarantee it didn’t come easy. But I bet you knew that already. Because the greatest successes in our lives take the most sacrifice. Raising kids, growing a career or business, or maintaining a loving relationship are so worthwhile because they also happen to be so demanding. As the saying goes, “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”
The problem is that while many people focus intently on those aspects of their lives, their health takes a backseat. It’s seen as something to ignore unless there’s a problem. Even if it’s severely deteriorated—big gut, high blood pressure, poor conditioning—if it’s not broken, there’s no point in fixing it. But I believe that if you develop the habits of a healthy lifestyle—working out and eating the right foods—you will be even more successful and happy in those other priorities in your life. A soft, polluted body makes a person less vital; getting in shape promotes self-confidence and empowerment.
Not only will a healthy body strengthen your mind, it literally protects it. Everyone is aware that excessive body fat increases a person’s risk of acquiring a host of health problems including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. But an unfit body contaminates the mind as well—and I don’t just mean the destructive aspect it has on a person’s confidence and sense of worth, which is immeasurable. A study at the Australian National University concluded that the heavier you are, the more your brain shrinks with age. The study found that overweight people had a less voluminous hippocampus, which can lead to memory loss and dementia. Deterioration to this part of the brain also leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
But I’m sure you don’t need convincing of the value of exercise and healthy eating. What you may need convincing of, however, is that you’re capable of enjoying both. And every journey has a beginning. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have start to be great.” It’s another quote I love, this one from motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, and it hits at the heart of what prevents most people from achieving their health and fitness goals. The hill to climb seems so steep, the damage you’ve done to yourself through neglect seems so insurmountable, that there’s no point in attempting to change. That’s self-sabotage that needs to stop, and your mind needs to be the spark. Research has continually shown the positive effect that exercise has on mental health. I’m going to show you that the reverse is also true.
Make Fitness Your No. 1 Priority
As we get older, we get complacent. We always encourage our kids to be adventurous and expose themselves to new things, but as adults we rarely, if ever, follow the same advice. It’s safer and more comfortable to maintain the status quo and coast, even if it’s leading down a ruinous path. Nobody goes to bed one night and wakes up 30 pounds heavier the next morning—it took years of inactivity and destructive habits. Interrupting this pattern of behavior calls for bold action that will require getting out of your comfort zone. You’re going to have to adopt a new way of life, like the one I’m presenting to you in this book. Psychologists refer to this as embracing a “growth” mind-set instead of “fixed” behavior. And by embracing it, I don’t mean trying a few workouts and cooking a few of the meals—people are always dipping their toes in the fitness waters without getting wet. You need to dive all the way in. Be the type of person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, “Oh hell, he’s up.”
Now I don’t want you to quit your job or move out of the house. Don’t miss your kid’s ball games or a family wedding. I’m not trying to get you fired or make you a social pariah. But for the time being, make the exercise and eating plans in this book the top priority in your life. It’s not being selfish; it’s the only way to realize significant change. It will take dedication and sacrifice—in the next chapter we’re going to discuss some ways to make it a seamless part of your life—but it will be worth the effort. I don’t believe in putting an expiration date on your fitness, but you can establish a block of time—a month or six weeks—to start. I appreciate that having a line in the sand to judge progress can sometimes prove motivating to people. But I’d like you to think of it as a report card, not graduation. Make this kind of commitment to my program and two things will happen:
1.You’ll find that the sacrifices aren’t nearly as demanding as you envisioned.
2.The results will be so rewarding that you’ll have little trouble continuing. In fact, it will be addicting. You’ll be astonished that you used to live any other way.
Make Yourself an Unbreakable Promise
We’re constantly living up to promises we make to other people. We vow not to cheat on our spouses or partners and to be there for our kids. We show up to work every day and try to do our jobs to the best of our abilities. I’m even making you a promise with this book. I’m guaranteeing that if you follow the exercise program and nutritional guidelines, not only will you undergo tremendous physical change, but your whole life will improve. If we happen to break one of our promises, we feel awful. If this book doesn’t give you the results I’m promising, believe me, I’ll feel pretty lousy about it. Nothing is worse than letting someone down. We beat ourselves up and pledge never again.
But break a promise to ourselves? No problem.
One thing about me you’ll discover in this book is that I’m not afraid to deliver some tough love. I don’t believe in sugarcoating just to make what I’m telling you easier to swallow. So here’s some truth: there will be obstacles. Whether it’s struggling with a workout or straying with a stretch of unhealthy meals, there will be times when you’re stuck in neutral or even take a step back. After several weeks of weight loss, the scale may point to a number you thought you’d left in your past. Worse yet, you may encounter a daunting personal crisis or professional hurdle. Many people view these obstacles as roadblocks instead of speed bumps. They think it’s proof that they don’t possess the makeup or discipline to live a healthy lifestyle and use these difficulties as excuses to give up. Don’t be that person. Your health is too important. Don’t let yourself down by giving up. Make a promise to yourself that you’re going to be committed no matter what adversity stands in your way.
When I entered the NFL draft I thought I was going in the fourth round to either Kansas City or San Francisco. Both teams promised me as much. Then I dropped to the seventh round, the twenty-fifth wide receiver taken. I was picked by Green Bay, a city I didn’t even know was in Wisconsin. When I arrived that April I got off the plane in shorts and a T‑shirt and nearly turned into a Popsicle. I was a Texas kid, a fan of the Oilers and Cowboys, and now I was going to freeze my butt off up north on a team where I was tenth on the depth chart. I felt disrespected. I had plenty of confidence—when asked by a reporter about the weaknesses of my game, I replied, “Nothing”—and now I had the motivation. I came to work every day with a smile on my face and played my hardest, catching every ball thrown my way. My goal was to make it in the NFL. Even after recording only thirty-seven catches in my first three seasons, I wasn’t about to let it go. I had to continue to break through barriers to make my dream a reality.
So when you encounter one of these moments—and there will be these moments—you will soldier on. If anything, you should view them as learning experiences. Experience is the hardest kind of teacher—it gives you the test first and the lesson afterward. Because the more times you get up from stumbles, the fewer you will encounter in the future. Remember: there’s no such thing as perfect. Whether it’s the dedication to and intensity of your training or adherence to the meal plan, it’s natural to think you could be doing something better. But better can be the enemy of good. And as long as you’re making good, steady progress in improving your health and habits, the rewards you seek will definitely come.
Table of Contents
Driven for Change
Chapter 1 Mental Tune-Up 25
Chapter 2 Start Your Engine 35
Determined to Get Fit: Workout Programs Overview 51
Chapter 3 Exercise Garage 59
Chapter 4 First Gear (Beginner Program) 92
Chapter 5 Third Gear (Intermediate Program) 105
Chapter 6 Fifth Gear (Advanced Program) 115
Disciplined to Eat Clean: Nutrition Overview 125
Chapter 7 Fueling the Tank 131
Chapter 8 Building (Engine) Blocks 143
Chapter 9 Grease the Wheels 151
Chapter 10 Coolants 161
Chapter 11 Meal Planning 171
Chapter 12 Recipes 181
Chapter 13 Taking the Wheel 213