Brian Hirsch specializes in analyzing athletic performance to find the area in most need of improvement, strengthening an athlete’s weakness so as to fully balance talents and maximize performance. He does this for personal clients as well as serious professional and amateur athletes, including regular work with the boxers at Element Gym. In the back half of the summer he sat down with me for a conversation about his approach.
Hirsch has been working since early this year at Element, keeping a full schedule with a diverse array of clients, from business professionals and college students who want to be in shape to professional athletes while also teaching regular strength and conditioning classes. He is a native of Sleepy Eye, MN whose athletic background ranged from soccer and basketball to high school golf before spending four years studying Exercise Science at Mankato State University. He also did an internship at Mankato State, where he was mentored by strength and conditioning specialist Thomas Inkrott.
“That’s when I really fell in love with it and decided I really wanted to work with athletes instead of just the general population,” Hirsch explains. Working with serious athletes is very satisfying to him, but it also reinforces his confidence and helps him give better assistance to noncompetitive athletes who utilize his expertise.
“I always loved sports and loved being active, whether it’s outdoor sports or indoor sports,” Hirsch says. “I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with coaches in the past and I don’t want to be one of those coaches. I want to make sure everybody can improve in some aspect. Not everybody’s going to be great right off the bat and I want to make sure they’re not isolated or feel they can’t do it just because they’re not on the same par as everybody.”
Brian’s concentration changes from sport to sport and even from position to position within a sport, which makes for an even more specialized approach to training boxers. For example, he explains that the exercises he’ll utilize for a soccer player running up and down the field who needs a great deal of endurance combined with explosive foot movement will be different from that of a goalie, who’ll need explosive strength but will need a greater concentration on hand-eye coordination. For boxers, he believes a professional will need a 50-50 concentration on aerobic and anaerobic training, while an amateur, competing in a shorter competition, will not need as much aerobic training. (He’s not suggesting ignoring either, though.) He also recognizes the differences in larger and smaller boxers, knowing some boxers are aerobically fit and need more concentration on core strength while others may have heavy handed, one punch knockout power but need aerobic training to last the distance. Either way, from free weights to kettle bells, plyometric drills to band work, medicine balls or any other device or technique, Brian Hirsch is focused on building boxers and other athletes into the strengthened, conditioned athletes they need to be for championship performance.
From late July into mid-September, Brian was working with climbing lightweight contender, Ismail Muwendo, helping him hone his conditioning just before leaving in late September to training camp with World welterweight champion Terrance Crawford. Muwendo regularly trains and spars with Crawford, arguably the best pound for pound boxer in the world at this time. I had joined Muwendo for part of the summer as he pushed through grueling workouts at Element Gym, changing up his routine of exercises in sessions three to four times a week, many of the exercises ones he’d come up with on his own, learned in his native Uganda, or picked up on the internet. But upon seeing Muwendo training, Brian began a conversation with him and soon was acting as his strength and conditioning trainer, organizing and concentrating Muwendo’s training in a more precise manner so he can be a better sparring partner for Crawford and be more prepared for his own fight. Hopefully Brian will be able to continue helping Muwendo in the future as well as continue to help other boxers and regular members of Element Gym. For your own opportunity to utilize the excellent strength and conditioning guidance of Brian Hirsch, check out Element Gym and give him a try. (507)766-3579; [email protected]; bhtraining on Facebook and Instagram