By Tim Rigby, M.A. | Photos by Jason Breeze
Think back to your high school track-and-field days. You might have been an explosive power freak in the 100-metre sprint, or perhaps you excelled in the distances that required more endurance, like the 1,500- or 3,000-metre races. Chances are you might not have thought much about running 800 metres, long recognized as one of the toughest possible competitive distances. You need it all: power, strength, and endurance — and more than just a little mental acuity and strategy. Imagine running nearly half a mile at a high percentage of your sprint max, then having to crank it up to a 100-per cent sprint using every damned ounce of speed you’ve got left over the final stretch. When you’re done, you’re done.
Setanta Carroll knows a thing or two about the 800 metres — he ran it at a high level of competition in Ireland until he came to Canada to take a job as a financial analyst just two years ago. This gruelling race — which demands great skill in not puking your lunch up as you cross the finish line — developed his near-perfect combination of strength, power, and endurance. There were indeed more than a few injuries along the way, but when you’re as well-conditioned as Setanta, you have a natural propensity for a speedy recovery. Perhaps that’s why in just 18 months Setanta managed to transform his already lean, athletic physique into a sublimely sculpted work of muscular art that could only belong to a champion — a physique that took first in the GNC Live Well Ontario Men’s Medium Physique Championship this past June in Toronto.
This chest workout is an example of the routines that helped transform Setanta’s frame into the conditioned body you see here — and it will do the same for you, as long as you have the gumption and perseverance to stick with it. And if the gym is busy and equipment is scarce, he’s provided you with alternatives for some of the exercises so you can get in, out, and on with your life. Sláinte!