FR: What types of strength and conditioning drills do athletes go through to prepare for competition?
MS: The type of training we use is called High-Intensity Training, or HIT. It’s based on doing one set to failure. What I’m trying to accomplish is to get the athletes to go outside their comfort zone ‘- while maintaining the proper form and technique. By taking all the exercises to muscle failure, I’ve insured that they’ve recruited all the muscle fibers.

FR: What drill or exercise do you feel is the most challenging, and why?
MS: [Laughs.] Every athlete is going to be a little different. I would say the drill athletes at Fairfield least look forward to is conditioning with me. As far as a weight exercise, I don’t’ think there’s one I’d pick. I have some big sleds and anchor chains and tractor tires that people don’t seem all that happy to play with.

FR: What got you interested in fitness and exercise?
MS: When I first graduated college, I had to do an internship with a gentleman named John Philbin at his strength and conditioning facility. I wasn’t aware that there was a strength and conditioning field. John Philbin was an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Washington Redskins. Fortunately, I was able to work with him and meet Dan Riley – who is currently the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Houston Texans and considered one of the fathers of HIT. From that I was hooked.

FR: Are you a fan of the Rocky movies? What’s your favorite training sequence?
MS: I’ll go up to where he fights [Ivan] Drago. Probably when he’s in Russia, going old school – lifting logs, lifting car axles, pull-ups, running through the snow – getting out of his comfort zone.

FR: How much can you bench, on a good day?
MS: [Laughs.] I’m too old and beat up to worry about that. I guess enough – I’m not giving you a number. I’m 37 and I’m just trying to stay in shape for the time when that 18-year-old boyfriend comes to pick up my daughter.

Watch Coach Spellman and Frank go through a typical upper body workout on ‘Let’s Be Frank,’ now playing on The HAM Channel.

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