Gino's Blog

Heart test

It takes heart to finish what you start and even more heart to finish what you start at top speed.

Every season, I give my football team a heart test. We line up to do sprints at the end of practice. The finish line is always the goal line. Every year, 90 per cent of rookies slow down before the finish line – 1, 2. 5, even 10 yards before the finish line. The solution never fails to work out. I stand at the end zone and yell, “Cross this line at full speed” over and over again until every sprint is finished perfectly at tip speed. Instant change. Full Transformation. 100% pass every heart test for the rest of the season. No one coasts through the finish line again. No one drives on cruise control. Every one floors it all the way past the finish line.

Crossing the finish line at full speed is the number one difference between winning and losing in any field, sports, business, or any other field, by whatever definition you choose for winning and losing. It’s the difference between first place and dead last. Sounds simple. Almost too simple. It is simple but not simple to do. Teaching a team to finish what you start is tough enough. Teaching a team to finish what you start at top speed is even tougher.

Every football season, some players quit because of wind sprints. Those who quit because of wind sprints have the wrong love-hate relationship with wind sprints. Wind sprints save your life. First, they melt fat like a furnace. Secondly, they are a vital part of player-safety training. Lifting and running build the best equipment. If you are a parent of a child playing contact sports, strength conditioning is at the top of the list of player safety. Lifting weights is imperative for player-safety. Winds sprints are next on the list. The reason is equipment-building. The most important equipment is body and mind armor. It’s wo/man-made. Exterior equipment is secondary. The strongest helmets and pads will never make up for weak interior equipment. You can’t protect weak bodies and minds. You can’t cover-up weakness. If you’re weak, exterior equipment just adds excess weight

Never ignore simplicity. Nothing is simpler than sprinting on a straight line. Nothing is more important than crossing the finish line at full speed. Slow down and you get nailed. Driven to the ground. Or you get passed by. It takes exercising free will the right way, every play. And that’s not easy. How a play is drawn up will not matter if your team can’t go full-out full-time. S/he who goes full out longest, wins every time. Guaranteed.
Crossing the goal-line at top speed every time takes extraordinary self-discipline. Ordinary won’t cut it. Extraordinary self-discipline doesn’t just happen. It doesn’t happen randomly, by accident, or overnight. It takes a serious quantity and quality of reps. My new football team is in its 4th month of off-season lifting. This Thursday, we go outdoors for the first time for one-week of spring practice. Championship rings are made in the off-season. I can’t lift for my team. I can’t run for them. I teach them how to do it and the value of lifting and sprinting. But the exercise of free will is something personal. Those who can, win. Those who can’t, won’t.

This is an excerpt from a new book I’m writing called, Lifter’s High. It coincides with a lifting experiment I’m conducting, trying to reverse the aging process. I’ve lifted my workouts to a new level because I needed a lift. On May 20th, I felt old for about three hours. It got dark for about 180 minutes. The lights faded. I thought this was it – old-age pension, old-age tension. It stopped that night. Slammed on the brakes and put it in reverse. I thank God Almighty every night for whoever invented the concept of lifting weights and running. S/he is a genius. To commemorate, the un-retiring of my mind, I dusted off number 51 on my all-time Classic Rock workout music. The link is after my signature.


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 Nat’l Coaching Certification Program
Head coach – Niagara X-men football
head coach- Robert Bateman High School – GO WILD.
Owner – X Fitness Inc.

Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at: His books include:
4th & hell: seasons 1-5, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur -
He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” His latest book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage. He is currently writing “Lifter’s High.” Both will be released soon.

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