Former NFL player, Kenny Harris, has found his niche as Area Manager for Beyond Fitness in Raleigh, NC after a career ending injury.
Kenny played basketball and football for Northern Durham High School and then continued his pursuit for the NFL at North Carolina State University. Kenny went on to play Safety for the Arizona Cardinals for two years and then with the Philadelphia Eagles for an additional two years.
It was in Philly during practice that Kenny tore his quad tendon, the tendon that attaches the quadriceps muscle to the kneecap, and ended his career in football. Kenny stated that regaining full range of motion was the hardest part of the injury.
Rehab consisted of surgery and two years of physical therapy. He spent three months immobilized and could not lift his leg at all while lying in bed.
After the injury, Kenny decided to look for something in the Health & Fitness industry, but did not want to coach. It was one day while passing the gym that he decided to pursue a profession with Beyond Fitness, formerly under the name Gold's Gym.
His first job was selling gym memberships as a fitness consultant. Since then he has been promoted and is now the Area Manager in Raleigh, NC. Kenny enjoys helping people become more aware of health and fitness, and watching people's bodies go through changes.
While there are definitely benefits to his job, he confesses that a real downfall to the job is realizing that so many people fail at their fitness goals because they don't have discipline or drive to change their lifestyle. Kenny says, "you have to be outgoing and a people person in this profession. You've got to believe in and be excited about what you're selling and that's fitness."
Kenny works out 4-5 times per week. He uses an abbreviated version of what he used to do for football. M-Chest and Shoulders, T-Back and Bi's, Th-Tri's and Shoulders, F-Legs. Kenny plays pick-up basketball for cardio during the week. He stated that he does not document or log any of his workouts.
As far as a nutritional program, Kenny tries not to eat fatty foods and he drinks a lot of water. He confesses that he has been relying on genetics. He does, however, like to cycle creatine every couple of months. While taking creatine, he takes it on a daily basis for a month at time.
When Kenny played football, workouts were defined by During-season and Off-season workouts. During-season workouts were to maintain what had been achieved in the off-season. There was no heavy lifting or running drills during this time. On the other hand, off-season workouts consisted of a lot of strength and conditioning.
Kenny stated that the hardest part of the off-season workouts was running in mid to late June and July, the hottest time of the year. Some of the drills that Kenny feels helped the most were agility, bag, change of direction and position drills. One drill that sticks out in his mind is the Pyramid Sprint Drill.
They would have to run three sets of the following yard dashes: 100, 200, 300, 400, 400, 300, 200, 100. The reward from all of this hard work he says is "seeing progress and feeling yourself getting stronger, faster and in shape."
Kenny suggests that someone starting a workout regimen that has had no background in fitness should get a personal trainer. If for nothing else, he says, "to at least set up and plan goals. You have to have a goal to get you to where you want to go and to help you succeed."
He added that trainers are also good motivators and included this analogy: "Don't try to fix a car without a mechanical background."
"Football in general has taught me a lot of life lessons including dedication, discipline and time management," says Kenny. His advice to anyone wanting to play a professional sport is to "never loose faith. If that's your dream stick with it. Never take no for an answer. Remember when you're training, someone else is out there training for that sport too."
He also adds that he has such a competitive drive that he has a fear of loosing. "I can't stand to loose. I hate loosing more than I like winning. Loosing is a habit, just like winning, if you accept it, it will become habit, loosing is not an option."
Good Luck and God Bless!