Happy 2016!

It’s an OLYMPIC YEAR!!! We at Shocker Track Club always get excited every four years – especially for our Elite Team Athletes! Each month we will be spotlighting some of our Olympic hopefuls to show what it is like to train like an elite athlete.

If you are reading this for insight into your New Year’s Resolution, keep reading! Sometimes when you really want to achieve your goal, you just have to buckle down and train like an athlete. There will still be a workout and some recipes posted under the respective sections. Hopefully you will find some inspiration following these athletes.

January showcases Matt Byers.


He is from Wichita, Kansas, and throws the Javelin. He attended Wichita East High School where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track. He was a 2x City league champion in javelin and also the City league record. He attended the University of Iowa where he was a 2x All-American and 3x Big Ten Champion. He held the Big Ten record for two and half years and currently holds the University of Iowa Javelin school record. His highest finish at USA Championships was 2013 where he finished in 7th place.

Training schedule: Matt’s training schedule is pretty set in stone. Training and working a part time job can become quite the balancing act. All of his training is organized around his work schedule. Work is usually from 6:00am-12:00pm. Once work is over, he heads home to eat a good lunch and then heads to East High. His daily routine of training is Monday- Friday. At East, he completes lifting (strength training) and med ball throws. He follows that up with plyometrics (jump/power training) and sprints. Javelin is a very explosive, intense movement, so you have to train as such. His lifting consists of mostly Olympic lifts such as cleans, snatches, split snatches, squats, and bench. After the Olympic lifts are complete, he has auxiliary lifts that work the muscles specifically needed for javelin. The same theory applies when it comes to med ball throws – very javelin specific. Plyometrics and sprinting focus on intensity and aggressive speed. The combination of all of these is centered towards activating fast twitch muscles. Speed and strength will create the velocity needed to propel the javelin. Finally, he usually takes it easy on Saturday and Sunday. Matt also picks a day to do a light jog and shake out on the weekend. Along with actual strength and speed training, he has to do technical throw work. Currently he is throwing once a week. He usually picks a day where the weather in Kansas cooperates.

Diet: There isn’t necessarily a specific diet that he follows. It is more about staying away from junk food such as pop, sugar, fried food, etc. He tries to eat meat such as steak, chicken, and other lean protein sources such as fish. He makes a point to do most of the cooking at home to save money and calories. He believes for that keeping fruits and veggies in his diet plays a big role in keeping in good shape. He usually has a protein shake every morning that consists of kale, blueberries, raspberries, and protein powder. For lunch, it is pretty routine. He has a ham and turkey sandwich on wheat bread with yogurt and another fruit such as a banana. To keep hydrated, Matt sticks to mostly drink water and Gatorade.

Please follow and support Matt on his journey to Eugene, Oregon for the Olympic Trials, July 1-10, 2016.

Twitter: @mbyersjavthrow

Do you have a question about health, fitness or nutrition? Send it to Ask Laura, at futurist@shockertrackclub.com

Laura Markuly, MSE, ACSM HFS, NASM CES/PES/GFS, is an Exercise Physiologist and the owner of Bodyology Sports Performance, LLC. She also serves as the Futurist and Director of Volunteers for Shocker Track Club.