Future WWE Hall of Famer Sheamus is adept at going out of his comfort zone for his Celtic Warrior Workout series on YouTube. In episode 121, the man from Dublin trained with WWE correspondent Megan Morant during her marathon prep.
With the Boston Marathon taking place on April. 17, 2023, the duo began their session at “Heartbreak Hill,” on mile 20, deemed the most challenging part of the marathon where hearts, hopes, and dreams are tested to the limit.
Morant, a seasoned runner, says Heartbreak Hill is where the race truly begins. To make things tougher, mile 20 of the Boston Marathon includes a hill for good measure. “My heart’s already broken,” joked Sheamus as they got to work. Check out their training session in the video below:
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As Morant readies for her fifth Boston Marathon and eleventh marathon in total, the seasoned runner explained that the Boston Marathon is the “Superbowl” or “WrestleMania” of marathons. That made Sheamus nervous after he admitted that he hadn’t been on a proper run in many years.
The only thing I do is run from rope to rope.
Still, the fighting Irishman was game as ever, understanding that pumping iron is not the only way to build muscle and strength. A study published in the Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews found that athletes use a repetitive weight-bearing motion when running. Sprints and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) runs also alter protein metabolism and induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy, leading to strength and muscle gains. (1)
Megan Morant’s “Heartbreak Hill Repeats” Workout
Below are the exercises undertaken, followed by a breakdown of the process.
- Hamstring Stretch
- Leg Swings
- Striders— x four (100 meters)
- Uphill Run followed by Downhill Jog — x two
- Steeper Uphill Sprint
Morant usually runs 50-60 miles per week. She explained that the essential part of this workout is pacing yourself. They conducted a leg warmup to promote blood flow and flexibility before striding up and down Heartbreak Hill.
With their hearts pumping and oxygen flowing, the pair started the main workout with a decently paced run up the hill and a slower jog back down. If you are predominantly a gym warrior, you should consider adding runs to your routine. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that running was linked to the increased lifespans of 85 percent of participants. (2)
Running pumps out chemicals called endocannabinoids, which boost mood (hence the name “runners high”). For those in a cutting phase, running is a great way to scorch fat, burning up to twice the number of calories than training with weights while strengthening bones.
Running, as a highly aerobic activity, raids both fatty acid and carbohydrate storage for energy. It makes the heart more efficient and leads to a lower resting pulse — runners’ hearts pump more oxygen, increasing their stamina. (3)
Since Morant is a highly-developed runner, she left Sheamus in the dust. “Come on, Sheamus,” encouraged the SmackDown reporter. Morant, who completes marathons in under three hours, explained that long runs are great for meditation.
It’s therapeutic, and you get to be outside.
“I just realized I’m an unfit mess,” said Sheamus — a legend of the WWE ring, who is anything but unfit. This supports the notion that there are always new methods to challenge physical limits.
I may fail once, twice, 10 times, but it’s all about the challenge. It’s all about the brave change.
Undeterred, the Celtic Warrior put his all into the final uphill run and downward jog.
After an impromptu Irish jig by the WWE duo, Morant explained that the goal of the finisher was to tire themselves out until they felt like they had nothing left in their tanks. They undertook one last hill, a steeper one than before, “because the clock doesn’t stop until you cross that finish line.”
Sheamus tried to sneak a head-start on his colleague but soon trailed behind the more experienced Morant. “I absolutely hated this workout,” joked the Irishman. “But, I’m really happy that I did it. That’s what this challenge is all about. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone.”
Konopka, A. R., & Harber, M. P. (2014). Skeletal muscle hypertrophy after aerobic exercise training. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 42(2), 53–61. https://doi.org/10.1249/JES.0000000000000007
Chakravarty, E. F., Hubert, H. B., Lingala, V. B., & Fries, J. F. (2008). Reduced disability and mortality among aging runners: a 21-year longitudinal study. Archives of internal medicine, 168(15), 1638–1646. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.168.15.1638
Cantwell J. D. (1985). Cardiovascular aspects of running. Clinics in sports medicine, 4(4), 627–640.
Featured image: @wwesheamus on Instagram