From Montana athlete to Olympic lifter to athletic trainer, John Humble imbues everything he does with an intense passion for fitness and discipline.
By Sam Krodel
When it comes to physical fitness, John Humble is the man. Humble’s resumé speaks for itself, loaded with adventures and an array of fitness endeavors.
“I’ve done it all, and I’ve had a lot of help getting there, and I just want to pass it on. If you really look at my background and all that I’ve done in my life, and all that I’ve won, I don’t have to say a word,” Humble says.
Growing up in Montana, Humble had a gritty, outdoorsy childhood that played a role in the man he is today.
“I grew up loving hunting, fishing and backpacking, and when I got in grade school, I started playing sports. I took a liking to mainly football and wrestling,” Humble says.
It was only a matter of time before Humble realized he was a gifted athlete.
“In high school, by the time I was a junior, I was the best wrestler and best football player in the state of Montana. By the end of it all, I had a full ride scholarship to Washington for football,” Humble says.
After only a few days at Washington with the football team, Humble experienced a devastating knee injury, destroying nearly everything in his knee. In that day, with that kind of injury, his career as a football player and even a wrestler was over.
“I was done playing football and wrestling in college, so I was done getting a scholarship. We couldn’t afford for me to go to college after that first year, so I just started lifting hard and competing. I built three good-sized athletic clubs and started training people when I was in my mid-20s while still competing. I became a state regional national champion in Olympic lifting, power lifting and bodybuilding. I was the only man in history to this day in Montana who has won championships at all three styles of lifting,” Humble says.
Today, with years and years of fitness experience under his belt, Humble’s main focus is on training young, aspiring top-tier athletes and passing on his fitness knowledge. He is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
“My heart has always been and will always be with training athletes. I’ve trained a lot of pro athletes; I’ve trained a lot of national athletes; I’ve trained a lot of elite high school athletes,” Humble says.
Sessions with Humble
His Brentwood facility is a pristine operation with state-of-the art equipment in perfect shape; not only is the equipment nice and modern, it is adjusted to be safe and comfortable as well.
Humble takes every athlete he trains very seriously and dedicates his time and effort to them wholly. He does either one-on-one sessions or one-on-two sessions so he can really critique and make sure that the athlete gets the best out of every rep.
“I show them how to lift, I help them lift, I’m there standing by them every second of the time they are here. When they’re done, I make them a protein shake of stuff that works to build new muscle tissue right after the workout. That’s why they put on so much size and get strong. The shake gives them supplementation that works for getting muscle tissue bigger and stronger and builds new muscle cells,” Humble says.
According to Humble, what you eat around the clock when you’re trying to lose or gain weight is just as important as the working out itself. He even has a log of some of his clients’ day-to-day diets that they record themselves and bring in so he can keep them accountable.
“In Alaska, there are brown bears on the beach and grizzly bears in the mountains; they’re the same bear, but the brown bears on the beach are 1,000 pounds, and the grizzly bears in the mountains are 500 pounds. You know why? Diet. The brown bears on the coast are constantly eating salmon with Omega 3 oils and they get humongous,” Humble says.
As you can guess, Omega 3 oils are a vital part of Humble’s post-workout shake. It’s fascinating to observe how Humble ties in his knowledge and experience from his days as a hunter and a fisherman to his strategic methods as a fitness expert. He shares anecdotes and feels it’s important to know exactly what you’re doing when it comes to getting started with workouts.
“Parents ask me all time, ‘When should my kid start lifting?’ Nine or 10 is when they should start, but they need to start with someone like me who knows it inside and out so they don’t get hurt,” Humble says. “My little guy, Ruger, is 9, and a lot of people think it’s ridiculous because they think they know, but they don’t have a clue. Should he be doing resistance training at 9 years old? Absolutely. It’s how you do it and when you do it,” Humble says.
Whether you start at age 9 or 49, the key to success at anything and especially building your body to be bigger and stronger is discipline. Humble makes sure his clients know the commitment it takes beforehand.
“Be sure this is what you want to do, because if you train with me three days a week, I’m going to hold you to the stone and my contracts are tough, not to be tough, but to make you tough,” Humble says.
Humble wants his clients to walk out of his center on their last work out with him and be ready for whatever challenge is thrown their way.
“At the end of the day, when they leave here, whether it’s three months, or hopefully a year or even two years, they know exactly how to be disciplined with the sport they’re going for because I teach them the discipline, I teach them the love, I teach them the accountability, and I teach them humility.”
Sam Krodel is a senior at Christ Presbyterian Academy. He is an athlete and an aspiring writer living in Williamson County.