Images Provided by Travelle Gaines
“Hard work pays off.” That’s a phrase you often see on gym walls and in locker rooms. Some people claim it to be their motto or their mantra, but few take it to heart. Few people actually live that phrase. One of those few? Travelle Gaines. If you haven’t heard the name, it’s ok. He’s not a professional athlete, and you won’t find him on the Top 10 plays. He’s an athletic trainer — one of the best in the country — and he’s the force behind some of the world’s best athletes: Antonio Brown, Andrew Luck, Jimmy Butler, Troy Tulowitzki, and the list goes on.
For the last nine years, Travelle has run Athletic Gaines, an elite, Las Vegas-based athletic training center he also founded. It’s an 18,000-square-foot facility that focuses on everything from strength and speed to physical therapy and nutrition. Travelle is a training expert, an entrepreneur, and he’s been featured on countless magazines and websites. But even so, he doesn’t thinks he’s “made it.”
“I still haven’t felt like I’ve done anything special,” he said. “I’m just so driven and hungry. I work hard every day. I’m never on vacation. Never take a day off. I won an Emmy. That was pretty cool. But other than that, I don’t think I’ve really done anything cool.”
It’s pretty obvious to the rest of the world that Travelle has accomplished great things, but greatness is commonly bred by humble beginnings.
The Value Of Sports
For Travelle, it all started with playing sports in the rough Louisiana neighborhood he grew up in. With the unsafe situation he was in, growing up and overcoming obstacles wasn’t a choice — it was a necessity. But he had sports, including his first love, baseball.
“I was a huge baseball fan,” Travelle said. “It really just got me hooked and made me a competitor. It made me want to be the best at everything that I did.”
That competitive spirit proved to be useful, as he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 11th round in the 1998 MLB draft. But playing pro baseball wasn’t his goal. That’s why he turned down the option in order to pursue a football scholarship at San Jose State.
“I was one of those kids who really wanted to use sports as a vehicle to my education,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to go to school. I was a triple major at San Jose State (behavioral science, sociology, history). I was a total dork. With the scholarship I got to go to school for free. I really felt that going to school and getting an education was way more important, just because I grew up in a situation where I had nothing to fall back on.”
Turning A Love Into A Career
If you hadn’t noticed, athletic training wasn’t one of those three majors mentioned above. When Travelle went to college, he had a different dream in mind — being a high school principal. At that time, physical fitness was more of a hobby. Sure, he needed to stay in shape for football, but Travelle spent more time in the gym than most athletes. That caught the attention of his college strength coach.
“My senior year he talked to me and was like ‘Hey man, I think you’d be a great strength coach — you’re really into training, everybody likes you, you lead by example.’ He took a job at Louisiana Monroe and he said ‘why don’t you come here and be my assistant.’ I was 22 years old at the time, thought it was a good idea, and that’s how I got into training.”
Working with the ULM football, basketball, and track teams gave Travelle his first professional training experience. “I was up at 4 am every day, in the weight room 12 hours, working hard,” he said. “I wasn’t making a lot of money, like $500 a month, but it was well worth it. I really liked developing the athletes. That was pretty cool for me.”
Eventually, Travelle worked his way up to training at larger universities and multiple NFL teams before he began training athletes in Washington state, including the first professional athlete he ever worked with: Marquise Hill, a former defensive end for the New England Patriots.
Then, to gain more high-profile clients, Travelle made the move from Washington to Los Angeles, and the stars started pouring in. It started with Reggie Bush and Brandon Roy, and more followed, including Chris Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch, and Andrew Luck. Pro Bowlers? Check. Super Bowl champions? Check. No. 1 draft picks? Check.
Making A Difference
Even though Travelle is known for his work with professional athletes, the focus of Athletic Gaines is on a younger demographic, and that stems from his desire to help kids. A large percentage of the clients at Athletic Gaines are actually high school athletes. According to Travelle, the facility’s motto is “TRAIN LIKE THE PROS TRAIN,” so kids can come in and do the same workouts their favorite athletes do. That’s one of Travelle’s favorite parts of his career.
“It’s great to be a safe haven in the community for athletes who want to get better,” he said. “It’s good for the kids when they see pro athletes in the gym and they know if they work hard they can aspire to be the same thing. It’s an honor and it’s a blessing to be in this situation and to have a place that has impacted lives. ”
As much good as Athletic Gaines does for kids, Travelle’s goal is to impact lives all around the country. “I want to have 10-12 facilities throughout America,” he said. “I want to keep impacting, keep growing, have camps. I want to keep developing the kids of today.”
The ability to make a difference in so many lives doesn’t come without a price, though. There are sacrifices to be made, and the one Travelle’s happy to make is working non-stop. “I’m up every day at about 4 am, then I normally work out myself for about an hour to 90 minutes,” he said. “Some days I’ll train all day back-to-back clients. There’s never a dull moment, and it’s always jam-packed every day. I’m normally in until about 9 pm, and go to bed around 10, 10:30, 11.”
Eventually, Travelle hopes to retire and go back to Louisiana, where he can indulge in gumbo and cheer on his New Orleans Saints. Until then, the grind continues. But why does he do it? The 18-hour days, the constant commitment, the endless pursuit of greatness? Because hard work pays off.
To learn more about Travelle follow him on Twitter @TravelleGaines, and to learn more about Athletic Gaines, check out athleticgaines.com and follow it on Twitter @AthleticGaines.
Each week, we’ll break down the most popular upcoming shoe drops. We’ll give you the lowdown on the prices and sizes, break down the history of the shoe, and give you the scoop on their newest tech features. Check back every week for the hottest releases. If it’s hyped, it’s here. You can check out the full list of releases on Eastbay’s Release Calendar. Here’s what you have to look forward to this weekend:
Inspired by Michael’s passion for jazz music, the Retro 17+ ‘Copper’ has a supremely clean white, black, and blue colorway treated with metallic copper around the heel and eyelets. The original AJ 17 dropped in 2002 with a Jordan face box, but this release is rumored to come in a briefcase with a CD. Will you be one the few who get a pair on Saturday? Men’s $249.99.
GIRLS’ JORDAN RETRO 5 LOW ‘METALLIC SILVER’ – APRIL 9 AT 10 AM ET
Last time it was released (2007,) the shoe was women’s-only, but this Retro 5 Low ‘Metallic Silver’ is being remastered for girls when it drops on Saturday. The mostly white shoe is accented by grey speckles on the midsole and an icy translucent outsole. Grade School $119.99, Preschool $74.99, Toddler $54.99.
Nike spent four years researching, engineering, and designing Flyknit technology, and it shows in the Flyknit Racer. It’s ultra-light (5.6 ounces) and is bound by a one-piece upper for a non-restrictive and locked-in feel. The ‘Pink Flash’ color scheme is reminiscent of a summer sunset, and you can get it today. Men’s $149.99.
NIKE AIR PENNY II ‘VARSITY ROYAL’ – APRIL 8 AT 10 AM ET
This shoe was originally part of the Vegas-exclusive ‘Penny Pack’ released in 2011. The ‘Varsity Royal’ color scheme makes for a dynamic, throwback style. The icy translucent outsole provides the cherry on top. Pay homage to Hardaway in his Air Penny II today. Men’s $159.99.
Manny Machado is one of the best third basemen in the MLB. The Gold Glove winner and two-time All Star had an incredible season in 2015, but his success didn’t happen overnight. Machado put in hours and hours of work on the practice field and on the gym. He knows the importance of training, and you can see what he says about it right here.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING
“I had never really trained before [my rookie year]. One of my good friends introduced me to a workout program down in Miami and I got it going from there. I learned how I had to prepare for a long season.
“I had a lot of respectable guys around me that helped me and told me what I needed to do to get my body stronger and learn the routine of the game. We play 162 games throughout the year, having ups and downs, but training is something that you can never go away from. Staying in the weight room and working out are necessary to performing at the highest level every day.”
HOW TO STAY MENTALLY STRONG
“You know it’s actually pretty simple. When I first got to the league and started playing, I knew I was as talented as everyone else out there, however I didn’t have the mental focus that some of my teammates had built over the years. I was just going out there and playing on pure talent. Thankfully, some of the guys helped me and told me that if I wanted to be the best in the game, I would have to find a routine. Having a routine is key to going out there and being able to perform as well as you can for 162 games.”
THE SHOE HE TRUSTS
While all the training in the world can make you a great athlete, having the right gear takes you to a whole new level. Machado knows all about getting the best to be his best. That’s why he trains in the Jordan Trainer ST. The dual-density midsole combined with Jordan’s Flight Flex pattern outsole gives the shoe a barefoot feel, allowing Machado to take on almost any workout. And the innovative upper features a breathable mesh bootie on the inside and premium nubuck suede for support and style on the outside. Speaking of style, Jordan’s iconic elephant print takes center stage on the forefoot and tongue.
ADVICE FOR YOUNG ATHLETES
“Stay focused. It’s all about finding what’s right for you and sticking to it. Find something that’s going to keep you motivated and keep you going, because it definitely helps in the long run when you start early.”
Well, what are you waiting for? Head to eastbay.com and Prepare For Greatness.
The Zoom Train Toranada is Nike’s latest trainer, and it’s designed to take you through any workout at any time. You’re strong and unstoppable, so don’t limit your power — harness it. This shoe has the speed, support, and versatility to lock you in and push you to a new standard of training. Strap in and get ready.
The upper is all about lightweight support. From the breathable mesh material to the stabilizing Kurim strap, your foot is locked and loaded. But the support doesn’t stop there — Flywire cables are integrated into the laces, and a molded collar supports your ankle for side-to-side movements.
When you’re training, you want to make sure your shoe is going to respond quickly to your movements. This shoe has Zoom Air cushioning in the heel that responds to every move and absorbs the impact, so you can actually feel the comfort with every rep.
Even though the upper is all about locking your foot in place, you won’t be restricted to the point that you can’t move your foot naturally. The outsole features forefoot flex grooves that allow for enough flexibility to handle all workouts in all environments.
Let the Zoom Train Toranada take you to uncharted territories while training. Don’t let your training shoe confine you. It’s time to strap up! Get ready to push past your limits and become the best athlete you can possibly be.
The industry’s major athletic apparel brands have put a huge focus on cooling technology. Everyone is looking for new ways to manipulate fabric to offer better moisture management and airflow, but one brand just set the bar: Under Armour. If you haven’t heard of UA’s CoolSwitch Technology, you’re in for one cool treat.
WHAT IS IT?
CoolSwitch technology is UA’s latest innovation that’s designed to reduce body heat. When your body is pushed to its limits, it overheats and shuts down, causing you to take a break. No great athlete wants to take breaks. What CoolSwitch technology does is promote cooling airflow that slows down the overheating process to keep you performing longer.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
There’s a high-tech coating on the inside of every piece of CoolSwitch apparel that pulls the heat away from your skin so you can literally feel yourself cooling. The best part? It’s activated by sweat. So, all across your body, as you sweat, the CoolSwitch coating is working just as hard as you are to remove the heat (and sweat) from your skin, keeping you as fresh and light as possible.
WHO USES IT?
Some of the greatest athletes in the world wear Under Armour gear — just look at the MVPs of 2015. But two of our most recent cover stars actually train in CoolSwitch apparel: Byron Buxton and Manteo Mitchell. One is the top prospect in the MLB, and the other is a sprinter training to qualify for the world’s largest competition. They are two very different athletes with very different training regimens, but they both know they have to push themselves harder than their opponents if they want to win. That’s why they trust CoolSwitch. It doesn’t matter what sport you play or what exercise you’re doing. CoolSwitch technology is designed to keep you fresh — and it will.
Check out our huge selection of CoolSwitch colors and styles at eastbay.com.