No squat racks, no bench press: KPRC 2′s Vanessa Richardson learns why elite athletes can’t get enough of Plex

HOUSTON – From Jake Matthews to Jadeveon Clowney and Julias Peppers, so many rely on Plex Director Danny Arnold to keep them in tip-top shape.

But why do they choose him?

“We do a lot of functional movements,” explained Arnold. “So we do more practical things when it comes down to our training.”

Arnold does things differently than most trainers. You won’t find a single squat rack or bench press at Plex. It’s the complete opposite of the Crossfit, lift-as-much-as-you-can craze that many swear by.

“We embrace physical therapy as much as we do training. So we’re going to attain the goals at hand, but at the same time, we’re going to do everything joint-friendly,” Arnold said.

His workouts are better for your knees and cause fewer injuries. Several of the athletes at Plex told me they haven’t suffered nearly as many injuries, big or small, since they started seeing Arnold at Plex.

So... Danny Arnold offered to let me try one of his workouts.

I put my hair up, and I felt ready. After all, I run 3 to 6 miles multiple times a week and lift weights. Surely this couldn’t be bad?

“What we’re going to do is get the heart rate up real fast,” said Arnold, as he showed me the footwork ladder.

Starting with footwork it did get the heart rate up, and it made sense — footwork is essential for every NFL player.

“Now, we’re going to move on to the hip flexors, which is a weak part for almost everybody,” Arnold said.

Weak was right!

At Plex, you’re working muscles that don’t get worked in traditional workouts... and you can feel it.

It was a simple motion of moving your leg while balancing on the other, but if you watch the video, you’ll see how I struggled! I looked at Houston-native Jake Matthews, an offensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons.

“Was this hard for you at first,” I asked.

“Yes... very,” replied Matthews.

With $2 cones and simple resistance bands, Danny proves you don’t need much to properly work on technique and balance. He says that spending money on what matters — trainers —makes all the difference.

“These are the types of things you can do at home,” Arnold told me as I did a figure-eight between two cones. “You don’t need all this fancy equipment or anything like that.”

Arnold’s focus on properly doing workouts makes them harder but more effective. I’ve done lunges for years to try and keep my lower body tight, but he pointed out how I could drastically improve them.

According to Arnold, my reaction and surprising exhaustion is the same reaction he gets from pro-athletes who do his workouts for the first time.

“They didn’t realize they had so many muscles, and over here, we expose those muscles, in particular, the hips and the shoulders. They’ve never focused so much attention in those two areas, and yet at the same time if you look at it, that’s what keeps us together," Arnold said.

I was sweaty and it was hard, but Arnold is right —the soreness you feel isn’t extreme. Minus getting laughed at by a few pro-athletes, it was productive and insightful!

Roger Clemens, Bruce Matthews, and other former athletes also work out at Plex.....proving retired pros appreciate his joint-friendly approach as well.