Fighter. Warrior. Legend.  Shaker of Steel. The Uncanny “Gorilla-Ree”

Fighter. Warrior. Legend. Shaker of Steel. The Uncanny “Gorilla-Ree”

I met Tyree Reeves soon after I became a DCPS Youth Strength and Fitness Coach at Atlas Fitness in the spring of 2015. An amazing athlete with a wealth of experiences, the kids loved “Mr. Ree.”

Good dude.

He had a knack for every sport he picked up. I would always listen and ask questions about his athletic adventures. This man, through playing Rugby, had traveled the world. Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, you name it. . Tyree is studying to become a Personal Trainer, and I know he will excel. This man has boxed, trained MMA, competed in Rugby on an international level, done Bodybuilding, and now he’s doing Powerlifting. Tyree is a true warrior reminiscent of the Conan novels and comics. It was only right, I’d pen this powerful tome of Amazing Athleticism. So gather around. Crack open a beverage and be inspired, educated, and entertained on this interview of daring do.

How did you get started in Rugby? Why Rugby vs. the usual popular Basketball and Football?

So I started in Middle school at Hyde Leadership Charter School. I first looked at Rugby as if it was throwback tackle, the game we played in the streets. After my first game I fell in love with the sport. Granted I loved basketball and football, but the fast yet gentleman’s game won me over.

You’ve been able to travel the world through Rugby. Can you tell us about your experiences in other countries? Was there a culture shock being a brother from DC? Or as a black man in Rugby here and abroad?

Anytime you’re somewhere outside of the US, your bound to experience reality in a different matter, whether it’s good or bad. Fortunately I was able to have experiences that I could never forget. The culture that I’ve been around and the authenticity has been unbelievable. And I’m talking Belfast Ireland, Cape Town Africa, and Auckland New Zealand. Just so many amazing places. The culture never shocked me, mainly because I was near the roots where it all began, and I wanted to learn and experience the culture as if I was a native.

What was the training for Rugby like?

Training for Rugby especially on a high level was the toughest training I’ve ever had to do outside of fighting. I believe both Rugby training and fighting were about equal. It was brutal physically and mentally. There were definitely times where I asked myself “why am I doing this (lol).” My answer was always because I live for this $***. Having to perform at a fast pace, being able to make the proper pass, being able to make the tackle while keeping the facial expression of “I could do this all day” is what keeps me coming back. Training everyday was to make sure you don’t lose that touch and that mentality, so you bet I was and still is difficult.

I remember when I first met you at Atlas Fitness, you had a dope boxing background, and even picked it up again later to step in the ring. What got you into boxing as a youth, and tell us about your recent match. What was the training like?

I got into boxing because I loved watching the sport and still do to this day. I grew up watching Mike Tyson who is my all time favorite boxer. The crazy thing is I used to hate fighting (lol). I would never do it. Like never. I recently took flight into the MMA world and #itsnotforeverybody. Training for that was also tough and it required no weights at all just your body, and cardio. A lot of cardio. As well as me staying relaxed so I could pick the right angles and make the right move while being under pressure. I tell you, there were a lot of painful times training under the great Siyam Yousefi.

You also hit the stage in Bodybuilding for Men’s physique. Discuss with us the training and the discipline required

Yes, I did Men’s Physique and placed 4th. Training to do such a thing was something I thought about for a while. I wanted to see if I could transform my body into something the judges would like to see. So detail was a key thing as well as the “mind muscle matter.” I had to learn how to focus on detail when it came to cutting my body (Reader note, cutting is what we often call, dropping fat for the warm weather. Detailing the muscle.) I had to do a lot of accessory work with a combination of volume, and I tell you if it wasn’t the gym that wasn’t kicking your @** it was the diet (lol).

Now you’re training for Powerlifting and have had some impressive lifts, even a 600lb Deadlift. Do you have a favorite training regiment for Powerlifting? What is your goal this year as you hit the platform?

My absolute favorite training regiment is what I call “P.T.S.” Power. Speed. Technique. This is a program I’ve been messing with where you take the percentage of your PR (personal record/personal best) and you break it up. You take a certain percentage and you work on the speed of your lift. You take a low percentage, lower than what you use for speed and that is all technique. I’ve been using it for Squats, and Deadlifts and it has done wonders. PTS is all barbell work that I do three days out of a five day training week. My goals for stepping on the platform, are to show up and show out…do what I can and hope I can make nationals on my first appearance.

As an athlete with multiple backgrounds, from Rugby, Boxing, Bodybuilding, and Powerlifting, how has it all affected your current training philosophy? Have you had a favorite style of training?

Having these different backgrounds played to my advantage. Each one of them fed off one another. I was transitioning from one to the other. I either had good raw strength coming from Rugby or excellent stamina coming from boxing to Rugby. I’m just grateful that I’m able to do all these different things and it not take a toll.

You recently launched a new Youtube show, “Maximal PR” with Cody Palmer. How did that come about and what is your goal for the show?

So the funny thing is that I was walking to work and I thought to myself, “Why am I not on Youtube?” So I called my boy Cody aka The American Gangster and said, “Yo. We should make a YouTube Channel.” He said ok and the rest is history. Our purpose of our YouTube Channel is to let the world see us as we prepare for our first Powerlifting competition. So you will see the success and fails as we take this journey of strength.

Do you have a particular take on diet and nutrition? How do you stay focused? How do you stay focused? Has it changed over the years?

To be completely 100, my nutrition is not bad, but it’s not good. It all depends on what I’m doing. If I’m competing in physique then I’m pretty strict with my diet, but with Powerlifting, aw man I eat everything possible. I eat normal, just in large portions. So kids don’t do what I do. On the serious note nutrition is a key thing, especially when it comes to pre and post workout. What you eat can affect your workout in both good and bad.

In preparing to get your trainer cert, what do you hope to accomplish as a trainer and as an athlete? Any words of wisdom?

As I prep myself to become a personal trainer, I set myself one specific goal and that’s put the ball in my hands and get out the way. Just kidding. I want to be the trainer that can illustrate the blueprint to change a person’s body. Give them the realistic version of themselves. Give them the tools they need. Give them the health or look they want. That’s my vision, anyone can create their own masterpiece. Some just need a push start.

You can follow Tyree on Instagram via @gorillaree. Be sure to check out his show Maximal PR on Youtube.

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