“Who says bull riders don’t train?”
This is the question Trevor Reiste playfully lobs at those who watch his intense, gravity-defying workouts on his YouTube and social media accounts.
It’s also a challenge the 24-year-old professional bull rider issues to himself every time he wakes up and looks at himself in the mirror.
After just missing out on a NFR Finals berth last December, Reiste sits 10th overall in the 2017 PRCA standings and has clinched one of the 15 spots in Las Vegas ahead of the event’s September 30 cutoff date.
However, as Reiste enters uncharted territory in his career, the Linden, Iowa, native knows it will take a round-the-clock focus in and away from competition to achieve his ultimate goal -- winning the average one day at the Thomas and Mack Center.
“Well, a lot of guys, they don’t work out, and I just kind of look at it as I do everything I can to help myself get better,” Reiste said. “So every time that I don’t work out I just kind of look at it as kind of a wasted day.”
Reiste has seen his restless mindset pay off this year in the form of $97,121 in winnings. His latest earnings haul came September 6 following his victory at the Tri-State CINCH Shoot-Out in Fort Madison, Iowa.
While competing in front of a home-state crowd, Reiste posted scores of 86.0 and 87.0 in his first- and second-round rides, respectively, to capture the $10,000 check given to the winner of the seven-man field, which included three other bull riders ranked in the top 25.
“I know a lot of people from that area, too,” Reiste said. “We had our high school finals there all throughout high school. So I knew quite a few people. It was pretty cool to be back riding there when you have the whole crowd behind you.”
It was after graduating from Panorama High School that a 19-year-old Reiste first found his passion for fitness while working out with his former wrestling coach, Jason Kirtley.
A two-time top-10 finisher in the state rankings, Reiste used the lessons he learned in the wrestling room over the years to begin crafting workouts that were tailored to his full-time pursuit of a bull riding career.
“When I wrestled, I didn’t take practice lightly,” Reiste said. “It kind of taught me how to have the mindset that I use today: You’ve got to keep moving forward even when you don’t to.”
While enjoying an injury-free career is a near impossibility for a bull rider, Reiste feels like he gains an edge competitively by staying proactive with his health.
“Definitely, I think it just kind of helps keep your joints strong and everything else,” Reiste said. “So you do stay out of injury. You’re more likely to anyway.
“I mean being stepped on by a 2,000-pound bull -- and you’re 150 pounds -- it’s still going to hurt.”
Reiste has certainly suffered his fair share of injuries in his career, but the biggest challenge he’s faced week in and week out is the constant travel required to appear in nearly 100 competitions per year.
Last week alone, he juggled a two-rodeo swing by competing in Stephenville, Texas, and then flying out to San Bernardino, California.
“Just getting used to being on the road all the time,” he said. “Being from Iowa, I’m by myself a lot, and you kind of get homesick sometimes. This year I’m better adjusted to it. I know more people, and it made it a lot easier this year.”
As he heads down the homestretch toward the NFR, Reiste isn’t planning on changing the time-tested routine that has brought him so much success this season.
If, or when, he gets the occasional off day, it’s a safe bet Reiste will be found at the gym or doing drills to stay sharp before his next competition -- regardless of the stakes.
“Every event I go I try to think about that event only,” he said. “I don’t like to think about what I’ve done or what I can do tomorrow. . . . If I worry about that bull there and then just take it one bull at a time, then it’ll all work itself out in the end.”