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Second Week with Apple Watch

(Note: this is posting two weeks late – life happened)

There have been a couple hiccups with Apple Watch. I have been using Record by Under Armour for my workouts. I love the look of the app and I think the kinks will work themselves out but twice last week the workout paused while using the app. The first time I was doing TRX and Kettlebells and as I was checking the heart rate it showed the start screen. GRRRRR. Lost that workout data. Then yesterday I was on a long run with Katie around the golf course here in Oregon. Excited about the GPS and heart rate data (I'm using a Polar H7), in the last mile a quick glance after reaching the top of a hill showed me the start screen again. Not cool. I learned from the last glitch to not start a new workout because that would certainly eliminate all data. Plus what would I gain? One mile data after running 7.5? No thanks. So I just let the watch run and thankfully after getting home and in the middle of my cool down and stretching, the app showed my workout still tracking. So the data was there, I just needed to adjust the end time and then the estimated calories burned and distance traveled – no big deal but certainly a problem that I shouldn't have to deal with. I'm thinking it's a quick-start app timer on one of the watch faces that I think is overriding the Record app and messing up my display.

The Record app has been "hanging" too much

The Record app has been "hanging" too much

I am still loving the Breathe app. I'm talking to clients about it because of the mindfulness aspect of wellness. I am tracking my workouts and activity but I'm working on setting better goals for the three components: activity, exercise and stand. And lastly I've noticed many more people around the club and around town wearing Apple Watch. Part of the reason, I'm sure, is because Target just offered $70 off Apple Watch series 1. In fact I have a new client who took advantage of that deal. So that makes it essential that I keep learning the platform and figure out how work through these hurdles and leverage this tool to help people get healthier with Apple Watch.


Training Desk Vol. 1 Issue V

What Happens to your weight loss when you do the same workout every day?: I was just asking to a client about the importance of changing up her workout routine this week. The body adapts – we need to constantly build and then change the stress to produce positive change.

The Ultimate Guide for tracking your Cycling Heart Rate: Heart rate training will be the side-by-side with fitness trackers as my most used training equipment in 2017

How Exercise Makes You Better at Your Job: Oh. My. Gosh. Every word of this article.

Racket Sports and Cardiac Death: The story ends well if you're playing tennis and racquetball.


Hello Nike

One of the most memorable Christmas presents I ever received was a single company share (stock) of Nike. From age 12-18 and had become a fanboy of the athletic brand. Michael Jordan was in his prime, Bo Knows Bo was a thing, and all I wanted to do was Just Do It. I felt a part of the company. I had ownership. And it didn't hurt that the stock split twice. Of course with four shares, I wasn't inspired by the money; I wanted to be part of the story.

Bo Knows Bo - brilliant

Bo Knows Bo – brilliant

The brand took a big hit when it was revealed that it was making products in sweatshops. To be honest, that tarnish of the company lasted a long time for me. Big brands soon became less of a big deal to me (poor college student) and I never regained my passion for the company.

Nike has been making quite the comeback. Their recent partnership with Apple on the Apple Watch specifically caught my attention. I was reminded how groundbreaking the company was with athletic gear and how it has evolved (as all companies must) to provide software apps and a relevant message in the 21st century. Nike established the Nike+ Run Club and almost overnight I found a script where I wanted to play a leading role.

that "Etch-a-sketch" in the middle is my running route

that "Etch-a-sketch" in the middle is my running route

I love the idea of a running club. I've never been in one but the week we moved to Oregon, we were at the Firefly and learned that there is a running club that meets every Saturday morning. Life with three young kids does not make that time work the greatest for us right now, but this spring might be a different story. In my line of work I'm always looking for ways for people to take their health to the next level. I work at a fitness club, I believe there is a lot of value (equipment, community and experts) at a fitness club. But the idea of a "grassroots" running club at the local coffee shop is pretty cool also! Anyway, there's the local running club and there's the digital running club – and you know me, digital is always pretty cool to me.

I'm not sure we need another social network. I know that face-to-face interaction is both essential and at the same time taking a hit in our digital society. Still we need to leverage technology and find ways to connect with more people with said technology especially if it benefits our health. And that is my motivation: a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. Sure, a guy like me often gets competitive but it doesn't always have to be like that. Running is about being in community. Each runner is as different as the next. One of the main features of the Nike+ Running Club is the prompt to run on Sunday. I love this! And each week I've had Apple Watch Nike+ I've participated in the Sunday run.

Nike was the original athletic company. They had a significant fall from grace and they've rebuilt their brand. Nike is continuing to tell the story of health and fitness and is finding new ways to get you and me involved in the story. I'll end with one of my favorite fitness stories. Nike asked Casey Neistat to help launch their Nike Fuel band. Well the Fuel Band ended up being a flop but hey, this video is still pretty awesome. (Sorry for the thumbnail – it’s not all about girls in bikinis).


From the Training Desk of Hans

The purpose of this newsletter is to be a resource of articles for people interested in leading a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. My reading material focuses on health and wellness with occasional instances of personal productivity, discipline, and habits.

3 Treads worth tapping into – Harvard Health

I love these three but my mindfulness has been achieved listening to my Apple Watch and the Breathe app rather than Buddhist practices.

Top Cross-Training Workouts to Tune Up for Spring

Tabata, HIIT, and yoga? Yes please!

Why Do I Think Better after I Exercise?

The question I try to address each week with clients struggling with exercise adherence.

Adopting these tough morning routines will make you exceptionally successful

Easy for the morning guy (myself) to say. Morning routines – always worth considering. Could this be a training area for you in 2017?

From the blog:

One week with Apple Watch Nike+ TL;DR this device is fantastic

Love This Book: the vlog (first four episodes)


One week with Apple Watch Nike+

Two weeks ago a gracious client let me borrow his Apple Watch series 1 (since he had upgraded to series 2). It was a nice introduction to the platform since work had purchased a series 2 for me but it wasn’t arriving for a couple weeks.

I now have a full week under my belt with Series 2 Nike+ version and I’m loving this product. The general consensus among the Apple and tech community is that Apple “doubled-down on fitness” with this model. It boasts waterproof specs and has built-in GPS. Plus my Nike+ model has the Nike running app that I haven’t tried yet but I’m eager to jump into that community.

Breathe: my favorite app on Apple Watch

Breathe: my favorite app on Apple Watch

The Apple effect

For those of us in the Apple ecosystem, the Watch has been the best addition to the collection since iPad. From opening the box to setting up the device (more of a treat than I was expecting) to getting the first meaningful notifications, the Apple experience doesn’t disappoint. The screen is gorgeous. The navigation is perfect. And like the iPad, it’s allowed me to distance myself from my iPhone. At first I couldn’t believe how cumbersome the strap worked – tucking the band underneath itself seems as un-Apple as I’ve ever seen. But after a couple days it has grown on me. Regarding the form factor, I’m not a watch-guy so maybe my standards are different. But when I think of how it looks in relation to what it can do and the purpose it has in my (health and wellness focused) life, I couldn’t be more happy with this Apple product on my wrist.

Awesome sport band on Nike+ edition


Better tech for less tech

Many friends and family know me as a tech-centric person. I know the apps, the workflows, the tricks, the devices; I have a pretty good lay of the land. What people probably don’t know is that I view my technology like a world traveler views their luggage: with experience, less is more. People who passionately travel are often trying to make a trip with the smallest bag and the least “stuff” that they can. Less is more. Simple trumps complex. I absolutely love my iPhone (a 128gb computer in my pocket!). But my iPad gave me a device that was an extension of my phone while at the same time it was a work machine that allowed me to access messages and emails only when it was good for me. Apple Watch has taken this to a new level. It is not efficient to look at email on the Watch. It is not efficient to text people from the Watch. Reading the news should not happen on the Watch. But I’m learning how to lock down VIP settings so that only important notifications get through. And even throughout this process, I wasn’t expecting how easy it would be to see a message and not respond because it isn’t efficient on the device. It allows me to get more work done. Distractions derail me. Apple Watch has allowed me to keep control of my efficient work time yet still triage things that are being delivered to my desk.

Ultimate fitness device

In my first week with Apple Watch, my favorite app has been Breathe. This native application couldn’t be more simple: press ‘start’ and pay attention to your breathing for one minute. Slow down, Hans. That’s the point of Breathe: meditation, relaxation, margin, pause, be still. Will I continue to listen to my Watch when it tells me to stop and breathe? I certainly hope so. Interesting story: a Twitter friend said he had just read an infuriating political story (imagine that) and the next moment Apple Watch told him to Breathe. Kinda cool! Just today, something happened at the house that got my blood boiling and as I retreated to the couch to get away, buzz buzz buzz Apple Watch told me to Breathe. Does it sense the quick spike in heart rate? Not sure, don’t really care. All that matters to me is that I have tools, including a coach, in place helping me pursue wellness throughout my day.

Nike branding FTW

As an exercise specialist, the main reason I bought Apple Watch was for the fitness features. It has built in GPS and it’s waterproof. I’m learning how to leverage as the main hub for my wellness. I’ve given all the fitness apps permission to write to so that it’s all in one place. While a dedicated triathlon watch may offer more tri-specific features, I believe it could be done with Apple Watch and for most people, Apple Watch is the perfect fitness device. Now it’s not for everyone, but for all my iPhone friends, if they wanted a fitness tracker I would certainly point them to Apple Watch. Which brings me to my last point.

Just another tool

As much as I love my Apple Watch, it’s just a tool. It’s my job to use the different running and fitness apps. It’s up to me to listen when it tells me to Breathe (that’s the name of the app and why I capitalized). It will send me as many or as few notifications as I allow it – so I must master the platform. But it’s a blast to use and I see it as my primary health and wellness device. Moving forward, I think about tools like this for my industry. How can we use tools like this to help people get healthier? Can we build apps that are easier to use? Improve communication between clients and trainers, patients and medical staff? Can we use technology so efficiently that it actually gets out of the way so we can live healthier and more disciplined lives? That is my goal.


Train and Coach like a pro – all from an iPad

The first thing I recommend to take your business to the next level is buy an iPad. I am not trying to get anyone to switch phones or carries, but a tool that fulfills end-to-end aspects of an allied health business like personal training or sport-specific coaching is going to certainly up your game. That tool is an iPad.

I work with some old-school trainers. They keep all of their workouts, contracts, and notes in a three-ring binder. Fine, if it works for you than run with it. Not me. And probably not you. That’s why you’re here. Why would you use written notes and eliminate the ability to copy and paste? Why would you not have the ability to email or text message a workout to a client? Why would you have files and notes that couldn’t be searched on a computer, tablet or phone? Don’t get me wrong, I love my analog notebook. But as a professional tool, everything that can be digital should be digital. And the single best digital tool for this is an iPad.

You might be thinking that an iPad is a toy or a luxury. Certainly it can be those things. But for me the iPad is my primary device. In fact there are entire communities built around iOS-only computing. I communicate with all of my clients using email or iMessage. I schedule everyone on my Google calendar. I create every exercise program in Numbers. And I use Interval Timer 70-80% of the time during my training sessions. You can’t do this on a computer and you don’t have the screen space to efficiently do this on an iPhone (even a “plus” size model). My services are conducted from end-to-end on an iPad: from the moment I meet a client, conduct their medical history, design and implement their program, and follow up on how their workout week is going, working on an iPad is one of those things where when you start you will never go back.

This new project of mine, Tech Trainer, exists to help personal trainers, athletic coaches, and other allied health professionals completely run their business on iOS. I believe it is very important to always ask “what is the best tool for the job” and then to maximize your workflows to consistently deliver the best service possible. For me, the iPad has allowed me to do all of that and more.

Get yourself an iPad. There are pros/cons of the different models, but don’t spend too much time here. If you were going to start on the cheap, pick up what I’m using – an iPad Mini 2 for $269. The latest iPad Mini 4 is just $399. That is my minimalist approach. If you want “full size” the iPad Pro starts at $599 and supports Apple Pencil and is very fast. For a completely digital experience and all the best apps available, the iPad is an essential tool in my professional life.


Tony Hawk 900

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing at age 48, but what I do know is that I won’t be doing this:

At age 31, Tony Hawk pulled off his first 900. As the skateboarding legend’s career has evolved, I can’t help but admire his skill, drive, and perseverance.

It is unlikely that 17 years ago Hawk said “at age 48 I want to be able to do a 900.” But at some point recently he had the thought, “hey, do you think I can still do this?” In my profession I often find myself challenging clients to ask themselves the same question: Hey, do you think I can still do this? I look at my clients ten, twenty, even thirty years into their future. As their trainer I’m challenging them to have measurements in their lives so they can keep their fitness. For example, every year make sure you can do three sets of ten push ups. Or another: always be able to get off the floor using zero or one hand.

Whether a professional athlete’s 900 or an aging adult’s level of fitness, we all need to ask ourselves where we want to be next year, in four years, in 12. Where do we want to be and what will it take to get us there. What did you think about all of Hawk’s falls in the video? I was expecting a couple but not that many! At one point when he swears after a huge fall. Later he takes an extended break between runs. Very quickly we see how difficult this challenge was, how bad he wanted it, and how determined he was to keep picking himself off the half pipe, getting back on the board, and trying again.

Then the video goes to slow motion. And all of the hard work pays off. I won’t be doing a 900 when I’m 48. But I can tell you I have my goals. Do you?


NBC Strong: Favorite Moment

My new favorite show has been Strong on NBC. The premise is that ten out-of-shape ladies are paired with ten of the top personal trainers in the country. Each episode has two competitions that determine which two teams go to the Elimination Tower; the loser goes home. Todd Durkin is one of the trainers, he’s part of Team Yellow with Brittany. Todd is pretty inspiring. Last December I was in San Diego with Katie on a business trip. I got to visit Fitness Quest 10, Todd’s gym (one of the top 10 gyms in the country). We worked out together and then I got to spend about 30 minutes in his office chatting about the industry and some business ideas I have. I’m very grateful for even a short time from a very busy and successful man.

My absolute favorite moment of Strong thus far happened in episode seven. Let me set it up for you. Todd and Brittney are Team Yellow. But what I haven’t told you is that both of these competitors were on other teams but were eliminated (by team Grey – remember this for later). The show had a twist. They had a competition to let eliminated trainers and trainees earn a spot back on the show. Todd and Brittany won, and they are the new Team Yellow.Durkin

In last week’s medallion challenge, Team Yellow lost and were forced to go to the Elimination Tower. The winners of the medallion challenge chose the Grey Team to go to the Tower because they hadn’t been to (the current version of) the tower. Remember the Grey team? That’s right – they had already sent Todd and Brittany home once. Could they do it a third time?

At the Elimination Tower, the Grey team went first. Wow! They set a new record of 3:24. Nicole from the Purple team says “unless Todd pulls anohter crazy stunt,” Grey team is moving on.”

Spoiler: Todd pulled another crazy stunt.

He and Brittany finished the Tower in 3:20 and the celebration began. What a win! I was shocked because they were behind by 11 seconds the entire run. Then came the moment. Team Yellow made it’s way off the tower and were standing next to the Grey team as Gabby had to say goodbye. It starts at 38:10 if you want to watch. She asked Grey team how they’re feeling and Wes, the trainer said, “We left it all out there and Todd…”. Pause. Pause. Wes is crying. He can’t finish his sentence. He collects himself. “Todd, you’re an inspiration, dude.”


A grown man fighting back tears, blown away by the inspiration of another man. I’m trying to do it justice but do yourself a favor and watch the segment.

That’s why I love sports.


Up and to the right

We are a full week into the new year. So where are you at? Have I removed this blog post far enough to avoid the temptation of resolution talk? That was the goal.

And yet there is still a goal. There always needs to be a goal. What’s yours? Mine is to sleep more. What?! A health and fitness pro that wants to sleep more? Absolutely.

For about a year now I’ve trained clients (on average) at 5:40am Monday through Friday. I love the mornings. But it makes for a long day since I often also have clients mid- to late afternoon. I’ve done a good job of limiting the early evenings I work both for my health and for family time. Katie has (too often but necessarily) been telling me that I need to take better care of my body, and she’s right. The benefits of sleep have been well documented. As a man in pursuit of a healthy and disciplined lifestyle, I need to have a plan in this area of my life.

New tool: FitBit

I recently purchased a FitBit for a class I’m starting. FitBit, Jawbone, Microsoft Band, they’re all interesting options and they all have one goal: get you healthier. For me I don’t need more steps; I don’t need more flights of stairs. I need to improve my sleep and the past week I’ve increased my hours of sleep each night. Just having this single piece of data has really helped me this week. It breaks down my goal of a healthy lifestyle into a manageable task, and I’m winning!

This has gotten me very interested in data. I realize data isn’t for everyone, and it’s easy in my profession to talk over people with all the exercise science discussions. But at the same time Madison is a university town, there are smart, educated people here. I find myself always guiding the discussion back to their work and their family life – without goals and managing information, you wouldn’t succeed in anything that has meaning. Setting goals, knowing the numbers, and devising a strategy to improve those numbers are the keys to victory.


Three Things I Learned Last Week at Ironman Wisconsin

I’ve been attending Ironman Wisconsin since its inaugural race in 2003. I’ve had numerous friends race and this year was no different. Two friends from church were in the race, one client from Pinnacle raced (and placed 5th in his age group!), and one friend from my Wednesday morning book study was there. This last athlete, we’ll call him Will because that’s his name, was the one I was tracking the most on Sunday.

If you’ve never been to Ironman, this needs to change. Especially if you’re here in Madison you need to realize that this amazing event is right in our back yard and offers so much to the community and will do wonders for your own personal motivation and appreciation for what the human body can accomplish.

I followed the race a little more this year than in years past because I’ve gotten to know Will better. It helped that I knew he would be doing really well – the guy can bring it! At the end of the day, I learned three things from Ironman.

Starting and Not Finishing is Better than Not Starting at All

Ironman Wisconsin 2015 start

When I was in college, one of my instructors introduced himself as an athlete that had competed in several Ironmans. When we followed up with details, we learned he actually never completed any! Each time he had injury or race-day complications that prevented a finish. At the time I dismissed his efforts, not realizing how much time he had put in. Fast forward to 2015 and I can tell you that standing at the start of Ironman Wisconsin I am very confident every athlete that gets into that water has put in countless hours of training. Most of them will finish, some won’t. But all the athletes have put in the training and now they’re treading water at the start line. Just getting to that start line is a huge accomplishment. You cannot finish without starting. Put in the work and get to that starting line.

Even Pros Get Passed

Will Ironman Wisconsin out of water 2015

Sorry – blurry because I had to raise my camera and couldn’t focus. The volunteers are ripping off his wetsuit so he can get to the run.

When Will got out of the water, he was in 52nd place. Wanna see? Check out this video. You’ll want to fast forward to 1:28:00. Look at the race clock in red, he’s the guy in the middle of the screen 58:35 ripping his cap off); here’s the video. Out of the water he was 52 overall. Will is not a pro but he’s darn good. And even the good ones get passed. Of course taking nothing away from Will, but almost 50 people passed him on the bike. (Editor’s note: he pretty much passed those same 50 people and finished 52 overall, same as when he got out of the water.) This is a good reminder that you can’t always be first; you can’t always be at the top. Please hear me out – Will is in the top percentage of this race at all times. But my point is that there are still times when we get passed. Do not get discouraged. Run (or in this case, bike) your race. But whatever you do, don’t give up.

Champions Play to the Whistle

In my football days the coaches always emphasized playing all the way through the whistle – never give up on a a play. You stop when the whistle blow and you never anticipate a stop in play. At about 4:30pm Will was on the race course and looking very strong. It was difficult to find him but once I did I got right behind him and was able to get a few pics. I was talking to him (assuring him he didn’t need to talk to me – “you need every breathe to run!”) and then I noticed something. Will kept checking his watch. He was at mile 23. There is nothing easy about the last three miles of a 140.6-mile race, but Will was looking very strong and I was taken back that he was still checking his pace. “Just finish” I kept saying in my head. Not good enough for Will. He needed to know who fast he was going and he was calculating just how fast he could go; what was in the tank to finish well.

Will has three miles to go

Will has three miles to go


Champions always play to the whistle. Each workout, each test, each project – there is a distinct start and finish to most things in life. Will reminded me that his Ironman was over when he finished the finish line. And that finish line was captured on video:

Finisher!!! #ironmanwisconsin2015 #ironman

A post shared by Hannah Busse (@hbusse) on

There’s not many events more inspirational that an Ironman. You don’t need to even want to do one to show up and cheer on these athletes. Go an watch, cheer hard, and learn a few things about competing with yourself and competing in life. I was honored watch Will on Sunday – from getting out of the water, to high speeds on the bike and as I biked along side him as he finished Ironman Wisconsin this year. He’s a champion. And he inspires me.


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