Fit and Fabulous Interval Workouts

Today I joined Krista and Tracy on Fit and Fabulous and we discussed interval training. Anyone who has worked with or watched me train know that this is one of my staples. Interval training is quite simply the fastest way to improve your fitness.

Why interval training?

  • the intervals are fully customizable (novice and experts challenged in the same workout!)
  • Extremely efficient: 20 minutes and this personal trainer awards you all-star status
  • Helps your slower cardio workouts to get better
  • You’re more likely to stick to it because the challenges are endless, no two workouts are the same
  • Google it – HIIT and interval training are the real deal

Here’s how to start interval training. Get an interval timer app on your phone. For iPhone is use Interval Timer. Set your timer for two intervals, 20 seconds for one and 10 seconds for the other. For the 20-second interval pick one of these exercises and do 4 rounds.

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Jump rope
  • Battle rope
  • Med ball slams
  • Med ball toss
  • Box jumps
  • Kettlebell squats
  • Burpees
  • Push-ups
  • Reverse lunges

Interval training will feel challenging at first. But as you slowly and methodically incorporate a few rounds into your workout routine, you will notice not only your body getting stronger but also your mind getting stronger. I believe it is your fastest track to better fitness this spring.

Happy training! Let me know if you have any questions!

Second Greatest Investment

Investing in health and fitness is the second greatest investment you can make after investing in people and relationships. When you think of investment you probably think of money. I get that. I’m currently listening to a fantastic podcast by Dave Ramsey that talks about money, wealth, investments, debt, and the mindset we need to be financially healthy. But even if you invested perfectly and were “rich,” secure, financially independent… if you did not have your health then what would you do with that money? Think deeply about life. We need other people and we need our health. Invest in people. Invest in yourself. The rest will fall into place.

Best of Madison 2019 Finalist

I’m proud to announce that for the second year in a row I’m a finalist for Best of Madison in the personal training category. Last year I earned silver and it was a fantastic experience because it got my name and brand in front of new people. As you can imagine I’m hoping to improve on last year’s efforts and so I’d appreciate the one vote you have! Voting goes until October 31st, but don’t wait!

My goal is to help people pursue an active and disciplined lifestyle. My clients are running races, losing weight, building strength, and putting in all the work to get and stay healthy. Their goals + my plan + their execution is our formula for success. You don’t have to be a member to train with me – sign up for online training and you’ll have a weekly plan from me every Sunday night to set you up to dominate your week!

You will appreciate every dollar and minute you put into your health and fitness and I’d be honored to coach you. We need healthier people, so let’s team up! Step one is to join me on Instagram and let’s go from there.

The Apple Watch button I never touch

I’ve made a commitment to my Apple Watch: when it tells me to stand, I listen. I rarely worry about reaching my Standing goal for the day but discipline comes in the small things. The little victories and habits are what lead to momentum, and momentum leads to bigger wins.

It’s kind of like my parking spot – no one parks further away than me. I’m not trying to compete with anyone else. I’m just saying that I don’t take the easiest, closest spot. I’m training my mindset to always be willing to work hard, stay sharp.

How can you stay sharp this week?

A Better Version of You

TLDR; compete against yourself, there’s a better version of you inside you

My triathlon training this summer foreshadowed the latest ad for Apple Watch. It all started with my easiest 1500 meters everfollowed by building on the bike and continued all summer. My message was simple: this triathlon was not about fast or competitive, but rather becoming a better version of myself which was the whole point of passing people.

The Apple Watch ad simply states there’s a better you inside you. Always be in pursuit of a better you.

Devil’s Challenge Sprint Triathlon

This is what’s next. Triathlon is the next season of training and competitions for me. I spent the summer of 2018 training for a couple sprint triathlons for the end of the season and even though Belleville was canceled, Devil’s Lake delivered – I’m hooked.

I had plenty of conditioning even though I’m very new to swimming and biking in a competitive situation. I had the endurance to get through the event without any problem. I crossed the finish line in 1:33, good enough for 16th out of 35 in my age group. But let me be clear: this wasn’t about ‘competing.’ It was about an introduction to a new sport, a sport I have viewed recently as the future of my training, health and fitness. As a trainer I’m thinking a lot about multi-sport and triathlon as a training philosophy. I’ve posted on social media all summer that my goal is simply to train for the event and finish well. Sure, I’m a competitive guy but I am also approaching this experience as an opportunity to lead by example and demonstrate that even though this is an ‘event’ it doesn’t always have to be a race.

Training philosophy explanation done. Now for a Sunday recap.

I drove up to Baraboo with my client Phil who is an experienced triathlete. Phil gave me some great pointers over the last couple weeks and really put my mind at ease in my first triathlon in five years, only my second triathlon ever. We pulled into the park at 7:15 and the place was packed – juices immediately started flowing and I was very excited to compete.

Looking back it was strange to feel like a newbie again. Phil has all the experience and gear and with the multi-sport aspect of the event; I felt constantly a little unprepared, like if something went wrong I wouldn’t be ready to respond. My experience with running only required shorts, shirt, shoes and a race bib. But now I needed everything for the swim (wetsuit, goggles, cap), bike (shoes, socks, glasses, helmet, race bib, nutrition, oh and get that wetsuit off!), and then run (take that helmet off! and get those legs moving!). But that’s exact what exhilarates me about this sport right now – the transition from one leg to the next to the next.

I set up my transition pretty quickly and this helped put me at ease. I thought through swim-to-bike and then bike-to-run and felt good about my preparation. As Phil was finishing his set up I walked around and slowly started to warm up. We exited the transition with our wetsuits half on (too early to zip the tops) and we were ready! We were the 11th and final wave to go, 45 minutes later! So the warm-up was extended which actually felt good. We both ended up getting in the water and swimming about 200 meters.

As our wave entered the beach, I looked at the two orange buoys I had to swim around and didn’t even question my training. I had the conditioning. My concern was the pace – how hard should I go? The first 150 yards I went out pretty fast. I kept pace with Phil but soon he was gone. I was thankful there weren’t a lot of other bodies crowding my space. The next concern was the turn – would there be congestion at the corner? There wasn’t. Then it was smooth sailing. I got into a nicer rhythm and even though I started getting fatigued, the second half felt way better than the first. I passed at least a few athletes from the previous wave so that was a small victory. Getting back to the beach felt great. Easy jog to transition as I unzipped my wetsuit, avoid a near slip turning a corner and I was at my towel getting my bike gear set.

Phil already had his wetsuit off (but hey, who’s counting?) so he was at least a minute in front of me -not bad. I put half of a banana down in one bite, couple swigs of water, and the biggest struggle was to put dry socks on my wet feet. I remember the run to my towel and even my seat at T1 having tunnel vision – I’m not embracing it yet as a good thing. That’s my body so stressed that it’s funneling out everything on the periphery. I look forward to the time when I’m a little more relaxed.

Jogging out of transition I got to our orange line to mount – biking! Through the parking lot, clipped it. Right hand turn out of the entry and onto our first road. Right hand turn (as I remember it) and BAM…. hill. A very long hill. Welcome to Devil’s Challenge bike course. I will not take you through any more details of the bike except I was told it was hilly but I was figuring lots of medium hills, not 3-4 giant hills. Remember, this is all new and novel to me. The three weeks preceding this race I had identified, after a hilly ride with Phil, that I have a lot of training to do on hills. Well that came to smack me in the face on Sunday. I never walked but on the first hill four people were. Of course in Wisconsin what goes up usually comes down, so we topped out at 44mph at one point. A couple times at the bottom we had some pretty significant turns and that was disaster averted. Very challenging bike, tons of room for improvement. At one point there’s a turn around so I was able figure I was about 7 minutes behind Phil. “What?! Eight minutes?! How did that happen?” Humbling, but never got me down. Coming back into the park (the way we drove it) was pretty cool to finish the next leg. Lots of people at the bottom as we came screaming down the hill (slower bikers to the right please!) and easy dismount. Let’s get rid of this bike and run.

Second half of that banana in one bite again, so there’s my PR for the day. This transition I had to think through a little more – it seemed too simple. Running shoes, more water, bib is still on, and I still don’t remember if I as wearing sunglasses. Go! Some guy was yelling “go out fast” and I took his advice. In training bricks I had worked on a nice transition of 8:45/mile to 8:15 to about 8:00 within three-quarters of a mile. By the time I was out of the parking lot I was at 7:45, alright! But it sure didn’t feel like 7:45s. To my surprise the run course goes right through the campground so it was odd being the morning entertainment for campers enjoying coffee and breakfast – but it was great to have their support. Lots of fans in chairs pulled up cheering us on! The hills there felt like nothing but I wasn’t gaining any ground on Phil. We passed each other at the halfway point. Fatigue was certainly setting in but I was running strong. Phil finished and worked his way back to the start of the park, about 1/4 mile from the finish. “How about that guy?” (Pointing to the guy in red in front of me.) “Can you catch that guy?!” Great motivation from a teammate – and yes, I easily caught that guy but not sure I would have gone for it if it hadn’t’ been for Phil. Excellent finish at the Devil’s Challenge Triathlon.

You are capable of so much more than you think. I’m not sure what you make of triathlon but swimming, biking and running in a week is a fantastic way to stay in shape. Multi-sport can be recreational or competitive, we experienced it all on Sunday. I hope you consider joining me for some races next season. You can check out my Instagram Story for a few more live details.

First wetsuit experience

It was all that and then some. It’s been awhile since I experienced something so new and so fulfilling in sport. Sunday I swam for the first time in a wetsuit. I took Christian up to Baraboo for the afternoon, we played in the water and on the beach and then I did a little swimming from buoy to buoy. What a great feeling to not worry about water temperature or floating – you just go! The only thing I can imagine that would be better is to have a snorkel so I don’t even have to lift my head to breathe! That’s a thing in the triathlon world. But for now I’m still in neoprene nirvana.

The first couple laps were actually pretty difficult. The compression was so significant on my chest that it was a challenge to breath comfortably. Within a new minutes I acclimated and from then on my workout was fantastic.

Training with a wetsuit was the final preparation I need for the Devil’s Lake triathlon in two weeks.

On passing people (from yesterday’s post)

Yesterday I almost went on a little rant about my training objective and race strategy in regards to passing people. Of course I’m naturally competitive and sometimes that trait gets the best of me. Even in workouts I sometimes start with one workload in the plan and end up doing more. That’s not a humble brag, it’s actually a demonstration that I too struggle with discipline.

But the topic for the day is ‘staying in your lane, sticking with the plan, having the right mindset.’

As a coach trying to push people to their personal best, it’s easy for them to compare themselves to others. The gym is a great place to train and it’s a great place to start that comparison game. The first is good, the second is usually a vulnerability to your progress. Here is why: you are not competing against anyone in that gym and you’re not even in the same game! I know, easier said than done but it’s just a reality. My mindset here isn’t to resist comparing to others but rather develop laser focus on what your best version of you can be. That’s the goal.

And that’s what I’m trying to keep in perspective this triathlon season. The goal is not to beat others but at the same time the goal isn’t to “just finish.” Quite simply I’m after my personal best. My personal best.

Now I fully reserve the right to change that approach in later seasons. I love working with athletes who are trying to win their age group. I look forward to the season when I can keep track of a leaderboard for the Wisconsin Tri Series and finish at the top. Until then I’m working towards my personal best. I strongly encourage you to do the same.