Welcome to week 3 of “Stepping Out of the Gym” 🙂
If you are just joining us, this is a weekly blog series that will continue over the next month. The goal is to explore how our levels of health and fitness affect areas of our life that perhaps we don’t realize they impact.. liiiikkeee our careers.
Last week we heard from two men who work in civil service as police officers. They discussed how serious it is for both their profession, their mental health, and their home lives that they take care of themselves. While this challenges the stereotype of cops and donuts that is so wonderfully portrayed thanks to our ridiculous television and society haha, it also doesn’t come as a huge surprise as their profession is extremely taxing.
What about someone in a profession that you would not necessarily equate with health and fitness?
Throughout my entire life, I could honestly, off the top of my head, think of maybe a handful of teachers or professors whom I would say were in really great physical condition. Why is it that?
Well, luckily, to combat that we get to hear from an awesome badass teacher who IS in good physical condition and makes the effort to put his health and fitness on the top of his priority list along with his profession. As a teacher and part of the amazing Strong Figure, Erik tells us how and why it is pertinent that we make the effort to fit in time for ourselves and our bodies…
Why do you believe your current health and fitness level impact (positively or negatively) your career? Why is it important to your career to remain healthy and fit?
My training and nutrition help me to have more energy and to stay mentally sharp. In my research for writing our recent health and fitness book, I came across study after study that connected health and fitness to brain function. A teacher has to make quick decisions hundreds of times a day. Mental sharpness and focus is imperative.
What was the moment you realized you needed to make your health and fitness a priority?
As a former athlete, training and fitness was always important for me. But a few years after I finished competing, my life started to get really busy and I didn’t continue with my training. I never had the greatest nutrition and the combination of little training and poor nutrition caught up with me. Seeing photos of myself let me know I had to make a change. Couple this with the fact that I was coaching at the time and I knew I needed to be a better example for my athletes. I rededicated myself to both training and nutrition. I read everything I could get my hands on, started experimenting with different nutrition protocols, lifting weights, and doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Ultimately, I completely changed my life.
Who/what inspires you the most?
Stephanie Wimer, my fiance. A lot of days I have no desire to workout or eat right but when you are engaged to the healthiest and fittest person you have ever met, it refocuses your attention to what you eat and how you train. Surround yourself with fit and healthy people.
What is your exercise of choice? If you have a specific favorite workout what is it? What is a go to quick workout for a busy day?
I train five days a week, primarily lifting weights. I switch between a more powerlifting style of weight lifting and a more bodybuilding style of weight lifting but it always weights. I do a little yoga for mobility and I do some walking and rowing for my heart. I am not a fan of cardio at all. I have never had success with it. In terms of body composition, cardio has never really helped me to look the way I want to look. I typically do a mile walk and a 1,000 meter row to warm up before lifting but that is pretty much the only cardio that I do regularly. I am a fan of sprinting for body composition and if I need to jump start my fitness I will incorporate some very high intense sprint form of training–interval style.
What is your favorite go-to on the job fit snack?
I food prep my food for work so I typically eat one small but high protein, non-insulin spiking meal around 10 am, another high protein meal with some carbs (unless I am leaning out) and lots of vegetables around 12:30, a third work meal that is small but contains some veggie and about 20 grams of protein around 3:15 pm. With three meals planned, I have no need to snack and since I food prep at the beginning of the week, everything is ready-to-go.
What advice would you give to someone in a similar profession who is trying to schedule their own gym/fitness/workout routine into a busy schedule?
I teach full time at a high school and part time at a community college, I co-run an internet based business, I also teach Social Studies for our After School Program, and I coach. I still find time to workout one hour to one and a half hours a day, five days a week. Yes I am busy but working out gives me the energy to sustain my busy life. One hour a day is only 5% of the day. Who can’t dedicate 5% of their day to their health and fitness?
I know I sure can dedicate 5% of my day… Can you?