When I first met Brian and Haley from Elev8d Fitness, I thought it was going to be another “get skinny quick” fix they were telling me about. I quickly learned that this was far from that! While it is a website that customizes 8 minute workouts for you, it truly showcases the power of being focused and consistent. (Need some fitness inspiration?! Check out my favorite 5 Instagram fitness accounts here!) Check out this full interview of my chat with Brian and Haley, and don’t miss the end where I actually try a workout (yes, even in my work clothes!):
Amanda: Hey everyone. It’s Amanda with the San Diego Lifestyle. I’m here with some amazing people who are here locally in San Diego, working really hard with their company every day. I want to introduce you to Brian and Hailey. They’re from Elev8d Fitness. They are incredible people. I want to know all about them and their company. Tell me about Elev8d Fitness. What is it?
Hailey: Elev8d Fitness is a posture and alignment-based workout method. It’s based on the core movements that we think that your body should be able to do to be functionally fit and have full range of motion. We’ve created this online subscription-based platform. You can do these exercises literally anywhere, anytime, no props required in your living room.
Amanda: That’s pretty amazing. How is that different from a normal workout?
Hailey: Elev8d is low intensity interval training, rather than high intensity. Our exercises are meant to be deliberate. They’re designed to align your body. High intensity is extremely effective, but there is a very high risk of injury. You burn out really quickly, and it’s hard on your system. Our exercises are maintainable whether you’re 18 or 80.
Amanda: I always hear about high intensity workouts being the big fad. It’s nice to have something a little bit different to do.
Hailey: They’re still challenging. That’s the point. It’s not like a walk in the park, but it’s very deliberate and focused. Our focus is on form.
Amanda: It reminds me of barre, the whole theory of doing little, tiny movements but making a big difference.
Brian: Yes, less is more.
Amanda: You have these different concepts of 8, 16, and 24-minute workouts. How does that work?
Brian: Think about an 8-minute workout. You have 23 hours or more left in the day for sleeping, walking, moving and going to work. The 8-minute workout is so effectively sequenced and low intensity interval, maybe trickling into medium intensity once in a while.
For the rest of the day, your body is reaping the benefit of the 8-minute workout. If you choose a 16-minute, that’s up to you because you’re at a different fitness level. We have a 24-minute one. We even have one above it if someone wants to go there. Honestly, 8 minutes a day, which I know you’re a fan of, will create huge effects down the road. It’s honestly enough.
Amanda: What impact does it have on your body? That doesn’t seem like a long workout at all.
Hailey: It’s this amazing thing. The idea is that, when you align your body, it operates as a unified system. If you’re out of whack and your body is not aligned, you have all these dysfunctional parts. When you work out, you’re not efficient. Think about it as a tune-up for your car. When you tune up your car, it runs smoother. It’s more efficient. It’s the same way with your exercises. If you’re aligned, you will function more efficiently.
Brian: There are a lot of people out there looking at different approaches to fitness. Our approach is based on giving you the most benefit in the shortest amount of time, no equipment needed. You can do it anytime, anywhere. The cool part is the result. We have people coming back to us and telling us, after 60 or 90 days, 8 minutes a day in their house or hotel, three to four days a week, they’re losing 15, 16, 17 and 18 pounds. That wasn’t their goal. We didn’t go after them nutritionally.
Hailey: They didn’t change their diets.
Brian: That’s what is amazing.
Amanda: That’s crazy.
Hailey: If you put all the pieces together and make it work functionally, then your metabolism kicks up. You create energy rather than spend it. It’s an incredible thing. It’s kind of like magic.
Brian: A lot of people sit for a living. Then we think, “Now we’re going to get up and go to the car.” Our hips shut down. One of the biggest complaints that I hear about in fitness approaches is, “Yes, I lost weight here and here, but not so much down here.” The only way to get that going is to become more hip-driven. These exercises are speared at that. We’re trying to get you to become as hip-driven as possible, dropping your shoulders and getting more relaxed. The hip drives all the movement. The results are unbelievable.
Amanda: You seem so serious about it. Is there any fun involved with these workouts?
Hailey: That’s the best part. The workouts are extremely short. That part makes them more approachable. They are extremely fun, especially when you do them in a group. You’ve never done these movements before. It’s like playing, like you’re a kid again. The whole idea is that you become functionally fit. When are we the most functionally fit? When we’re kids. We’re climbing trees and crawling around on the ground.
Amanda: Have you ever seen a child do a squat? It’s perfect.
Hailey: Exactly. That’s the idea. You should be having fun in your workout. Working out shouldn’t be drudgery. It shouldn’t be something on your to-do list. It should be a release; something that makes you excited to do at the end or beginning of the day.
Brian: After the workout, you’re going to say, “Wow, that was fun.” Two or three months down the road, you’re going to say, “Wait a second. There are some game-changing results here.” Then it becomes a lot more fun.
You won’t be able to be quiet about this. You’re going to pull in friends to do this. You’re going to say, “You have to try this.” We hear from so many people who say, “I’m working with this or that trainer.” They’re not being mean to their trainer, but they say, “I wish I had better results.” Quit spinning your wheels.
Amanda: Now it’s three weeks into January. A lot of people are dying on their resolutions. How does this keep you on track to a good resolution?
Hailey: Again, it comes down to enjoying what you’re doing. Make manageable goals. Eight minutes a day? I don’t care how busy you are. You can maintain that. If you’re having fun in the exercise that you’re doing, you want to do it. That’s the whole point.
Brian: If it’s not creating results, it’s not fun. I’m the boring guy. I always talk about results. My customers are coming back and saying, “I have never experienced something like this before.” This is why I’m so excited to put this out there. The results will speak for themselves and you’ll be smiling the whole time.
Amanda: It’s great that it’s all about alignment. What about people who have pain or are not able to do normal workouts, go to the gym or hook up with a trainer? What do you do for customers like that?
Hailey: It’s all about functionality. People have pain because their bodies aren’t functional. Something is out of whack. We should be like Davinci’s Man where everything is in alignment. Our exercises put you into alignment so that, ultimately, those issues disappear.
For example, we had an ambassador series over the summer. We had five people do the exercises for 12 weeks. One lady had a lot of back pain. She was really struggling. Throughout the course of the exercises, her back pain completely went away. Her big fear was getting down on the ground with her grandchild. This woman is 65. Besides the fact that she lost well over 15 pounds, it released her from what she thought were her limitations.
Here is another example. My aunt started doing the exercises. She has been terrified of stairs. The doctors have told her that she has weak knees. She did the exercises. Brian took her through a few things. There were these stairs coming up from the lawn where we were doing the exercises. She went after those stairs. No problem. She didn’t use any handholds. She’s in her 70s. This was a big fear.
Brian: This was after the workout. She should have been tired. Her body was able to take the stairs and say, “No fear because my body is not going to fail me.” That’s what we have to get people to believe in.
Amanda: What about people my age? I like to do things very quick and efficiently. I do not like to spend a lot of time.
Brian: I don’t blame you. I think that working out for extended amounts of time can make you worse. Studies are going in that direction. When we look at these fast workouts, 8 and 16 minutes will be enough. You can do it as a standalone.
Let’s say that you’re a runner and you run five miles a day. You’re running so far out of alignment that you’re stressing your body, but you think you’re more functional and fit when you’re done. It’s absolutely the opposite. You’re only tapping into 50% of your body’s real ability as an athlete. Your age group doesn’t have a lot of time. You are doing other things. Let’s get excited about this.
Eight minutes is going to change that whole demographic. They will say, “I’m finally done texting. My fitness for my thumbs is over.” We put it down. Now we do 8 minutes. Then your body says, “I feel like going for a run again,” which hasn’t happened in 10 years. They’re only 25 years young and thinking that they’re getting older. We need to break that cycle. It’s going to be amazing for that demographic.
Amanda: What about runners? Do you recommend doing this before running?
Hailey: Like Brian said, if you’re running and you’re out of alignment, you’re only tapping into a fraction of your power. It’s dysfunction.
Amanda: You can do all of this and still go for your run?
Brian: Yes. You can’t run with your shoulders up and be okay. This is what does the work.
Hailey: It creates energy. It will make you feel like running because your body becomes more functional when you do these exercises.
Amanda: On a day-to-day basis, it will make you feel like doing more in general?
Hailey: Absolutely. It is an energy creator. That’s the most amazing thing. It wakes your body back up. When you are in alignment, everything functions better.
Amanda: Do you recommend doing them in the morning?
Hailey: It’s whatever works for you.
Brian: I do mine in the afternoon. The morning, for me, is about getting ready for the day and going through business metrics. In the afternoon, I might do it at 12:00, 2:00 or 6:00. I will never do anything as it relates to plyometrics and hard work, if I want to work out with some of my pro athletes, without prepping with this first. Sometimes that becomes the workout. We do high fives. Everyone goes home, and you go on with your day.
Amanda: What if you’re going to the gym a lot? Do you do this instead of going to the gym? Do you do it before you go to the gym?
Brian: You could do it before the gym to get a real benefit out of the workout. There are people walking around every day, spinning their wheels in the gerbil cage. They’re working out and working out. They’re getting fatter.
Amanda: That’s not working.
Brian: How much fun is working out with no results?
Amanda: I would love to cut out my hour and a half of driving to the gym, parking and putting my stuff away.
Brian: Let’s go with that. You drive to the gym. Think about that. The workout could be, “I park my car and walk or run to the gym.” That’s not our mentality. What if we gave you an 8-minute workout? It’s the simplest thing to do but the effects are massive for you. You’re saying, “I want to get more efficient so that I have more time in the day. I want results.”
Do this three to four days a week, times 90 days. You’re going to come back to us and tell us, “I didn’t believe it, but I proved it here.” You’re going to write something for us.
Amanda: I can quit the gym and just do your workout?
Hailey: Yes, 100%.
Amanda: I want to try that.
Hailey: You shouldn’t dread working out. It should be something that reenergizes you and that feels good. It should be fun. Period.
Amanda: I might not completely dread it. But when I get there, I think, “This is going to take an hour.”
Brian: When you look around, it’s always the same people. They’re in front of the mirror, staring at themselves. You’re thinking, “I’m a young female. I want results. I want them fast. I want to hang out with my friends and family.” That’s the beauty of this workout.
Amanda: This morning, I did not have enough time. I was supposed to go to the gym. I didn’t have that two-hour block.
Hailey: Before Elev8d Fitness, I would go to the gym and get on the Stairmaster and slog along for 20 minutes. I was doing one movement. When I do 8 minutes of Elev8d, I am literally moving every part of my body. I’m rotating. It’s flexion. It’s extension. It’s lateral movement. When you move your body like that, it wakes all the systems up. It kicks up your metabolism. It creates energy. It’s a total body workout. If you’re getting on the elliptical for 45 minutes at the gym, you’re spinning your wheels.
Amanda: Is it the same basic workout for the whole 8 minutes every time?
Hailey: There are all different workouts.
Brian: It changes, but the sequence is very important. Let’s say you get to the gym and you have even less time. It’s an 8-minute workout. If I get through 5 of the 8 exercises, I’m happy with that right now. Tomorrow, you’re going to get 8.
Amanda: Do you go back and do the ones that you missed?
Brian: No. You say, “I didn’t miss. I did enough for my body that day.” That’s how brilliant the sequences are. The whole thing is about getting you in and out with results. It’s based on 8 core movements. You’re rotating, going under, over, extension and flexion. It’s every movement that the human body was organically, naturally made to do.
Amanda: Tell me about the blog. How do I find the workouts?
Hailey: It’s at Elev8dFitness.com. Just go to the blog. It’s subscription based. We have a two-week free trial for anyone who wants to try it.
Brian: Try it. It’s worth it.
Hailey: The blog is a space for us. We feel like we have a lot to say. We want to bring alignment into the fitness space. We have a lot of really great articles that discuss that. What does alignment do to your body and why is it so important to fitness, functionality and range of motion?
Another big thing that we touch on in the blog is this idea of play and having fun in your workouts. I mentioned this earlier. What was it like when you were a kid on the jungle gym and crawling around on the floor? We want our users to focus in on that playful aspect in their workouts.
Amanda: Can they find the workouts through the membership online?
Amanda: Is it a video series?
Brian: It’s great instruction. It’s literally going to turn fitness upside down. Either they get on board with this line of thinking, or they’re out of business. You’re a customer. You say, “I hate going to the gym, but I know I need it. It’s supposed to be good for me. I’m out of time.” There are all of these stressors. Every cell in your body is reacting to that stress.
Amanda: One of my big things is having a monotonous routine. I don’t go to yoga or spin classes because it’s the same thing. I learn it and then I’m bored. I want to go on to the next thing. Once you learn how to memorize something, it becomes boring.
Brian: That’s why people use trainers. It’s so that they can get some variety. A great trainer is hard to find. If you have a great one, stay with him or her. They’re amazing. It’s expensive, but they’re worth it. This is your 8-minute trainer three or four days a week. It’s on your own, in your house. Use your own floor. There’s no judgement in your own house.
Hailey: It is always changing. You get the variety. Instead of turning into a wrote experience, it’s always something new. It feels good. You’re always experiencing new movements in your body. It’s a great way to burn a lot of calories.
Amanda: How do you know exactly what I need for my body? What does it cost?
Hailey: It’s $10 a month, which is a lot more bang for your buck than a $30 studio class. When you sign up, you put in information like your age, height and fitness goals. We’ve created an algorithm so that your fitness plan is designed specifically for you. It learns from your previous workout. It leads you towards your fitness goal.
Amanda: That’s cool, and $10 a month.
Brian: It’s personalized for you.
Amanda: You really can’t beat that. That’s amazing. I want to turn this space into a little studio so that we can see what you do. I can’t wait to see some of these workouts.
Brian: We’re going to take you through three exercises that are three of my favorites for posture, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. It relates to what we talked about before. In these 8 minutes, we have to instantly impact someone so that they’re moving better. We’re going to start with your feet pointed straight ahead, fist-width apart between your big toes. “Straight” means straight. It’s going to feel slightly pigeon-toed to you.
Just that movement alone, which is critical, is going to trap your hips and make them do more work. By the way, everything is hip driven. If your feet turn out, the hip is off. Keep your feet straight. Put your hands in this position. Here is a fist. Open it up, nice and stiff. It’s what we call a golfer’s grip position. Drop your arms to your side. Stay out of these muscles.
You’re going to very lightly pull your shoulder blades together. Hold it there. Drop it down. It’s a down and back movement. Hold it there. Bring your arm straight out to the side and circle forward 40 times. Every time you move those arms, the abdominal wall and hip muscles are coming back into play to make this a hip-driven stabilizing exercise.
We can affect your postural position by changing your shoulder position. Now go palms up, thumbs back. Circle up and back now 40 times. Shoulder blades are squeezed. Feet are planted straight ahead. That’s what traps the hips so that they come into play to make this a whole-body exercise. How does that feel?
Amanda: It feels pretty good.
Brian: You’re smiling. That’s all that counts. I want to get you down on your hands and knees, facing me. We’re going to do what we call cat dog. I know in yoga they call it cat cow. We’re going to try to turn this into a hip-driven movement. Most people will push. They make it hard. I want it to be a hip movement that brings your shoulder blades together.
I want you to take your pelvis into this position. Pull it under. Try to pull your nose to your zipper line. Come up into that rounded back position. You’re pushing up to me. The release of this is to let it drop. Bring your shoulder blades together. Look up. That’s the dog position. To come out of that, let your pelvis go the other way. Then push back to the ceiling. Drop your head. Let this round over like the cat.
Then go the other way like the pointer dog. Let it happen down here at the pelvis and hips first. Shoulder blades together. Really sink those together, which is the opposite of your sitting-all-day position. Go the other way. It’s a fluid movement. How does this feel?
Brian: Do you see how you have the tendency to try and keep this up? That’s because all of your movement right now is shoulder-driven, which is why you don’t like to go to the gym. You’re tired of working out inefficiently. I don’t blame you. Your hips drive the movement. You want to move from the pelvis first. That’s a hip-driven sequence. Shoulder blades collapsed. Let’s have you stand up. Just stand there. Just from doing those two, what does it feel like has changed in your overall body?
Amanda: My shoulders feel more aligned. They feel more naturally straight.
Brian: Up here is not so tight. The stress of the day, kids, driving and San Diego traffic is gone. Now we’re going to give you an exercise that we titled Finish Line Abs. It is the greatest abdominal exercise ever. Think about this. You’re going to train your abs. No one likes ab training. We’re going to make it fun.
Put your left foot forward as if you were going to sprint and your back foot up off the heel a little bit. Lift your back heel just a hair, like you are going to use that leg to push off. Put your hands at 90 degrees at the elbow. Start moving very slowly like this. Then go as fast as you can go for 30 seconds.
What I’m seeing is that your whole body is trying to stabilize this. That’s why it’s so effective. You have to put the other leg behind you. We have to do that side, too. We’re going to do it again on the other side. Go as fast as you can go for 30 seconds. Just stand there for a second. You’ve done three exercises. What does that feel like?
Amanda: It feels good.
Brian: If that were the only thing you could do today because of time, your metabolic rate is up. For the next 23 and a half hours that are left in the day, your body is saying, “What did I do this morning?” Normally, it says, “I’m going to beat myself up. I’m going to stress my internal systems. I don’t want to be here.” That trickles into the rest of your day. By 7:00, you say, “I’m done.”
We’re going to take Colby through three exercises for a sculpted butt routine. These are three of our favorite out of this routine. The first one is called squat Davincis. In this position, he’s active in his hands. The spinal curve is erect. The videos will take people through all of this. They will have videos that talk about the exact form.
You will see that there’s no rush at this. It is a deliberate lean in one direction, and then another deliberate lean in another direction. All the while, he’s holding the stability at his hip and pelvis. If you’re trying this at home, it’s not about how far you go. Go to where you’re comfortable. Allow that pelvis to sit.
From the side view, he’s kicking the butt back and sitting like this. We don’t want you bending over like this to do it. Kick your butt back and then create the movement upstairs. You’ll notice that his feet are dead straight ahead while he does this, trapping the hips to keep this hip driven.
Let’s go to the next exercise. With squat lateral toe touches, you can see that it’s basically the same level and stability with his hip and back. He’s mobilizing the hip and pelvis laterally. When is the last time anyone moved laterally? We’re all up, down, straight ahead and back up.
Nothing is ever to the side, unless you’re making a turn in your car. That does not help your fitness. Ideally, mobilize the hip to create that hip-driven movement. Increase calorie burn. Increase your metabolic rate for the rest of the 23-some hours that are left in the day.
That will lead us to this next exercise, which is a little bit more aggressive. We’re going from low intensity slightly up to medium intensity. Everyone is familiar with a typical burpee. We call these lateral burpees. You’re jumping. You’re coming down. You go at your own pace. I don’t care if you have to walk your feet out while you’re doing this. You can see that he’s not doing any explosive work. He’s going where he’s comfortable. This is where to start to ramp it up a bit. You do as many reps as you want. If I say to do 15 for 30 seconds, and you can only do 5 or 10, you have to listen to what your body is telling you.
I feel like I have never been as inspired in my life as I am here in San Diego. It’s an incredibly active community where the sun is out and makes you feel energetic every single day! There are so many people making the most of these moments, and I am always sure to find them on Instagram, a social platform centered around beautiful images and videos. I am always looking for motivation on Instagram, and a few special people stand out in my mind for inspiration. Check out this video to meet 5 women here in San Diego who are inspiring many people on Instagram with their posts and videos.:
Her profile is all about her experience with health wellness and fitness. She loves eating healthy all week long (for the most part), and showcasing different restaurants around town where you can eat heathy too. She usually weight trains 5 days a week, does cardio once a week, and does other exercises too.
Her favorite recipe is a banana bread recipe with no added sugar or fats.
Her favorite places in town to workout at are the Convention Center stairs (Cost effective, and highly effective), an Ashley Lane fitness gym, or a gym that gas a spin class. The message she would like to convey is that being active and fit doesn’t have to be hard or daunting. For nutrition, you can always find a way to swap something out on a menu to make it easier to be healthy. For fitness, try different things that inspire you and don’t give up until you find something you enjoy doing.
Laura created her page to inspire women who are getting older because she will be 50 very soon. She posts some recipes but mostly fitness photos. She posts a lot about what types of workouts women should be doing as they get older, because it really changes a lot.
Michelle posts healthy and easy recipes on motivational Monday, and on Fridays she makes fries, or features fries from a local restaurant.
She likes to make food that is easy for everyone to make quickly on their busiest days. She usually has about a half hour to make food, so everything she makes needs to be quick. She focuses on the fact that life is a balance, so if you can eat healthy most of the time, you can splurge for the fries on Fridays.
Amanda inspires, empowers and motivates women through her own fitness journey.
She used to be so shy and not an outgoing person at all, but now she is trying to break out of her shell, and she is trying to teach women who are just like her that it’s ok to do things that challenge them because that’s really the only way you can grow. She posts things about fitness, her personal life, recipes, and more.
She started her Instagram account because she believes in positivity and she believes that it can be really hard to live a healthy life. She didn’t grow up eating healthy, and she grew up in a household where she was told as a girl that she shouldn’t do push ups because men don’t like muscles. So she tries to show others how to live a healthy life, be a strong woman, and be a woman in any way you want. It’s not about muscles, or being skinny. Your body is going to be what it is going to be, and it is all beautiful. She loves showing others that you can live a healthy life in our own way, and she loves making friends with people who are different, unique, and healthy in their own ways.
So you can easily see why these are the top 5 women who inspire me the most on Instagram. Have you been following them already? Let me know your thoughts. If you haven’t, which one sounds the most interesting to follow first and why? I’d love to hear from you!
Interview with Andy Voggenthaler, the CEO of Race Guards
Race Guards was established in 2012 with the mission to provide “In-Race” race aid assistance to race participants from start to finish. Our team of medically trained professionals runs the entire race, in pairs, from start to finish providing support to runners who may be in distress, injured or needing medical attention. Race Guards are the only “in-race” race aid organization in the country, and it is our goal to be the standard of care at all running and endurance events around the world.
All Race Guards team members (with the exception of four paid staff members) are volunteers. All team members are endurance athletes, and the majority of them are medical professionals – looking for a way to give back to the running community. Race Guards have American Heart Association trained instructors on its team to provide the CPR, AED and First Aid training required to be a Race Guards team member. We work directly with the race director and race medical director to develop and execute a day of race medical plan.
Race Guards was launched at Finish Chelsea’s Run in San Diego, CA in March 2012. Since then Race Guards has expanded throughout the country, and in 2016 will support 40 races in California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington, Illinois, Minnesota and Texas. In 2017, Race Guards will be expanding its footprint in all markets listed above with expansion into Georgia and Florida. Race Guards has aggressive expansion plans in 2017 and beyond with new partnerships coming into place with the American Heart Association, HeartSine AEDs and others. Race Guards is also expanding its services into Hands Only CPR Training for race staff, volunteers and participants.
In this interview with Andy Voggenthaler, the CEO at Race Guards, we discuss the Race Guards charter of making racing safer for everyone by providing certified in-race First Aid.
Patrick: This is Patrick Henry, the CEO of QuestFusion, with the Real Deal…What Matters. I’m here today with Andy Voggenthaler. Andy is the CEO or Race Guards. Andy brings experience and expertise in brand development and strategic partnerships, having developed long-term licensing and business ventures for many companies including General Motors, Nabisco, Hang Ten, Dupont Teflon, Pebble Beach and AIG American General.
As the key business development executive at Matrix Direct, Andy was responsible for developing a complex yet extremely successful joint venture with AIG American General, which ultimately led to AIG acquiring Matrix in 2007. Today, Matrix is the leading direct marketer in terms of life insurance in the country. Welcome, Andy.
Andy: Thank you.
Patrick: Fill in the gaps. Tell me a little bit about yourself. You’re a local San Diegan, but where did you come from?
Andy: I grew up in the Bay Area in Sunnydale. It’s a great place to grow up as a kid. I always had a passion for sports. I was into water polo, running and triathlon as a young kid. I had these visions of going to Stanford. That’s what I wanted to do.
Unfortunately, like a lot of kids, I didn’t get in. I didn’t have a Plan B. A bunch of my buddies were going down to San Diego. I was into water skiing. I decided I would come to San Diego. I was here for the first semester, teaching water skiing and doing fun things.
Patrick: Did you go to San Diego State?
Andy: Yes, San Diego State, which is a big journey from Stanford to San Diego State. It was a great thing. Things work out for a reason.
Patrick: You’ve been in San Diego ever since?
Andy: Yes, ever since.
Patrick: Let’s talk a little bit about Race Guards. As I understand it, Race Guards has a corporate side, an LLC side, as well as a charitable foundation. During races, whether it’s triathlons or foot races, if someone has a problem and needs medical attention, you get involved with that.
Your website says, “We’re athletes who have a desire to provide support at running, cycling, triathlon and endurance events of any size and any distance. Our incredible team of CPR certified first responder volunteers ensure that participants have a safe and rewarding experience from start to finish. Race for good. Come join our team.”
You have sponsors as well. My wife, Amanda, just finished her first half marathon. She said, “Should I have a race goal?” I said, “The race goal on your first half marathon is to finish and not need medical attention at the end of the event.” She accomplished both of those things. She had a secret goal of having a certain time. Tell me about how Race Guards started. How did you get involved?
Andy: As I mentioned earlier, I’m a long-time endurance athlete. I love getting out there. “Go out hard and hang on,” was always my mantra. I’m not sure it works out to your benefit. Even when I was in high school, I saw people on the course having issues, myself included.
Over the years or running marathons and doing triathlons, I would see people having issues on the course. I thought, “There is a medical tent over there.” But no one wants to stop at a medical tent. I thought, “There has to be a better way for the little stuff, like cramping and chafing.” It’s always been in the back of my mind. Is there a better way to do this?
I was training for Iron Man Hawaii in 2004 at a training race in the desert. It was a small race triathlon. I got out of the water and ran to my bike. I started to put my gear on. You’re focused on your own thing, but I could tell there was something going on next to me. The guy was all over the place.
I thought maybe he was a rookie. I was paying attention to what I was doing on the bike. He collapsed into my hands. I grabbed him and said, “What’s going on?” His eyes were saucers. I yelled for help. There was a paramedic there, fortunately. He jumped over the bike transition area.
I looked down at the guy and said, “You’re in good hands now.” Another EMT came over. His eyes never blinked. I think he nodded. Then they were on him. I took a step back. Everything slowed down. Within a few seconds, they were doing CPR on him. The unfortunate news is that he died. He was 37 years old, the same age that I was at the time.
It was a defining moment. I thought, “There is an opportunity.” Through my work with AIG, I had won the community service award. I presented the idea of Race Guards. It’s about bringing teams of endurance athletes and medical professionals together, running in pairs. It can be fast pace or slow pace across the course with medical packs, tied into the medical director.
If there is something bad that happens out there, then off you go. I talked to AIG. At that point in AIG’s world, they had just collapsed. We sold our company. Then a year later, they collapsed. They thought it was a great idea. They said they’d like to sponsor it. It was under the Sun America brand name. They said, “Give it a go and see what happens.” At Finish Chelsea’s Run five-and-a-half years ago, we decided to try this idea of getting people certified with CPR, first aid and AED operations.
Patrick: You take people through that process as well?
Patrick: When you volunteer for Race Guards, you don’t necessarily have to have done those things. If you don’t already have those things, you facilitate that?
Andy: Regardless of your background, you’re going to have training through Race Guards on how to do it. If you’re a doctor endurance athlete or a medical professional of some sort, that’s different. Today, over 75% of our teams have medical backgrounds, such as doctors, EMTs and fire fighters. We will train all of them on how we do it out on the course. They’re there for first aid. If someone has a heart attack, some of us have AEDs. We can do CPR. The funny thing is, the first time we did this race, we certified. We said, “I don’t know if this is going to be a good idea or a bad idea.”
Patrick: When was this?
Andy: This will be six years in March. We didn’t know if it was going to be a good idea. Today, we have an app, which is amazing. Our technology is super cool. We keep track of everything. The race director gets real-time reporting. Back then, we finished Chelsea’s Run, which is a 5K. We had about 30 race guards and our gear from AIG. We were looking sharp. We did it.
It’s very similar to how we do it today with fast, medium and slow pace. We were in a 5K. I decided to hang out in the back with my friend Brad who is a race guard college buddy of mine. He was certified as well. Everything progressed. I didn’t know if anything was going on in front of us or not. I didn’t know if we were helping anyone or doing any good.
I looked over at my Buddy brad and said, “I don’t know if this is a good idea.” He said, “This is awesome. Keep going.” Then something happened 20 seconds later. We were running in Balboa Park. A guy was in his 60s. He wanted to look over the bridge to see the race coming around. He tripped on a curb and fell in front of us. He was bleeding. We were on it. We bandaged him up. That took some time, but he wanted to finish.
Meanwhile, the race was progressing. I got back to our tent at the finish line. All the race guards were back. I was thinking, “That was crazy. That guy fell down.” Meanwhile, there were some other issues. There were 10 to 12 people who needed stuff. Someone needed an ambulance ride, which wasn’t critical.
I got back to the tent. Here were all of these friends of mine who had been killing it like I had over the years with endurance sports. We were racing against each other and against the time. I looked around and everyone had a huge smile. They said, “That was so cool.” They were doing something that was totally different. Other race directors were there. They said, “Andy, can you come to our race?” The next thing you know, we’re off and running. I ended up leaving a nice job at AIG.
Patrick: You have volunteers, which we talked about. You have sponsors. Talk to me about that. Who are some of the big ones? How do you attract them? What’s their motivation for getting involved?
Andy: It’s a process as far as tracking down good sponsors. We knew that we were going to have to show our services to people for free. With old school race directors, they’re going to say, “Who are you? What are you doing?” Our whole model is to get sponsors going with you so that we can be at races, races in markets where our sponsors would like us to be. We want to do the service and help the race director. With good results, we turn that model to a pay-for-service kind of a deal. Sponsors would always be great, but paying for service is where we need to go.
Patrick: The race directors compensate Race Guards in addition to the sponsorship dollars?
Andy: They do now that we’re into it five years. Our initial model was, “We’ll come and do everything for free.” They might give us expo space for our sponsors for free as a trade. Here in San Diego, there are so many races. There are so many good race directors. They love Race Guards. Now we’re flipping the model from having sponsors primarily fund our business to more of a pay-for-service kind of model.
Patrick: Explain the corporate structure. You have the LLC. You have the foundation. How does that work? How do they work together?
Andy: The foundation came to us. It was an interesting opportunity for us. We were always an LLC from the very beginning. If people wanted to donate through the foundation, the idea is to help grow the Race Guard program, whether it’s a new market or to fund a new technology. That’s why the foundation is there. It’s a vehicle for people to do that. Surprisingly, most corporate partners come through Race Guards, LLC.
Patrick: You can get involved either way.
Andy: People can donate if they like to through the foundation.
Patrick: How big is the organization now? What percentage are volunteers?
Andy: We did over 50 races last year. That’s the tip of the iceberg. When you think about just running races, there are 30,000 races a year in the US. That’s not taking into account triathlons, adventure races, spartan races or cycling. We’re so tiny. That’s the opportunity. There’s really no standard of care today.
Anyone can say, “I’m going to do a race,” and get a permit for Balboa Park. I could say, “I’m going to do a race.” It’s not like you’re going to swim out in the ocean. You would need lifeguards. There’s no standard of care in racing, and there should be. Race Guards should be at every race across the country regardless. We are proactive. We can be reactive, but we’re proactive.
We’re helping with these little things in order to get more people across the finish line and reach their goals. We want to be there in case something bad happens. If they’re fine, that’s good, too. It’s comforting knowing that we’re out there and that, if you need something for a little thing that’s going on during the race, we’re there. We help get more people across the finish line safely. We also help with retention rates because the people have a great race experience, versus the race director who has one cup of water every two miles. Then people who have spent a lot of dollars on registration are mad because there was no support.
Patrick: How many metro markets are you in now?
Andy: We’re over 900 Race Guards across the country now. We had 50 races last year. We have a huge team in Texas. We’re in the Chicago area, the Midwest and Minnesota. We have big teams in California. We have a team in Boston. We’re growing in our markets where our sponsors typically want us to. We get hit up for races in South Dakota. There aren’t a lot of people in South Dakota so it’s hard for us to get to those races.
Patrick: Is this a company that you eventually sell or take public? Is it more of a non-profit?
Andy: We would ultimately like to sell it and grow. We want to be involved. Jeff Penrose is the President of our company. Then we have myself, our medical director, our national team director and our marketing director. We are passionate athletes. We’re passionate about what we do. We always want to remain there, but we may need some help to get bigger.
We’ve had 50 races. Let’s go to 300 races. Let’s go to 3,000 races. Ultimately, there’s an opportunity. We may need some help to get us to that growth metric. Today we’re at zero debt. We’re profitable. We’re not taking much out for ourselves. We can’t at this point. Ultimately, I can see this thing turning into something that has tremendous size to it as far as an ability to generate revenue but also help lots of people.
Patrick: Is there competition for Race Guards?
Andy: There’s not today. We’re the only ones doing it. Maybe we’re the only ones crazy enough to do it. There are a lot of moving parts to it. Fortunately, we have some great technology that we’ve developed that helps the race director see what’s going on. It’s like herding cats, getting all these Race Guards on time, trained appropriately with the appropriate level of insurance. We are down the path. Someone coming into it would have to figure all of that out.
Patrick: You told me how you got into it. Had you done startups before?
Andy: I’ve been entrepreneurial from the very beginning. As a young kid, I traded a bike for a motorcycle to get my first car when I was 12-and-a-half. I fixed up the car. People told me, “You’re not going to fix that old car.” It was a 1959 Edsel. I have an old car collection. By the time I was 16, I drove that Edsel from Northern California to Portland, Oregon and won best of show. I still have that car. I’ve always been motivated to do something when people tell me I can’t do it that way. With Race Guards, people said, “You can’t do that. You’re not going to be able to make that work. Who’s going to want to do that? That’s crazy.” You just charge on. We have our challenges. Sponsors are in and out. We deal with management changes. You just keep fighting the fight.
Patrick: Do you have any words of wisdom for the entrepreneurial audience?
Andy: If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, there’s always a way. You’re going to have dark days. Even right now, there are days when I say, “What are we doing? This is crazy how hard we work for little reward.” The idea is good. I’ve had plenty of ideas and tried down a path that just weren’t good ideas.
You have to know when to say, “This isn’t going to work,” and move on to the next one, and learn from it. Listen honestly to people. If they say something sucks, ask why. Learn from it or fix it. Ask someone else. If they tell you it sucks, then maybe it does suck. You can try something else or try a different angle. If there’s something that you’re intuitively passionate about, just keep going. Ultimately, things will turn around.
Patrick: I’m a big believer in that. You have to find that intersection of customers, your passion and domain expertise. It sounds like you’ve found that. If someone is a potential sponsor or interested in getting involved in Race Guards, how do they get a hold of you?
Andy: They can go to RaceGuards.org. We’re on Facebook and Twitter. Our website is the easiest way. There is an application if you want to be a Race Guard. We have 900 race guards. We have to keep track of them and their certifications. When they sign up for races, you need to make sure that they’re up to date on all of their certifications.
We have a platform where we do all of that and make it easy for the race guards when they come in. If you’re interested, fill out the applications. You can upload your certifications if you already have them. Sponsors can see all of our information on the website.
We’re just launching a Race Guards Alliance website. Here in San Diego, we have some favorite races, such as the San Diego Half, Carlsbad, the La Jolla Half and AFC. They’re great people. They’re great races. They’re well organized. They’re great partners of Race Guards. With the alliance, we do things for the races that are committed to putting Race Guards out there. We do special gear for them. It’s the pay-for-service model.
Patrick: Thanks, Andy. I appreciate you coming in today. Thanks for sharing about yourself and Race Guards. It sounds like you’re on the right track. What you’re doing is very cool.
Andy: Thank you very much.
This is Patrick Henry, the CEO of QuestFusion, with the Real Deal…What Matters.
When I moved to San Diego back in 2014, I had NO idea this city was so incredible. (I know..my favorite word. *rolling eyes*) But, seriously. San Diego is freaking amazing and every day I learn something new! I remember googling “things to do in San Diego” before visiting the first time, only to find Sea World, Legoland, and the Sea Lions at La Jolla Cove. Nothing else, and I thought, “Hmmm, kind of boring.” HA! I had no idea the restaurant culture was so intense, and the adventures can pile on in layers. There is something exciting to do in every single neighborhood in this fine city, and I am SO blessed to have captured so much of it over the past few years! From hiking to golfing to horses and parties (like Opening Day in Del Mar), there is SO much fun to be had here, and I have been having so much fun not even realizing how much content I’ve created. There are now over 275 stories posted here on thesdlifestyle.com all about San Diego!! And this year, the blog has made it to FeedSpot’s list of Top 50 San Diego Blogs and Websites on the Web! I feel so honored and I cannot thank each and every one of you reading right now for mentioning the next best place to try out for lunch, or asking questions that lead me to more discoveries in search of answers! I can’t wait to see what this next four years, and more, has in store!!
The blogs listed are the Best San Diego blogs from thousands of top San Diego blogs in our index using search and social metrics. This is the most comprehensive list of best San Diego blogs on the internet. These blogs are ranked based on following criteria:
Google reputation and Google search ranking
Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
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Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review
Again, I thank all of our readers for checking out our blog and commenting! It really adds to the community! See you around San Diego!
“No pain, no gain,” no more — here’s why the bright future of fitness will be smarter, more effective, and far less demanding than you think.
Photo Credit: Hailey Wist
Irony alert: The things you think you need to do in order to be fit are actually making it harder for you to achieve fitness.
The modern view of fitness, simply put, is that you have to suffer in order for your workout to work. Think about some of the most popular trends in exercise: CrossFit, P90X or the Insanity DVD series. The method and philosophy is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. In it, you burn it down for a few minutes or seconds, try to catch your breath, then repeat.
There’s plenty of good research that supports this approach—for those who can consistently do it.
But here’s the thing: With consistency, just about any fitness protocol works. The issue is finding something that works for you. Which means finding an activity that you can—and are willing to—consistently do. You can actually get much better results with what may seem like far less effort.
“With these high-intensity methods, the fitness world is basically responding to two things: some research and scientific data, and pushback from the public about time,” says posture and alignment expert Pete Egoscue. “We’re missing the elephant in the room, and that is: It’s not what you do, it’s the body you bring to what you do.”
“If your posture is compromised, your big muscles are already under a lot of stress. When a structurally dysfunctional person does high intensity training, what they’re really doing is further stressing themselves,” Egoscue says.
That’s why, for many, the result of HIIT isn’t fitness, it’s frustration. For proof, you need only look around at a basic fact—and your own circle of friends.
Now on to your friends. Of all the people you know who’ve tried CrossFit, how many stuck with it? Probably not many. Of all those mail-order fitness DVDs, how many are sitting in cabinets right now. Probably most.
You can easily understand why. There are only three types of people who’d be willing to put themselves through something that can feel so miserable:
Those who are already fit and functional, and therefore find that level of activity enjoyable
Those who are forcing themselves to do it, thinking that they “have” to in order to get in shape
Most of us fall into that third category. We work out because we think we have to. We muscle through with determination and willpower. Which works—until it doesn’t. Research shows that willpower is an exhaustible attribute. As you tire, it fades.
After you’ve tired yourself out from performing wildly strenuous workouts, the predictable result happens: You quit.
That’s what most people do. And that’s the bad news.
Here’s the good news: There is a better way.
You can train in a way that not only delivers positive physical results, it makes you feel more positively about yourself. The method may sound simple and easy, but in a way that’s the point. Simple and easy is repeatable. Being repeatable is the key to consistency. And consistency is the true key to fitness. What is this method?
It’s low intensity interval training or LIIT.
We told you it would sound simple. Perhaps it even sounds funny. But isn’t fun something that’s missing from most workouts? How nice would it be to have fun in yours? Wouldn’t you be more likely to do it—and keep doing it—if you were having fun?
“’Low intensity’ has more or less become a guilt statement,” Egoscue says. “’High intensity’ means ‘I’m out of breath,’ while ‘low intensity’ means ‘I had fun and enjoyed myself.’ People think they can’t enjoy themselves training. They’re wrong. You can.”
So what is low intensity interval training, exactly?
It’s performing exercise at the minimum effective dose, so that you yield every ounce of results without any diminishing returns. It’s tuning in to your body, giving it what it needs in the time you have available, and then getting on with your day.
What exercises do you do during low intensity interval training?
Really, you can perform almost any exercise or activity. The protocol is less about “what” you do than it is “how” you do it.
“Let’s take an example exercise like box jumps,” says Elev8d Fitness Head Coach Brian Bradley. “In high intensity interval training, people do 20 of them in a row until they get tired, move dysfunctionally, and wind up doing more harm than good to their body.” For proof of this, watch any one of these many videos of people failing at box jumps.
“In a LIIT program, you’d do far fewer box jumps—let’s say five,” Bradley says. “The focus would be on doing each one well. And then you’d move on to some other exercises or moves that improve your mobility. The result is that the moves teach your body’s systems to work better together. It will clear up imbalances and help re-establish functional movement patterns stemming from your hips and pelvis.”
That’s the idea driving Elev8d Fitness. You perform just enough of just the right movements, in workouts that are only eight or 16 minutes long.
“It literally could be, ‘Hey Brian, I only have time for lateral bear crawls.’ Well, okay, if a minute is all you’ve got, then let’s do it,” Bradley says. “Really, it comes down to minimum effective dose. The minimal effective dose creates a residual effect for the next 24 hours, like the heater got turned on. Your metabolic rate stays on, the furnace is still burning.”
What should low intensity interval training feel like?
“It should feel energizing,” Bradley says. “It should feel like you just had fun, like you just accomplished movements that maybe you even thought were a little corny, but you were surprised at how difficult they were when performed them correctly and finally started generating the movement at your hips instead of through a compensation pattern.”
Sometimes, performing a move correctly will mean that you do it slowly and gradually, like with Elev8d’s Side Unders. They’re far more challenging when you do them deliberately. Other times, you may still move fast, like you would with Elev8d’s Finish Line Abs.
“Finish Line Abs is a fun exercise that safely lets you sprint — even if you haven’t sprinted in 20 years or more,” Bradley says. “You perform a move that makes you feel like a kid again, and takes you back to your childhood when movement was fun. That’s mentally empowering. And you’ll definitely feel the results in your abdominal wall.”
How often should you perform low intensity interval training?
As often as you’d like. That’s the great thing about it: Because it’s low intensity, you can return to it regularly, even daily, and do so without the risk of getting hurt or tiring yourself out. It’s not like traditional exercise modalities such as lifting or distance running, which can take a heavy toll on the body and require long recovery times.
What does low intensity interval training do for you?
Like any form of exercise, low intensity interval training creates stimulus—one that’s a welcome break from the day-to-day patterns most of us live, like sitting in a chair typing on a computer—or worse, staring at a smartphone.
This stimulus, Egoscue explains, “creates an increased metabolic demand by removing you from the repetitive motion of your environment. This not only increases your basic metabolic rate, it can lead you to feel different emotions about exercise. You stop criticizing yourself and thinking that you’re ‘lazy’ or ‘out of shape,’ or that you ‘can’t do it.’ Instead, you see that you can do it, and wind up wanting to do it again because it was fun.”
The result: A reinvigorated body and mind, one that’s more capable and willing to do—and do again.
About Elev8d Fitness
Elev8d Fitness is an alignment-based workout method that requires as little as 8 minutes a day. It’s based on the core movements that your body should be able to do to be functional. Elev8d Fitness is Low Intensity Interval Training—the movements are deliberate with an emphasis on form and posture. When the body is in alignment, it works more efficiently. Think about getting a tune up on your car—all systems function and run smoother, more efficiently. With postural alignment comes better sleep, a faster metabolism, and more energy.
I recently had the opportunity to video chat with Lauryn, creator of The Skinny Confidential (TheSkinnyConfidential.com) about her brand, style and life here in San Diego. I learned so much about business, not letting others get to you, and I even learned a bit about Michael, Lauryn’s husband! Watch the full video interview to learn about Lauryn’s entrepreneurial business and blog turned podcast turned fitness e-book (and much more!!):
Here are the 5 biggest pieces of advice I took away from my video chat with Lauryn on how to “win” at life in the upcoming year:
1. Beat to the tune of your own drum.
Lauryn just IS herself. Totally. She never apologizes for it, and no woman should have to. She inspires you to be honest with yourself and live your life for fulfillment. She says, “I never felt that it was where I was supposed to be, even in high school. I remember looking back at high school and feeling that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. That’s weird for a high schooler to say, but that’s how I felt. I started to realize that the reason I was feeling unfulfilled was because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do or beat to the tune of my own drum. I was doing what other people told me that I was supposed to do. The second that clicked for me is the second that I rebelled and pushed back. I said, ‘Wait a minute. I need to reevaluate what I’m doing. I need to figure out a way where I can work for myself for the rest of my life and do things the way I want to do it.’ That’s where the Skinny Confidential came about.”
2. Don’t ask yourself how you will monetize your blog or website. Just focus on your passion, and then rinse and repeat.
Lauryn didn’t start The Skinny Confidential to monetize the platform. She started with a passion for connecting with other women. She says, “Looking back, that’s everyone’s concern. How do you monetize? That’s such a mistake. Everyone leads with that. I don’t feel that I’ve led with that. I think money comes when you lead with bringing value and community. I don’t think asking yourself, ‘How am I going to monetize?’ is the first question that I would ask. Lead with value. That’s how it started for me and The Skinny Confidential. It launched in 2010. I think I got 300 hits the day that I launched, which is nothing. I just kept doing it every single day for seven years, seven days a week. Rinse and repeat.”
3. Share your intentions with the world, and then, stay true to them.
Lauryn has always had pure intentions of helping others. She doesn’t just promote any random company and product that throws money at her. She’s very careful to be transparent with her audience. She says, “My intentions of building a community and providing value have always been the right intentions. I never want to pull a fast one on them. I’m not just looking to push product in their faces. If anything, I show what I really like. I say, ‘Leave what you don’t like, take what you do.’ I’m always doing give aways. A lot of bloggers will take the product that they get and display it in their room. I want to give it all back. I want to give back to the people who support me.
4. Find a way to keep in touch with others, and give back.
Lauryn is always looking for ways to give back to her audience. She says, “I’m doing this thing right now where I follow a lot of the people who have been following me on Instagram. The intent is that I’m wondering who some of these people are that I haven’t met in person. A big part of my brand is doing meetups, interfacing with these girls and talking to them, hearing about what they’re doing. I wanted to build something that was way bigger than Lauryn Evarts. The Skinny Confidential is so much bigger than me. With that intent, it comes off like that. I do want to inspire women to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, and not have to apologize.
5. Don’t be nervous to live YOUR life.
Lauryn is a huge believer in living life your own way. She travels a ton, and loves her busy life just like that. She’s realized you can’t hold back, and you can’t live for anyone but yourself. She says, “You wouldn’t believe how many people are nervous to do something because of their boyfriend, their family or what their mom will think. You can’t live your life like that. You have to live for yourself. Everyone’s different. I think that, nowadays, what’s cool is not to be someone else. It’s to be the best version of yourself. That’s changed. We used to look at celebrities and think, ‘I want to be like that.’ Now, in 2017 and going into 2018, the conversation will be, ‘How can I be the best version of myself instead of wanting to be someone else?’”
The first few minutes of my video chat with Lauryn taught me a lot about being grateful and having a positive attitude, and the rest of the video chat was filled with fun, valuable information, sprinkled with some GREAT recommendations of local San Diego favorite places from Lauryn. Is there something you’re dying to ask her? You can comment below, and we’ll be sure to video chat with her again soon to get your questions answered!
If you’d like to have a video that highlights your business like the ones you see here on The San Diego Lifestyle, please contact Triple Peak Media, the marketing and media power behind The San Diego Lifestyle.