by Katie Whelley
As I wait in my car for our workout to begin, I can’t help but think to myself, this is NOT what I had in mind when I started this interview series.
I started this series to have some drinks with some cool people, learn about what makes them tick, and why they do what they do. I’ve realized that in order to really learn something about someone you have to do more than just get them drunk and ask them meaningless questions (WOW, that sounds like every first date I’ve ever been on). I want to really experience what my interview subjects are all about.
So here I am… having PTSD flashbacks from two-a-day practices back in my athlete days. I suddenly see the KLUG FITNESS van pull around the corner. GO TIME! I feel like a movie theatre full of people should be shouting, “NO! Don’t go in there! TURN BACK!” Too late now.
Since I last saw Kevin Klug he has taken the plunge and started his own business, creating a unique mobile training experience the likes of which country music’s elite artists are flocking to. His business model is perfect for the touring musician who needs to stay in shape while on the road, but doesn’t have access to a traditional gym. He has been on tour with a number of different artists not only keeping their physique in check, but conditioning them so that they have the stamina to keep a football stadium full of people entertained through multiple sets. Kevin, country music fans everywhere thank you!
I’m lucky enough to have trained with Kevin many times before, as he was a trainer at my former gym. I generally know what to expect when I show up to one of his classes (which is probably why I was so nervous today). I don’t think anyone has ever pushed me as hard as he does. Not because he’s a sadist and enjoys invoking pain on poor little former athletes like me. But because he knows I’m capable of much more than I think I am. Kevin may look like a drill sergeant from one of my #gymfail nightmares, but in fact he is one of the most kind-hearted people I know. His chiseled exterior is in stark contrast to his warm and inviting personality. He’s quick to smile and even quicker to give meaningful encouragement that pushes me through the toughest reps.
What I love about Kevin’s training method is that he takes it back to the basics. What he likes to call “the meat and potatoes” of the workout world. There are so many gym fads these days: promises of quick results, “EAT PIZZA WHILE YOU WORK OUT”, machines that look like death traps… We seem to have forgotten the fundamentals of fitness: move your body and pick up some weights.
Core functional movements like the deadlift, squat, and overhead press, are being replaced by the Thigh Abductor 3000, or the Extreme Bicep Curl Machine (why do I need a machine to do a bicep curl again?). Kevin incorporates basic functional strength movements into all of his workouts, and his “meat and potatoes” are my bread and butter.
I’m not going to get into the specifics of our workout, partly because Kevin has years of training and works tirelessly developing his workouts (and I’m not about to give up all of his methods), but mostly because I think I blacked out about a third of the way through, and I can’t remember all of the details.
I will tell you that I burned 200 calories during our “warm-up”, and by the time we were finished I clocked in at 890 calories. The buzzer sounded, and I immediately sprawled on the floor. I stayed there for a solid 5 minutes thinking the whole time “I should have done the interview before the workout.”
Maybe next time. I make my way over to the van and, while dripping sweat on my phone I was using to record, I huffed and puffed through the next 30 minutes.