To switch things up a bit, I partnered with Brandon Hernadez of LiftSavage, fitness and lifestyle blog, to gain a new perspective on working out through a Q&A interview. Through his blog and social media platforms, he focuses on strength training and conditioning while giving motivational advice to his followers and clients. Brandon’s previous experience in the Army provided him with the self discipline and determination needed to influence others to lead their best fitness lifestyle. In addition to his military background, he is also qualified by the American Council on Exercise as a personal fitness trainer. Below, I included Brandon’s answers to my questions I had as a runner when related to strength training.
Question 1: What is your main source of motivation when working out?
I think my main motivation of working out is for the people that can’t workout physically and want to so badly. Being born a healthy human being is a blessing in its own and being able to illustrate that through the art of lifting weights is an amazing feeling. I also work super hard for my family, friends, and for my brother that we lost when I was deployed to Iraq in 2016. I know he is looking down at me everyday cheering me on.
Question 2: How do you balance running into your regular strength training routine?
I don’t really run long distances, but I do like to incorporate High Intensity Interval Training into my schedule at least twice a week to improve and maintain my endurance.
Question 3: What leg strengthening exercises would you suggest to a runner?
Definitely squats and lunges, I like a mixture of strength and endurance is perfect for anyone including runners to build the two muscle fiber types in our body which are type 1 for long distance running and type 2 which is for short very intense burst of energy for the last stretch of a race or run.
Question 4: When planning your week what kind of food do you normally include in your diet to build muscle?
I include a lot of protein spread out throughout my day combined with a mixture of carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potato. I usually eat the majority of my carbohydrates an hour or so before I workout to have fuel for my workout and then immediately after to replenish my glycogen storages and allow those carbohydrates to immediately start working to build muscle with he protein I’m consuming.
Question 5: What is the biggest challenge you face while running and how do you overcome it?
The biggest thing I face is staying focused when I run. I like to watch motivational videos and or listen to very upbeat music that will force me to keep up with the intensity of the music.
Question 6: How does your military training apply to your everyday day life now?
I am a very regimented person and my life has a lot of structure to it. The military instilled a form of discipline into me that I never imagined. It helped me prioritize what is important and what is trying to hold me back. I am also able to work very efficiently of little sleep and I always remember how bad I have had it and that usually keeps me very motivated.
Question 7: What piece of advice would you give to someone new to working out?
Tune out the people trying to hold you back and have fun. You’re in the gym to make a very drastic change in your life and if you are not having fun, you will burn out very fast. And most importantly, trust the process. It is going to be a long road but a very rewarding one.