How did you get into your sport?
I’ve been a life long athlete. I became a serious runner in 6th grade, just 11 years old. I ran a 10K race at my school, with students ranging from 6th to 12th grade. Somehow, I won. That day, the Cross Country coach convinced my parents to start training with the varsity team. So I began training every day with 16 an 17 year olds. And I quickly became obsessed with running, winning a conference championship in high school and developing a high level of speed an endurance.
I was also a pretty good wrestler, which is the sport I credit with developing my coordination, strength and grit. Sports like running and wrestling really spoke to me because you have nobody to count on and nobody to blame but yourself. You control your own destiny. If you want to be great, you have to put in the work.
In college, I started as a runner, but eventually joined the football team instead, which is a rare move for most distance runners. I completely, changed my body, putting on about 50 lbs of muscle. This is where my hybrid athleticism started to truly develop, as my strength doubled and much of it has stuck with me, even as I got back into running.
After college, I found out Spartan race. Next thing I knew, I became a Spartan Pro team athlete. There was a very competitive pro circuit developing and I just found the combination of running, strength and toughness required made it an ideal fit for me. Over the course of a few years I had about 50 top 5 finishes at that sport and around 30 podium finishes. The sport was growing so fast that I began to see a future in it for my career.
The success I had racing allowed me to open my gym, Elevate, in 2014. What I didn’t’ count on was the time commitment required to run a business. So for a few years I scaled back my training and took a step back from competing. I started broadcasting races instead, covering Spartan race for ESPN, NBC, YouTube. I became a voice to help grow it.
At the time I was was racing on and off, but also focused on my athletes. I wasn’t fully committed to what it took to be at the top of the sport, but I was beginning to find my legs again, running some marathons, ultramarathons and trail races and setting my goals to new and different events.
At the start of 2021 I got a phone call from Hunter Mcintire, the Hyrox World Champion, who mentioned the Hyrox Invitational in Dallas. Hunter and I have raced together for many years and after some persuading, I was able to convince the race organizers to let me compete. I spend months training exclusively for this event. I was in great running shape. I had just ran a 50 miler, but I needed to dial in other aspects of my fitness. The race was fairly loaded for my first event. Had CrossFitters like Ellijah Mohammed, Spartan World Champion Robert Kilian, and 3x Hyrox World Champion Podium finisher Alexander Roncevic competed, amongst a variety of other athletes. I took 2nd place among that day, only trailing Hunter himself.
Since then, Hyrox,has become the event I’ve been most focused on, as well as a few other fitness races. I won Hyrox Orlando and Hyrox Dallas, finished 2nd at Hyrox London and took 5th at the Hyrox World Champoinships in Leipzig in 2021. I won the Hyrox Dallas race just 13 days after running the New York City marathon in a time of 2:37:41. Quite a different fitness requirement for those two events, but I was incredibly pleased to be able to compete in both worlds.
Despite suffering a stress fracture in my shin just before the London Hyrox race, which prevented me from qualifying for the Elite Championship, I decided to race at the Hyrox World Championships in Las Vegas. I ended up winning the Pro wave, finishing as one of only two men to break 1 hour that day and only the third man ever to finish under 60 minutes on U.S. soil.
After some time off to recover, I began competing again recently, this time in the Deka Arena. Deka is a series of 3 races, each one slightly different, offering 3 different types of athletes a shot at a world title.
2022 Deka World Championships went incredibly well for me. After qualifying at the West Palm Beach event, I went on to finish 4th in the World in the DekaFit 5K, 5th in the Deka Strong event, 3rd in the Deka Mile and 1st in the DekaFit Doubles race, an event my Teammate Mark Gaudet and I already held the world record in.
Recently I also won Hyrox New York City, where I brought 20 athletes that I coach with me. That race qualified me to race at the Hyrox North American Championship, which I won, defeating the top 3 finishers from the European Championship in the process and providing me with an automatic qualifying spot to World Championships at the end of May.
After Hyrox World Champs, the plan is to pivot my training to focus on the Berlin marathon in September 2023, with the goal of 2h30m, which is 5:42 per mile.
I’m grateful that Unbroken has really given me an edge in my training and ability to recover from my hard workouts. It has been my secret weapon to allow me to really climb the ranks this year.
I am 36 now. The beauty of endurance sports is you can continue to get better year after year. But you also become a bit more fragile so need to be cautious with how you train, how you sleep, what you put in your body and how you recover. Despite getting older, I have continued to set personal bests and records over these last few years.
Every year, there´s a moment that I think, “Is this the last year?” Doubt can sometimes creep in. But I always remind myself, “No. You still have it. You can get back.” That´s the really cool thing, whenever you start to doubt yourself, you keep on grinding, you keep on working and the body continues to respond. I am still getting better. Injury can lead to doubt. If you keep your goals front and center, train with purpose, and focus on the little thing, you can continue to have amazing results.
I am not 25 anymore and cannot recover like I used to after big workouts. I need every advantage I can get. When I take Unbroken, what I’ve noticed is my legs are not as drained, I am not nearly as sore and exhausted. Usually after training outside in the heat, I would struggle to get through my workday. Now I take 2 tablets after a workout, and 30 minutes later I feel fresh. My brain is working– especially after a hot day. I am not as worried to train as hard because I know I won´t be completely depleted… I feel great after and ready for my next one. The thing I challenge people with all the tim is, if they don´t want to spend $2 a serving… what would you feel to pay to feel really good tomorrow? Would you spend $100 on a massage? This stuff is so worth it. I don’t want to make compromises when it comes to my body.
Tell me about your overall health routine, exercise, nutrition, sleep?
I train in the morning and a huge believer that you need the right things in your body as soon as you wake up. I immediately have my coffee and my green juice. But I don´t want to have too much in my stomach before working out right away. I take my 2 Unbroken tablets as soon as I finish.
Breakfast: overnight oats with fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, honey.
Lunchtime: A big salad, lots of chicken.
Dinners: protein, meat, starch like sweet potato or rice. I am not totally strict. The body wants what it wants. If you enjoy healthy food, the diet will work itself out. But you need to feel like it’s ok to eat some ice cream every once in a while. Don´ evert get rid of ice cream.
I am a huge believer in the importance of sleep and recovery. An off day is not necessarily a day of rest. I can be on the bike, the rower, with lower intensity. On your off day, you need to move or you’ll feel sluggish the next day. I also recommend working on mobility, particularly your hips because people neglect these key things. It’s all about the little things.
I was having issues with sleep with our newborn where we needed to feed her every hour initially and this is when I got injured. I really try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. It’s such an important element in terms of your recovery and how your motivation is during the day. Sleep is a huge factor on how excited you are to jump out of bed and start you workout the next morning. On all my hard days, I take 2 Unbroken tablets before bed the night before.
One thing I noticed is that my resting HR is much lower when I have Unbroken before going to sleep, which is huge for allowing your central nervous system to relax.
When did you hear about Unbroken?
It’s funny. I saw a post about Roman or that Roman did about Unbroken. I saw it and I just needed to learn more I was reading about the benefits. This looks exactly like the product I am looking for. I was also interested to hear about the scientific approach and why this product is so different from all others. You have these aminos that are too big to absorb. And that you break this down, you just absorb it right away. With protein powder, you can´t absorb it fast enough. I was stunned by the science. I looked at it and saw that very few people I know use it. Unbroken sent me samples and I saw results immediately: energy, recovery and improvement. It allowed me to push myself to extremes without paying the price the next day, which was really exciting.
How do you take Unbroken?
I take 2 after my big morning effort and then again if I have a big workout in the afternoon. It also forces me to drink a liter of water each time I take it, which is a huge plus.
How do you find the taste?
I like the taste. My wife is waiting for the mango flavor to come out. This one is more of a grapefruit than an orange taste. I wouldn´t call it tart, but I wouldn´t call it sweet.
What benefits do you have from taking Unbroken?
You sleep better. You drink more water. And you just feel better. I’ve started sharing it with some of my athletes and “obsessed” is a word some of them are using. I just love the stuff.