Kyle is one of our morning members. He trains three days a week at 6 in the morning, consistently shows up to the gym, and inspires those around him. These past couple of weeks, I watched him grind through 2 really hard reps on a set of 5 in the press only to come in the next week and make all 3 sets of 5 look easy.
Like most people who start barbell training, Kyle was previously doing cardio workouts but since he started training at Chicago Strength & Conditioning, he has found that strength has carried over to all of life’s activities, including boxing and Muay Thai.
Kyle always makes it to the gym and grinds it out and his consistent improvement is fun to watch. Congratulations to Kyle for earning the title of Chicago Strength & Conditioning February Athlete of the Month!
Please share a little about yourself such as your profession, family, age, and background:
I am a 45. My wife’s name is Nicole and we have three daughters, Ashley is 8 and Alana and Alyssa are five-year old twins.
I am the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Exelon in Chicago, which is a Fortune 100 company that owns 6 utilities in six states and is one of the largest power generators in the United States. I am responsible for all of the mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and strategic transactions for the company.
What was your exercise history before Chicago S&C?
For the last three years, I did mostly boxing and Muay Thai, with a little weightlifting (but no barbells). I was a competitive swimmer growing up and have mostly exercised throughout my life by swimming, biking, and running.
How did you find out about Chicago S&C and what was the catalyst to get you to contact us and come in on your first day?
I started working out one-on-one with Dave, who I had met through a mutual friend of ours, in July 2016. At the time, I was boxing or doing Muay Thai about 4-5 days per week and was looking to get stronger.
What are your current personal bests for all of the lifts?
- Squat: 146x5x5, 154x1x4
- Bench: 101x5x3, 110x1x3
- Deadlift: 177×5, 180×1
- Press: 53.5x5x5
What is your favorite lift and why?
Squat. I like that it involves so many muscle groups in one exercise.
How long after starting at Chicago S&C before you noticed a difference and how has barbell training made a difference in your life?
I noticed a difference immediately. Barbell training has definitely had an impact on my other activities from a strength perspective. I do better at boxing, Muay Thai, golf, and just in everyday activities.
I have had to increase my clothing budget as I have been growing out of my suits due to new muscles popping up.
How is strength training different than what you did before for exercise?
I have seen significantly more results in the last 6 months with regard to strength and muscle gain than in previous years when I was doing just a little weightlifting and more cardio. The Starting Strength program is much more effective than what I was doing on my own before.
What would you say to someone who is unsure about starting a barbell strength training program? How would you convince a friend to get started with barbell training?
The most important thing is to give it a try. Some people may have misperceptions about barbell training or be intimidated by it. Starting at manageable weights and using the linear progression approach helps overcome that. I would also emphasize the amount of carryover that strength training has to a person’s other activities, whether it be other sports or just everyday activities.