Interview: Julian, a Management Consultant

Julian_Management ConsultantJulian, I am excited to have you hear today and learn about how you approach fitness and career simultaneously. You have been a Management Consultant for several years now, so I believe that you perfectly fit into our target group of being a busy professional who wants to stay fit.

From what I know, fitness has always played an important part in your life. I am curious what you will share with us today. Let’s dive right into the interview.

What does staying fit and in shape mean to you?

Staying fit enables me to find the right balance to my busy work days. Keeping my body in shape gives me positive energy that allows me to perform better at work.

With a more future-looking perspective, by working out I also target to stay healthy and energized in the long term. I can only imagine how difficult it is to start from scratch which is why I just don’t want to stop working out in the first place.

What were your challenges to keep your fitness level while being busy at work?

To be honest, there are plenty of challenges I face. To keep it focused, I want to highlight three of them.

First, as a Management Consultant I was typically traveling to the client’s site every week. This included to stay in hotels for some days, which limited the access to a proper gym during the week.

Second, the long working hours tired my body and challenged my motivation to work out late at night. It seems logical that the activity level decreases when you can only work out after running a 12-15 hours work day.

Third, since I was not at home during the week, I also tried to spend the limited spare time I had at weekends with my friends. By doing that, my time to work out at the weekends was simply limited.

How did you manage to stay fit during all those years?

I definitely needed a lot of discipline to overcome phases of low motivation and laziness. Without my focused approach to fitness, I would have probably stopped right away. Thereby, a structured fitness plan with information on when to train which muscles helped me to stay fit. I also taught myself that there are no excuses not to train. I am convinced that there is always a possibility to train, even if it is late at night.

Did you also have times when your had to struggle to keep your motivation and your fitness level up?

Yes, of course. In particular during stressful and intensive projects it was very hard to keep my motivation level up.

In those phases, I have learned that the training helps me to clear my head and recharge my batteries. Thereby, the time of the day when I train is important to me. Personally, I have found out that I have less motivation in the evening after a long and stressful workday. Rather, I am more motivated to train in the morning (before breakfast) and start the day with an energized feeling.

You are now in your late 20s now. Is there something that has changed in your workout routine?

Yes, there is. Today I no longer focus on heavy weights and muscle building but more about an overall fitness. Getting this “feel good” feeling and staying healthy is a much bigger motivator to me compared to 10 years ago.

What part did nutrition play in your fitness routine?

Generally, I pay a lot of attention to my nutrition, especially during the week from Monday to Friday. In particular when working at different locations it can be a challenge to keep a healthy nutrition up and running. In these cases, it requires an extra level of discipline to not fall for the typically less good food in German canteens.

I strongly believe that the right nutrition has a major impact on training success. Feeding the right food to your body makes you feel much better and allows you to perform better at whatever sports you are doing.

What this means practically to me is that I eat a lot of fresh food and I also avoid eating fast food. However, on weekends I do allow “cheat meals” because I also think that you should not entirely give up a well-flavored dish. In those cases, I usually add an extra training session to compensate on the extra calories.

What would you recommend to people who struggle to be as active as you are?

My top advice is to make a structured training plan and follow it for a few weeks. This includes selecting on a training routine that suits the individual needs (timing, type of training, etc.).

In addition to that, people need to understand that there are no excuses not to work out as one can always find 30-60 minutes to be active. I am certain that after some time results will be seen.

Julian, thank you very much for your time.

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