Pumping Iron: To Improve Heart Function

Over the last two weeks, we chatted about the body and how to get ready for a triathlon, whether it is your first or your 50th. Then we chatted about the mind. Today, I wanted to chat about strength training BUT in a different view. When we think about strength training, we think of lifting heavy s$%t. Right?​

Today, I wanted to share my FIRST Chapter of  “Rulon Rules: Strength Training & the Triathlete,” called “Pumping Iron: To Improve Heart Function.”

As triathletes, we tend to think that cardiovascular fitness is the way to improve heart function, and is one of the many reasons to do so. Research has shown that strength training also improves heart function.                                 

Some research has found that cardiac rehabilitation programs achieved some success, but, over the years, strength training has proven to be more of a success for all human beings.

In the article, “Strength Training for the Heart” by Cedric Bryant and James Peterson, the research stated how cardio exercise used to be the best way for cardiac rehabilitation programs to help their patients. Over time, rehabilitation programs started adding strength training. According to the article, strength training has been shown to raise HDL (good cholesterol), and to reduce the risk for a sudden heart attack. In addition it helps with decreasing musculoskeletal injuries by increasing the thickness and strength of bones, ligaments and tendons. In another research study that compared both strength training and endurance training versus just endurance training for congestive heart failure, it was found that having a combination of strength training and endurance training was superior than endurance training alone, as it improved “LV function, peak VO2 and strength parameters” for congestive heart failure patients (Delagardelle et al, 2002).

In another research study with Shaw (2006) the research talked about coronary artery disease (CAD) as a cause of death in South Africa and Western society, showing that obesity is one of the biggest factors for CAD. The research studied 28 men. There were two groups; one that did resistance training, and one that did not (control group). The study found “that resistance training significantly changed body mass, percentage of body fat, lean mass and fat mass” (Shaw, 2006). How does this help the heart? Resistance training improved major body composition, and helped decrease CAD risk.

As you can see, not only should triathletes commit to a strength training program to improve their heart function, everyone should be concentrating on strength training at least 2x a week for the heart, and to strengthen bones and connective tissues (i.e.  tendons and ligaments). Remember that the heart is a muscle; you are taking care of it when you are swimming, cycling, and running, and now you are taking care of it when you strength train.


Here is something FUN that I am doing. Interested in getting a copy of my “Rulon Rules: Strength Training & the Triathlete” book for FREE?!?! Click HERE or the book below and all you have to do is pay for shipping! YEP! That is is :)


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R.U.L.O.N. Methods of Goal Setting

If you have been following me for a while, you should know me by now. I am a HUGE goal setter. I believe I have been a goal setter my whole life. Let me break it down for you:

  • 7th Grade: I wanted to swim with dolphins and sea lions. ✅
  • 10th Grade: I wanted to go to college, to get the degree for Biology to work with marine mammals. ✅
  • 17 years old: I wanted to do an Ironman Triathlon by the time I was 30 yo. ✅
  • 17 years old: I wanted to do THAT Ironman Triathlon (Kona). ✅
  • 25 – 35 years old: Swim with Beluga Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions and Killer Whales. ✅
  • 40 years old: Get my Masters Degree in Kinesiology. ✅
  • 41: Start my own business, ✅

You get my point. As I was writing my book, “Life Lessons of an Ironman Triathlete,” I started thinking about how did I do all of this? I mean there are a TON of goal setting ideas and thoughts behind it all but I never really looked at them. Remember the SMART goals. BORING…

Now, let’s start thinking about YOUR goals. I would think by now, if you are on my blog then you have been thinking about doing a triathlon. Maybe an Ironman Triathlon even? Wait, let’s start with a sprint triathlon, then an Olympic distance triathlon, graduate to an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon and then we will tackle an Ironman Triathlon!

I want you to do something for me. I want you to take a piece of paper, draw a big circle. I want you to put that dream in that circle. Think about your dream or goal that you want to achieve. Is it BIG? Does it not seem possible? Does it scare you to go for it? Good, then you are on your way to becoming a champion!

Let me help you make this happen BUT remember, you are going to have to work hard at it! Let’s break down the R.U.L.O.N. Method of Goal Setting:

R – Remember your WHY of accomplishing this goal. What made you want to accomplish this goal? Why do you want to do it? Is it for yourself? Your family? Your inner self? Keep thinking about that why during the hardest times of achieving this goal because trust me, it will be hard at times.

Tip: This can be one of the HARDEST ones because a lot of people don’t know their why. If you need some motivation, head to my TEDx Talk, to learn about my Why. I had a couple of Why’s: My Grandpa and My Dad.

U – Being UNIQUE is good! Your goal may be completely impossible in someone eyes but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible for you. If you want something that bad, then YES, you can do it. If that dream is to dance on Broadway, then keep striving for that dream. Be Unique. Be You!

Tip: Growing up in Wisconsin, many people thought that dream to swim with dolphins and sea lions was pretty insane. There is NO ocean in WI. Do NOT let others fears scare you of being YOU! So, if you want to shave your legs for your swim or you want to run the Rock-n-Roll Marathon with a taco suit on (I must be hungry) then do it!

L – Learn EVERYTHING about this goal and this dream. I want you to be consumed by how you have to get to that dream. Live it. Love it. Learn about it.

Tip: Be consumed with what you want to learn! You want to build a car? Learn about it. Love it. Let it be your passion. You want to start a business? Figure it out. Read. Watch. Learn.

O – Your breath (Oxygen) allows you to wake up EVERY day to follow that dream. How amazing is that. Remember, it will take time and that is OK! Breath in and out every day, work hard and chase that dream.

Tip: Your oxygen has to be the BEST. You get to live the life you want too! Because you get to breath every single day. Make it worthwhile!

N- Focus on the NOW. While, I want you to “visualize” that dream, I need you to stay present in everyday life. What you do NOW, will help you to grab that dream of yours. Be patient because it does take time.

Tip: It will take time. I promise you that. Focus on what you can focus on now. Trust me. It will be worth the wait!

My R.U.L.O.N. Methods of Goal Setting has really taught me to be me. People get so consumed by their fears, by what others think, that they truly forget to take time for themselves.

Need to chat about your R.U.L.O.N. Goals? Click HERE for my calendar and let’s jump on a 15 minute phone call!



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Rulon Tri Tip | Week #6 | 2018

Here are your Rulon Tri Tips of the Day from Week #6!

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The last week of January, I went to Tempe, AZ for the Triathlon Business International Conference and learn quite a bit about the business side of triathlon. Actually, it triggered last weeks blog, “Top Five Lessons Learned in 2017.”

The conference started on Friday and we had the CEO of Ironman Triathlon, Andrew Messick and the CEO of USA Triathlon, Rocky Harris, chat with the group of movers and shakers in the triathlon world from a Pro Athlete, to coaches, race directors, retail shops and everyone in between.

It was announced that Ironman Triathlon and USA Triathlon are coming together to get more people in the sport of triathlon. The sport that I have grown to love. The announcement was this:

“The initiative is a strategic join effort between USA Triathlon and Ironman with an overarching goal to introduce 100,000 new participants to the sport of 2020. Time to Tri provides training and racing advice, motivational tools and other resources at its online hub,

WOW! This is truly amazing! Why? My goal as a triathlon coach, “To empower 10,000 athletes to get to the finish line with a smile.” Ironman and USA Triathlon had NO idea what my goal was…HA!

Here are my thoughts about this new platform:

  1. It has a #shitton of informaiton for newbie triathletes
  2. If you are NOT a newbie, still check it out. See #1
  3. Forward the link to your friends and family members, especially those that talk about wanting to try a triathlon.
  4. You can look for Races in your city!
  5. You can look for clubs in your city!
  6. You can look for coaches in your city!

It is so impressive the amount of work that they put in this website, I may be out of a job. :)

With that said, I fully support this 100% as the goal is to get more athletes into the sport. Did you know the #1 reason why people don’t do a triathlon is they don’t know how to swim! (Stay tuned San Antonio…pool triathlon coming your way…I promise!)

If Ironman Triathlon and USA Triathlon can come together to get more people in the sport, this will ONLY help the success of my goal, “To empower 10,000 athletes to get to the finish line with a smile.”

If you are a coach, club owner, or in retail, I highly recommend you taking the pledge: Why? It is ONLY going to help your business…

Interested in how to SAVE MO’ Time in your Triathlon Training? Grab my FREE PDF below TODAY!


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#RulonTriTip of the Day | Week #5

Week #5 out of 52 Weeks of your #RulonTriTip of the Day!

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