How does he manage to build a hamburger empire, be a parent to two children, spend time with family and friends and at the same time find time for his training? Is the secret in the hamburgers? Is it by the bite of a juicy burger that we find the answers we all look for?
I meet up with one of our most regularly returning clients to get answers on how he manages to get everything together in his fast-paced and active everyday life.
It’s a sunny and nice summer day when I meet Lennart. As always, I am greeted by a smile and a warm “Yo Bro!”. I ask him what is up and we talk a little. “Everything is just fine here! I come from the gym and have just finished my morning workout”, he says. I can spot a ready-made food box from his gym bag that he probably will eat after the workout now. It makes me smile, everything is in order with him. Disciplined and always prepared. “Awesome! What workout did you do?”, I ask. “Back and biceps”, he replies and adds that it is his favorite muscle groups to train right now.
I know Lennart and know a lot about him, his lifestyle, goals and what he has going on. He is married and has two wonderful children and currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden, but has his roots in Jakobstad, Finland. Lennart works as KAM (key account manager) at a large company in Sweden. He also runs two restaurants on the side. “I always have quite a lot of things going on”, he says and smiles. I laugh and say that I can imagine it when you run two restaurants “on the side”. It is motivating to see what you can do when you optimize your time and have that inner drive to follow your dreams. Fantastic!
Lennart, on the left, with two of his colleagues at Burger Village, Kokkola, which is one of the restaurants he runs.
To say the least, Lennart has some “iron in the fire”. As a Lennart’s coach and personal trainer, I have been able to take part in his lifestyle and have been talking a lot about diet and exercise with him. I have made the training and nutrition plans for Lennart and know that he has a good capacity finding time to get five workouts a week done at the gym. This is absolutely outstanding considering his usually fully booked schedule. It is interesting this drive he has and I ask him, once again, to tell me a bit more about his goals and why he is training. “I want to build a strong, good looking physique and develop. To feel good, to be healthy, energetic and alert is something that is has ofcourse a high priority too of why I exercise and focus on a good and healthy diet.”, he answers. As a parent of two children, it is a very strong “why” to focus on feeling good, being healthy, energetic and alert. He has his “whys” clear and it gives him a strong motivation and driving force to continue forward on the days that are heavier and he has no wind in the sails. I talk a lot about the importance of finding your “why” in my e-book “the little book for great results”. Lennart really understands the power of it.
Having a lot going on in their lives, jobs and everyday life is common for many. Running two companies at the same time when you work full time on another is perhaps not so common. How does he find time to exercise and put a great amount of focus on his health? I need to get answers and ask him these questions. “For me, it’s all about planning and discipline. You plan the food the day before when you know it will be a full schedule from morning to evening. It also saves me a lot of time not having to think about what and where to eat when I am prepared.”, he says. Lennart is clearly one of the clients who like to have structure and be prepared. Others like and work better when being more flexible. I really like how Lennart has found what works for him. We talk a little more about the diet and he mentions in the middle of the discussion “… being prepared with the diet also gives me energy and focus to be able to keep up at the level I need to be every day.” I keep the discussion going and ask him how he finds time to exercise. “I always try to work out as early in the day as possible, so that it actually happens and gets done. It may be early morning workouts before the work day begins or a workout during lunch. I feel like I have the endorphins and energy for the rest of the day if I train at these times”, he answers.
Many people go home after work, eat, pack the gym bag and then head to the gym to work out. It is so easy for them to end up there, at home on the couch, when they just were going to sit down for a little while to “rest a little” after dinner. This is a mistake that I see many do. I usually get clients started by packing the gym bag ready and bring it to work, get a meal in about 1.5-2h before they finish work and then directly aim the sight straight to the gym when they check out. It saves both time and the chance that the training really gets off increases significantly. You also often have time to train before the “gym rush” starts later in the evening when most people train. Getting into this routine has helped many. There is also always the solution to do as Lennart with training early in the morning or getting the workout done during a lunch break. The most important thing is that you get the workouts done, you have the energy needed to do them and feel that you do not need to stress unnecessarily to get it all together.
I really like burgers and Lennart is, in my eyes, the “hamburger king” with his two restaurants that have a great focus on hamburgers. I ask him to tell me a little more about his companies. “Burger Village is a social ‘burger’ place with gourmet burgers. The place and the vibe are a touch of our personality. The focus of the food is always on fresh ingredients and everything should be damn good!”, he says. “How do you think a good burger should be then?”, I ask curiously. “It should be smashed with a nice caramelized surface, with creamy hamburger bread and homemade “mayo” (mayonnaise). That’s so good!”, he replies. The silence settles as we both starts to think about that burger he just described.
He also tries to find time with the family around his jobs, businesses and all the hamburgers. That’s the first thing he answers when I ask what he does on days off. “Spending time with the family”, he says. It is so important letting neither job career, training or anything else take over important quality time with loved ones. They understand that you can have a lot to do and want to spend a lot of time on something you are passionate about, but you must prioritize time for family and friends. I can relate a lot to this and it’s nice to hear that Lennart also understands that this bit is so important to prioritize.
Before we start rounding up, I ask him if he wants to share some tips on how to succeed with diet and exercise. “I like to work with a good PT / Coach who knows what exactly I need, what program and what exercises suit me. I have been working with Robert for many years now and can say that I have no plans to change. If you want to get in shape, he is the man who will help you get the job done and fix it. It is also important to optimize your time. You find time to exercise and take care of your diet if you want. Being able to be flexible in your everyday life with both work and training is also important.”, he answers. “People will think that I stood with a gun aimed to your head and forcing you to say that”, I say and we laugh. It really warms my hearth to hear the words he tells me about the teamwork we have done and are doing together. I wish and hope that many personal trainers out there will have the opportunity to work with like-minded clients with both feet on the ground as Lennart. It is the teamwork we do together that creates the foundation for the great results he got.
I have one question that I feel really needs an answer before I end the conversation with Lennart. “I have an important question that I have to ask you. The most important of them all!”, I say. He looks a little nervous at me. “How many burgers a week do you eat?”, I ask. He laughs and thinks for a while. “There will probably be four burgers under ‘bulk’ when I want to gain some weight and build muscle mass and then once a week when I ‘cut’ and want to focus on fat burning”, he replies.
Lennart is a client I have had the honor of working with for many years now. We have had a close collaboration on both the training and diet side. He never uses time as an excuse for not exercising or doing other things to reach his goals and maintain good health. He, if anyone, has a lot going on all the time and yet he finds time to exercise at least five times a week. I can’t help but to be motivated by him and be proud of the great job he does!
If you are in or sometimes visiting Kokkola, Finland, I highly recommend a burger at Burger Village.