Bodybuilding.com Fit Employee Spotlight - Andrew Beck!

Congratulations Andrew Beck for being selected as Bodybuilding.com's Fit Employee of the Month. Find out how working at Bodybuilding.com inspires Andrew to train hardcore!


Vital Stats:

Andrew Beck Name: Andrew Beck
Email: Andrew.Beck@bodybuilding.com
Age: 26
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 180 lbs
BodySpace: AnaerobicAndrew


[ Q ] Tell us a little about yourself. What is your position at BB.com? How long have you worked here?

I'm in International Compliance (part of the FDA/FTC department) and I've been at BB.com for a little over a year now. I absolutely love my job; I'm responsible for ensuring that our 13,000+ products flow smoothly around the globe to the 160+ countries that we ship to.

I love working out and my biggest pursuit over the last few years has been triathlons. I've competed in 24 triathlons, 4 of which were Ironman 70.3s. Race distances I do range from around 12 miles taking about one hour to complete, to Ironman 70.3s which are 70.3 miles long (aptly named) and take me over 7 hours to complete.

I Love Working Out And My Biggest Pursuit Over The Last Few Years Has Been Triathlon
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I Love Working Out And My Biggest Pursuit Over
The Last Few Years Has Been Triathlons.


[ Q ] What was your workout/fitness/nutrition level before working at BB.com?

Although I've always strived to have a healthy lifestyle, I haven't exactly been playing with a full deck, so to speak. I've had cardiac issues for most of my life, culminating thus far with a heart procedure in 2007 to repair misfiring ventricular nodes. I have V-Tach and Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome, which are sort of the ugly cousins of Supraventricular Tachycardia.

What Is V-Tach?
Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach or VT) is a tachycardia, or fast heart rhythm, that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart. This is a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia because it may lead to ventricular fibrillation, asystole, and sudden death.

What Is Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome?
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) is a syndrome of pre-excitation of the ventricles of the heart due to an accessory pathway known as the bundle of Kent. This accessory pathway is an abnormal electrical communication from the atria to the ventricles. WPW is a type of atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia.

What Is Supraventricular Tachycardia?
Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is any tachycardic rhythm originating above the ventricular tissue. Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) is a rapid rhythm of the heart which involves an accessory pathway. This is in contrast to the potentially deadlier ventricular tachycardias, which are rapid rhythms that originate from the ventricles of the heart, that is, below the atrial tissue or atrioventricular (AV) node.

The procedure helped but didn't do much to permanently fix my misfiring heart and it did absolutely nothing to help increase my cardiac efficiency, which remains fairly poor. When my heart beats during exercise, it beats 40% faster and with 30% less blood volume per stroke than a regular healthy individual.

Working at BB.com has motivated more than ever to train within my boundaries to compete at the highest level my heart will allow. And to be mentally okay with that. I'm surrounded by inspiration both at work and by our site content.


[ Q ] What does your workout routine consist of now?

For the last three years, my workouts have been put together by one of the best endurance training companies in the country, Performance High. I lift, swim, bike and run most every day. Peak training weeks consist of around 16 hours of cardio plus strength training thrown into the mix:

    Monday: (1:40 hours of training)

    • Swim: 1 mile (1600 meters),
    • Level I,II, III Technique Drills
    • Bike: 18 miles, RPM training (95-110)
    • Breathing Focus: 10 minutes

    Tuesday: (1:05 hours of training)

    Wednesday: (2:00 hours of training)

    Thursday: (2:05 hours of training)

    • Bike: 40 miles
    • Breathing Focus: 10 minutes

    Friday: (0:00 hours of training) Rest day

    Saturday: (4:15 hours of training)

    • Bike: 40 miles Run: 3 miles
    • Weights: 35 minute full body split

    Sunday: (4:40 hours of training)

    • Bike: 58 miles
    • Swim: 1.2 miles (2000 meters)
    • Breathing Focus: 10 minutes


[ Q ] Lifting Schedule?

My lifting regimen takes a back seat to actual endurance hours as the season wears on, but it plays an integral part in early season base fitness building. Even then though, I'll only lift two days per week. Anything more than that, and I'll be too sore from pushing the iron to effectively swim, bike, or run.

I'm not breaking any records or setting any PRs in the gym these days, and I've watched my 1RM bench go from 245 lbs 4 years ago to... who even knows now. When I do lift, it's primarily full body splits and very core and proprioception centric. Think lots of core engagement, explosive plyometrics drills, and strength training mixed in with a huge dose of balancing exercises.

I Lift, Swim, Bike And Run Most Every Day
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I Lift, Swim, Bike And Run Most Every Day.

The idea is that I need to have a very strong core for triathlon - not big arms or a massive chest - to keep my form in check for 7 or more hours of high intensity racing. If your core buckles out at any time during a triathlon, you're in big trouble. The kind of trouble that creates injuries serious enough to force an early retirement from the season. So I keep reps high and poundage low, focusing on Type I and Type IIa muscles fibers. (A bodybuilder would focus on Type IIx and Type IIb fibers.) An average lifting session might look like this:

TERMS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW
Triset - Three exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.

Giant Set - Four or more exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.

    Triset:

    • Leg Raise: 3 sets of 30 reps (or 60 seconds)
    • Lunges: 3 sets of 30 reps (or 60 seconds)
    • Seated Rows: 3 sets of 30 reps (or 60 seconds)

    Triset:

    Giant Set:


[ Q ] What does your diet consist of now?

My diet is the best part about training - I basically eat everything in sight and gorge on carbohydrates throughout the season. It's basically the opposite of what a bodybuilder on a cutting diet would do. In order for my body to survive and recover from hours of cardio and strength training every day, it needs to be well nourished.

I'll burn 4,000-6,000 calories per day during the season, and upwards of 11,000 calories on the day of a big race. On race days, I eat 200-300 calories and consume 10 oz. of water every 20 minutes for over 7 hours. Even then, I'll wind up in a massive calorie deficit by the time I reach the finish line. My body literally cannot absorb calories fast enough to replace what I use.

The only way I can guarantee that my body is replacing that energy and working well towards my recovery is to slightly overshoot my expected calories needs per day. So funny enough, because I constantly eat more than my body needs so as to promote adequate recovery, I actually slowly gain weight throughout the 8 month season. I'm at the end of my season right now and I've done eight races so far, with one left to go, yet I've gained over 12 lbs.

Heavy endurance training actually isn't conducive to fat loss, if the goal is performance. Most people are surprised by that! One thing that I'm most excited about now that my season is almost over is that I can finally work on trimming down from 180 lbs back to 160-165 lbs. For now though, my body just can't afford to be in a calorie deficit or carbohydrate depleted state.

One Thing That I'm Most Excited About Now That My Season Is Almost Over Is That I Can Finally Work On Trimming Down From 180 Lbs Back To 160-165 Lbs
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One Thing That I'm Most Excited About Now That My Season Is
Almost Over Is That I Can Finally Work On Trimming Down From
180 Lbs Back To 160-165 Lbs.


[ Q ] What supplements have helped you reach your goals?


[ Q ] What is it like working at BB.com? Does it create a helpful fitness environment?

I love what this company stands for and for what it represents for so many people who have made huge changes in their lives by using our products and site features to help them along their journey. So many people here live fit lifestyles - it's easy to draw upon that energy and that of the success of so many of our customers to help fuel my own workouts.


[ Q ] How does the Bodybuilding.com environment influence your health, fitness and appearance goals?

Motivation to train comes to me every time I hit our landing page.


[ Q ] What are your co-workers like? Have I mentioned how much I love my job and this company?

I've never been surrounded by so many creative, fit people who are genuinely excited to come to work every day. Innovation and creativity are oozing from this place. Creative and technical genius abounds at BB.com.

Just look at our outstanding Development team who's built the world's premier fitness website primarily in house. Or our Customer Service team that continues to set higher and higher standards of service. Or our Content team that has been producing the highest quality aggregation of fitness articles and features for over a decade. I'm proud to be a part of it!

Motivation To Train Comes To Me Every Time I Hit Our Landing Page
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Motivation To Train Comes To Me Every Time I Hit Our Landing Page.


[ Q ] Did someone from Bodybuilding.com inspire you to reach your goals?

It's impossible not to be motivated or inspired by the hundreds of ber-fit people that I bump shoulders with every day. I couldn't possibly list how many people here at Bodybuilding.com inspire me, there are just far too many.


[ Q ] Have you inspired others with your fitness level and attitude?

I'd be honored if anybody ever found my training or attitude inspiring.


[ Q ] What is your favorite feature on the BB.com website?

I was a personal trainer and fitness writer for years before coming to BB.com, and I can honestly tell you that I've learned more about training and nutrition from our forums and articles than any other single source of fitness literature.

Once I even passed a test for one of my personal training certifications without once ever actually opening the textbooks. I credit that mostly to having already learned so much from BB.com's article content over the years. How can one not love the unbelievable free content on the website?


[ Q ] How does BB.com help to motivate/support you?

Bodybuilding.com truly cares about the personal support and motivation of its employees - the company pays for my gym membership and also pays me to read fitness and self help books. People are constantly sharing about their workouts and fitness successes with each other here.

I'd Be Honored If Anybody Ever Found My Training Or Attitude Inspiring
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I'd Be Honored If Anybody Ever Found My Training Or Attitude Inspiring.


[ Q ] Does practicing the bodybuilding lifestyle improve the productivity of Bodybuilding.com? If so, how?

Absolutely. Living a fit lifestyle promotes balance in your life, attention to the tiniest of details, discipline, and follow-through of your goals. Bodybuilding.com is blessed with employees who've carried over their work ethic from the gym into their professional roles.


[ Q ] What are your future goals? Do you think working for BB.com will help you reach them?

Working at BB.com has helped me reach my goals and motivate me in the many ways I've already mentioned, and will continue to do so. I want to stay healthy enough to always be able to line up for triathlon. Every race has been and will continue to be a sort of vindication for me, an exclamation mark on my ability to mentally and physically work past an obstacle that would prevent most sane people from even considering triathlon.

If I have the time between seasons next year I'd like to do a transformation and get down from 180 lbs to a race weight of 160 lbs, with a better body composition. Most of all though, I want to beat my heart and find my way to a podium finish.

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