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Bodybuilding.com Team Member Spotlight: Dru Kepple

This endurance athlete has begun the great weights adventure, although he still prefers an open road or trail. He’s outrun many goals and is still hungry for more!

Name: Dru Kepple
Email: dru.kepple@bodybuilding.com
Job Title: Clientside Engineer (CSE)
Date of Hire: July 2, 2012
Age: 39
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 189 pounds
BodySpace Account: drukepple
Athletic Background: Runner
Super Powers: Flight and invisibility
Random Fact: I was once onstage at a Blue Man Group show.
Fitness Declaration: "For my health and sanity and to inspire my children."

When exhaustion bangs against a competitive runner's chest, they ignore it and keep pushing. Dru Kepple powers through countless marathons and halves, trail races and street sprints. Bodybuilding.com recently added a new element to his training, introducing this recent hire to weight training and opening his eyes to the raw values of healthy nutrition.

Our company offers benefits for the fit-minded, like insurance, race fees, and supplements. But much of the benefit can't be put on a balance sheet. How can you put a dollar amount on an encouraging conversation, or a tip from an amateur bodybuilder in the cubicle across the way? We share our stories because we share a mission: to change lives.

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

I'm a clientside engineer (CSE for short), which means that I take designs for our site and build them as HTML pages that look exactly like the Photoshop designs. I've been at Bodybuilding.com for nine months now, and it's the best tech job I've ever had.

What was your workout/fitness/nutrition level before working at Bodybuilding.com?

I've been a runner for about eight years. So my fitness level wasn't too shabby, but I never lifted and my idea of eating healthy was simply avoiding junk food.

What sort of competitions do you enter to prove your athleticism?

I love entering running races and have gotten a start in triathlons this last year. I've run four marathons and, at the risk of sounding pretentious, more half-marathons than I can remember. I only compete against myself in races, but I have managed to place a few times. My favorite race is the 200-mile relay. You get 12 sweaty people in two vans for 24 hours, do a bunch of running, and have the time of your life. For some reason I've run my fastest times at 2 a.m.

Even though I don't run to compete, races provide the motivation to be ready for them. There's a day on your calendar that you've committed to running a certain distance. So be ready!

Do you feel competition makes you stronger, either as an athlete or as a person?

Absolutely. Last year I attempted to run a 5K in less than 20 minutes. I didn't make it, but the training leading up to it made me faster overall. It also required discipline and planning, which are useful skills even outside of training. I also find myself thinking things like, "This [particular problem] is really tough, but it's not as hard as a marathon. I can do this."

You use fitness as a method to raise funds for charity. What are the challenges and benefits of such efforts?

I'm glad you asked! I'm currently training for the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon with Team in Training, part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I'm trying to raise money by running, with the challenge of running a marathon in three-and-a-half hours or less.

The physical training is the easy part, even though I'm looking to shave off 10 percent of my previous best marathon time. The fundraising is the scary, unfamiliar, and challenging part. I started to feel that paying $100 to enter a marathon for purely myself wasn't enough anymore. I can use this physical ability for a greater good, and it makes me feel a little less self-absorbed when I'm running.

If you would like to help Dru raise money for cancer research, please visit his Team in Training webpage.

What is it like working at Bodybuilding.com? Does it create a helpful fitness environment?

It most certainly does. Bodybuilding.com pays for my gym membership, pays my race entry fees, and gives me extras days off for doing healthy things. I'm surrounded by other fitness-minded people. I have people to go to the gym with, which was really helpful when I was first starting, and there are lots of people around with whom to talk about running. There are supplements in the break room, and even when people bring in cookies or brownies, there's a sort of stigma in the air that discourages excessive consumption of such goodies.

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

I never thought I'd be in the gym lifting weights. Just having other people around explaining things was helpful. But even more than that, it was inspiring to see so many other "nerds" go through what I'm going through, learning how to lift, and doing something to challenge the sedentary worklife.

How do you balance your private goals with those of the company?

Flexibility is key. It's tough, because I have a fairly rigid marathon training schedule, and so if I need to get a 20-mile run in on a certain day, I need to carve out three hours or so to do it. Fortunately, those days can be Saturdays, and mid-week runs can be kept to an hour or so. But I've had to skip the gym a few times because of things happening at work, and I just have to roll with it and hopefully find time to make up the workout later.

How important is it for you to set a healthy example for your family?

It's pretty important. I try to minimize the amount of sugar and junk food my kids consume, and it's a lot easier to do that if I'm not eating it either.

One of the things that's fun about racing is having the kids there to cheer me on, and I hope that they see this as a normal way of living. My 7-year-old has already run a few 5Ks and has declared that he wants to train with me for the marathon. He hasn't followed through yet, though!

Are there any negatives to the company? If so, how would you change them?

My only complaint is that the company is so big and still growing! That's awesome in most respects, but there are people in my office space whose names I don't know. I once met someone at the gym and then saw them in the breakroom. It usually works the other way.

What are your co-workers like?

They're some of the smartest people I've ever worked with. I often feel like the dummy around here, trying to step up to their level. Everyone is also really nice, and I can't say that there's anyone who bugs me, as has been the case in previous jobs.

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

Probably more people than I could name. There are the transformation contest winners, my gym buddies who initiated me into weightlifting, and other runners and cyclists. It's hard to point to anyone in particular, but there are definitely people who have pushed me to step up my game.

Have you inspired others with your new look and attitude?

I'm not sure. There are several people who have started (or re-started) running, and while I don't think I can take the credit for that decision, a lot of people made a point to say something to me about it. I always try to be encouraging. I'll always run with other people if it helps them get into the habit.

What types of activities do you enjoy outside of work, outside the weight room?

Music is huge passion of mine. Before I was a programmer I played guitar and piano for a living, so even though I'm not playing very much these days, I'm a huge music geek and need to have music playing almost constantly. I still play piano a bit, and again I'm trying to inspire my kids to exercise their creative muscles and have them grow up in a house that has music. I love most kinds of music, from Beethoven to Nine Inch Nails to Johnny Cash to Led Zeppelin to They Might Be Giants to Dave Brubeck.

I also love to read, and sometimes I wish I could live in the library.

Hiking and camping are also excellent ways to spend time, and since moving to Idaho there's been no shortage of places to explore. I recently started to try my hand at rock climbing.

What is your favorite feature on the Bodybuilding.com website?

The mobile workout tracker, paired with a workout template. It makes it so much easier to track workouts that way. I flipped out when I first saw the exercise history in the tracker, because then I didn't have to remember what I did last time.

How does Bodybuilding.com help to motivate/support you, in fitness and life?

I just finished the Lee Labrada Lean Body trainer. It's been pretty amazing to have all of that information available to me. I just started the Jaime Eason trainer, and so far she's kicking my butt.

Have you participated in the Team Member Transformation Challenge? How did that experience affect your life?

Yes, I finished! The big thing it did was help me lose around 10 pounds, which is 10 pounds of useless weight I don't have to run with for 26.2 miles. It also helped me learn how deal with nutrition in a smarter way, and get me to the gym and/or out for a run every day of the week.

How does practicing the bodybuilding lifestyle improve the productivity of Bodybuilding.com?

A workout usually helps clear my head, and I can come back from a lunch-time workout feeling refreshed and ready to go for the next four hours.

Sometimes I leave for a workout with a particular problem stuck in my head, and I have a little revelation during the workout on how to solve it. Then I can't wait to get back to the office!

What are your future goals? Do you think working for Bodybuilding.com will help you reach them?

I want to continue to get faster as a runner. I'd love to be able to run a 5K in 18 minutes, a 10K in 40 minutes, a half marathon in 1:25, and a full marathon in 3:15, so that I can qualify for the Boston Marathon. I also want to push the distance and start doing ultra marathons. And I'd like to continue down the triathlon path, and eventually work up to a full Ironman distance event.

Routines and Regimens

Dru's Exercise Regimen ///

My regimen isn't very regimented. It's very fluid and revolves around races and other things going on in my life. This is just one example week. When I run, I favor Boise's Greenbelt, the nearby foothills trail system, and a canal bank by the Bodybuilding.com offices. Wherever I can avoid traffic!

Day 1: Running/Chest/Triceps
Day 2: Running/Back/Biceps/Yoga
Day 3: Running
Day 4: Running/Shoulders/Abs
Day 5: Triathlon Training
  • cardio cardio

    Light Cardio (Non-running)

    ½ hour
  • Swimming

    Swimming

    1/2-3/4 mile
Day 6: Running
  • Medium Run Medium Run

    Long Run

    12-20 miles, 8:00-9:00 pace, depending on goals
Day 7: Swimming

    Freestyle Intervals:

  • Swimming

    Swimming

    Warm-up: 4-8 lengths Cool-down: 4-8 length
  • Swimming

    Swimming

    4 sets of 4 lengths: 2.5 min: sprint/ rest; 4 sets of 3: 2 min; 4 sets of 2: 1:15 min; 4 sets of 1: 45 sec
  • Break: 2 lengths in 2 minutes between sets

  • Swimming

    Swimming

    Cool-down: 4-8 length

Nutrition ///
Meal 1: 8 a.m.
Meal 2: 10:30 a.m.
  • fruit

    Fruit

    1 serving

Meal 3: 1 p.m.
Meal 4: 3:30 p.m.
Meal 5: 6 p.m.
  • chicken

    Chicken Breast

    Palm sized portion

  • rice

    Rice

    Fist sized portion

  • Egg, Vegetable and Potato Burrito

    Egg, Vegetable and Potato Burrito

    Palm sized portion

Meal 6: 9 p.m.

Supplements ///

I save the Assault for race days. I'm not big on energy products as a way of life, but I've had good luck getting a boost before an important run. I tried the Assault before a tough race and set a PR. Now it's my secret weapon.

Morning
On Race Days

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Joedzilla

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Joedzilla

Amazing routine sir; my brother would like to make a triathlon and im gonna share this with him, he is starting, and we dont have any idea where to start in a sport like that (which i respect so much).

Cheers!

May 21, 2013 7:24am | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 176.37 lbs
  • bf: 17.0%
lmromeo

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lmromeo

this is awesome man keep putting in the hardwork!! very interesting training routine!! its put together quite well!! keep it up:)!!

May 21, 2013 5:44pm | report
 
ObeseCamelz

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ObeseCamelz

Day 3: Running

Note: Sometimes leg day is just a 20-mile run.

Ok sounds good. lol :P

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May 21, 2013 6:32pm | report
 
inguanzo

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inguanzo

Love the article, Dru you do inspire others, thanks for setting such amazing example!!!

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May 22, 2013 2:31am | report
 
hamms30

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hamms30

Dru, I've done the ultra relays as well. Great way to spend a day and half with friends!! So long as the windows in the van are down :-)

May 23, 2013 2:00pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 Comments

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