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Chris Burke

  • Amateur Championship BMX cyclist
  • Professional BMX cyclist
  • BA, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • ACE Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Platinum Trainer for 11 years

My whole life has been about training...

...because I started riding BMX and competing when I was 8-years old. By the time I was 12, I was competing in state and national championships. So training and fitness, that’s who I am.”

My first gym experience was...

 ...lifting at Santa Barbara Gym and Fitness. I was 14, and all these huge body builders and power lifters took me under their wing, and over a few years I gained 20 pound of muscle. I could squat nearly 400 pounds and bench 280, and some of the guys kept pushing me to compete in lifting competitions. I never did, and I’ve since lost those 20 pounds, and I feel so much better. That kind of lifting is the exact opposite of what I teach my clients now, which is functional training - movements that you do in your everyday life. I’m not knocking it, it was a great education, but it’s not about health.

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BMX racing is an all-out sprint sport...

It’s about power and explosiveness, and so that’s how I trained starting when I was 8-years old. But when I retired from racing and started shadowing Peter Park at Platinum, he challenged me to learn about endurance training, not by reading books about it, but instead, he gave me a mountain and a road bike and took me along on his training rides. Back then, Peter was still a competitive endurance athlete, one of the best in the world; I’d never ridden more than 5 miles, so he dusted me. Over time, though, I transitioned from a power athlete to an endurance athlete, something I wasn’t even sure I could do. The value of that, as a trainer, has been huge, because until you know first-hand how it feels to push way past the hurt and fatigue, you can’t legitimately, empathetically train someone else to do it. And now I can.

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When Peter and Eric Goodman developed Foundation Training at Platinum...

 ...the gym changed a lot. And has changed a lot since. Right now I'm learning about the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) stuff and it's great. Platinum is always evolving thanks to the culture Peter creates there. It really is a think tank.

When it comes to movement...

...getting athletes to move more efficiently and effectively can extend their careers. And for the general public it means resiliency, confidence, and a better quality of life.

During a client's first session...

 ...I start by talking about their history, where they see themselves now, and where they would like to get to in six months, a year, five years. Do they want to try a marathon? Lose weight? Just get reasonably fit? Then I do an assessment based mostly on how they move. That usually tells me how – and at what pace - we’re going to proceed.

I have foundational methods for fueling myself...

 ...that I always stick to: almost no processed foods or sugar, alcohol in moderation, not too many carbs. But new studies come out constantly and as someone who gives people nutritional advice, it’s incumbent upon me to know what I’m talking about, so I make sure I stay current. And when there is something new that I think is worth trying, I experiment on myself first to see how it affects my health and performance before I pass it along to my clients.

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If you ask me what kind of client I train the answer is everyone...

...from pro athletes, elderly, disabled, 8-year old kids, large groups. Maybe the better question is, what do I focus on in my training? And the answer is longevity, whether that means in their sport or just in life. I think that about covers it.

(805) 403-5903

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