Zach Hertzel has the type of schedule that can wipe out anybody.
He’s a KU student majoring in exercise science, an Army reservist, personal trainer at Maximus Fitness and Wellness, 2339 S. Iowa, and an occasional fitness model.
It’s a combination of activities that result in client training and class instruction early in the morning and from happy hour on, with time for school, reservist training and a social life stuffed somewhere in the middle.
So, when he works out, he likes to be as efficient as possible.
And circuit training is efficiency at its best, he says. It burns calories by combining resistance training moves in such a way that you get a cardio workout at the same time. A must, he says, for someone looking to lose weight.
“In a perfect world, you want to do both at the same time,” he says of cardio and resistance training. “And so circuit training is pretty much the best for that because you’re going to get your heart rate up by going from exercise to exercise to exercise and also create muscle fatigue.”
Hertzel’s fitness knowledge has come a long way from his days as a wrestling and football standout at Lawrence High School.
“I actually almost failed out of high school weights,” he says, laughing. “I had the most horrible technique lifting weights in high school. It just kind of clicked as I got older and more into it. I never expected it, it just kind of opened up, and I tended to be pretty good at it.”
After graduating, Hertzel went into the service and wound up a combat medic in Baghdad. While there, he helped others get or stay in shape.
“I was in charge of all the people who were overweight within my company,” he says. “I was in charge of building diet plans and giving them workout routines.”
He returned home in 2010 as a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and enrolled in KU, deciding on an exercise science degree he could later use to help him get into a military physician’s assistant program.
Soon after getting home, he walked into Maximus looking for a gym membership. He walked out with a job.
A year later and he manages eight personal trainers as the gym’s master trainer, in addition to working with his own clients and teaching fitness classes at the gym. He says he loves every minute of his job, especially the ones he shares with people who really need a change in life.
“You have a deep connection with somebody, especially if they have a large success with you,” he says. “They help you change your life. and you change theirs.”
Start in a plank position with your body weight resting on your forearms and toes. Keep your stomach tight and don’t let your body sag or lift above parallel. Push up with one arm to raise yourself up and then follow with the second arm until you’re in a plank position with stiff arms. Lower yourself back onto your forearms one arm at a time. Repeat 10 times and move on to the next exercise.
Lie on your side with your top leg straight and your bottom leg bent behind you for balance. Take your bottom arm and cross it so that your hand rests on your opposite shoulder with your arm resting bent across your body. Next, place your top arm so that your palm is down on the floor, in front of your body. You hand should be as close to your body as possible. Once you’re set, use the top arm to press against the floor and lift yourself up until your arm is locked and supporting your weight. Lower back down. Repeat. Do 10 on each side before moving to the next exercise.
Start on by lying on your back. Place your hands under your rear-end to support your tailbone and raise both legs at an angle to the floor. Keeping your legs straight, your toes pointed and your abs engaged, flutter (scissors kick) your feet. Do 15 seconds on the first pass and then start the circuit at the push-up ladder. For every circuit, add 15 seconds on to your kicks, so start with 15 and then move to 30, 45 and then 1 minute.