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Fitness on the Fly: Meet Our Expert

A new MensFitness.com video series with the most up-to-date training advice hosted by industry powerhouse Joe Dowdell.

Q & A with Joe Dowdell

How long have you been working in the fitness industry? And what are your credentials?

I have been in the fitness industry for 18+ years. And, I’ve owned Peak Performance for the past 15 years. I have over 11 different fitness certifications and sit on the science advisory board for four different health and fitness publications.

What have been some of your stand out success stories or projects?

The first one is the fact that I started my business inside a 400 square foot section of my live/work studio in the Union Square area of NYC. Currently, my facility is located in the Flatiron area of NYC and it is a 10,000 square foot private training facility with approximately 55 trainers. I’ve now grown my brand into one of the most recognizable training brands in the industry.

The second accomplishment was putting out my book, Ultimate You (Rodale Press). My co-author, Dr. Brooke Kalanick, and I basically put together what many people refer to as a fat loss bible for women. We covered everything from the underlying physiology of fat loss (i.e., hormone optimization) to proper nutritional and training guidelines for fat loss. The book is extremely thorough, with no gimmicks, backed by hardcore science as well as real world results.

I also had the opportunity to work on 50 Cent’s soon to be released fitness book, Formula 50. I designed the entire strength & conditioning program for it and Dr. Layne Norton did the nutrition part. It should be a huge seller! During the photo shoot for the book, I shot a very cool Q & A video with 50 Cent, which will be part of the book promotion as well as for other aspects of the book. That was a very cool experience!

Finally, on the client side, I’ve worked with a laundry list of high profile clients over the course of my career, but one of the most interesting situations was a woman who was working on Wall Street (at Goldman Sachs). She decided she wanted to quit her job and train for the Beijing Olympics in order to compete in Windsurfing event. During our 6 months training together at Peak, her body fat dropped from 25% to 14%, her sustainable heart rate (≈ 85% of max effort) increased to 175 BPM for 45 minutes (the target length of one race) and her strength and endurance allowed her to train for 6 hours on the water (she could barely handle 15 minutes when we first started). After those 6 months, she had to leave for all of her water based training but I continued to design her strength training programs. She ended up winning the Turkish National Championships and eventually went on to compete at the Beijing Olympics which was a lifelong goal for her. Needless to say, I was totally pumped for her!

What do you strive to achieve through hosting “Fitness on the Fly”?

I think the most important thing about hosting “Fitness on the Fly” is the fact that I will hopefully be able to give the Men’s Fitness viewership some interesting ideas and perspectives about various training topics. Sometimes people think that things are very black and white when it comes to training, and the truth is, there is a lot of gray area as well. The bottom line is that I hope to get people thinking about ways to train smarter no matter what their goal happens to be.

What do you love most about your career and the industry you work in?

I love the fact that I make my living helping others look and feel better and that I look forward to going to work every day.

Who are some of your favorite athletes or fitness icons?

A5: I’d have to say that MMA fighters are probably my favorite athletes. Not only do they go through some of the most rigorous physical training schedules of any athlete but the mental toughness that it takes to get inside a cage is super impressive to me. That being said, I appreciate athleticism in general.

Stay tuned for the launch of Fitness on the Fly every Friday afternoon starting August 3rd, 2012.

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