Two of Phil Duncan’s hobbies are traveling and eating pizza. These things happen to go really well together. For proof, just check out his Instagram account where he showcases photos of the incredible places around the world where he’s enjoyed a slice or sometimes even a whole pie. What’s really interesting, though, is that Phil is also really, really fit. That could be thanks to a third hobby: Working out.
You see, he strives to exercise hard enough to offset the carbs and calories of his twice-a-week pizza. So instead of feeling guilty while he’s eating a slice in New York City or an entire 18” Costco pizza (which he does once a week), he can truly take pleasure in the experience.
Still, we wanted to know: What do those pizza-offsetting workouts look like, exactly? And how does he manage to exercise when he’s in Costa Rica—or Budapest? Phil answered all in our Q&A with him below.
Men's Fitness: What is your workout routine like?
Phil Duncan: I work out pretty much every day, whether I am travelling or if I am at home. At home, I'll go the gym in the morning and do an hour or so of lifting weights. I probably run around three times a week and play soccer a couple of times a week. I find running at night more enjoyable in a city, when the roads are a lot quieter and you can really just zone out and reflect on the day. I use my runs as a type of meditation and depending on if I need to think about things going on in my life, or if I just want to zone out, I'll listen to a podcast or some music.
Whilst travelling, its a lot more difficult to keep to a routine, as your days are normally all over the place, you're tired, and don't have access to a gym. Most of my workouts whilst travelling will be cardio or a short hotel or airport high intensity workout using body weight exercises like a variety of different pushups, dips, squats etc.
MF: How do you manage to fit in exercise with all of your travel?
PD: It’s easy for me as I really enjoy exercise and I look forward to it. Most of the time I won't have access to a gym, so my main source of working out will be running. I love to run in new cities or places. I found that its one of the best ways to see a city and take it all the sounds and smells of a new place. Whilst in Singapore a couple of years ago, I would wake up around 5am just as the sun was rising when it wasn't too hot and go for a long run around the beautiful marina before the mass amounts of people came out to start their day. It's one of my favorite memories of my time in Singapore.
It’s important to always try and be as active as possible. Rather than take taxi's everywhere, I'd much prefer to walk.
MF: How do you stay in such great shape and eat so much pizza?
PD: I earn my pizza. I make sure that I have worked out hard enough that day to really, really enjoy the pizza. The day after I have eaten pizza or other unhealthy foods, it gives me more motivation to push myself further and really get the most out of my workouts.
MF: What’s your diet like in general? How often/much pizza are you REALLY eating?
PD: Firstly, I am fully aware of my goals. I take pride in my appearance and I want to maintain a strong, healthy body. I am comfortable knowing that I won't have a physique capable of entering body building competitions. I set my goals for what makes me the most happy and I try to eat what I want without ever feeling guilty or anxious. Being stressed about enjoying a slice of pizza, is not being happy or living an enjoyable life.
However, I do love healthier foods as well as pizza, so I do have a really good balance. One of the main aspects of travel, which I love, is tasting new flavors and trying the local food. I wouldn't compromise having these experiences just to have a 6 pack. The more you travel to obscure places, you notice that the local food is generally pretty healthy, which is great.
As a teenager I would eat pizza probably five times a week. Now I'm probably eating pizza a couple of times a week on average with one of those being a big 18inch Costco pizza.
MF: Do you try to time your pizza eating for after workouts/long days traveling?
PD: No, I never worry about the timing of my eating. If I'm hungry then I will eat.
MF: Anything else you want to tell Men’s Fitness readers?
PD: If you enjoy fitness, then it shouldn't be a chore. Combining fitness and travel is fun and always a challenge, but it's a great way to really test how much you want to workout. But you'll get to work out in some of the most amazing places in the world.