Professional BMX cyclist Chris Burke has 2 World Champion wins under his belt in the Amateur BMX Championships. Chris has also been a trainer at Platinum Fitness in Summerland for the past 12 years. A lover of all things bikes, he also participates in recreational and sometimes competitive endurance cycling events. Chris received his BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Q&A with Chris Burke
- What supplements do you take and why? When/how do you take them? (i.e., morning/night, with/without food) Supplements- whey protein. Ucan carbo mix for long bike rides. I think that’s it. I don’t take to many supplements.
- How would you characterize your diet? Keto, vegan, or vegetarian, Paleo, Mediterranean, restricted eating, or ‘I do my own damn thing?’ Elaborate, if needed.
I would say it’s closest to Paleo. I just try and eat as clean as I can and no processed foods. I eat carbs, meat everything that comes out of the ground and had a previous life before I ate it. I do eat a good amount of good fats though. Avocados, nuts, etc.
- Do you fast? If so, what kind of fast? 5-day? Intermittent? How long and how often?
No fasting for me.
- Do you drink coffee? If so, how much and what do you put in it? (Cream, half and half, butter, MCT oil, sugar or artificial sweetener?)
I drink coffee with unsweetened oat milk. I actually drink a lot more of Yerba Mate tea than coffee.
- Do you have a morning ritual? What do you do the first hour you are awake?
Work early- 5:30, 6 days a week so the mornings are all the same. Wake up. Slam a Yerba Mate and a coffee with oak milk. Then eat 3 eggs and some overnight oats, then off to work.
- Do you train on your own or with a coach/trainer?
I train with myself or other co-workers at the gym. I also ride with friends, and attend weekly group bike rides. I try and do the easy rides and gym work by myself usually.
- Describe your weekly training regimen. (Lift weights, run trails, track, cycle trails or road?) How often? How far/long?
This is the norm, give or take:
-Tuesday- Strength workout. Upper and lower body-usually 3-5 reps of some sort of leg and upper body exercise.
-Wednesday-Interval day-90-93% mas heart rate day. Do the same intervals every Wednesday. 8 minutes with my heart rate and power correlated. This day gives me a sense of how recovered I am from the weekend or how many intervals I am going to do during this time and intensity using power and heart rate. Anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes of intervals.
-Thursday-1-2 hours easy zone 1. 65-70% of max heart rate
-Friday-Upper body strength and postural positioning exercises. No legs.
-Saturday-Group road bike ride 2 hours of mixed intensity. I try and get in as much time as I can above 90% hour in this day. Usually 30 mins to 1 hour above 90%.
-Sunday- 2.5-3.5 hour mountain bike ride. Easy uphill efforts usually with some good downhill runs down the mountain.
- What do you do for recovery after training? Stretch, roll/smash, ice, cryo, compression, eat a glazed donut with those little pink sprinkles? Nothing?
Eat and try and sleep as much as possible. Monitor my fatigue levels with my Wednesday workout. That’s about it.
- How many rest/recovery days do you take per week?
- Athletes hate injuries. What do you do that helps you avoid getting hurt?
Strength training to prevent injuries
- Do you meditate? If so, do you attend classes, use an app like Headspace?
Sometimes I use headspace to meditate. Need to do it more.
- Do you practice yoga? If so, what kind of yoga?
- Do you have a nighttime shut-down routine? If so, what’s that look like?
Try and turn the lights off and hour before bed and watch some mindless television show.
- 3 books you wish everyone would read about fitness or health?
1. Rebound 2. Unplugged 3. Shoe Dog
- What’s your favorite sports movie of all time?
RAD. It’s a BMX movie from the 80’s.
- Health/fitness advice you wish someone had given you when you were 21 years old?
Eat more fat and train the frontal and transverse planes of motion.
- Do you wear a heart rate monitor during cardio exercise? If you don’t, why?
I do wear a monitor when on the road bike. Not on the mountain bike because it moves and is more annoying than beneficial for me
- How often do you get your blood/urine/saliva work done?
Not very often do I get blood or any work done or ever.
- What’s still on your bucket list of fitness goals?
Do the Park City point to point in under 8 hours. Race the Leadville 100 mountain bike race.
- Who inspires you the most?
My boss Peter Park. My sister. Best friends
- In the world of sports and fitness, who is your hero, guru, or mentor?
Peter Park, Ron Hruska, Stephen Seiler. Just to name a few.
- Top 3 favorite health or fitness podcasts?
Body of Knowledge, Velo News, How Stuff Works
- Favorite Santa Barbara trail for running and/or mountain biking?
Cold Springs trail. Top to bottom.
- On average, how may hours do you sleep each night?
- Who’s your favorite fictional superhero and why?
Bruce Wayne. Because he can become Batman when he wants but take it back down to civilian life as well through his alter ego.
- You compete. Or used to. What drives you? Or drove you back in the day? If “Because I love it and I’m good at it” is your answer, great! But if there’s more to it, and you’re willing to divulge, we’d love to know.
Drives me. I guess it is just to get the best out of myself or push myself to the limits. See how far or how good I can get at something. I just love to compete and better myself and push the limits of what I am capable of.