Local Athlete Series: Part 6

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Do you fast? If so, what kind of fast? 5-day? Intermittent? How long and how often? 
    No fasting for me.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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:
    -Monday-Rest day.
    -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.
  8. 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.
  9. How many rest/recovery days do you take per week?
  10. Athletes hate injuries. What do you do that helps you avoid getting hurt?
    Strength training to prevent injuries
  11. 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.
  12. Do you practice yoga? If so, what kind of yoga?
  13. 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.
  14. 3 books you wish everyone would read about fitness or health?
    1. Rebound 2. Unplugged 3. Shoe Dog
  15. What’s your favorite sports movie of all time?
     RAD. It’s a BMX movie from the 80’s.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. How often do you get your blood/urine/saliva work done?
    Not very often do I get blood or any work done or ever.
  19. 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.
  20. Who inspires you the most?
    My boss Peter Park. My sister. Best friends
  21. 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.
  22. Top 3 favorite health or fitness podcasts?
    Body of Knowledge, Velo News, How Stuff Works
  23. Favorite Santa Barbara trail for running and/or mountain biking?
    Cold Springs trail. Top to bottom.
  24. On average, how may hours do you sleep each night?
    6-7 hours
  25. 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.
  26. 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.



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