Lexington's Brendan Kelly, former Henry Clay football player and a contender to become the first American Ninja Warrior, knows how to stay in shape.
"I burn a lot of calories, I work out so much" said Kelly, who is 5-foot-9 and weighs 165 pounds. "I eat around 5,000 calories a day."
Kelly, 22, was one of hundreds who sought to be part of the extreme competition, which will end with the first American Ninja Warrior winning a $500,000 prize and eternal bragging rights.
The first round of the show, which featured an extreme obstacle course, found Kelly advancing to the regional finals.
Kelly, a fifth-year senior who's a track and football standout at University of the Cumberlands, plans to open an extreme fitness gym someday. He shares these fitness tips:
Create a regimen and be committed to it. As a college athlete, Kelly has "a very scheduled program, five days a week," but even when he isn't in training, he knows the importance of making fitness a scheduled part of his day.
Be accountable to someone or something. Kelly suggests joining an exercise group, getting a workout buddy or simply being accountable to someone. When's he's not training at school, for instance, he sends his coach a text after every workout.
Set goals and push yourself. Kelly's goal is "to be a national champion before I leave college." But, he said, people can set a goal that forces them out of their comfort zone, even if it's just adding distance to a run or weight during a workout.
Eat a healthful diet and stay away from soft drinks. Kelly is opposed to drinking soft drinks. The sugar is fattening and the caffeine can drain you, he said. He said that if most people cut sugary drinks out of their diets, they could lose 10 to 15 pounds.
Replenish your body after a workout. Kelly says chocolate milk is a great post-workout drink, with just the right amount of protein and a little bit of fat to rebuild muscle.
Have fun with your workout. Kelly prefers to exercise to the music of the band Linkin Park.
Even if you don't see gains right away, stick with it. Kelly said he has been blessed with a positive outlook but knows it takes patience and perseverance to attain goals, in and out of the gym. If you have a setback, he said, "there's no point in dwelling on it;" just keep moving, trying to improve.
Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com.