Episode #1: Siphiwe Baleka
Selfishly, I have personally wanted to sit down with Siphiwe Baleka and pick his brain about his thoughts on performance and achieving optimal levels of life. I had the fortune of working with Siphiwe as he was preparing for FINA Masters Worlds in 2017. Siphiwe ended up taking four silver medals at worlds in what we would’ve categorized as an off meet. While we fell a little short of his ultimate goals in 2017, the journey was nothing short of spectacular and forever changed my thoughts about athlete performance training. I also picked up an amazing friend.
Today is an exciting day! Today you will hear our guest Sips Baleka discuss the five key ingredients to lifelong performance, and you might be surprised to find out what they are! Sips Baleka is an elite level masters swimmer, entrepreneur, fitness professional, and loves to dive deep into what allows a human to be his or her best!
However, the most beautiful part of his journey is how he took his experience as a long haul truck driver and is now altering the trajectory of truck driver health. Siphiwe quickly realized that long haul truck driving was wreaking havoc on his health. He gained 10% of his starting bodyweight within the first two months of his career. Siphiwe saw a problem and got to work on a solution. He has now developed a fitness and nutrition program, specifically for truck drivers. He even compiled his program into a book 4 Minute Fit: The Metabolism Accelerator for the Time Crunched, Desk-Bound, and Stressed Out.
Taken from www.siphiwebaleka.com:
“In July of 2008, with absolutely no experience or knowledge about driving a truck, Siphiwe enrolled in Prime’s Student Driver program and earned his commercial drivers license (CDL). Within the first two months of his driving career, Siphiwe’s weight increased from 140 lbs. to 155 lbs., an increase of 15 lbs. or 10.7% of his body weight. That’s when he had his “wake up” moment and realized he had to take responsibility for his health and wellness while out on the road or else he would end up a statistic. Nationally, 86% of America’s truck drivers are overweight, and 69% are obese.
While completing a three-year lease at Prime, Siphiwe tested every kind of fitness equipment, fitness program, and nutrition program to find out what worked and what didn’t work in the unique and challenging environment of long haul trucking. He soon realized that although there was a fitness and nutrition program for everyone in America, NONE of them were specifically designed for the long haul truck driver. Siphiwe, a graduate of Yale University and the first African American ever named to the First Team All-Ivy League Swim Team, decided he would create such a nutrition and fitness program.”
Siphiwe has lived such a remarkable story and he’s just getting started.