We had the good fortune of connecting with Krista Stryker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Krista, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Consistency and grit – the passion and perseverance to stick with something long enough to see progress.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Growing up, I thought the exercise gene had “skipped” me. I come from a fairly active family—my brother played college basketball, and my dad, who is currently seventy-one, has always been the most active person I know. On the other hand, I begrudgingly played basketball and soccer in junior high and high school, but preferred sitting and reading a good book over doing anything that required moving my body. On top of that, I was awkward, uncoordinated, and so weak I could barely even hang from a pull-up bar, let alone do an actual pull-up. So, it was a pretty unexpected turn when I decided to get my personal training certification in my early twenties after graduating college with no idea what to do with my life. I had managed to lose most of the freshman fifteen that I had gained in college, but a pull-up, handstand, or even a few solid push-ups with good form was still out of the question for me. I still equated all cardio with running, which I hated, and hadn’t ever heard of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Fast-forward to a couple of years later: I was working as a personal trainer in New York City near the East Village. I would get up at 5 a.m. to train clients, then be in the gym until 8 or 9 p.m. training the after-work crowd. On top of that, I was working out at least two hours a day on my own. I’d hop on the treadmill, head the weight room, then do even more cardio until my next client showed up. Or until I was so tired I thought I might collapse. During that time, I suffered constant, nagging injuries, and was so exhausted and overtrained I had no energy left to do anything else in the day. I had to eat so much to keep my energy up, I had trouble keeping lean. And I still couldn’t do a pull-up. It was after one of those injuries that I started experimenting with HIIT and bodyweight training. I was sick of spending so much of my day stuck in a gym and knew there had to be a more sustainable way to get—and stay—fit. My workouts went from two-plus hours a day to less than fifteen minutes most days. And as a natural result of the type of training I was doing, my equipment went from complicated machines at the gym to a few bars, a jump rope, and my own bodyweight. The results from those workouts shocked even me. Not only did I have more energy, have fewer injuries, and more time in my day, I also started getting leaner, stronger, and fitter than I’d ever been. Before long, I was busting out pull-ups, triceps dips, and other exercises I’d thought were previously impossible for someone who up until that point, had next to zero upper body strength. Since the workouts required so little space or equipment, I could do them in my tiny apartment, or head out to an outdoor fitness park with my jump rope and use the pull-up bar, all while getting some fresh air. Best of all, I had a lot more time on my hands—time to do the things that I really wanted to be doing with my day, including, yes, reading a good book. Soon after, I created 12 Minute Athlete to share the incredible benefits of HIIT and bodyweight training with the world. I recently released my first book, The 12-Minute Athlete, where I share my best tips on how you can get fitter, faster, and stronger using HIIT and your own bodyweight, no matter where you’re starting from.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love California – I’m originally from Washington State, so I never take the sun and the beach for granted. I’d recommend spending some time in Venice, then going up and down the California coast – Encinitas, San Diego, then up to Santa Barbara, Big Sur, and San Francisco if you have time. Even in Covid, there are so many beautiful and fun possible outdoor experiences.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Breaking the Chains Foundation is an amazing foundation using art as a way to unmask the stigma of individuals affected by eating disorders & negative body image.
Other: 12 Minute Athlete app on the iTunes Store and Google Play Store