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Martial arts, cross-training, hockey - what's he doing wrong? Add to ...

Leo Johnson, coffee business executive

From his first front-kick snap and palm-heel strike, Leo Johnson, president of Kicking Horse Coffee Co. in Invermere, B.C., discovered a workout that stimulates his mind. For years he was right. But after the 42-year-old earned a black belt in karate, he added cross-training and became stronger than he was in his 20s, driving him to achieve yet another sash.

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My goal

"I'm pursuing a black belt in jiu-jitsu and judo. I'm green belt [intermediate level]now and give myself five years. I exercise to maintain fitness, I have no desire to lose weight."

My workout

"I've never done the traditional gym workout with sets and reps. The production plant we built has a multiuse dojo [a gym in which martial arts combinations and countertechnique is practised] where I exercise and my wife does yoga.

"I do CrossFit three times a week for an hour, which I started over a year ago. Tuesday nights, I teach karate to kids age 13 and up - I've done that for 20 years. Wednesday, I have hockey and play three 20-minute periods. Thursday, I do judo with my daughter - she's 10 years old and throws me all over the floor. Friday, I have hockey. And Sunday, I have jujitsu for two hours."

My lifestyle

"I'm looking for and buying coffee, or sourcing out new equipment, new packaging and ways to improve production."

As to forbidden foods, "I avoid sugar and processed flour, breads. I have eggs, or a yogurt and a banana, and two cappuccinos for breakfast. I only drink water after I train because it is too difficult to eat. Lunch is a bowl of soup, whatever we're serving in the café onsite; it could be a Moroccan vegetable to wild mushroom to broccoli, with a samosa. I eat fish, poultry, beef or tofu with salad and a variety of veggies for dinner."

My motivation

"I can't imagine not exercising. It helps deal with stress and every other aspect of your life. You're superstrong, you're superfit and you don't run out of energy."

My anthem

" Sandstorm by Darude."

My challenge

"Staying motivated with training."

The critique:

Eat a meal after workout

Trionne Moore, lead nutritionist for the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario, often hears reasons why says some athletes tell her they skip the post-workout meal because of lack of hunger, bland foods or discomfort. But Mr. Johnson's medium- to high-intensity workouts lasting 60 minutes or more demand recovery nutrition.

"Post-workout, Leo's body is still breaking down tissue to sustain the workout, and now his body is primed to rebuild everything - the anabolic process, so he needs to eat food to get strong. Otherwise he stays in a catabolic situation. And foods that might work for him are a handful of organic raw nuts, seeds and dried fruits, plain Greek yogurt with berries, a brown rice cake with almond butter or oatmeal with berries and a splash of cream."

Switch to coconut water

Additionally, Ms. Moore says drinks that offer electrolytes are best to replenish glycogen reserves lost during workouts as they boost fluid uptake.

"If Leo's sweating a lot, a natural sports drink such as pure coconut water has sugar, potassium and, if he adds a pinch of sea salt, he's got a better sports drink than water to stock the body up with fluids after [his] workout. He should feel less fatigue and better ability to push through workouts at a higher level in one to two weeks."

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