Indoor Ironman: Tips and Tricks

The Indoor Ironman is one of our most popular events of the year. Hundreds of participants sign up each year with the goal of getting there long sleeve T-shirt and talking home the glory of being a indoor ironman finisher. However, every year most of the participants drop out or don’t finish before the month is over. Some don’t like swimming, some don’t like running on treadmills, and others find the bikes to be boring.  However, there are ways around each of the events to make it easier on you the participants. These tips could be the difference between you finishing, or coming up just a little short.

The Swim:

Swimming is the event that usually knocks people out before they start. These don’t want to swim and aren’t very good at it. Others still attempt it but fins it quite difficult. There are ways, however to make it much easier. First, use fins and a kickboard. During the month, you are able to borrow fins and kickboards from the pool to use to assist you. This is a big help for those who don’t like to swim or don’t know how. Also, if you want an easier way to finish this leg, you can attend the Aqua group fitness class on Tuesday nights and earn yourself 10 laps! These two things can make possibly the hardest event much easier.

The Bike:

112 MILES?!? IS THAT A JOKE?!? Sadly no it is not. That large number seems like an impossible one when you first start completing your miles. Lots of people just sit on a stationary bike and crank out miles for what seems like forever. However, there is a way to get your miles, and have a little fun in the process. The group cycling classes that are taught in the University Fitness Center are a blast! Plus, the new bikes in the studio give you an exact readout of your miles. Being entertained and constantly changing positions can be a huge help while doing this one hour class.

The Run:

The run is difficult for a lot of people because treadmills can be boring. Staring at a wall for 5 hours as you crank out miles doesn’t appeal to a lot of people. So how can you do this event with hitting the treadmill? First, Elliptical and the new cross training machines also count towards your running miles. This can give you a little variety as you go through this leg. Also, the indoor track can also count towards your miles. That way you don’t have to feel like your running in place for a long time. These things are the best way to make the running leg a little less boring.

General Tip:

Don’t wait until the last second on your miles! Having to scramble and bike 40 miles and run 6 miles in one day is not the best way to complete this challenge….Trust me.. I have done it. Make a plan and stick to it as best you can. It will help you a lot in the long run

Overall Indoor Ironman is a blast and is a great way to stay motivated. If you plan it right and follow my little tips. You will be an official indoor ironman finisher!

Stay happy and healthy

Kevin Nelsen

Staying Motivated

Spring break is over and we all know what that means. Time to come back to school, write papers, do class projects, and get ready for finals and the summer. Working out and fitness just gets put on the back burner while all the other stresses take over your life. We have been seeing big declines in gym and group fitness class attendance ever since you all came back from break. We don’t blame you, this time of the year is tough but it is important to stay motivated on both your school work and yourself.

You may be asking yourself, “Ya but how am I going to do that?” Welp that is what we are here for! We have tons of awesome things going on that can help you stay motivated on yourself, which in turn will help you stay motivated on your studies as we approach the end of the semester.

The first tip I can give you is get back into a routine. Spring break messes up the groove you might have been in before you left and nw you just don’t feel like getting back into that groove. However, it is important for you to hop right back into it immediately otherwise you might never will.

Another big thing that happens to students is that they get bored. They go to the gym, sit on a bike for 30 minutes, then leave. I would be really unmotivated to go workout to if that’s all I did every single day. We offer so many different programs and classes that you should never get bored so take advantage of them

A great way to stay motivated and add variety is through our group fitness classes. We offer tons of classes each day ranging from a mellow yet challenging Yoga class, to a high intensity, energetic class such as Total Exhaust. Another great thing about these classes is that some of them are as short as 15 minutes! Now time can’t be an excuse for you to not be motivated to workout. You can get an amazing workout in and still have time for all that homework.

During this final month we offer two programs called Indoor Ironman and ACIS challenge. Both these programs set workout goals for you to meet and have great prizes to motivate you to complete the whole challenge. I will post links at the end of this story so you can find out more about these challenges

I know it is tough at the end of the year to stay motivated. I myself have always had this problem and now that I am a senior it is worse than ever. However, it is important that you don’t give up on working out now. Working out can be a great way to clear your head, take a break, and refocus yourself when things seem overwhelming. If you can stay motivated now, you will help yourself out in the long run I can guarantee it!

Stay Happy and Healthy!

Kevin Nelsen

Indoor Ironman



Our Rules Explained

As a fitness supervisor for Warhawk Fitness, my job is to make sure that everyone is safe and is following all the rules of the gym. Whenever I approach someone who is wearing headphones or forgets to put back their weights, I always try to be polite as possible and let them know what the rules of our gym are. Some people just say ok and take them out, but a lot of the time I hear the response, “Why?” That is a valid question to ask don’t get me wrong, you deserve to know why we have the rules that we do.

I am writing this to lay everything out there for you so that you know why we are asking you to take out the headphones. I am going to talk about the 3 probably most asked about rules: Headphones, Cut-offs/Tank Tops, and putting weights back.


So, why no headphones in the strength areas? The response you will get from all of our supervisors is “safety”, and that is exactly what it is. Headphones could possibly get caught in a machine or around a barbell, or distract you from the lift you are doing which could lead to injury. However, it’s not only about your safety, but the safety of those around you. Fitness Supervisors cannot be everywhere at once. We try and do our rounds every 10 minutes or so to make sure everything is ok, but we rely on you to help assist other members if needed on a moments notice.

Example: A new lifter comes to the gym and watches a guy bench a lot of weight. He says to himself, “Oh I can do that no problem”, and hops on the bench farthest away from us workers and throws on waaaaayyyyyy to much weight. He tries to bench it but it just drops on his chest. He can barely breathe, let alone scream for help. The people working can’t see him or hear him. If we allowed headphones, there is a chance that no one would notice. We do have serial lifters who often need assistance on a daily basis and on more than one occasion other members were able to beat the staff to help.

How would you feel if that was you? Maybe you are an experienced lifter but accidents happen to even the most experienced people. It is just an extra precaution to keep everyone Safe.

(Note: If you don’t like the music playing in the gym, just let us know! If you’re nice to us we are more than happy to mix up the music!)

Cutoffs/Tank Tops:

This rule has two sides to it.

First, Cutoffs and Tank tops are a grey area. What qualifies as a tank top? There are so many different types of straps, cuts, and styles it would be impossible to say what types were allowed and what types are not. The same goes for cutoffs. Some are just too inappropriate for our gym environment.  So the best way to regulate them is to just say they are not allowed.

Second, is sweat. Sweat is not only gross, but extremely acidic. It is part of our daily duties to clean the facility from top to bottom; we also count on our membership to clean up after themselves. With that being said, not all the membership takes responsibility for wiping down their benches and machines after they use them. Also, sweat is acidic, and we want to prevent our equipment, mainly the upholstery, from getting broken down over time. Fitness equipment is meant to last a long time and we want to make sure that ours stays in tip top shape for as long as possible.

Putting Weights Back:

Believe it or not, this is not in my job description…. It’s in yours. When you load a barbell or a plate loaded machine with weight, it is your responsibility to take it off when you are done. If you need help getting the weights off for whatever reason we would be more than happy to help you out, but if you are able to take off the weights you need to do so. Why you may ask? This is your facility too! Everyone enjoys a clean and orderly facility, but it also is to help out the person who comes to use the machine after you.

If you load up a machine with 4 plates on each side, and don’t put the weights back, an elderly woman who cannot lift 45lbs might be the next person to use it. Now she must come get one of us to help her out instead of just being able to hop right on and do what she wants. It’s not fair to her to have to deal with the mess you caused.

A lot of these rules have to do with making our facilities better for everyone, not just for one person. WE strive to create a great workout environment where students, faculty, staff, community members, and guests can all workout together and meet there health goals. It’s just that simple.

Also, at the beginning of your membership, you signed a contract to follow these rules. They were right on the back of the membership form you filled out. Ask any fitness supervisor and we would be more than happy to show you where you can find them.

By no means am I trying to preach to you or be mean about this. You might accidently forget to take your headphones out or something. It Happens. This is just strictly to inform you of those elusive “Whys?”, that you may be curious about. If you have ANY questions feel free to contact me, and I will either answer your question, or get you in touch with a person who can explain everything to you much better than I can.

I hope this answers any questions you may have! I tried my best to put it out there for you in the best way I knew how. Once again, don’t be afraid to ask questions on anything.

Stay happy and Healthy!

 Kevin Nelsen

Another Wisconsin Winter…

Another Wisconsin winter is here again, and we all know what that means…. Snow to shovel, windows to scrap, and lots of shivering in the cold. Most people don’t look forward to these activities every winter, but I think that you might want to change your mind when It comes to these chores. Each one of these activities is actually a workout in disguise that you can take advantage of.

Let’s look and shoveling snow first. I for one hate doing this because it takes forever, you have to stand outside freezing, and you are exhausted when you are done. However, these are all reasons that we should love shoveling snow! Shoveling snow can be a long sustained workout that can take 1-2 hours to get done. And according to, You can burn upwards of 400 calories per hour!  By comparison, you burn around 600 calories per hour while running.

How about a more annoying task like scraping your windows? Most people would just go outside a little early and start their car to melt the Ice. Not only is that bad for the environment, but you are wasting gas and money.  If you just suck it up and scrap the windows yourself, you are actually getting in a good workout. While scrapping, you are engaging your shoulder and back muscles, as well as you core to generate force. By tightening your core while scraping, you will actually feel a pretty good burn.

Finally, something we all do when we are cold is shiver. Shivering is your body’s natural way of trying to generate heat by forcing your muscles to tighten.  According to, you can burn nearly 400 calories an hour by just shivering. (Depending on body type, body temperature). That’s a lot of calories for being cold!

(DISCLAIMER: I am not supporting that you go sit outside or turn the heat off in your house to freeze your butt off for a workout! Hypothermia can be deadly so please take proper precautions when going out in the cold!)

So lets say you wake up one day, shovel the driveway for an hour, then you have to scrap your windows for 15 minutes, plus you are shivering from the cold the whole time, you could possibly burn above 800 calories!  Bet you didn’t think about that when you set out that morning!

Next time your are faced with these chores, try and think about the positives and maybe it will make everything seem to go faster!

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!

Until Next Time , Stay happy and healthy!

Kevin Nelsen

Warhawk Fitness PR Team