In this episode, Siphiwe Baleka, founder of Fitness Trucking, LLC is the Driver Health and Fitness Coach at Prime Inc. Siphiwe has served as the Driver Health Editor for both Road King magazine and The Trucking Network magazine.
Siphiwe was born in Montgomery, IL on April 14, 1971. His parents, Jeremiah and Yolanda Blake, were among the first African Americans to move into the Boulder Hill subdivision. His parents divorced when he was ten years old, and he was raised by his father from then on. By that time, Siphiwe was already a gifted athlete in several sports, and a YMCA state champion swimmer. At the age of twelve, after a meeting with his father and uncle, Olympic gold medal winner Hayes Jones, Siphiwe decided to focus on swimming and train for the Olympics. A nationally ranked high school swimmer, Siphiwe continued swimming at Yale University. In 1992, Siphiwe failed to qualify for the US Olympic Swimming Trials by just 0.8 seconds in the 100 freestyle. Siphiwe retired from the sport and spent the next fifteen years traveling around the world, visiting, working and living in 24 countries in North, South and Central America, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.
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.
In This Episode You’ll Learn
- How Siphiwe helped over-weight, out of shape truckers increase their metabolism, burn body fat, and not change their eating habits.
- How he found trucking and why
- How little time it takes to boost your metabolism
- Why everybody who sits most of their day should listen to this interview
- How to change your behavior
Links and Resources for This Episode
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