Adrian Kraft is co-founder and head coach of Klub der Sportfreunde AG in Zurich. In addition to his work as a personal trainer and leader of group training, he also has broad knowledge in the field of rehabilitation and nutrition. Adrian will be supporting the Velocity community through our 10-week challenge with a tailored nutrition guidebook and meal plan.
We interviewed Adrian to learn more about the man behind all the nutritional knowledge.
A bit of background: from a printing technologist to a nutrition expert
Adrian did an apprenticeship as a printing technologist and played semi-professional football for FC Wohlen. His dream was to become a professional soccer player, but unfortunately, by not believing in himself enough, he stood in his own way. At the age of seventeen/eighteen, after undergoing a hip operation, he worked together with a rehab coach. This trainer and the whole field of rehabilitation fascinated him so much that it inspired him to make a career change. At the age of 21 he became self-employed and started running a physiotherapy practice himself. This change of direction also helped his self-confidence a lot. Whether it was rehabilitation, personal training or nutrition, he was able to help many more people and support them in achieving their goals. Various and regular education in sports and nutrition have helped him a lot to overcome his mental weaknesses and self doubt.
Q: How did you get into nutrition coaching?
A: First of all, I started an apprenticeship as a printing technologist, but at the age of 21 I decided to become independent and took a completely new path. I started working in the rehabilitation sector as the manager of a physiotherapy clinic. Pretty soon I realized that I wanted to do more to help people and so I trained in the areas of personal training and nutrition. Besides that, I have been working on sleep as it is the most important part of our daily life and plays a central role in achieving a healthy lifestyle. I work with my clients according to these four pillars: sleep, food, training and supplementation.
Through nutrition you often have a much greater influence on the body than with personal training alone. Therefore, it was important for me to be trained in the field of nutrition to be the best possible coach for my clients. To make my clients understand why it is not only the training that counts I always explain the following: sleep takes up most of the day – it is the most important factor as the body recovers during this time. Training is of course different depending on the person and the desired goal, but most people do a maximum of 1-2 training sessions per day. It’s not that much of your day. Eating on the other hand, usually happens at least three times a day. So, you can see that the area of nutrition should not be taken lightly, since it plays a big part in our daily life!
- In rehabilitation, eating is secondary: 40% eating / 60% training.
- As soon as you get out of the rehabilitation phase, it’s 50% eating / 50% training and depending on your personal goal e.g. muscle build-up, nutrition becomes more and more important.
Q: What’s your favorite easy healthy snack to make for yourself?
A: That is simple – an oven apple 😉
Cut the apple open slightly and let it soften in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes at approx. 175 degrees. Garnish the apple with cinnamon, cocoa powder and tahini – that’s it! This is my favorite dessert after dinner. It is probiotic, which means that it helps the digestive system to build up bacteria for better digestion and it is incredibly delicious.
Q: Do you have cheat meals or fall of the “healthy lifestyle” wagon yourself sometimes? How do you get yourself back on track when you’ve fallen into a workout/healthy eating rut?
A: My “Cheat Meal” if you want to call it that are burgers. I like to eat them in an excellent burger restaurant on Langstrasse, but of course I also love to eat homemade burgers. When I make burgers myself, I don’t get my meat from the supermarket anymore but only directly from the farmer of my trust. Since I have reduced my meat consumption to the minimum, I want the meat I consume to be from good source.
Since I know what effects a good diet has on my health and my training goals, I do not usually fall into rut. I’ve grown to love to live in a way that makes me feel good.
Q: How do you keep yourself disciplined on vacation or during the holidays where most people struggle to eat healthy?
A: Here is my saying: You are what you eat! And when you become aware of this, it is very easy to be disciplined and overcome your inner bastard. Keep in mind that the eating habits influence you every day. It does not take vacations;) I’m not saying you can’t let yourself go once in a while, but you have to earn it.
Many of my clients also ask me about the perfect way to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, I have to say that there is no such thing. There is no perfect way or perfect training or nutrition plan. Every person is individual, for one person this method works better for another person a completely different one, because not everyone has the same goal or background story.
Q: Do you meal prep? What are your meal prep tips?
A: I don’t do meal prep because I prefer to prepare my meals fresh to get the best out of them and to avoid monotony. But then again, it depends on the individual goals or the time available to the person.
My tips would be:
- If vegetables are used for Meal Prep, freeze these dishes so that the nutrients are not lost
- Be careful about bringing in enough variety. It is possible to develop an allergy from eating large quantities of the same food all the time.
Q: What do you think are some of people’s biggest challenges with nutrition? What is your advice for them?
A: The biggest challenge is to bring consistency into your own diet and to maintain it. Often customers want too much, so they have chosen a very high goal and want to achieve it as quickly as possible. Here it is important to step on the brakes and set small intermediate goals. This increases motivation and the customers can see whether a previously defined goal can be achieved at all or whether they can be satisfied with the successes on a small scale.
As old saying goes: The journey is the destination!
An important aid here is the control in the form of, for example, a scale. With regular weighing, I show the customers where they are and whether they are on the right track. Patience is another important factor that helps to bring in consistency and discipline.
Q: What do you think about the many different diets that are trending right now, like the Keto diet or intermittent fasting…juice cleanses…etc. Are there any of these in particular that you think people should try (or avoid) and why?
A: Diets should always be looked at individually and one should not simply follow every trend. For 80% such diets might work but for 20% they do not work. After such cures like Keto or juice cleanses you might be lighter, but it is difficult to tell if you really lost fat or muscle mass. With many people, the yo-yo effect sets in, as they fall back into their old patterns because they did not have good basic nutrition and wished for the perfect and simple solution through such a diet. The same applies to intermittent fasting. It depends very much on the goal you are aiming for. For example, if a man wants to build muscle, he may need to consume a lot of calories per day. But this can be difficult because with this method you should eat two meals within a certain period of time.
From my experience, I can say that I can recommend the 5:2 method. This method is basically applicable to everyday life because you can decide on which 2 consecutive days you fast, i.e. only 2 meals, reduced-calorie rate, on the other five days normal meals can be eaten at the usual calorie rate.
For me – the most important factor is to teach people good basic nutrition. Having a good foundation helps to prevent the yoyo effect.
Q: What is Club der Sport Freunde and what kinds of goals do you help people achieve?
A: Our goal in the Club of Sports Friends is to bring the sport to the people. This club is for everyone, young and old, beginners and advanced. We want to be a support for everyone! We want to bring quality to the fitness industry. The personalization aspect and the individual consultations for our customers is very important to us.
We are open to anything and everyone, which gives us the opportunity to work with other companies in the fitness industry and support each other on projects.
Interested in testing out Adrian’s Velocity meal planning guide?
Sign up for the 10-week Veloburn challenge in order to get exclusive access to the meal guide that Adrian has created for the Velocity community – but don’t wait too long, the challenge starts on Oct. 5th! You can also reach out to Adrian at Club Der Sport Freunde directly for a 1:1 nutrition consultation.