Nick Anapolsky knows something about motivation.

The Recreation and Leisure Studies grad had a storied career in Warriors football, breaking both the provincial and national records for single-season receptions in his final year. Since then, he’s built a successful business and nurtured it through the pandemic. And in an effort to help his clients stay connected and inspired during the lockdown, he attempted — and broke — a Guinness world record.

For Nick, helping people become healthier, physically and mentally, is the most fulfilling part of his job.

“Some people may grind through that eight-hour shift at work, but they leave the gym a happier person. I love that I get to be a part of that.”

Nick and his wife Kaitlyn own their own gym — Polsky’s Strength and Conditioning (PSC), which offers strength and conditioning classes that incorporate Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics and CrossFit. And despite pandemic restrictions, they’ve kept the relationships with their clients alive through daily Zoom classes and equipment loans.

A PSC member’s Guinness record bid led Nick to think about making a similar attempt as a way to continue boosting his clients’ morale while the gym was closed. Looking through the record book, he found an activity close to a CrossFit coach’s heart — chest-to-ground burpees. The previous record, set in 2019, was 870 burpees in one hour.

On March 6, flanked by gym staff who took turns helping him set his pace, Nick hit the mat at PSC. Sixty minutes later, he’d completed 879 burpees. The Guinness judge, monitoring the event via Zoom, confirmed Nick as the new record holder.

 “This wasn't about me breaking the record,” Nick explained. “It was about creating something exciting [related to] fitness during this slow time. I wish we could have opened the gym so people could come in and watch, but instead, we did a Livestream on Instagram and we had all our members watching from home.

“I was very relieved at the end because I had a lot of people encouraging me and cheering me on. And yes, it was a challenge for me, but it was more important to hold this event for my community, and even the larger KW area. It’s a way of motivating people. If I'm doing this kind of stuff, they can, too.”

Nick Anapolsky

Photo credit: Guinness World Records

Nick’s tips for finding your fitness mojo

If you’ve found it difficult to start or maintain your fitness routine during COVID-19, Nick has some advice to help you keep your head in the game.

  1. Stay consistent
    My biggest piece of advice is to stay consistent. Make sure that you commit to completing those three to five sessions a week, whatever your program or exercise is. As soon as you interrupt that consistency, that's where things start to break down.”
  2. Find a community
    “I think the community aspect of holding each other accountable is huge for motivation. Try to join a gym or class or group. You'll have people reaching out to you, people who are ready to meet you wherever you are, even if it's online in a Zoom class. Or you can message each other and ask, ‘How did you do in this workout today?’ or ‘How far did you run?’”
  3. Build intensity
    “A lot of people will start with slower movements, not going as intense, which is totally great. You definitely need to build up volume and increase intensity over time. But there has to be some sort of linear progression for you to see results.

    “Say, for example, you run two kilometres one day. Record your time, and then the next time you do it, try to improve your time, even by one or two seconds. Being a little bit competitive with either your community or within yourself will help you make progress.”