By Elements of Green
Nico, thanks for participating in this interview, as a regular contributor to Men’s Health Germany as head of training solutions, an avid fitness enthusiast, personal trainer and food coach we excited to learn more about you and the ways you implement CBD into your daily life.
- Tell us more about yourself and how you became drawn towards health and wellness?
Most of all, I’m a sports enthusiast. Currently, I’m enjoying passing on this passion to my one-year-old son. Looking back, I’ve been playing football since the age of 6 but had to stop on a semi-professional level due to various injuries. After living in California as a student and soaking up the evolving fitness culture there, I became more and more interested in the art of strength training and conditioning. Having studied journalism, there was really only one option for me when I came back to Germany, which was reaching out to Men’s Health in Hamburg.
- When and why did you decide to become a personal trainer and food coach?
After several years of working as an editor in the sports department, I had the opportunity to not only work with the greatest coaches in the field but also top-level athletes including numerous Olympic gold medalists. It was during this time that I started focusing on my own education concerning training and nutrition. Collecting certificates became my new hobby. On the other hand, I also began coaching others, starting with friends and relatives. Quickly, some rumors seemed to spread that I somehow knew what I was doing. A couple of years later, I can look back to having coached hundreds of men and women. It is a privilege being able to help others get more athletic, healthier, and certainly look that way, too. That thought makes me sleep great at night – just like CBD does.
- It must have been challenging to become the head of training solutions for Men’s Health Germany, and featured on the cover of the magazine! Nice work Nico – how did you achieve this?
Thanks! Reaching that first goal was mostly practice, writing hundreds if not thousands of workout and nutrition plans. Of course, what I do now has a more strategic element to it but still writing programs keeps me close to where the actual magic happens, the athletic development and often an actual transformation both physically and mentally, as well.
Being featured on the cover of the magazine has always been one of my life goals. Over time, I didn’t not only grow as a coach but also as an athlete – literally. Weighing only 68 kilos with a height of 1.85 meters, I was always the skinniest kid in school. Collecting knowledge in training and eating right, I gained more than ten kilos of muscle mass over the years. This long-term transformation paired with improving my skills as a fitness model and perseverance in proposing the feature eventually led to a successful cover shoot.
- Tell us more about your CBD articles published on Men’s Health? What inspired these, was it something personal with CBD?
The initial hype about CBD in the United States several years ago first sparked my interest. That’s when I started using it as I’m always on the lookout for new supplements and biohacks that can potentially improve my clients and my own health. And I saw that it worked for sleep as well as for recovery and anti-stress.
Back then, however, there was only a small number of CBD products available in Germany. Then suddenly, the hype took over Germany but no one actually knew how to use it and what made a quality product. So first of all, I wanted to give people actual criteria to choose the right product. Secondly, I wanted to debunk the rumors about potential health risks in the form of kidney problems due to one often-cited study. The problem with this study was that it used an extremely high dose to treat a disease. This, of course, has no implications for the use of a few drops to boost one’s sleep and/or recovery. This was probably one of the biggest aha-moments for most of the readers and is evident from their feedback.
- Talk to us about your first experience with CBD and how you use it today?
As mentioned above, I started using CBD to further improve my sleep quality and that’s what I’m still doing today. The doses, frequency, and application have changed, however. To be exact, I typically train two days in a row. After the second day of training, I take my CBD drops one hour before going to bed. I like to keep it under my tongue for a minute before swallowing. For the next ten minutes, I don’t drink or eat anything to further increase absorption.
- As an athlete and leading fitness and healthy lifestyle influencer, what challenges are you seeing as the health & fitness industry grows?
There are two major challenges. On the one hand, we’re all experiencing information overload as we are bombarded with news and ads. On the other hand, we’re lacking quality information. Thus, it’s more important than ever to check our resources, trust actual experts in their field, and separate real passion from pretense. That’s why I don’t like the term influencer and would much rather be called what I actually am, a fitness coach, who loves what he’s doing.
- Would you recommend CBD to others? What are the most interesting things that you have noticed after you started to use CBD products in your daily life?
Certainly! I’ve been recommending CBD for quite some time in my customized supplement protocols mainly for sleep and anti-stress reasons. Interestingly though, it can also be used to stimulate and activate as the cannabinoid receptors change over the course of the day. That’s probably the most interesting and underemphasized aspect for me. I would recommend a micro-dose of CBD combined with caffeine to achieve this effect. Drinking Bulletproof Coffee with C8 oil and a drop of a 5% CBD extract is a great combo.
- How would you recommend new CBD consumers first start trying the products?
Start with a low dose of a 5% CBD extract in the manner described above. If you don’t notice any effect, work your way up slowly every other day. Once you’ve found your ideal dose, stick to it and try other uses such as a topical lotion or a vape pen. It’s incredible how many health benefits the hemp plant has in store for us.
- What advice do you have for new athletes or anyone focused on health and wellness, to achieve their goals?
Take your time and don’t rush! The goal should be to make training and proper nutrition a lasting part of your life. And this should be fun. Of course, the last rep always feels heavy and broccoli certainly doesn’t taste like ice cream. However, there are so many exercise variations and healthy recipes. You just have to find yours. A good coach can help you with this task and should provide you with variety in terms of both training and nutrition.
- Can readers get in touch with you and follow your journey on Instagram or other social media?
Of course! I’d love to show you new exercises and a variety of healthy meal options on my Instagram page @nico.airone. Also, please send me a DM if you have any fitness related questions or shoot me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and stay strong!
Thank you Nico, we really appreciate your insights and we know our readers will as well, we look forward to speaking with you again in the future!
The Elements of Green Team