Rollerblade® freeride athlete and filmmaker Ben Brillante created a custom X-Fit workout that is easy to apply and accessible to anyone who wants to get fit, increase power, and improve athletic stamina. All you need are skates, shoes, and your own body. The X-Fit Challenge consists of a three month schedule with four workouts a week. We talked with Ben about the X-Fit Challenge.
Q. Ben, the motivation for your program is pretty clear. How long did it take you to create this program?
A. The X-Fit Challenge is a synthesis of multiples sources. I tried different training methods last year from HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to fractional running or skating. Combined, these methods helped me lose 12kg (26lbs). I became more fit and was able to skate the 2016 Berlin Marathon in 1:11:45. That was 15min faster than my 2015 time. The X-Fit Challenge combined the best elements of last year’s training.
Q. There are many ways to train. Why incorporate skating?
A. The best reason is to limit the chronic injuries. Running is a really good cardio workout, but skating allows more people who cannot run for longer distances, to maximize their results.
Q. Was it challenging for you to combine skating and other workouts?
A. The key is to plan everything, including rest days, into the routine. At the beginning of each week, participants should choose their days of training. They will have consecutive days of workout or run/skate and sometimes they may experience some sore muscles during workouts. But trust me, day after day they will find energy to go through the exercises and progress like I did.
Q. What kind of skates do you recommend?
A. The skate exercises are speed oriented. Wheel setups like 4x90mm or more is probably the best option. If participants have frames like the Rollerblade 3WD frame I would recommend these. After the wheel setup, the best skate is the most comfortable one. If you feel good in your skates, it’s more likely you will enjoy your workouts and continue to progress. X-Fit challengers will push their limits and painful skates will not help them meet their goals. In the video you see me on the Rollerblade® Maxxum skates. The skates from the X-Fit category offer maximum comfort, control, power, and balance.
Q. Can you explain the focus of the training?
A. My initial, personal goal was to have a better performance at the 2016 Berlin Marathon. The results of the changes in my body, my overall athletic performance, and continued motivation to progress were an added bonus. Now, I feel capable of doing anything! X-Fit challengers will improve their strength and stamina first. They will focus specifically on their legs and abs. At the end of the challenge, they’ll be able to skate faster and longer.
Q. The program is for skaters both advanced and beginners. What are your most important tips?
A. I know how tough it is to start from square one. On my first day of my training I ran 2K in 13 minutes. Now I’m able to run 20K in 1 hour 25 minutes. X-Fit challengers must focus on their personal goals. They have three months to reach the end of the program. If they missed a workout day, it’s not a big deal. They have plenty of workouts in the program. The consistency of training is most important.
Q. Food is also a very important aspect of your routine. What are your dietary recommendations?
A. It’s pretty simple. X-Fit challengers’ plates should consist of 50% carbs (like pasta, rice, quinoa), 30% vegetables, and 20% protein sources (like lean meat, fish, or eggs). Limit your fat intake, even if it’s “good” fat as found in nuts, olive oils, etc. If you eat 50g of almond you do get good protein, but you’ve almost eaten half the fat (50g) you have to eat in a day.
Q. Last year you had an excellent showing at the Berlin Marathon. What is your personal goal for this year?
Last year I started the Marathon in “Group B”. I was in the top 50 skaters of this group at the finish line. This year I’ll try to start with Elite in “Group A” and finish the race under 1 hour 10 minutes. My other challenges are: 10K under 40 minutes and a half-marathon under 1 hour 30 minutes. If you follow my Instagram, you can see that I’m already beating this goal. However, doing this in an official race is the challenge.
Last but not least, a lot of people around me tell me every day, “What you do is great! I want to train now.” It’s a fulfilling challenge to keep motivating people to progress and be the best they can be!
If you have any other questions regarding the X-Fit challenge by Ben, check out Rollerblade.com or the Rollerblade® social media. Ben will be happy to get in touch with you via his social media as well:
Rollerblade offers a wide range of X-Fit skates on our website. Follow this link for the X-Fit men models or this link for the X-Fit women models.