An amazing muscle, the heart must be conditioned as well

By Jesse Kepka
NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist


We meet here every Saturday to get our workout in among friends and encouragement. Then we do it again, on our own, during the week (hopefully 2-4 more times). We push, pull, HIIT, run, jumping jack and squat to break down our muscles, in hopes that, with proper rest (7-8 hours per night), recovery (walking outside for some vitamin D) and nutrition (high protein, fruits and vegetables), they build themselves back up to be bigger, faster and stronger. So the rhythm is to workout, breakdown, recover, rebuild

One of our most amazing muscles, aside from that powerhouse glute and core combination, is our heart. We condition it with intervals, intensity variations for endurance and sprints of all shapes and sizes.  

That heart is also responsible for how we handle suffering and struggles, especially these days. It’s starting to get hard, for myself, for friends and their co-workers, our heroes on the front lines getting sick, job loss and investments dropping.  The unknown can be pretty terrifying. So just as we condition our muscles (again, workout, breakdown, recover, rebuild), be sure to pay attention to how you’re conditioning that part of your heart so we can build them to be stronger and more resilient.  It’s good to feel and acknowledge the sadness and frustrations but be sure to consciously morph it into kindness and mercy, and after this is over, it too will come out bigger, better, faster and stronger. Eliciting kindness and mercy will become a habit upon which you can rely and any future phases of stress will be easier to maneuver and withstand. 

The state of your heart and mind can have a profound effect on the power of your workouts, so get them right before you dig into another one. And be patient. Muscle protein synthesis occurs up to 48 hours after a workout. Keep on making small, consistent efforts to condition your whole human – to be your best self.


Tip shared by Jesse Kepka, NASM-certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and owner of Elevate Fitness. Jesse is a co-organizer for Priority Fit Camp. Each week, we publish a health and wellness tip that is shared at the Priority Fit Camp community workout. The free group class happens every Saturday at 7:50 a.m.  

Click for more info on the free Saturday group workout.