Spartan Master Coach Trevor Franklin has always been an athlete. The New York City-based personal trainer and group fitness coach developed a passion for health and wellness growing up playing six sports in Texas.
As the face of Spartan’s Do Hard Shit series, Franklin’s athletic pursuits have been well documented. The 28-year-old took on former NFL linebacker Curt Maggitt in a DEKA FIT contest, crushed a 31-mile Spartan Ultra in Montana, and persevered through the Spartan Death Race — all without notice.
But even as a lifelong athlete, Franklin has never trained with personalized health data.
In August, Franklin joined precision medicine company Wild Health to optimize his performance and health on and off the race circuit. The information he has gained from Wild Health’s holistic and data-driven approach has been revelatory, setting him up to reach his fitness goals and giving him a window of insight into his own body.
“You don't know what you don't know,” he says. “This is stuff that I could never do on my own. I need the help of many people that are more of an eye in the sky and way more educated on this than I am.”
A New, Personalized Approach to the Same Game of Fitness
Franklin is no novice in the world of fitness, with years as a coach and endurance athlete. But trial and error has often guided his training and nutrition.
“One thing I've never really pursued is a true science-backed approach,” he says. “I usually just try things, and if they work, I keep doing them. If they don't work, I stop doing them.”
Wild Health has helped Franklin start to change that.
He joined personalized healthcare with a few goals. The first was specific: run a sub-3:15 marathon at 200 pounds. He also wanted to have more energy throughout the day — without caffeine — and incorporate more science into his fitness and nutrition.
After submitting saliva and blood tests — during which Wild Health analyzed Franklin’s genetics and collected a complete profile of his health — the Spartan coach met with a health coach of his own, which was assigned to him. They spoke about his goals and lifestyle, his eating and sleeping habits, and his exercise routine and other pursuits.
“They use all that information to build a profile on you to help you achieve your goals faster,” he says.
Shortly after, in a telemedicine appointment, Franklin’s doctor and health coach shared his health report and plan.
The testing had revealed that his body was at risk for slower recoveries, and he was more prone to boosts of energy at night. Both made sense, as the trainer shared that he can be sore for several days following training and can even have trouble getting to sleep. However, he never thought much about them before.
Wild Health’s precision medicine algorithm also found Franklin’s nutrition wasn’t ideal.
“What I was most curious about was what does my body process and handle best?” he says. “What we found out was that I'm pretty high in saturated fat, maybe a little bit low in unsaturated fat. Not the end of the world, but that could help with my overall energy levels and with my recovery.”
Optimizing Performance Using Precision Medicine
Franklin is currently training for the New York City Marathon in November, with plans to run the Citi Field Spartan Stadion later that month.
Wild Health has helped Franklin start to optimize his training by fine-tuning his preparation. After uncovering Franklin’s tendency to recover slowly, his doctor and health coach suggested he take zinc supplements, which have helped with his recovery times.
He has begun eating more fish and replacing some of the red meat in his diet to find more balance between saturated and unsaturated fats.
With insights from his health coach, Franklin has also begun building a nighttime routine that slows down his body and mind and encourages consistent sleep. Changing his habits has led Franklin to feel more rested and have more energy throughout the day.
Wild Health has even altered his approach to work. Instead of using evenings to get more things done, he has prioritized rest, concentrating the work he would normally do in the evenings during the day.
Small but meaningful changes like these have allowed Franklin to operate at a higher level during training.
“It just opened my eyes to things that I haven't been doing,” he says.
Wild Health has made it easy for Franklin to enhance both his performance and his health.
Along with his personal health report, he has an online dashboard with exercise, nutrition, and other goals. Below each is an action he can take to meet those targets.
“I need checkboxes," he says. "I need to see it, see how I can achieve it, and then I can do it."
So far, everything has been geared toward his goal of running a sub-3:15 marathon while maintaining weight. But Franklin, an avid Spartan Super and Ultra racer who has also completed the coveted Trifecta, has his eye on more Spartan events come spring.
With plans to reshape his training to meet the needs of obstacle racing, Franklin will once again turn to Wild Health for help. The Spartan Master Coach, his doctor, and his health coach will reformulate his current plan to meet his new fitness goals. Wild Health's adaptability is part of what makes telemedicine healthcare so appealing to Franklin.
“It's all dependent on who you are and what your objectives are,” he says.
As an endurance athlete who is constantly shifting his goals and racing pursuits, Franklin’s hope is that working with Wild Health long term can finally replace trial and error with a science-based approach, streamlining his training and performance.
“My hope is that they'll be able to just keep me on the right path the entire time,” he says.