Miami Heat VP is all about fitness in his personal life too
Michael McCullough, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the Miami Heat, also teaches a spinning class. (David Alvarez, courtesy)
Why do you keep fit?
I enjoy feeling healthy and strong. I enjoy the challenge of working out, pushing my body and mind, asking myself if I can do one more. And working out is a fantastic release of stress and tension. I love my job with the Heat, but it's not without its share of tension. As you get older, you need to challenge yourself to keep in shape for health reasons as well. And I played basketball in college, so I've always been athletic and interested in fitness.
What's your exercise routine?
I work out six days in a typical week. On Sunday morning, I Rollerblade for 15 miles around my neighborhood. One lap around is 3 miles, so I'll do that course five times. It takes about an hour. As a 6-foot-5 black guy on skates, I'm a spectacle. People will see me later and say, "You're that guy who skates!"
I have a weight-lifting routine on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, lifting pretty intensely with my legs, shoulders, back, arms — my whole body. I do lots of complex compound exercises working multiple muscle groups. I'll do the same routine for four to six weeks then change it up. I get ideas out of Men's Health magazine. I don't do the elliptical, but I move quickly between sets so I'm working up a pretty good sweat.
On Tuesday and Thursday, I do a workout for half an hour before I teach spin. I do mostly body-weight [exercises]: different kinds of push-ups and pull-ups, and bar dips, bench jumps. I'm not using weights but using my body. It gets me ready for class, gives a great sweat.
You teach spinning?
Six or seven years ago, I joined the LA Fitness near my house. I started spinning classes and did them for years. The instructors always said, "You should be teaching," because I enjoyed it so much and was doing well. So I took classes to get certified. The gym opened two new classes for me to teach and now I have two times a week: 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday … As a spin instructor I get to show a side that I don't show at work. I'm on the bike yelling and screaming, pushing people. It's cathartic. At work I'm not a yeller so another side of my personality comes out.
Do you exercise when you go on business trips?
Absolutely. I always bring shoes and gloves and a jump rope. First thing at a hotel, I check out the gym. If it's not adequate, I jump rope. I have a great old boxing routine I found in a magazine that makes me sweat. If no gym is available, I'll do explosive push-ups and abs on the floor. I'll go back to a hotel off the beaten path if it has a nice gym.
Does your family keep fit?
My wife works out at the LA Fitness. She cannot get up so early for my spin classes, although she's taken them a few times. She loves my classes! She usually works out on elliptical machines three or four times a week.
I have five kids — three boys and two girls — between 22 and 12. Everybody's pretty involved with fitness and exercise. My middle son plays college basketball. My son in Colorado who's getting his Ph.D., I send him workouts I come across. My youngest son plays high school football. My daughter at UF runs the stadium stairs, and my youngest daughter is on the cross-country team at her middle school.
Do you have a fitness philosophy?
Working out is important for so many things: mind, body and spirit, and the sense of accomplishment regardless of your level.
Do you have any physical problems that affect training?
Not really. I'll twist an ankle sometimes and get "old man knees" from my basketball days. I had shoulder surgery when I played college but nothing now inhibits me.
What's your typical day's diet?
I don't eat before the gym, but right after it I have a protein shake or a Muscle Milk. Then maybe three eggs and a piece of toast or cereal. I'm always eating. For lunch, lots of time I'll bring leftovers in my lunchbox. [Eating that way] gives me a chance to read and eat well. I'll eat salmon maybe, or my wife will make a sandwich. And I'll have apples, grapes, plums, pears. Between lunch and dinner, I'll eat Nutri-Grain bars, applesauce — there's always something on my desk that I'm putting in my mouth. For dinner, I eat lots of chicken prepared different ways, salads, fish like salmon or swordfish. I'm a bad example but I don't like a lot of vegetables. I have a huge sweet tooth, and my weakness is ice cream. There's no way I'm not going to have it, so I'll just work out harder after. I love Dairy Queen's chocolate-strawberry blizzard.
Do you take any sports nutrition supplements or vitamins?
Omega-3 every day and One A Day Men's vitamins.