by Vicki Hildner
When Julie Manthey gave birth to her son, she had a goal some might consider impossible.
“I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon within 18 to 24 months after having a baby,” she said.
“I learn what I can from the world’s most elite athletes,” San Millan said. “Then I apply it to us mortals.”
San Millan brought a world-wide reputation when he came to the Anschutz Medical Campus
three years ago to study and train elite endurance athletes like Joseba Beloki, 3-time Tour de France podium finisher. His clients speak a rarefied language, referencing “VO2 Max, free radical monitoring and fatigue evaluation.” Now, at the Center, the rest of “us mortals” can learn to speak the same language.
"We’re opening our doors to the entire community of Colorado recreational athletes, including those who may want to do their first 10K, improve their personal time at a marathon or just lose weight but have no clue how to train,” said San Millan.
“We will treat everyone as if they are world-class athletes.”
- assses your current level of conditioning;
- develop a customized training program based on your needs; and
- help you implement that program to achieve a personal best.
Ultimately, San Millan hopes he can apply what he has learned from his research with athletes to people who are battling obesity, diabetes and metabolic disorders. He points out that elite endurance athletes are 100 percent free of any acquired metabolic diseases.
“With what elite athletes have to teach us, we could learn how to write an individualized exercise prescription that may cure someone of a serious illness,” he said.
On his way to that goal, he will continue to treat everyone who walks into his lab like a world-class athlete, including Julie Manthey. She qualified for the Boston Marathon in 3:47:39 exactly 24 months after she began working with San Millan.
The biggest loser's best friend
If you have been losing the same 20 pounds for 10 years, you may want to check in with Holly Wyatt, MD, associate director of the Colorado Center for Health and Wellness and clinical researcher at the Center for Human Nutrition
“I study the optimal amount of exercise and dietary change that’s required for people to be successful at keeping weight off once they have lost it,” Wyatt explains.
So, consider her the biggest loser’s best friend.
Traditionally, Wyatt’s research with people trying to lose weight relied on “self-reporting,” not always the best way to gather accurate data about how much people eat and exercise. But with Bistro Elaia
, the grocery lab
and the world-class fitness center
, the new Center changes that approach. Researchers can watch what people might choose when they shop for food, they can observe how much they really eat and how much (or little) they actually exercise—and they can see it happen under one roof.
“There is really no place in the world where everything we need to learn in this field all comes together in one building,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt believes that the building
itself is a key to the future of research efforts and weight loss.
- With its glass walls and shared spaces, the Center is designed to encourage collaboration among researchers.
- The building creates a social environment that promotes a culture of wellness where people make healthful choices because they are around like-minded people.
- The healthy bistro and grocery lab will provide the kind of space where industry could test-market products in a true “learning lab."
Wyatt looks forward to a future when she will be able to personalize weight loss strategies, since different people have weight problems for different reasons. Even more exciting is the potential that her research can translate directly to community clinical programs.
Ultimately, Wyatt believes that the new Center will bring more National Institues of Health (NIH) funding to the Anschutz Medical Campus for one simple reason.
“We can do things that no one else can do.”
And one of those things may be keeping that 10 pounds off—finally, after 20 years.
Published: April 30, 2012