The Essentialists: Pete Hitzeman

Shane Trotter


Mansfield, Texas, United States

Strength and Conditioning, Kettlebells, Youth Development


"More" has become the religion of the 21st century. We assume more is better in training, in eating, and in our to-do lists. Commercials convince us that buying more will make us happy, and social media highlight reels give the illusion that everyone has that one thing you need to be content. Terms like FOMO (fear of missing out) have evolved to describe the anxiety of wanting to do everything at once. Never has there been a greater need for simplification. We must embrace the idea of addition by subtraction. 


Life is a series of choices, and there is an opportunity cost to each choice. All great coaches and trainers understand the importance of optimizing their time and focusing their energy on those activities that give them the most bang for the littlest buck. Dan John created the One Lift a Day Plan in an effort to "do less, but better.” Max Shank’s Ultimate Athleticism program is a masterful look at how focusing on four exercises alone will unlock your greatest potential.



It’s in this vein that I’m beginning the Essentialist Series. Each week, I’ll release a short interview with some of training’s best minds. They’ll be forced to prioritize—to choose the one option they’d use to create the most momentum. As Greg McKeown explains in Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, this is what “priority” means—the “very first or prior thing.” It is singular. There is no such thing as priorities. My hope is that this series brings clarity and focus to your own personal development, while freeing you from the incessant pull to do more. As McKeown explains, Essentialism is about “discerning the vital few, from the trivial many."


Essentialist Interview #3: Pete Hitzeman

Today’s interview is with Pete Hitzeman. Pete gives a ton of great insight on everything from nutrition, to mindset, to the life-changing benefit of a physical challenge. You will be left thinking, and more inclined to grow. Pete gives some true gems that are sure to motivate and help you recalibrate the intensity and approach you take in your own training. 


Training is deeply rooted into Pete’s lifestyle, as he continues to compete in everything from bicycling to running to CrossFit. Pete comes from a different background from most coaches, with long stops in the military and a lengthy experience battling the entrenched health habits so many Americans struggle through. He is not a lifetime coach, but all this only serves to enhance his perspective on training. He is a USAW Sports Performance Coach, and also holds Level 1 certificates from CrossFit and USATF.


Please enjoy this third installment of the Essentialist Series:



Tony Robbins has said “the quality of your life is the quality of your questions.” It’s a constant process working to refine our inquiries. If there is a question you’d like me to ask, or a better way of delivering a current question, please let me know in the comments below.

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