Meet Our June Athlete of the Month: Fred Zapalac

By Scarlet Rodriguez

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, interests/hobbies, etc).

I’m 46 years old, a native Houstonian, and I’ve been married to my wife Jennifer for almost 13 years and we have a 9 year old son named Holden. They’re both way cooler than I am, and I constantly struggle just to keep up with them. We’re a cycling family, and we’ve owned Blue Line Bike Lab since 2005. I’m a prolific reader and a prodigious eater, and our family is big on traveling and camping and generally not being at home. I really enjoy dogs, ice cream, Netflix series, combat sports, and Texans football. What my tattoos lack in quality they make up in quantity. I don’t care for cats or horses, though I generally enjoy the company of both cat people and cowboys. I like both kinds of music- metal and country. I’ll read anything. I prefer science fiction, but I’ll read the back of a soup can if it’s all that’s available.

When did you start working out District H? 

Shortly after my 46th birthday, I was having coffee at Red Dessert Dive one afternoon and saw a couple of very fit people working out across the street. I’d been thinking about using my impending mid-life crisis as an excuse to buy a sports car, but while I was sitting there pounding a cold brew I decided that I’d rather have a sports car body than another gas guzzler sitting in my driveway, and then I was doing my Onramp with Morrill the very next week. Side note- I realized months later that the people that I’d seen working out were Robert and Miranda, and that I may need to temper my expectations just a little bit.

What made you decide to start working out in general?

Chocolate. I can’t get enough chocolate in my life, and I’ve had to work out pretty hard ever since I was a teenager just to keep up with my chocolate habit. It’s a vicious circle.

How have your workouts made an impact on your life outside of the gym?

I feel a lot better, both strength wise and in terms of mobility. There’s no doubt that I just feel stronger and maybe even a little bit younger, and other athletic things that I do like cycling and running have gotten better just from being lighter and in better cardio condition than I’ve been in for close to ten years. It’s not all good though- my supplement and protein powder bill has gone through the roof, and I can’t stop obsessively watching workout reels on Instagram. Seriously, I’m starting to annoy myself, so I can’t even imagine how bad it’s been for my family.

What is your favorite & least favorite workout or movement?

I love all of the workouts, though the ones that require a skillset to RX that I haven’t learned yet, like doubleunders or muscle ups, make me a little frustrated. Maybe a lot frustrated. I’ll get them eventually though.

What is your favorite & least favorite lift?

Everybody knows that my favorite lift is the strict press, lol. Why use technique when you can just push it up? As far as my least favorite lift, that’s easy- the Bulgarian Split Squat is one of the worst things to ever happen to me and makes me not want to ever visit Bulgaria. I probably wasn’t ever going to go there anyway, but I’m definitely probably not ever going to now.

What are your fitness goals?

When I started at the gym, my only real goal was to lose some weight and try not to injure myself. As I’ve been going to class regularly though, I’ve discovered how much I enjoy a lot of the different exercises that we do in here and I’ve become much more interested in getting stronger and better at each of the lifts and the gymnastic moves that we do consistently. My hope is that by the time the games roll around next year that I’ll have done a few local competitions and can really compete against other guys my age on a national level.

What is your proudest gym moment/achievement?

Most of the moments that I’m really proud of in the gym actually come from watching the other regulars in the 7:30 class hit PRs. It’s really awesome to be a small part of so many other people’s fitness journeys, and seeing Bala join the 300 club during the last deadlift cycle or Marc learn how to benchpress for the first time is just as awesome as crushing Greg’s soul during Z presses.

What is your favorite quote or words to live by?

I’m pretty big on “This too shall pass.” I try to stay grounded in all aspects of my life, and when things aren’t going the way that I’d planned I like to remind myself that it’s not going to be that way forever and that it’s up to me to put in the work to make the changes that I hope to see.

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.

I’m actually generally very reserved and quiet, especially around people that I don’t know well. Unfortunately for the other people in the 7:30AM class, I’m also sort of addicted to pre-workout drinks and once the caffeine hits me I just can’t keep my mouth shut. Sorry y’all.

What advice would you give to newbies?

The best advice I could give would be to try to consistently warm up, stretch, watch your form, listen to the coaches, and don’t do anything the way that I do it. Also, Bitcoin may be a scam.

Start here

Book a free intro today so we can learn all about you, your goals and how we can help you reach them
Free Intro