My name is Kyle Knapp and simply put, I’m a devoted husband and father of three that moonlights as a personal trainer and health consultant. Whether it concerns diet/nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, psychology, human functioning, lab tests or doctors’ visits, I have a passion for helping people learn about and achieve better health. My interest in optimal functioning has been there from early age although it has grown immensly over the last few years. Once I engaged in the process of learning more about health there was no looking back. The empowerment I now feel is like nothing I have ever experienced. Now my goal is simply to help people on their journey toward better help so others can experience the same life changing benefits I have.
My story is pretty simple. I grew up an active kid in northern California, playing sports and loving to move my body around. I was always interested in movement and played as many sports as I could, biked everywhere and enjoyed it all. Health was never much of a concern for me, I was lean and didn’t have any major health issues. As a general rule, I ate pretty well and burned it off. After playing sports throughout high school and junior college, my competitive career ended and I moved into the fitness realm to keep myself active. My interest grew, I realized that it was possible to change your body with exercise, and I have been into physical culture ever since. With a background in psychology from Chico State University, I was also acutely aware of the complexity, variability and power of human behavior. I spent my college years focusing on the human brain in academia and the human body in the gym. I then moved to southern california to attend graduate school at Cal State Fullerton in Kinesiology/Sport Psychology/Performance Enhancement. I was evolving my knowledge in the human body and brain as well as continuing my new lifestyle as a fitness enthusiast. In graduate school I became a personal trainer to make a few dollars while going to school and after a year found that my passion was more in health and fitness and less in Sports Psychology. That was 10 years ago and I have enjoyed helping people get healthier every day since.
Throughout my career as a personal trainer, much of my focus was on the physical aspects of health. In short, I preached and practiced an “eat less, move more” philosophy. I adhered to traditional nutritional dogma, the standard USDA recommendations, and encouraged my clients to follow suit. I also believed that you could out exercise a bad diet. Over the next several years my weight, which had been pretty low for most of my life, started creeping up. Growing up as a skinny kid, all I wanted for most of my life was to be big and strong. I was certainly getting stronger although I failed to realize that it wasn’t just muscle I was adding. Just for reference, I graduated high school at 155 pounds, started exercising in college and put on about 5 pounds a year. At 25, I was maintaining around 185 pounds and felt pretty good. My late twenties were filled with many blessings, including my wonderful wife Katie and first son Brady, but also some weight gain. A few months after my son was born, I was as heavy as 208 pounds. I had a little wake up call when I saw that number on the scale as I realized I couldn’t out exercise my diet, which had gotten a little more “liberal”. I also started to see the health impacts of lack of sleep, which was from a combination of being a new father and working long hours, typically starting my days at 5am. Through a little nutritional self control I was able to bring myself back to the higher and sometimes mid to low 190′s, where I cruised for a couple years. I was never quite as lean as I intuitively knew I should be but it was not an issue because I was still “stuck” on maintaining a strong physique.
Then, a wonderful chain/web of events took place that changed my life. Everything started with my father, who has had a couple decades of health problems. With a bypass surgery, minor stroke, prostate cancer, diabetes and a family history of health problems under his belt, I have always been aware that I needed to be conscious of my health, particularly now being a husband and father. Then my second son Logan was born. Something about his birth really resonated with me. Then one of my clients had a major stroke. Then one of my client’s husband had a stroke. I was also starting to get a lot of questions about health and nutrition from my clients. I realized I knew next to nothing about health and nutrition in particular. I decided it was time to start educating myself so I set out to learn about “health”. Although I had been taught plenty of health and nutrition in school and had read magazines and a few personal training journals to keep my knowledge up to date, I felt it just wasn’t good enough. What I “knew” wasn’t working for me, my family or my clients. I wanted to learn what was really going on in the world of wellness.
So I started by heading over to the library and reading. I read, listened to audio CDs and just started opening my mind to information. A book or two in to my health re-education, I came across Ultra Prevention by Drs. Mark Hyman and Mark Liponis. This book was the beginning of an incredible odyssey which is still unfolding to this day. The biggest thing I got from that was that the conventional medical model was broken. It was focused on treating illness and symptoms, not preventing illness. Medicine is not concerned with promoting health and was also extremely biased and influenced by government and drug companies. To hear two doctors say they had an awakening was a little mind blowing. If they didn’t trust the system, how could I?
So I kept reading. My next book was Ultra Metabolism. I was learning things about the body that I had never been exposed to. I knew that nutrition played a role in health but these doctors were suggesting it might be THE key to health. I had to dig deeper. I delved into some longevity books, some other doctor written health and diet books and a lot of anthropological reading. I was hooked. This was incredible and I couldn’t read fast enough. I was a sponge and was loving every minute of it. I started to clean up my own diet a bit and started to feel better. I wanted more information- so I read more. Check out my Books I Like page for a more complete list of my reading journey.
The next two years were more of the same. I also started browsing the internet and listening to podcasts. Both are phenomenal resources for information. Podcasts have been one of my go-to mediums in the last year or so while I commute to work. Check out my Podcasts I Like page and Websites I Like page for my favorites as well as my Website Links on the sidebar of the home page.
And so it has continued every day, every week, every month. The never ending quest for knowledge. Every answer leads to another two questions. Learning more about one thing shows a lack of knowledge in another. So I keep learning, researching and expanding my mind. The best thing about the journey is I LOVE IT. I literally cannot find enough time during the day to learn. My passion is to learn as much as I can and help whomever I can in the process.
That brings us to the blog. Bare 5 is my collection of thoughts and resources I have accumulated over the last couple years and I hope it continues to grow every week as my knowledge and experience grows. I look to keep an open mind and I hope I will continually evolve my thinking to keep up with the latest science and sharpest minds pondering the same questions and issues that I am. I hope it doesn’t stop growing. Bare 5 is my little baby, and I hope to see it grow, develop and mature over the years and my hope is that it, like me, leaves people a little better off than when they first encountered it.
Enjoy the site and let me know if you have any questions or topics you would like covered!
Thanks for reading, have a great week!
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Kyle Knapp Health & Wellness Inc.