Alex Kukla, fitness influencer from Hannover, competes in Iron Man Hamburg

Hanover.Some like to put it in the “bombshells” drawer, but fitness influencer Alex Kukla (28) lifting weights is just too boring. He then he began to face challenges. The first: running a half marathon in a 40-pound weighted vest. The second: do 1,000 burpees in a row. The third: run a marathon.

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Read more after the announcement

“And then I ran out of ideas. So I asked my Instagram community and the answers were almost uniform: I should take part in an Iron Man,” he says as he stands in his own gym at Hainholzer Helmke-Hof.

The gym is 300 square meters, with industrial brick walls and barred windows reminiscent of a loft. The modern interior fits perfectly into the world of Instagram in which Kukla has made a name for himself with his wife Evelina (28).

Strong team: Evelina and Alex Kukla got married in 2021 and founded their company

Strong team: Evelina and Alex Kukla got married in 2021 and founded their company “AE Coaching”.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

The two have been a couple for ten years and got married in 2021. The fitness trainer took his wife to weight training, the influencer took him on Instagram. Today she has more than half a million followers, he almost 150,000. From this and from sport they raised their business and founded their company “AE Coaching” a year ago.

Kukla is interested in psychology.

Businesses are prospering. “We currently care for about 100 people in training and nutrition,” says Kukla. “He has long since caught up with the time required for a full-time job.” Then there’s Instagram and his own sports show.

But apparently that is not enough. “I deal a lot with the subject of mentality and psychology. I am fascinated by what you can get out of yourself and your body with the right attitude.” With these theories, Kukla is his own guinea pig. He has mastered all the sporting challenges that he has set himself. Now comes the Herculean task.

“I underestimated triathlon a bit,” he admits. On Instagram, his followers see him cursing and sweating while he’s on the bike. But now there is no turning back, on June 5 the time has come. Then the Hanoverian competes in his first Iron Man in Hamburg, he has to swim almost four kilometers, ride a bike 180 kilometers and then run a marathon.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

“In December I took the survey on Instagram and signed up immediately. I’ve been preparing ever since.” Six months of training for a triathlon is not much, especially not before a premiere. “Eight to 24 months of preparation time is more the norm.”

Kukla was not a passionate runner, nor was he a good swimmer. “Although I never quite pumped. I’ve always made sure to do two cardio sessions a week to not only look fit, but stay fit as well.” The distances he ran were only five kilometers. Today he speaks of a “relaxed race” at ten kilometers.

This is how Alex Kukla prepares for Iron Man

Once a week he runs a half marathon and rides a bike for five hours at a time, he also swims four to six kilometers a week. “I couldn’t even crawl before,” she admits and laughs. “I basically had to learn to swim again.”

Hard training: Alex Kukla has been preparing for Iron Man since December.  He rides a bike for five hours once a week.

Hard training: Alex Kukla has been preparing for Iron Man since December. He rides a bike for five hours once a week.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Kukla used to train six times a week, now it’s twice that. Also because he keeps lifting weights. “That’s my challenge in the challenge: that I can do the Iron Man with my height,” announces the power.

“Many triathletes have said that my size is not going to work and that I need to lose muscle. They don’t understand why I keep training with weights.” But giving up is out of the question for him. “It’s also a message if I can do it. That strength athletes can also do a triathlon.”

Alex Kukla’s nutrition plan

But to maintain his mass, he has to eat properly. He currently burns between 4,000 and 5,000 calories a day, which he has to make up for. By lunchtime you will have made three meals. After lunch there are three more meals. “Actually, I’m just eating and exercising,” he says and laughs.

And she doesn’t make it easy when it comes to nutrition either: the obligatory chicken and rice is not on her plate, because the Kukla eat vegetarian-vegan food. “Instead of chicken there is tempeh, instead of soy yogurt quark.”

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

With this discipline, the 28-year-old managed to lose just 500 grams in his preparation time. Kukla is 1.77 meters tall, weighs 88 kilos and has a body fat percentage of six to seven percent. For comparison: A ratio of 15 to 18 percent is considered “normal” for men.

So that Kukla does not have to carry a lot of fat with his Iron Man. In total, he will be on the road about eleven hours. “I’m good on time, everything is going well. But I still put myself under pressure.” Mainly because he took nearly 150,000 Instagram followers with him in his challenge “It would be embarrassing to fail then.”

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After all, Kukla is unlikely to be a motivating professional. His job is to accompany other people in his sporting goals. He established his own training program. “I only got help swimming,” he admits and laughs.

And what challenge follows Iron Man? Kukla himself has no answer for that. “I’ll focus on business first,” he says. And then there is the woman and the two dogs. Italian greyhounds: he can also learn something from them while he runs.

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