Beneath the exterior of his tattooed, chiseled bod is a man with his head square on his shoulders. He hasn’t had the perfect life, but he keeps his eyes fixed forward and his feet on the ground. He’s a man on a mission, too: to change the way people think about fitness. Oh, and being from Milwaukee, he talks with a slight twang that really just makes him so endearing.
UNDERWEAR EXPERT: You recently opened a gym in Milwaukee, Drench Fitness. Can you tell me a little about Drench?
ADAM VON ROTHFELDER: Drench is a group fitness training solution. A lot of people that I’ve met in New York compare it to Barry’s Boot Camp. We focus on efficient and effective workouts that are both innovative and safe and every member is treated like a personal training client. This personalized workout experience, which is at the core of the Drench philosophy, has allowed the gym to grow through word-of-mouth and social media interaction. Over the past year, I’ve been incredibly blessed with the success of Drench and look forward to moving to a bigger location in the near future.
UE: Why Milwaukee?
AVR: Drench Fitness is, to me, something that I wanted to bring back to the Midwest. Fitness is something that’s not very relevant in Milwaukee—unfortunately, we’ve been ranked one of the most unfit cities.
UE: And you want to change that? Where did the idea for Drench come from?
AVR: The idea behind Drench is that when people join they’re joining for change–not to be at the biggest, hottest sports club, but to realign their mindset on how they want to live and the people they want to surround themselves with. Drench Fitness is a concept I came up with through the years of working as an athlete myself and trainer. If I can create something, in the likeness of how I would train somebody on a personal training level, then I feel like my message is going across so much further.
UE: We hear you’re an avid athlete, mixed martial artist, and formerly a soccer player. All of those things combined to make the basis for Drench Fitness?
AVR: To understand Drench, it almost starts in high school… well, before then. I started as a gymnast from the age of 4 to the age of 12, and at the same time played soccer, so I did a lot of bodyweight training, a lot of flexibility, balance, and a lot of core training. That really helped me because when I started doing martial arts I was able to pick it up quickly. I got into bodybuilding when I was in high school because I wanted to be bigger, too. I graduated from high school playing soccer and running track—I pole vaulted and was a hurdler—and then played soccer in college for a year.
UE: You’ve made a name for yourself in MMA fighting. How did you get into that?
AVR: After my brother passed away–I was 22 when he died at 35 from a heart attack–I threw myself into fighting.
UE: That’s not the only thing that catapulted you into fitness and training, right? We saw a video of you hawking the Ab Rocket Twister a year ago and you mention a car crash.
AVR: Right, I was actually on my way to the airport—driving someone to the airport—and the transmission in my friend’s car failed. As this was happening, we were merging onto the freeway and got hit by a semi. My back was jolted really hard causing severe pain. A week later, the doctors noticed I fractured a lower vertebrate; I was having a lot of pain already and it became increasingly worse. The swelling went down, but the pain became greater so I hired a personal trainer. We focused on abs and lower back and I was able to really develop my strength and my lower core. I refused to quit, persevered and fought. I continued to play sports and compete in a lot of ways…I was a kid who always had a job and played sports but was on the honor roll in high school and made the Dean’s List in college…I wasn’t going to let something like that stop me.
UE: You must have some fitness tips, right?
AVR: Yes! It is consistency, not novelty that leads to uncommon results. With that, I follow that the most consistent thing in our lives is our nutrition, not exercise—it’s recovery and nutrition, really–those are the things that are so important.
UE: Nutrition and recovery more than exercise?
AVR: With as much as we eat, we really need to focus and be conscious of the things we put in our bodies. We’ve changed our food intake so drastically beyond what our digestive system evolved from. I want people to realize that what they put in their bodies affects their overall health. People need to stop eating grains, sugar-rich foods and trans fats and realize that saturated fats, proteins and vegetables are amazing foods for our bodies. If individuals eat right–eat clean–they won’t need to kill themselves at the gym.
UE: Switching gears. The photos of your modeling baskit underwear have been wildly successful…
AVR: I’ve never modeled underwear! I was doing test shoots and the photographer shot with underwear from them, and all of a sudden I’m modeling baskit underwear—I didn’t even get a pair of underwear out of it! I had a blast, though; they were fun shots to take!
UE: Would you consider being a legit underwear model, then?
AVR: It’s weird because I’ve always wanted to model underwear and I feel that I would be a great underwear model…but no one has hit me up or even contacted me for it!
UE: Well, there you have it! Before we wrap up, I have to ask about your tats. What’s your favorite?
AVR: I think that my favorite tattoo would probably be… I love the way the one looks on my right calf but it’s not my favorite tattoo–it’s definitely my favorite placement. I’d say my favorite tat is my sleeve or my Drench Fitness symbol on my hip.
UE: You have more than that, though – do you just enjoy the art, or is there something more there?
AVR: Basically, and you can quote me on this, tattoos are bumper stickers on the road of life. Each tattoo I have is a moment of my life in which there was sadness, there was happiness, or there was change. Each one definitely has a presence behind it that was a huge influence to where I am and who I am now. The one on my left arm really kind of depicts a dark time, an emotional roller coaster of six years of everything from a death in my family to my being in a crazy ass relationship…there’s Atlantis, there’s a shark chasing a school of fish… it’s a very deep tattoo that has a lot of meaning. It has turtles, too, that represent my family and for my brother that died, there’s a Roman helmet with a spear in it—they all mean something important to me.
UE: So what’s next, Adam?
AVR: For me, Michael Stokes and I are going to do a photo shoot of just my tattoos and me. We’re going to do it on the rocks on a beach in New York. For Drench Fitness, I’d like to open one in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York in the next year if I have it my way. We also plan on opening things called MD’s (Mini Drenches)—small, boutique fitness kiosks, in a sense. Small storefronts that are only maybe 800 square feet to maximize space. We don’t need these mega big box gyms—there’s so much wasted space. It’s like big gyms bank on failure, not success, and I want to build a business that’s built on success!
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