The Story Behind Evidence Based Athlete

In 2009 I was logging 60+ hour weeks at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, working on a rover destined for Mars.

It was an intense time. If I had to do it all over again, I totally would. But, I was prioritizing my career over my health. I wasn’t eating right. I wasn’t exercising. I was sleeping poorly. I was gaining weight. Worst of all, I felt like shit.

I knew I needed to make a change. I wanted to take action. But most of what I read seemed sensationalized, contradictory or downright wrong. So, I did what any good engineer would do, I hit the books.

I read textbooks. I read scientific journals. I read everything I could get my hands on. Then I started putting it all into practice. Experimenting on myself. Figuring out what worked and what didn’t. What I learned was, all that hype and B.S. out there is designed to get you to click on and buy things you don’t need. What works is quite simple, but people don’t click on that.

I wasn’t on this journey alone either. I married my high school sweetheart who’d been an athlete her whole life – beginning with club gymnastics, then track, then distance running, followed by CrossFit and the list goes on… She’s got a doctorate degree too, so she’s no academic slouch.

Anyway. Invigorated by what I learned and the results I achieved, in 2011 we decided to transition away from our engineering and health care careers to help others do the same. To put into practice the simple things that work.

I won’t bore you with all the details, the short version goes like this… we started a boutique gym out of our garage, outgrew it and moved into a commercial space shortly thereafter, helped a shit load of people get fit, but decided we wanted work more intimately with our clients, so we sold the gym and launched Evidence Based Athlete, where we deliver remote 1:1 coaching for people that want to cut through the noise and focus on the things that truly matter and achieve epic results.

It’s been a wild ride. We’ve worked with NFL players, CrossFit Games athletes, sponsored endurance racers, medical clinics, seniors, stay-at-home moms, weekend warriors, and countless others prioritizing their career over their health, just like 2009 me.

The Team

I’ve already introduced myself and my wife, we also have one other team member – Jon, a standout coach from our days running our boutique gym. Here’s a bit more about each of us…

Nicole Latimer: Head Coach

Nicole has two great loves in her life, working out and her golden retriever. I come in a distant third place. She’s been a lifelong athlete and even set some state running records. In 2010 she started coaching and hasn’t looked back since. Nicole initially pursued a career in healthcare and ultimately found she can be most effective in the gym rather than managing medications in the clinic. Below is a sampling of some of her credentials, training and accomplishments.

  • Doctorate in Pharmacy
  • Post Graduate Residency in Primary Care / Preventative Medicine
  • CrossFit Level 2
  • CrossFit Kids Trained
  • CrossFit Running Coach
  • Pose Running Method Trained
  • OPEX Level 1 Assessment / Program Design Trained
  • Former Kansas half marathon record holder
  • Missouri 12k record holder

Brandon Heavey: Chief Nerd

This is me. I’ve always identified as a nerd, which wasn’t nearly as cool when I was growing up as it is today. But, here we are, nerds are cool and I’m the chief nerd at EBA. That means I spend most of my time reading research, distilling it down into best practices for our team, writing about what I learn as well as discussing it all with my great friend and co-host on the Strength & Scotch podcast.

  • Co-host of the Strength & Scotch podcast
  • OPEX Level 2 (on journey)
  • NFL Combine Internship Under Scot Prohaska
  • Kresser Institute ADAPT Clinician Trained
  • Functional Diagnostic Practitioner Certified
  • USAW Weightlifting L1 Coach
  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Kid
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering
  • B.S. Computer Engineering
  • Spent a month on an ice breaker ship in Antarctica doing research

Jon Chai: All-Star Coach

Jon is everything you could want in a coach. I honestly think that when one of his clients accomplishes something, he gets more excited about it than they do. It’s contagious and motivating. Maybe that’s why he has coached weightlifting and powerlifting on national and international stages. He brings enthusiasm, experience and expertise to the table.

  • 2016/2017 USA Weightlifting Nationals, Coach
  • 2014 Hong Kong Bench Press Championships, Coach
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach
  • CrossFit Level 2
  • OPEX Level 1 Assessment /
  • Program Design Trained
  • He has seen some shit as an EMT on the streets of LA

Here's What You Can Expect From EBA...

It seems like damn near everyone fancies themselves a fitness expert these days. I can’t speak to that and use words appropriate for this page. What I will say is that we take health and fitness seriously around here. This isn’t a fly by night shop, or something that we do on the side in our spare time. I mean, my entire job is to read research papers!!! Still, you may be wondering if what we offer will be worth your time. Maybe our guiding principles will help you decide…

  • Empowerment: knowledge is power. Our primary objective is to enable you, through education, to take control of your own health and fitness.
  • Science-Based, Results-Driven: we don’t just pull things out of our ass. We’re scientists. We use research, data and experimentation as the backbone for everything we do.
  • Balance: short term results come from intensity, long term change comes from balance. We want to help you find that balance.
  • Authenticity: there’s so many toxic personalities and ego-driven bullshit in this industry. Life is too short for that crap. There’s no pretending around here, we are unabashedly our true selves – just trying to help people like you get fitter.

If want to take your fitness into your own hands and use a science-backed approach to achieve epic things, I encourage you to do some combination of the following:

  • Join Evidence Based Insider, our weekly email with tips and tricks to help you take action on science-backed techniques for improving your health and fitness
  • Follow us on social media. Pick your poison, Instagram or Facebook. To be honest, these platforms aren’t our top priority, but we do post semi-regularly with highlights from our work with clients and from the weekly tips and tricks emails.