My name is Nick Holslag, I am one of the partners of Halo Headband products in San Diego, California.


I have been an athlete my whole life competing in a multitude of sports.  Still today at age 59, I try to sweat every day either by mountain biking, trail running or weight lifting

  • At age 11, I began playing little league baseball, football and lacrosse. I played football in high school, lacrosse through college and then participated with many club teams.
  • I pursued a career as a personal trainer by opening and operating a private gym. I have been a Certified Personal Trainer and nutrition advisor for over 30 years. Through my career I have trained all types of athletes from beginners to pros in a variety of sports from pro baseball players to endurance athletes.
  • I have been a competitive mountain biker for over 34 years. I have competed mostly in cross country races and 24-hour races. I am also a committed trail runner and have competed in trail running races in many distances from 10K to ultra-marathons.
  • For seven years, I was the head varsity high school lacrosse coach for both the boys and girls teams. 
  • Mountain bike racing was the inspiration that led my training partner and me to invent the Halo Headband. We were simply tired of getting burning sweat in our eyes during racing and training.  

Got Questions?  Send email to:  NicksTipsAndPicks@haloheadband.com         Follow me on Strava  HALOHEADBANDNH

NICK'S  TIP

INCREASE YOUR FITNESS AND COMRADERY BY UTILIZING THE HALO EFFECT

People often do not work out together because the training ride can be either too slow or too fast depending on the different fitness levels of everyone in the group.  Here is a great technique I use with my friends so everyone gets the most out of each workout.  It's called the Halo Effect.   

Here is an example of how it works for mountain biking. The fastest rider (usually the stronger person) arrives first to the top of a pre-determined climb, he or she then turns around at the summit and heads back down to the person/group still ascending. Once the riders re-unite, the group then rides back up together. The idea behind this routine is that the stronger rider can help to motivate and to keep the less stronger riders company while they ride together.  Once everyone reaches the top they can then recuperate together.  Repeat the Halo Effect for the remaining climbs on the set course or trail.

Benefits include:

Stronger person can workout at a faster pace and not cool down by waiting for others
The less strong climber is motivated to climb faster and enjoy riding with faster athletes
The group recovers at the top together and continue onward and upward together
More enjoyment for different fitness levels to do activities together

NOTE- The Halo Effect technique can be used for other activities as well. Works great for road cycling, trail running, hiking and any activity that has substantial climbs as part of the route.

 

LIGHT DEADLIFTS FOR LOWER BACK STRENGTH

I have trained many people over the years and have found that almost all of them have had lower back pain at some point. I have suffered from lower back pain for a while as well. There are many different exercises for the lower back; however, I have learned that if you can do only one exercise for your lower back, then perform a simple deadlift. Deadlifts are easy to do and can be done almost anywhere. When I was having back pain, a doctor once told me that I may have to live with the pain for the rest of my life. I could not accept that, so I started focusing on strengthening my lower back muscles by doing deadlifts.  I have been pain-free ever since! 

How to perform simple deadlift - *Always consult your physician before you start any type of weight lifting program. Hold the dumbbell, barbell or weight with both hands in front of you in the standing position. Lower the weight slowly down towards the floor with your knees slightly bent. Lower the weight until you feel tension in the back of your legs (hamstrings) then simply lift and stand back up straight again, that is one deadlift. This activity is called a deadlift because you are lifting dead weight. When you lift the weight up, try to focus on using your lower back muscles to do the lifting (not your legs).  Start with very light weight and with a few repetitions.  Then and slowly increase the weight, repetitions and sets over time. For example, when I started, I did three sets of 10 repetitions with a 15 lb. dumbbell.  Over time I worked my way up to using heavier weights. Let your body adjust and add weight slowly as you get stronger. You will know when to add weight as it gets easier to lift the weight. Never get to the point where you are straining your back.  My back has never felt better, stronger and pain-free like it does now, thanks to this simple exercise. 


SMOOTH CYCLING

Whether you ride a mountain bike, a gravel bike or a road bike, remind yourself to be as efficient and smooth as possible. Stay light and relaxed on the bike, constantly chanting to yourself, "ride smoooooth".  Tapping your brakes lightly to slow your speed ahead of corners will help you to flow through them better.  Relax over bumps and try to bunny hop obstacles when needed. Spin with a steady, even pedaling rhythm.  Remind yourself to keep scanning ahead so you can better anticipate any upcoming braking and shifting situations. Remember, the fastest way from point A to point B is a straight line.  Practice these pointers every time you ride, and I guarantee you will become a more efficient, faster, safer and yes, a smooooother rider! 


TRAIL RUNNING

If you are prone to ankle rolls or are worried about rolling your ankle, tape your ankles on every trail run as I do. I have rolled my ankles numerous times during all types of sports including trail running.  It's never fun and it really hurts! The great thing is I have never rolled an ankle while taped. Search online for proper ways to tape an ankle. I also recommend wearing running shoes that have a wide base and outer lugs with a minimum stack height. I prefer Altra brand trail shoes since they have wide foot print and are low to the ground.


MOUNTAIN BIKING

Constantly look ahead and scan the trail ahead back and forth approximately 10-12 yards. The faster you ride the faster you need to scan. Doing this lets your brain preadjust to obstacles as you approach them and helps you to pick your path in advance. Your body will then be able to react quicker with effective movements that will help you to navigate over or through the trail much more smoothly, and ultimately faster. This practice can be applied for not only downhill riding, but for technical climbs as well.

NICK'S PICK

THE BEST WATER BOTTLE FOR ANY ACTIVITY

The Team Halo water bottle by Specialized has been a favorite of mine for many years.  It's very easy to drink from while cycling. The soft valve never leaks.  The bottle is transparent so you can easily gauge your fluid intake.  No plastic taste or smell.  We like it so much we put our Halo logo on it!

Features include:
     Purist MoFlo technology delivers clean, pure taste
     Glass-like inner surface (patented process)
     Zero Leftover - tastes, odors, stains or mold
     Spill-Proof Valve with maximum flow
     Removable valve for thorough bottle cleaning
     Scratch resistant and non-toxic ink
     BPA Free  and dishwasher safe
     Size - 22 ounces
     American made by Specialized


RUNNING, HIKING & FITNESS BELT

  

The SpiBelt Performance Pro Belt is great for trail running, marathons, or adventure races. The spacious pocket will hold any phone and the elastic band can hold energy gels.