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Burn with Kearns: From the boardroom to the locker room – Kevin Kearns

By Kevin Kearns

It’s challenging to stay in tip-top shape for all of us. As a personal trainer for over 25 years, and working with some of  Boston’s most elite CEOs, it can be even tougher. For the self-employed CEO it can be downright impossible.

When driving downtown in Boston I can almost guarantee among all the high-rise glass and concrete you will see spotless white “Northeastern Mechanical Service Vehicles.”  Paul Lyons, my client, is CEO and owner of the company. He started the company over 20 years ago and has grabbed some of the top jobs for HVAC and plumbing for some of the top high-rises in town. Even the world champion football team, the New England Patriots, uses his company. The  challenge for Paul at age 47 and father of 4 hockey boys is when to find time to work out.  He briefly met me at the first UFC Fan Expo in 2009 when he bought my MMA conditioning DVDs. He never thought we would cross paths again.

His wife bumped into me at a gym one day and took my card. That was last year, and 40 pounds ago for Paul. After spending so much time and energy on his business and family, his own fitness regimen was hit or miss. When we started, Paul was 237 lbs. at 6’1”, and a 42-inch waist. Today, 8 months later, he is 189 lbs. and a 34-inch waist!

How did he do it?

  • Warm up routines consist of moving stretches, agility ladder drills, and fitness trampoline work
  • At 4 days a week we alternate between weight training, kickboxing, bosu work, bands, suspension training, and plyometrics

Sample routine

  • Day 1
  • one arm dumbbell snatches, 10 reps
  • place a weight on the floor in front of you.
  • next bend down and grab the weight with one hand as you squat down with your head up.
  • with one quick motion pull the weight up over head as you come out of the squat to a standing position.
  • one arm stability ball chest press, 10 reps
  • 1. roll down onto a stability ball with a dumbbell in one hand.
  • 2. press your hips up and the air so they are parallel with your shoulders
  • 3. with the dumbbell at the side of your shoulder press the dumbbell up.
  • air fit rows(or other suspension unit), 10 reps
  • 1. grab the suspension unit with both hands and lean back on your heels until your arms are fully extended
  • 2. next pull your whole body towards the suspension unit so your hands meet your rib cage.
  • 3. lower down and repeat
  • shoulder raise with lunges 10 reps
  • 1. stand in an upright position with the dumbbells at your sides
  • 2. as you lunge forward raise the dumbbells to shoulder level at your sides
  • 3. step back and repeat on the other leg
  • dumbbell squat curl and press, 10 reps
  • 1. stand in an upright position with the dumbbells at your sides
  • 2. squat down as low as you can comfortably with the dumbbells at your sides
  • 3. as you come out of the squat curl the dumbbells up and then press them overhead
  • Bosu super planks, 10 reps
  • 1. lie on a bosu in a prone plank position with your elbows on the bosu
  • 2. next press off your one then the other hand as you come up to a push up position on top of the bosu

On days on his own and with limited time he has a 10 Minute Burn with Kearns Blast circuit

jump rope, 1minute

stability push-ups, 40 seconds

med ball twists, 40 seconds

stair master, 1 minute

dumbbell rows, 40 seconds

med ball wood chops, 40 seconds

Jump Rope, 1 minute

dumbbell upper cuts, 40 seconds

bosu sprawls, 1 minute

Now Rome was not built on just training alone. You also have to eat correctly and effectively. The first day we met to go over paperwork we actual had a lunch meeting in Boston while I was between clients, and he was as well. We met a diner downtown and right from the start Paul was watching me order my food. I had egg whites, veggies, no toast and green tea at 1 pm. He thought that was odd to have eggs for lunch. I replied, “Why not?”  I continued with food is food no matter what time of the day it is. Your body does not know the difference between eggs for breakfast or eggs for dinner. You want to feed it the right food all the time. Paul, like me, is on the road a lot looking at jobs. This can be challenging trying to find the right food at the right times. So, we had some specific steps to follow.

  1. keep food in your vehicle such as fruit, nuts, seeds, and low filler protein bars. When you feel your energy drops have a piece of fruit or handful of nuts. Purpose – keep your blood sugar on an even level so you don’t get so hungry you will eat whatever is available.
  2. even portions of protein and carbs with veggies at each meal. Purpose – keep your sugars stable and cravings away.
  3. cook extra for dinner and then the extra becomes another meal the next day. Purpose – less hassle trying to find what to eat.
  4. keep a small fridge at the office as back-up for meals. Purpose – less stress involved when you know you have good food at another stop. Stress causes hormones to be produced that slows down weight loss and adds to cravings of non-healthy food.
  5. avoid refined sugars and process food. Purpose – garbage in garbage out. you are what you eat.
  6. eat a variety of food. Purpose – man was not meant to eat chicken day in and day out mix it up your body needs the different nutrients.
  7. if you must have something sweet try frozen fruit. purpose – good source of vitamins tastes good and less fat.
  8. when in doubt, text the coach! I have had clients around the world text me or send me a menu at an eatery. Purpose – coach has your back and will help you make the right choices.

Paul’s other days are a mixture of hitting the Muay Thai pads for 3 minutes on the one minute off while using a fitness trampoline for active recovery. His cardio days on intervals on the treadmill at the following pace.

2 minutes running

1 minute walking

total time 40 minutes.

So, if CEO Paul Lyons can lose 40 lbs. at 47 years old in less than 9 months, what is your excuse?

Coach Kearns


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Kearns is hosting a fundraiser to help remove the stigma of mental illness. More information can be found by visiting

Both of Coach Kearns’ books may be purchased on For more information about Coach Kevin Kearns, including scheduling speaking engagements and classes (both online and in person), please contact him at 508-404-8503 or

Coach Kevin Kearns has been coaching in the world of fitness, nutrition, and tactical self defense for over 3 decades. As the former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pro Fighters, and ranked in the Top 5 in the UFC , he is no stranger to the the importance of proper nutrition and proper mindset programming. He has long advocated to all his clients – athletes or the general population – about the importance of programming mind, body and spirit. 

Coach Kevin Kearns BS FMS CPT – Former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pros Ranked in Top 5 by the UFC Personal Fitness Coach, Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant, Youth Wellness Program Provider, Certification Specialist, Personal Self Defense, and Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Specialist

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