Flipping & Squatting with a Furry Sidekick

Featured in Memphis Health + Fitness Magazine

As a full-time house flipper who is also passionately pursuing his pilot’s license, Rudi Rudolph, 41, has his hands full. He learned at a young age that being resourceful is key. More recently, he found that having a sidekick also helps. She’s 80 pounds of muscle and fur, and her name is Layla.

Rudi has always been an active guy. He climbed Chimborazo, the tallest peak in Ecuador, with his dad and brother when he was just 12 years old (twice!). The brothers found unique ways to stay physically fit as they got older.

“We just worked out with what we had. We made our own concrete weights,” Rudi recalls. “Being young, it’s easy to get into shape doing anything.”

As a young man, Rudi also found his calling. With the skills he learned helping his dad on projects around his family’s house, he decided to buy a house when he was 18. However, instead of making it into his own home, he turned it into someone else’s.

“I buy old houses, fix them up, and then sell them. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but after 120 houses [in two years], I got a pretty good idea of how to do it,” he says.

As you can imagine, flipping houses is a physical job. But, lucky for Rudi, staying in shape is something he enjoys and looks forward to doing every day. So when COVID-19 closed gyms around the city, he had to get back to the basics and get creative.

“I started out doing runs. Then, I found a bike that I had in storage and an old jump rope, too. But I don’t necessarily enjoy running all the time,” he admits. “That gets boring for me, so I try to come up with different things to keep it exciting and keep the body guessing.”

That’s where Rudi’s German Shepherd Greyhound mix comes into the picture. Layla was just four weeks old when Rudi found her.

“There was a tiny, white fluff ball in the grass. It was a puppy, covered in fleas, and had all kinds of worms. So I took her in and decided to take care of her.”

Seven years later, Layla is Rudi’s shadow – and barbell!

“I actually put her on my shoulders for squats,” he says. “It doesn’t matter what I do. If I incorporate her in it, she loves it.”

Layla goes along for the ride when Rudi is working and checking his job sites, and it doesn’t stop there.

“She was in the plane the other day for the first time, and she enjoyed that,” he laughs.

At 41, Rudi has a lot going on, and he feels better than he’s ever felt. Between working out and following an intermittent fasting lifestyle, he has found a balance that works for him. However, he also stresses the importance of a good recovery.

Rudi uses a sauna at least once a week, followed by an ice bath. It’s a routine that he says is critical in helping him stay active seven days a week.

“I never thought I’d be able to do all that I do at my age. But I’m happy with the quality of life I’m getting in my 40s. Taking care of yourself and being active is the key. I have friends who don’t think I enjoy eating donuts or a big steak, but I do all of that. I just find balance and make it work.”

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