SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers across Utah are getting ready for this year’s state legislative session, which promises to be as feverish as ever. But perhaps no one will be better prepared for the 45-day marathon than Rep. Francis Gibson (R-Mapleton).
A notable endurance athlete, Gibson has been relentlessly sprinting up and down the south steps of the Capitol building, often for hours at a time. It’s a maddening exercise regimen for most, but for the seven-time Ragnar champion, it’s merely his way of getting in shape after the holidays.
“I keep close tabs on my BMI, and I had some ground to make up after Christmas,” says Gibson. “A little too much egg nog and gingerbread, I guess.”
Indulgences aside, the House Majority Whip appears to be in peak physical condition. Gibson says fitness is key to his success during the general session.
“I try to keep my resting heart rate below 40 BPM during the session. If it’s any higher than that, it’s hard for me to stay focused,” he says.
In addition to his stair sprinting, Gibson says he does around 200 crunches, 100 clap-pushups, and a 20-minute freestanding handstand—all before his granola-and-whey oatmeal breakfast at 4:30 a.m. In the summer, he’s an avid parkour enthusiast.