In Honor of National Jerky Day Learn to Train Like the Original Cowboy Ninja

Hillary makens | june 12, 2018

Cowboy Ninja Lance Pekus shares tips for strength and his favorite workout recovery food.

In celebration of National Jerky Day today, Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. has partnered with fan favorite “American Ninja Warrior®” competitor and cattle rancher Lance Pekus to share some of his favorite strength-building tips, including keeping beef jerky on hand as a strength-building food. Pekus’ tips are all inspired by his unique workouts on his family’s ranch in Salmon, Idaho.

As a cattle rancher, beef is a big part of Pekus’ diet, and he relies on beef jerky as his go-to snack to stay strong. “It’s important to get protein throughout the day, and beef jerky is an easy and delicious way to get the fuel I need to perform at my best,” explains Pekus. “Whether I’m working on the ranch, or working out, the nutrients and protein found in beef help me rebuild my muscles and stay energized.”

Pekus, known by fans as the “Cowboy Ninja,” finds unique ways to train while working on the ranch. Here are his top four tips for staying strong:

  1. Let your surroundings “steer” you
    Whether pitching hay or running through the hills of Idaho, leveraging your environment for your workout can be just as effective as (and sometimes more fun than) hitting the gym.
  2. Beef is no bull
    Protein fuels and repairs muscles that are broken down during a hard workout.  To make sure you don’t feel weak, or even worse – hangry, keep beef jerky on hand.  Beef jerky (“natures protein bar”) is packed with protein and 10 essential nutrients.  Plus, it’s easy to throw in your gym bag and tastes great, making it the perfect workout recovery snack!
  3. Strength isn’t just physical
    High-quality protein provides both physical and mental strength. On the Pekus family ranch, sitting around the dinner table and sharing a healthy beef meal builds family strength, emotional strength and mental strength.
  4. Every little bit counts
    You don’t have to kill yourself with a daily three-hour workout. When it comes to fitness, it’s a cumulative game. Getting in a quick five-minutes six times a day is just as good as a steady 30-minute routine. Pro tip: chasing kids (or cattle) counts too!

Pekus isn’t the only one who loves beef jerky. A 2017 Nielsen study  found that beef jerky sales growth jumped nearly seven percent over the previous four years. The protein-packed snack is also a favorite with health experts thanks to its strong nutritional profile.

“Beef Jerky is one of the highest-quality protein snacks on the market today,” said Jim White, Registered Dietitian and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios. “Fitness enthusiasts can’t always make a protein shake or prepare a high protein meal after a challenging workout, which can make beef jerky a convenient post-workout snack choice. It delivers the high-quality protein and essential amino acids necessary to help rebuild muscle.”

About the Beef Checkoff
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

About NCBA, a Contractor to the Beef Checkoff
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The Beef Checkoff Program is administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, with oversight provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.