Brandon Bollig wasn't a highly-touted hockey player growing up, but he always embraced whatever role he was asked to play and carved out a niche as a bottom-six forward who brought energy and would be the first to step up for his teammates.
As an undrafted free agent, Bollig turned in a solid professional career that spanned across eight seasons with four different organizations. The obvious highlight came in 2013 when he won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, who started the lockout-shortened season on a historic 24-game point streak that drew national attention and also captured the Presidents' Trophy.
"I still get chills talking about that Cup run," Bollig told NBC Sports Chicago.
Some players struggle with figuring out what to do after their playing career ends. Bollig, who officially retired in January of 2019 two weeks before his 32nd birthday, thought he might be one of them. But that didn't turn out to be the case.
Bollig and his wife Dannah, a former Division I soccer player and now certified personal trainer, launched a fitness business in April centered around low-impact workouts using strictly resistance bands and body weight. The idea was sparked during the final years of Bollig's hockey career when Dannah was forced to get creative with her workouts because of the nonstop travel.
"She really had to be resilient and resourceful and develop her own kind of training method," Bollig said on the latest episode of the Blackhawks Talk Podcast. "That's where the seed was planted."
One month into the business, Bollig said things are going "super well" despite the COVID-19 pandemic complicating the process. The model is a subscription service called "The DE Method," which costs $9.99 per month or $99 a year; a seven-day free trial is also available at their website dannaheve.com.
The workouts are intended for anyone and everyone, from elite athletes to the average Joe. But it certainly helps strengthen the case for the average Joe to get on board when we’re seeing more and more athletes, such as six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and the Blackhawks’ own Patrick Kane, make the transition from weight training to resistance bands and it’s not a coincidence their careers and prime years have been and are being prolonged because of it.
"Athletes are changing the way they're training," said Bollig, who still lives in Chicago and stays in touch with Kane and his former teammates. “All these [athletes] are continually expanding their knowledge base, continually learning new training methods and new ways to improve and that's exactly why you're starting to see all this onus on resistance band training because it's lower impact on your knees, your joints, your back, all that stuff, which is the main reason why I absolutely love this stuff. My body has truly never felt better."
Perhaps the most convenient part of “The DE Method” program is the fact it’s geared towards at-home workouts and the total body set weighs only a pound and a half. You can do it anytime and anywhere, which is why Dannah likes to call it the “Anywhere Gym.”
While the Bolligs are constantly looking for new ways to improve the business along the way, the early testimonies indicate Brandon and Dannah’s impact off the field will be even greater than what they accomplished on it.
"We've had people reaching out to my wife saying this changed their life, their bodies never felt better and that honestly validates all the hard work that we put into this," Bollig said. "The fact we have more and more people reaching out, almost every day now ... all that stuff has been so rewarding to us and really validates our idea of, of course, creating a cool business for us, but also offering people an outlet to stay fit, not only physically but mentally and all the benefits that come to your mental health from working out."
You can check out Bollig's full interview on the Blackhawks Talk Podcast here:
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