My name is Bret. I own a CrossFit affiliate, Everlasting Fitness in MD. I coach group classes as well as one on one. I’m a nutrition coach, kids coach, coaches coach and I have helped mentor entrepreneurs opening their own gyms.
I was a high school runner for 3 years, tried track in college got distracted and quit. I got into the party scene pretty quick, traded fitness for smoking and drinking. At 32 I finally had enough and started working out again. I found CrossFit at 34 (late in life) and have never looked back. I wish I would have found it sooner. I am now 47 and arguably in the best shape of my life. So, you can start late, you don’t need to be an athlete and fitness can be fun! You just have to make yourself a priority.
This is MY Master List. The top 10 things that are keeping ME fit as I head toward age 50.
This is my list and what works for me, everyone is different and everyone’s order will be different. I still struggle and still work on these tasks everyday. I have good days and bad days like everyone else. I can tell you confidently that there are more good than bad. In my opinion if you work on these items 6 out of 7 days a week you are showing some great drive and really trying to make a difference.
You get to decide what kind of results that you want. OK effort gets OK results.
Two of my favorite quotes:
“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision and change.”
“You can either experience the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”
I put CrossFit at #10. It’s the best Fitness method I have found that includes the rest of this list (at least at a good Affiliate) in a minimal amount of time. I’m not a fan of every CrossFit gym. Their affiliate program allows each owner to run their affiliate how they choose. This is good and bad.
Basically I see three types of CrossFit affiliates out there:
Best – The Innovators. These gyms go out on a limb. Try, fail, learn, try again. They Coach, they greet, they respond, they have systems in place, their classes are busy, they offer personal training and nutrition services, the newbie is as important as the experienced firebreather.
Mid – The Copycats. These gyms do what they think every other CrossFit gym is doing. They program Mayhem or HWPO programming because those guys won the games and it must be the best. They charge the same or less than their competitors. They don’t respond quickly, the gym is a little disorderly and they start classes a little late. Their coaches are typically their best athletes. They cheer more than they coach but generally keep everyone safe. You will get a good workout – warm up, cool down maybe.
Worst – The Winging it gym. These gyms are not the cleanest, they don’t respond (email or phone), no one says hello, the workout looks impossible, you can’t see the programming in advance (because they don’t know yet), the coach may workout with the class, an experienced competitor gets more attention than the newbie.
My gym has gone through all these phases so no offense to anyone. There just needs to be an evolution.
**Try them all so you can see and appreciate the difference!!
I workout 6/7 days
9. Work Weaknesses
If you only do what you enjoy doing then you will be lopsided. This goes for exercise, nutrition, mobility, basically the rest of the list. If something hurts, work on it. If something doesn’t work well, practice it. You can turn your weakness into a strength. If you don’t know how or where to start – find a coach!
If you play hard, you need to recover harder. If you don’t focus on recovery your body will get to a point where it says no. Something will “tweak” or “pull”, you may be excessively sore. Then comes injury which is a huge set back.
Recovery includes a lot of this list as well – Mobility – Nutrition – Mindset. How about sleep, massage, stretching, rolling, compression, sauna, ice baths? This list goes on. Questions? – Find a coach!
One thing that had noticeably huge effects on my workouts was Mobility. The first step was finding the right things to work on in the right way. (Don’t know? Ask a Coach.) Once you find a list to work on, the next step is doing it consistently. Gaining mobility in my hips and shoulders made almost every exercise easier and more comfortable. I was then able to push more weight with seemingly less effort. It’s boring, it takes time and it’s not flashy. But it works.
Need a plan – Find a coach!
6. Do Hard Things, Get Uncomfortable
This is why I like CrossFit. It can always be harder or faster. I try to throw myself into competitions on occasion whether it’s the CF Open, local CrossFit style comps or weightlifting meets. This keeps your eyes forward. Tracking Macros is hard, sometimes it has to be done to keep yourself in check. Passing on dessert is hard, practicing that will power is hard. Making the right choice is hard. Taking an ice bath is uncomfortable.
Make yourself uncomfortable on purpose and suddenly being uncomfortable isn’t so bad.
Need a push? Get a coach!
5. Know your Body
I like this better than “Listen to your Body”. Most people listen to their mind, not their body. Your mind will quit 1000x before your body will. Almost every morning when my feet step out of the bed, my mind says that I’m sore and I need a rest day. I pack workout clothes anyway. After I wake up, have my coffee and move around a bit, my mind says “oh, maybe we can workout – my bad.” I know now that this is how my body is and I expect it. I know what stretches/routines make my hips feel better. I know which ones that don’t work as well. I know that my body likes 7-8 hours of sleep. Knowing your body takes time, routine and practice. Take notes, record how you feel and most of all pay attention.
Need a second opinion? Ask a coach!
Surround yourself with like minded individuals. You have heard this 1000x but have you tried it? If you hang out with friends at a bar, you’re probably going to drink and then eat bar food. If you hang out with friends from a CrossFit gym it would be easier because they know you have goals and respect those decisions keeping your diet in check. My gym community motivates me to push harder in my workouts. They motivate me to do hard things. They motivate me to workout consistently. Best of all, they support me 100%.
Let’s consider family here, too. If you have a supportive partner everything is easier. If you have a family member that stresses you out or is a bad influence on you or your family, then sometimes you might have to make that hard choice to intervene or distance yourself.
I’ll repeat this part: Surround yourself with like minded individuals.
Looking for a group? Try a CrossFit gym
Probably the #2 action for most noticeable gains in my fitness. When my diet is clean I feel good in workouts and perform well consistently. When my diet is poor I feel slow, sluggish, unmotivated or don’t workout at all. Get a coach at least once. This will give you a baseline to work from if you end up on your own, or stay with the coach and kickass!
Nutrition is a no-brainer. If you are not willing to change your diet to improve your fitness then you are not trying hard enough.
Tried and failed? Not sure what to do – ask a coach!
This is the #1 action for most noticeable gains in my fitness. When my mind says “we are going to kick ass today”, hold on, it’s gonna be a good day! If I look at the workout in the morning and my mind says we are lifting 300 lbs today, 9x out of 10 I will lift the exact weight or higher. Your mind has a way of prepping your body for the task at hand. “BELIEVE” is real.
It can however be devastating in the other direction. If you told yourself your workout will be hard and feel awful, you can guess exactly how that workout went. If you go in without a number in mind it will be easier to stop earlier because it feels heavy.
Prep your task by walking through it in your mind first. All positive thoughts.
Working on Mindset is an everyday task 24/365. Ask a coach!
Look back at every other item on this list. If you do it once this list is crap. The key to it all is doing it consistently and this takes discipline.
You can see how all of these work together and can play off of each other. Build each piece into a powerful habit and you will truly have Everlasting Fitness!
Coach Bret Lurz
PS. If you need help with any of these things or something similar, I am here to help. I also know of a really great gym in Harford County. 🙂