With the New Year here, a lot of people have been reaching out to me on social media asking about my fitness routine and my personal take on nutrition. Since it is such a popular time for diet and exercise, I thought it would be good to share my routine with my readers.
My time spent as a professional model for many brands helped me to learn a lot about how to keep my body in tip-top shape and looking good year round. However, I am not a professional bodybuilder, personal trainer, or nutritionist so take everything I say with a grain of pink Himalayan sea salt. 😉
To make this post super simple to digest I’m going to split it into two sections: my workout routine and my diet. My philosophy is that you shouldn’t overcomplicate diet and exercise.
They should be a priority that you keep for yourself. The best way to do this is to keep it simple.
My Fitness Routine
In keeping things simple, my approach to fitness is to work with trained professionals. As a realtor, most of my clients could legally sell their own homes if they wanted to, but they never would because there are so many nuances that a real estate agent has that they don’t.
My time spent in the modeling industry working for many different brands in different markets/countries has helped me learn how to alter my nutrition to get the physique I needed. Fitness is no different. When it comes to getting a lean, chiseled physique get a good personal trainer who can help you to push yourself past your limits.
Now I know a personal trainer is a luxury and certainly not in everyone’s budget. At certain periods in my life, it wasn’t always in mine.) I do believe that the best investment to ever make is investing in your health.
When I first started in Corporate America I was making $60,000 a year. In some parts of the country that will get you far, but not in Los Angeles where my one bedroom apartment at the time was $1,700.
I made it a priority to find a new trainer that was building up their client base, and in turn they gave me a discounted hourly rate. So it is possible. If that still isn’t an option for you, I recommend following great trainers on Instagram and Youtube who post great workouts that you can follow. My personal trainer is @seanabbottfitness on Instagram.
I only workout four days a week–Tuesday through Friday–making it easy to make social events on the weekend. This schedule has been my schedule for years and it just makes it easy for me to commit, which helps me to stay on track.
I get to take Mondays off to focus on starting my week on the right foot at work, and I can be a couch potato on the weekends or lounge around poolside without feeling guilty about it.
One of the other nice things about my workout routine is that my trainer can only train me at 9 am, which is difficult because if for some reason I cannot make that session due to a client meeting, I need to train myself later that night. While this can be a struggle during busy mornings, it also guarantees that I can get to the gym and take my first appointment at 10:30. I also don’t have to rush out of the office to get a workout in before dinner.
The bottom line is: I don’t sacrifice my workouts.
I treat my workout like it is one of my clients. I know that all the energy I invest in taking care of my body will pay dividends down the road to better serve my clients. On days I work out I’m calmer, more focused, and I have more energy at my disposal.
Listen to Your Body
My trainer and I work together on figuring out the best plan for each week. What’s really nice about the way that I train is that I am flexible depending on my needs at the time. For instance, something that I recommend everyone reading this blog to do is listen to your body.
Some days I’m stressed out or busy, so I go to the gym and I just run on the treadmill. It helps me to calm down, get recentered, and also get some great cardio in even when life is pretty hectic. A lot of people hate running on treadmills, but for me it is ideal for three reasons. First, I can blast my AirPods at full volume without getting hit by a car in Los Angeles traffic. Second, I can make sure that I avoid potholes. Lastly, the air quality is really bad in LA so getting some air conditioning with breathable air is a privilege.
If I’m not super busy then my trainer and I will alternate between either resistance training with free weights or HIIT (High Intensity Impact Training). Lifting weights can be a lot of fun, but it can also lead to a plateau. I like to switch it up and also incorporate HIIT for fat-burning and cardio.
On days when I don’t want to work out, I always tell my trainer to give me a HIIT workout. Because of the different movements that are always being mixed up it really keeps things interesting and you don’t have time to be bored.
I also will periodically take a week off to let my body reset. Sometimes, going on vacation and getting some sunshine and rest will really help you to push through a plateau. Just make sure that you aren’t continually taking weeks off, otherwise you won’t see any results.
On days that I lift weights (which is really great for your heart) I try to break up my workouts into different muscle groups. Here’s a breakdown of my workout schedule:
Tuesday: Chest + Triceps + Core Workout
Wednesday: Back and Biceps
Friday: Whatever Needs Extra Work (Depending on the Week)
Oh, and in case you are wondering whether Josh and I workout together, well, I think Josh took a boxing class with me once, he left about five minutes after it started.
First things first, I don’t believe in crash dieting. I also really hate yo-yo dieting because putting in a lot of time and effort just to see it all fade away is a complete disappointment.
I like to tell my friends that, “I stay ready, so I don’t have to get ready!”
Now, that’s a motto to live by in 2020!
Now let’s talk about my diet. Everyone in LA is doing something different for their health. From vegan to Paleo there are a lot of different diets and I encourage you to work with a nutritionist to find what works best for your body. Everyone’s body will react differently, so be prepared to try multiple diets until you can dial it in.
Recently, however, I’ve fallen in love with Keto. It just really works for me. However, I must admit that it is hard to follow a diet all year round that won’t let me have blueberries, but I can have bacon. I initially tried keto for the mental clarity and energy that its proponents claimed. I felt so good after the first two weeks, that I kept it up.
Now since it’s January my advice to all of you starting a new diet is to keep it up for at least 14 days because after the first two weeks, your cravings will stop.
Due to my diet I can’t have a lot of carbs, so I follow an all-organic diet 80% of the time. I will eat fruits and veggies for carbs, but not complex carbs such as pasta or grains. This has really helped me with my ab definition, because we all have heard the phrase abs are made in the kitchen. I can’t speak for everybody, but for me this definitely applies.
Foods I Love (and a Few I Avoid)
During the Holidays I love wearing cheesy holiday sweaters–so I try to keep myself in shape so that I look as well as I do during the rest of the year. It is very disappointing to look bloated in Holiday photos after being fit all year. There have been so many times in the past years when I looked like Santa Claus in holiday pictures, because I wasn’t focused and dialed in on my nutrition. I said earlier I have a sweet tooth and lets just say that it can get really out of hand with indulging in all of my favorite sweets if I’m not disciplined. I bring this up because my biggest vice is sweets. I have a sweet tooth! I love fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, Häagen-Dazs ice cream (specifically Chocolate chip cookie dough), See’s Candy and all of those Christmas cookies with lots of frosting. However, with my diet I have to leave those things out of the equation on a daily basis by filling myself up with healthy foods that I love instead. If I am good all week, I will let myself have any of the above and as much as I want on Sunday, my cheat day.
For example, I know myself well enough that if I make fish it won’t fill me up and I’ll binge eat. So in place of healthy omega 3s found in fish, I make sure to eat what I like–red meat and barbecued chicken.
For snacks, instead of binging on potato chips I get the same crunch from celery and organic peanut butter with none of the empty calories! If peanut butter isn’t your thing, try making Kale chips. I know it sounds weird, but give them a try. I make mine extra crunchy with lots of sea salt. So Good!!! I supplement in some low calorie protein bars throughout the day to help fill myself up and aid in recovery.
The Bottom Line
No matter what your health routine looks like, the most important thing is that you make it simple enough to stay committed. If you aren’t keeping it simple, it is really easy to get derailed from your goals. You have to plan ahead for all of those late nights at the office when you get so tired and so hungry that you stop at the drive through on the way home. Always have a meal or two that is healthy, well balanced, and prepared in your refrigerator so when you get home, all you have to do is heat it up. When life gets in the way, and it will, you have to stay the course.
As cheesy as it sounds, You are worth it, and keeping yourself healthy is so important to performing at your best. When I am focused, dialed in, and maintaining my diet and exercise routine, I am a much better agent, boss, friend, and more importantly husband. What did you agree with in this post? What do you do differently?
Let me know what you learned or what your favorite health and fitness advice is by leaving a comment below.