July 15, 2011
When it comes to teaching you how to live healthy, eat better, and stay active, I try to do my best to lead by example – and I know that sometimes you may wonder…how does a personal trainer or a “health guru” structure their daily routine, eat and exercise?
So in today's post, as follow-up to last month's post “How I Went From A 210 Pound 3% Body Fat Bodybuilder To A 175 Pound Ironman Triathlete” and last year's audio interview, “Who Is Ben Greenfield“, I'm going to give you a sneak peek into my daily routine. Since I am, to a fault, a creature of habit, I can guarantee that what you are about to read is how I live 99% of my life.
OK, here we go, along with some pictures (and feel free to leave your questions, criticisms, and feedback in the comments section below this post):
-6:00AM: Wakey-time. To enhance sleep quality, which has a host of hormonal benefits such as increased testosterone, stabilized appetite, and lower cortisol, I use a sleep mask, ear plugs, and a white noise app on my iPhone while I slumber. I do not use an alarm clock – I simply wake at about the same time each morning.
-6:30AM: After a morning trip to the bathroom and a daily Scripture reading, I progress to do The Exact Stretch Routine That I Do Every Morning, No Matter What.
-7:00AM: Pop open the computer and begin first task of the day. To stay productive, I have a specific set of tasks that are assigned to each day. For example, on Mondays and Tuesdays I record podcast interviews or write blog articles, on Wednesdays I release the BenGreenfieldFitness Podcast, on Thursdays and Fridays, I write in my books, and on Saturdays and Sundays I speak on the phone with and review weekly training logs and diets of clients. Typically, every late afternoon or early evening I am either teaching seminars or meeting with clients. For most of the day, about 5-7 hours, I am typically at a standing workstation.
-8:00AM: If I am in a “fat loss” phase, I will usually perform an easy aerobic workout prior to breakfast. Otherwise, I am simply working until breakfast. Before breakfast, I take my morning supplements – typically a fish oil, vitamin D, a greens supplement, Coenzyme Q-10, digestive enzymes, a probiotic and and colostrum. For more insight into which supplements I take and why, download and listen to this nutrition supplements audio interview with me.
-8:30AM: River and Terran, our twin boys, emerge from their bedrooms. Snuggle time, story time and occasionally, wrestling.
-9:00AM: I eat breakfast. This may seem like a late breakfast. Want to know why? Go open a new browser window, go to https://bengreenfieldfitness.com, and on upper right side of page, do search for “fasting”. For fat burning and longevity benefits, I try to work a 12 hour fast into most days (i.e. 9pm to 9am).
For the clients who I personally coach, or for members of the Inner Circle, I now keep a photo and journal of my daily diet, where clients can ask questions about why I'm eating what I'm eating. Here is the breakfast I eat most mornings – a slurry of coconut milk, whey protein, almond butter, cinnamon, fresh fruit, and about 4 tablespoons of raw oats:
-10:30AM: My thirst starts to get the best of me, but water gets boring sometimes. These days, in the mid-morning, I pour about 8 ounces of home-made, pro-biotic packed Kombucha over ice. My wife Jessa has a 3 step process for making Kombucha, and below is the first step in Part 1 of a three-part “Make Your Own Kombucha” video series we have inside the BenGreenfieldFitness Inner Circle.
-11:00am: More time with boys, usually off to play tennis, read books, go fishing, go on a walk, play cars, etc. For over a decade, I operated gyms and personal training studios, and was gone the entire day. When my kids were born, I made the decision to focus more on writing and working with online clients, which gives me the advantage of being able to spend time with my kids and wife while they're awake. We're homeschooling the boys, and our curriculum is very “reading intensive” , so at this point, I'm usually reading a few stories each day to the kids, and arranged follow-up activities based on those stories.
-1:30pm: Lunch. Typically lunch is a mix of dark leafy greens, healthy fats, protein, and only a very small amount of carbohydrate. Below is a a photo example from yesterday's lunch log, which is fresh kale from out garden, sardines (read about why I like them here), sliced tomato with sea salt, homemade hummus, feta cheese, and rice crackers.
-2:30pm: I try to do a workout in the afternoon while the kids are asleep, and most days of the week, I'm working out twice per day, such as during the kid's nap, and then again in the late evening. I usually consume 5-10 Master Amino Pattern amino acid capsules prior to exercise, and to understand why, please read this article series on amino acids: “Do Amino Acids Really Help You Exercise Or Are Nutrition Supplement Companies Pulling A Fast One On You?“. Please remember that I do not set expectations for everyone to exercise as much as I do, since I am usually in training for Ironman triathlon competition, which involves 10-15 hours of exercise per week. Currently my workout routine is as follows:
- M: Upper Body Lift for 1 Hour, 60-90 minute full court basketball (ride bike to gym for basketball)
- T: 30 Minute Swim, 1 Hour Tennis
- W: Low Body Lift for 1 Hour, 60-90 minute full court basketball (ride bike to gym for basketball)
- R: 30 Minute Swim, 1 Hour Tennis
- F: Massage, yoga or stretching in afternoon.
- S: 90 minute Sufferfest bike (indoors), 30 minute swim
- S: 60-90 minute run
Post-Workout Nutrition: I usually don't prioritize post-workout nutrition very much, since I eat 3-4 times during the day, and this means that I have enough carbohydrates and amino acids on board to support recovery. To learn more about the philosophy behind this, read this article, in which I put the pre and post-workout nutrition debate into the grave, and tell you why everything you know about pre and post-workout nutrition is wrong!
-4:00pm. Afternoon snack. OK, OK – I know the photo below looks *fraggin' nasty*. But this snack actually tastes quite good, and is a typical appetite satiating snack for me. It is coconut milk, Living Protein, almond butter, cinnamon, and some cocochia flakes, all stirred into a bowl – and I have no clue why it looks “green”, but I'm blaming it on poor lighting.
-Late Afternoon/Early Evening: Shower. I never use hot water when I shower, but instead choose as icy cold a setting as possible. This gives me a surge of energy in the afternoon, and may have some metabolic and hormonal benefits which you can learn about here. Lately, I've gotten very serious about taking better care of my hair and skin so that I don't end up getting wrinkly elephant skin from my frequent sun exposure and age. Although I'm still in my 20's, I do want to keep my skin moist and supple from an early age, so I cleanse, hydrate and protect, and usually do this post-shower, trying to use products with as few chemicals as possible. Rightnow, for both showering and skin care, I use this Everymanjack stuff (25% discount code: GREENFIELD).
-7:30pm: Dinner. That time is a very rough approximation. If I have an evening workout, sometimes dinner is as late as 9pm. We usually eat breakfast and lunch as a family, but because the kids have soccer or swim practice in the evening, and I am often in teleseminars during the later times of day, we don't eat dinner together as a family. This means that I may exercise at 7:30, and thus not eat dinner until 9pm sometimes. Below is an example of a typical dinner for me – this is 3 eggs cooked in coconut oil, with fresh tomatoes and kale. I eat the eggs by wrapping them in a Nori seaweed wrap. Typically, for added fats, I will also include avocados or olives with a meal like this.
-9:30pm: Extracurriculars, including strumming guitar, reading research articles or book chapters, watching my favorite programs on Hulu (currently “America's Got Talent”), or spending time with my wife.
-10:30pm: Bed. I will usually consume about 250mg of Natural Calm magnesium before bed. Because I don't want to interrupt sleep by waking up and peeing during the night, I do not dissolve the magnesium in water, but instead just dump the packet into my mouth, which, yes, gets a bit chalky. I'm going to go more into supplements, meal timing, etc. this coming Monday, at which point I am going to release a new dietary protocol called “REV Diet“, which I've designed to allow you to understand more about timing, meal choices, food preparation, etc.
So there you have it. I hope that was helpful for you! Please realize that the reason I give you a sneak peek into my daily routine is so you can learn, ask your questions, and engage in healthy discussion – and you can do that in the comments section below.