Last week, I put something I call the “lifestyle checklist” in place with a few of my young athletes. In a nutshell, it’s a simple checklist used to keep them accountable to something with respect to their nutrition, sleep, and off-day exercise habits.
In Precision Nutrition, John Berardi highlights the 90% rule â€“ which states that if you are on-point with 90% of your meals, you’re in good standing from a physique and health standpoint. I’ve simply applied that principle to my athletes’ weekly checklists.
We select seven habits we want to prioritize, factor in the seven days a week (49 total boxes to check), and aim for them to earn checks in at least 44 of those boxes (yes, I know that’s only 89.8%; I hope nobody is deeply offended).
Take, for instance, a 16-year old pitcher with whom I’m working; up until now, he’s had an intimate relationship with the golden arches. And, at 6-4 and 170, he also had the lumbar spine stability of one of the Olsen twins. His seven habits are:
1. Eat 5+ meals per day. 2. Eat protein at each meal. 3. One additional set of birddogs, side bridges, and sleeper stretch (pitching arm only) daily. 4. Breakfast = eggs, fruit, and oats every day. 5. Avoid fast food altogether. 6. Eat 5+ servings of fruits/veggies per day. 7. Avoided calories from drinks â€“ with the exceptions being protein shakes (this was to kick his soda and Gatorade habit).
After three weeks at or above 90%, we’ll move to seven new habits. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
I love the idea of breakfast being eggs, fruit and oats every day. Simple, non-greasy, fiber-y and protein rich. Although, I also like vanilla yogurt or smoked salmon. But you can tell that these 7 habits will make him healthy and strong, for sure. Plus, they are simple and inexpensive to follow.