My Daily Routine and How It Might Help Improve Your Own

I was thinking about it the other day and I realized that many of you don’t know me very well.

So I figured I’d change that…

But first, a disclaimer:

  1. I don’t like talking about myself and self-promotion of any kind is very hard for me. I’m working on it.
  2. I find it difficult to talk about myself because since reading “How To Win Friends and Influence People”–which is a great book and you should read it–I’ve made it a point to put the focus on other people. By letting people talk about themselves, and always directing the focus back to them, you end up being more liked, respected, and favored. This is “Win Friends and Influence People” 101. Of course, there are times when we should all do a little “self-promotion.”

Try this thought-experiment for a week: Start noticing how everyone around you wants to talk, think and focus on themselves. By paying attention to this, you will start noticing it a lot (and it’ll get annoying fast). Most people are terrible listeners because they are too distracted by their own inner dialogue. People that are good listeners are better at being in the present and devoting their attention to one thing at a time while those that aren’t great listeners have trouble focusing.

I think our digital age is exacerbating this problem and killing off the few good listeners that are left. Either way, finding others that will express genuine interest in you, and give you their full attention, is a quality you should seek in other people as well as  aim to develop in yourself.

Here’s a little life tip you can use: When you come across people that give you their devoted attention and express genuine interest in you, KEEP THEM AROUND!

Now that we have that long “disclaimer-tangent” out of the way, here’s some info about me:

My name is Colin Stuckert and I’m 28 years old (I’ll be 29 in May).

My first business was a juice bar located inside a large LA Fitness in the Estero area (I still have it). 6-months after opening the juice bar, I opened The Training Box down the road. That was in 2009. Today, the box has a great community and an amazing staff of dedicated and caring people that make it what it is. I’m beyond fortunate to be apart of it.

Now-a-days, I coach private clients and I help small business with their growth and marketing. I also write for this site and I just released my first book: The Gym Life Essays: Improve Your Life Through Fitness, Food and Mindset.

I want to eventually write a column for the NY Times and have a few best-selling books. That’s my goal.

Another goal of mine is to do a TED talk, and considering I dropped out of college because I didn’t want to take speech class, this will be quite the accomplishment).

I am a practicing Stoic

Read this article for further explanation on Stoicism and how it’s uber-practical to our modern lives. I highly recommend you look more into Stoicism—it could change your life. It changed mine.

I’ve lost a lot of family over the years and I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been able to get through it and come out stronger as a result. Life has a tendency to make you a Stoic the hard way… if you come out stronger, and not bitter, as a result. When I finally found Stoicism, so many things in my life made sense. It was like the pages were written for me (they were, in fact, written a couple thousand years ago).

These three books can change your life: The Art of Living, Meditations, Letters from a Stoic

I have a natural tendency to think contrary to the way most people think

When I was younger, this worried me and I wondered why I was “different” in the way I thought. But now, I embrace it.

It seems like when we are young, we want nothing more than to “fit in” and have everyone like us. Yet, as we grow up and become self-aware, we aim to answer the question, “Who am I?”

I like to write about individualism, self-awareness and the process of finding myself. I know many of us struggle with this process for much of our lives. Too often we let friends, family, or society dictate the direction our lives. This is a HUGE mistake.

Keep an eye out for my upcoming book for more on this subject (So far I have around 10,000 words on this topic in the “mindset” chapter). Teaser alert: Live for yourself, do what fulfills you, your life is your own and you only get it once so you better make it the best version possible.

I’m a hard ass when it comes to nutrition

I believe, no, scratch that, I KNOW that the most important thing in human health is the food one eats. (In a few years we will probably have the research to prove once and for all how important nutrition really is.)

I’ve heard every excuse in the book about why people can’t do this or do that or bla, bla, bla, bla. Well, guess what? Excuses are just that. E-X-C-U-S-E-S. Profound, I know.

It’s time to wake up to the smell of your own bullshit.

Eating real, unprocessed food prepared from your home is NOT hard, NOT expensive, and NOT complicated. And if you want results, if you want health, if you want longevity, THERE IS NO WAY AROUND IT.

You can’t take a magic pill or do a magic program and expect to reach the results you will get from eating a clean diet. This is a law of nature. Accept it. Use it to your advantage.

That said, I recommend the Paleo/Primal diet. But regardless of what you want to call it, if you are eating REAL FOOD, you are fine. The thing is, when you eat real food, it tends to look exactly like a Paleo diet.

So, forget the labels, the branding, and all the BS surrounding the nutrition debate and just buy real food and prepare it yourself. And then watch all your dreams come true. (Really)

Here are a few useful links for going “Real Food”: The Paleo Guide, 20 Second Recipes, Robb Wolf, MarksDailyApple, Fav Cookbook

Fitness is simple to understand but people get lost in the confusion

Listen, fitness is simple, so stop complicating it (or letting others complicate it for you). This is all you need:

  1. Lift heavy things three times a week
  2. Walk a lot
  3. Play: sport, climb, get outdoors, hike, etc.
  4. Train some metabolic conditioning 2-3 times a week (high-intensity and at least once a week of endurance-based training)
  5. Stretch and work mobility and maintenance
  6. Laugh, have fun, reduce stress, take a chill-pill

That’s it. As long as you go hard when you are training and mix it up among various activities, you will improve your fitness.

You don’t need the shiniest new program, gadget or supplement to improve your fitness. You just need consistent work.

My Daily Routine

I think this might be interesting and useful for you. I’ll explain each part in detail so you can get some useful ideas for your routine.

My Schedule:

  1. Wake at 11am or 12pm (yes, that’s noon)
  2. Do a set of Pull-ups, a few push-ups, take care of biznass, start my Bulletproof Coffee using a french press or Aeropress
  3. While water is coming to a boil in my awesome electric kettle (get one for real), I take my morning supplements: 2x Krill Oil caps, 3x Ciltep caps, 1x Vitamin D cap, 2-3 cod liver caps, Vitamin C cap, 1x Megtech cap
  4. I make my Bulletproof coffee using this recipe
  5. Go to my balcony with my laptop to start work for the day.
  6. Work for 3-4 hours on balcony
  7. Go to pool downstairs and write/work for another 1-2 hours
  8. 6-7pm: Break for gym, food, and sometimes beach
  9. Get home 9-945pm
  10. Shower, straighten up apartment a bit, go to Desktop and start working for 2-3 hours
  11. When ready for dinner, plan out a coupe 20 Second Recipe videos… then eat them
  12. Take footage to comp and upload/edit/export videos. (I sometimes get 2-3 done and I always get at least one done.)
  13. Spend another 2-3 hours working.
  14. Wind down around 2am, sometimes 3, and “force” myself to watch a movie or show.
  15. Take ZMA and go to bed around 3:30-4am

This is my during the week schedule. These times fluctuate here and there, but overall, this is what I stick to.

On weekends I compress my work to early afternoon and then later at night depending if I’m out of town or have plans with friends. Every so often I’ll go out of state for a trip and this will cut into my total work hours. Whether I’m traveling or not, I always spend time improving my fitness, getting outdoors, and training my mind with reading and writing. These are the non-negotiable parts of my life.

The Breakdown

1. Wake at 11am or 12pm

I want to start waking a bit earlier but it’s difficult because I’ve been on this schedule since my late teens. It’s so ingrained into my physiology and psychology that going to bed before 2am just feel ‘unnatural’—so I rarely do it. I’ve always been a night owl and totally not a morning person.

While I am trying to get my schedule a bit earlier, I don’t think that waking up early is the only “right” way to live. My schedule works for me (although traveling is sometimes tough) and morning schedules work for others. (Additionally, there are studies that suggest night owls are smarter on average than morning people. Shrug.)

My “ideal” sleep schedule would probably be 2:30am-10:30am. That’s my goal. No matter what time I go to sleep, I always get 8ish hours a night, no exception. When I get only six or seven hours, I feel it the next day. If I get 5 or less hours, I’m completely useless and will need to go back to sleep to have any chance of saving the day.

Overall, the keys to quality sleep are:

  1. Sleep in a pitch black room
  2. Wake without an alarm clock
  3. Take some ZMA and/or honey before bed
  4. Little to no artificial lights before bed (install this program “Flux”)

If you have trouble with sleep, these are a few things you can look into:

  1. Meditation/mindfulness (this helps “shut off” your racing mind)
  2. Ice baths
  3. Keep electronics out of room + sleep in a pitch black room
  4. Reduce light exposure few hours before bed (try candle light).
  5. Try some melatonin. Try a sleep induction mat.

2. Do a set of Pull-ups and push-ups before staring to boil water for Bulletproof Butter Coffee

Morning exercise helps me start off my day with intention. It also releases some beneficial exercise hormones that provide a nice ‘boost’ in energy to help the waking process. I used to struggle with grogginess and fatigue for nearly an hour after waking. I thought I had a cortisol issue (which I probably did), but since I started doing some basic calisthenics in the morning in addition to getting off Starbucks coffee, I now feel AMAZING in the mornings.

If you don’t already have a “morning routine,” you should get one. Your’s will be different from mine, but try to fashion one that that includes some exercise, getting outdoors (which I do on my balcony with a few yoga poses), drinking a glass of water, speaking positive affirmations, and a dose of meditation.

Figure out what works for you and stick with it every morning. Your morning routine will have a great effect on your energy levels for the day as well as get your mindset primed for what’s ahead.

3. While water is coming to a boil in my kettle, I take the following supplements: 2x Krill Oil caps, 3x Ciltep caps, 1x Vitamin D cap, 2-3 cod-liver caps, Vitamin C cap, 1x Megtech cap

I’ve been ranting and raving about the Performance Essentials Stack from Natural Stacks as of late. And for good reason: the stuff rocks! The Krill Oil, Vit D, and Megtech make up the bulk of my morning stack. I throw in a few Carlson Cod liver caps for variety (and because I have 5 unopened bottles left). The Magtech is typically a before-bed supplement (like ZMA) but I like to add a little in the morning to spread out the absorption of the minerals.

Ciltep is for mental clarity and performance. It helps me focus, and since I do my writing after first waking, it’s a HUGE boost.

4. I make Bulletproof coffee (Recipe)

I’ve been drinking coffee every morning for a few years now. I used to get a Starbucks double espresso over ice in a paper cup every morning. But then I got smart. Now I do Bulletproof coffee using this recipe.

And I’ll never go back.

When I was on the double expresso, like clockwork, I would get a dose of fatigue, stomach pain, and a headache a couple hours after waking. At first, I thought I had an adrenal issue, and I blamed it on stress. I needed to find a solution. Eventually, I decided to skip Starbucks for a month.  Yup. Cured.

But since I stilled enjoyed coffee in the morning, I start doing a basic organic coffee from Amazon–it wasn’t that great. Luckily, I  stumbled on Bulletproof coffee by Dave Asprey soon after. Now, it’s an integral part of my morning routine.

It’s so crazy how night and day things with your health can be. You have to look at certain things you put in your body as the poisons they really are. If you were drinking Drano everyday and it was killing you, what would you do? Stop drinking the stuff… duh. The same goes for anything you put in your mouth. The things you ingest are either healing you or killing you.

Intermittent Fasting

The Bulletproof butter coffee recipe helps me stay energized while following a Intermittent Fasting (IF) schedule of an 8-hour feeding window followed by a 16-hour fast. Read about the protocol here at Leangains.com.

My IF schedule is basically this: Skip breakfast after waking and eat my first meal 4-6 hours later (sometimes longer). How long I wait before my first meal sometimes fluctuates depending on if I have a lunch meeting or if I’m just hungrier than average (which usually happens when I’m extra sore from training).

A note about fasting and breakfast: Everyone should push breakfast back a few hours. We aren’t made to eat first thing in the morning.

Your body releases hormones in the morning as a natural part of the “waking up” process. When you eat, you are adding an additional hormone-spike to this hormonal process. This is not good. This is why you get that “afternoon slump”–because you’re crashing.

What happens is you come crashing down from the over-abundance of hormones released into your system from the waking process and the eating process. On top of the hormone issue, you force your body to expend energy to digest the calories you just ate–and the digestion process has high energy demands.

You can prevent feeling like crap in the morning by moving to an IF schedule and pushing breakfast back a few hours. Initially, it will take some getting used to because your body is used to getting that “spike” every morning. When you overcome that, you will have energy ALL DAY LONG. You’ll find yourself pushing breakfast back more and more as your appetite starts to regulate itself. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is a very very good thing, right?

Try pushing breakfast back a few hours after waking up. You might like it more than you think. Plus, there are some fat-burning benefits to being in a fasted state in the morning. Read more about breakfast in this entertaining article from Leangains.com.

5. Go to my balcony and start work for the day. Work 3-4 hours.

I have fallen in love with writing. I also enjoy helping people get better. I feel it my duty to fight back against all the bullshit in our society that is actively, and unashamedly, killing people.

colin-stuckert-balcony

I’m fortunate to get to do what I love every single day—and every single day it starts on my balcony.

Every self-help book in the world tells you to pursue your passions. Well… they are right (I’ve read many of them and so should you).

But what the self-help books don’t really tell you is: You can pursue your passions every single day regardless of your situation… and you should.

You don’t have to make a career change or do something drastic like move across the country to pursue your dreams. Thinking like this is just Resistance in your mind that wants to keep you from starting the work. Know this: An hour a day can move your life in a completely different direction. So start.

6. Go to pool downstairs and write/work for another 1-2 hours

This is where I go in mid afternoon when sun isn’t too intense and there’s a nice breeze. Getting outdoors is hugely beneficial to us humans, and I’m lucky to have the ability to do this every day.

colin-pool-stuckert

Lifestyle Lesson: Get outside every day.

7. Break for gym, food, and sometimes beach around 6pm

Time for physical exercise and food. Depending on my schedule, I try to hit up the beach (5 mins down road) and do some reading before hitting up the gym. If I don’t have time for the beach, I’ll just go to the gym and work hard for an hour or so before doing my post-workout meal at home (or sometimes Chipotle).

My training schedule:

  • Strength train 3-4 days week. I follow a basic 5/3/1 program.
  • Work gymnastics/skill-work 6 days a week
  • Train Conditioning 2-3 times a week: Sprinting, WODs, Running
  • Work mobility daily
  • Get outdoors and move often

9. Get home 9-945pm

As you can see, exercise and getting outdoors takes up a reasonable chuck of my time… AND IT SHOULD!

By spending time on your health and fitness you will:

  1. Be more productive when you work
  2. Enjoy life more when you aren’t working
  3. And… get more time of this life so you can do more of each
Colin-Stuckert-night-mac

Boo (embracing my artistic side with some night photography)

10. Shower, straighten up apartment a bit, then move to desktop to work for 2-3 hours

I prefer to have an organized work and living area. It satisfies my OCD. Some do just fine in disarray. Not I.

I’ve found that a few minutes of putting stuff where it belongs is far more effective than doing a once-a-week clean up that takes a few hours. Forget that. The key is to put stuff back when you are done, and spend a few minutes here and there keeping stuff organized. Upkeep is easy if you just make it a habit.

11. When ready for dinner, plan out a couple 20 Second Recipe videos… then cook and eat them.

Check out my new project 20 Second Recipes.

Most of you know that I think food is one of the most important things in life. There’s a reason for that…

When something makes up 80% (or more) of what you look like naked, should it not get it’s due credit?

Trick question… of course it should. If you aren’t currently taking your nutrition seriously, it’s time to start.

The biggest hurdle to eating clean for most people is preparing food that is enjoyable. Really, it’s not that hard. Cooking takes a bit of learning and a bit of strategic shopping, but beyond that, you can easily make quick, nutritious and yummy food every single day. When you start cooking your meals at home using quality ingredients, your results-getting will become the easiest thing in your life.

12. Upload/edit/export 20 Second Recipe videos. I usually get two videos done a night.

Video has become another passion of mine. Someday I want to start making documentaries. Check out Casey Neistat… he’s awesome and an inspiration to me.

13. Spend another 2-3 hours working.

14. Wind down around 2am, sometimes 3, and “force” myself to watch a movie or show or read.

I could start this part of my day much earlier. But then again, I can’t. I’ve so ingrained my goals and dreams into my being that I usually have to “hold myself back” from work. I’m always reminding myself to balance. First world problems.

15. Take my ZMA and go to bed at 3:30-4am

ZMA is the most prevalent supplement in my program. I have been taking it for 7 years now. I cycle it every few months for a couple weeks to increase its effectiveness. Magtech is used interchangeable with ZMA in my program. My favorite ZMA is Now Foods. Ive used it for years.

That’s my average day. What does your day look like?

Yours in Fitness,

Colin

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3 thoughts on “My Daily Routine and How It Might Help Improve Your Own

  1. This was so interesting. It is weird how we all have our different rhythms + schedules that work for us. I’m hoping my future includes me following my passions; I know I can start now, and I am, so I’m excited to see where life takes me in the next couple of months. I dream of working for myself, and I hope to see it through.

  2. Kelsey,

    Why not start following your passions right now? Like literally, this second?