Change your life - brick by brick

Learn how to stack habits that will lead to a healthy lifestyle.

Chase Morlock

We have all heard the old metaphorical expression “brick by brick”. While it may sound cheesy in some scenarios, it really does have a time and place in a lot of what we do around here at Rise. So what does “brick by brick” mean? It implies a gradual and deliberate approach to building or achieving something. It signifies the idea of making progress through small, incremental steps. It’s much like how a structure is constructed by adding one brick at a time.

Pictured above is our Foundational Lifestyle Pyramid. When someone joins Rise, this is one of the first things that we sit down and talk about with them. This pyramid is a simple but effective visual to understand how to “build” a lifestyle that sets you up for success for the long haul. 

One of the reasons we walk through it with every new gym member is because this pyramid is applicable to everyone. It can help all of us reach goals like:

  • Feel energized

  • Lose weight

  • Gain muscle

  • Play with kids and grandkids

  • Go on hikes

  • Feel strong and healthy well into our 80s & 90s

  • Compete in recreational activities

And the list goes on and on. In short, if you’re living, breathing, and desire an enjoyable life, the Foundational Lifestyle Pyramid can be helpful to you. So, let’s break down each of the parts of the pyramid.

Take Charge of Your Mindset

There are 4 key takeaways from this section. 

  1. Growth Mindset: If you haven’t read the book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, I highly recommend checking it out. But the gist of it is this: You need to have a growth mindset when it comes to health and nutrition. Having a growth mindset means that you believe you can learn new skills and you can accomplish new things. When growth mindset people have a setback or fail at something, they don’t get depressed or pout, but instead they use it as data to determine how they can be better and win the next time. On the other hand, if you are stuck in a fixed mindset, you would likely point your finger at something or someone to blame for your loss. You would want to quit because you didn’t succeed and that made you feel like you weren’t “good enough.” If that sounds like you, it’s time to transform your thinking into a growth mindset - one where you tell yourself that you can learn and you can accomplish goals. Check out a previous blog we did on growth mindset here

  1. 80/20. This principle applies to just about anything in life. The general idea of the 80/20 rule is to do whatever it takes to be healthy 80% of the time, and not to worry too much over the other 20%. I like to think about it like this: I aim to be very disciplined 6 days of the week, and then 1 day a week I loosen up a bit. My Sundays are typically a little more relaxed and a day where I might indulge in some chocolate, which has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. 

  1. What is the goal and why? We need to clearly understand the goal you’ve set out for yourself, as well as your “why” behind it. Once we know that information, we can set up standards that will lead you to success. When times inevitably get hard and you want to quit whatever it is that you’re doing, remembering your clearly defined goal and the motivation for it will help you stay on track and succeed. The standards and habits we build around that goal are what you will fall back on to keep you moving forward. 

Eat Clean 

  1. Quality Nutrition: We eat to live, not live to eat. Quality nutrition means fueling our body properly with healthy, whole food options and starting to slowly eliminate some of those more processed foods. As always, it doesn’t need to be an all or nothing diet. You can still enjoy many of those sweets and treats, but we want the majority of our diet to be made up of high quality foods.

  1. Calories based on your goals: One of the best parts of having a coach is having someone to help you determine a plan that is right for you, something that can be tricky to do alone when there’s endless information available these days about “the best diets” or “the best workout plans”. One of the first things our nutrition coach will do is help you determine a simple nutrition plan based on what works for your specific lifestyle. A coach will give you a calorie range to shoot for according to your goals, and tons of helpful tips and recipes for staying on track with your calories.

  1. Prioritize Protein: Protein is extremely important to your success with nutrition. Shoot for 1g of protein per pound of body weight. (ex. I am 200 lbs so I try to eat 200g per day). You may also consider calculating this according to your goal body weight (ex. If my goal was to weigh 185 lbs, I would shoot for 185g of protein in a day).

Train Smart

  1. Strength train 2-3x/week: Make sure you are doing safe, effective, and progressive strength and conditioning training at least 2-3 times a week. There is no shortage of data out there about why this is so beneficial. Muscle mass is key to living the way you want to live in your later years. Having a good coach and a program that fits your needs and goals will help immensely in this area.

Recover Well

  1. Sleep 7+ hours: While training is important, your recovery may be just as important. If your body is not allowed enough rest and recovery time, you can only get so far. You need to allow your body a chance to recover from workouts and your day in general, and there is no better way than sleep. Aim for 7 hours or more, but if you are way off that target, start by just adding 30 minutes of extra sleep and see how much of a difference it makes. 

  1. Hydration: Your body needs water. As a starting point, shoot to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water. Water forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration, and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bones. Water plays a crucial role in almost every function of our body. We need it to recover. It is not uncommon for us to sit down with people and hear that they are only drinking 20-30 oz a day. That is a very low number, but it’s more common than one might think. If you are not anywhere near the recommendation of half your bodyweight in ounces, start simple and see if you can add 10 ounces. Slowly work your way up over time. 

Prioritize Movement

  1. Daily: A body in motion stays in motion. Once you get in the habit of doing some sort of movement daily, it becomes part of your routine that you’ll refuse to miss. Simple movements can do wonders for our health, mood, digestion, and so much more. For example: Get up from sitting at work every hour and do a few squats. Go out and take a walk or bike ride every day. Hit up the pool and swim a few laps. Movement is key. 

While these are all simple concepts, they are not necessarily simple to implement. Go through this list and see where you are already succeeding, and then see where you may be falling short. Pick one thing to work on this week and start creating the habit. When you get your mindset right, eat clean, train smart, recover, and move, your health and fitness will change drastically. 

Get after it! 

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