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Lifestyle Checklists

Written on April 30, 2007 at 12:17 pm, by Eric Cressey

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 – 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 – 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.

For more information on John Berardi’s ideas, check out the Precision Nutrition website.

6 Responses to “Lifestyle Checklists”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Eric, how do you feel about the fruits/veggies serving coming from drinks like V8? I know that fruit juice is a nutritional nightmare, but I wasn’t sure if vegetable juice was just as bad.

  2. QuietOne Says:

    To the previous poster:

    I am not sure if V8 is real or artificial but either way I am betting it is processed. So, unless the juice is homemade, I’d say no V8. I’m saying that more to be on the safe side.

  3. James Says:

    In my opinion, V8 is better than soda, so if someone is drinking that it’s a step in the right direction, but juice (fruit or vegetable) will never pass through the body like an actual fruit or vegetable. You need the fiber.

  4. Kelly Says:

    I have to admit I sometimes go for the ease of a v-8, but another thing i always do is have some individually packaged eggwhites in my fridge…the scrambles from eggology http://www.eggology.com/Public/Products/EggologyOn-the-Go/index.cfm
    95 seconds is all it takes and I’m set with a great source of protein!

  5. Peter Says:

    As for tracking your habits, after trying to use paper but always losing it I’ve been using http://www.joesgoals.com online
    It’s handy because I can update it from my phone to tick stuff off as I go through the day – which keeps my mind on it.

  6. Greg R. Says:

    Eggs, Fruit and Oats = Breakfast of Champions

    I like to add almonds / almond butter too. Big breakfasts are awesome.

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