Lifestyle Checklists

About the Author: 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.