The fitness coach shares his go-to workout and ideal summer day all the way from Japan.
This summer, we’re bringing you inspiration from some of the top celebrity fitness teachers and athletes and sharing their summer workouts, power songs and more. Your dream summer starts here.
After a training accident ended his competitive gymnastics career, Ryan Hurst moved to Japan and competed in various martial arts until another injury made him reevaluate his priorities in life. As head coach at GMB Fitness, his mission is to show everyone that you can define your own fitness as a sustainable and enjoyable part of your life.
24Life: What’s your go-to source for inspiration?
Ryan Hurst (RH): I draw a lot of inspiration from our clients using the GMB method. These are busy people with families, jobs and responsibilities that could be doing any other fitness program out there. But they’ve chosen to spend the time they have for fitness using GMB and trust us to help them move better, feel better and enjoy more of life. It’s my responsibility to be there for them and the trust they put in GMB keeps me going.
24Life: What do you teach and why?
RH: We teach physical autonomy, which in a nutshell means having complete freedom of your body. We do this by focusing on the three main attributes of skill-based strength, flexibility and motor control using our AAA Framework. The AAA Framework consists of assessing what’s going on in your body, addressing those issues and then applying the programming for accomplishing your goal.
Within our programs, we like to focus on timed sets instead of counting reps, since we’re more concerned with making each and every attempt of a repetition as beautiful as possible. I find that people can become too focused on simply trying to “get in their reps” instead of focusing on the quality of each movement.
24Life: Why is fitness so important to you?
RH: I come from a gymnastics and martial arts background, and movement is the only thing I know how to do! Being able to continue doing the things I enjoy, like playing with my kids, practicing jiu-jitsu and surfing is important to me and I plan on doing that until I grow old. Staying fit and working on my strength, flexibility and motor control is what’s going to help me to be able to do that.
24Life: What is your ideal workout (that is 24 minutes or less)?
RH: Since it’s summer, I’m focused more on movement combos and things that I can perform anywhere, since my family is on the go and outdoors during these months. Movements like the Spiderman and Banzai frogger are some of my go-to moves that help me stay strong and flexible, and are fun to do with the whole family.
24Life: What’s your greatest passion, outside of the work that you do?
RH: My greatest passion outside of work is being active with my family. Whether that’s doing jiu-jitsu with my son, swimming with my daughter or taking hip-hop lessons with my wife, I love that we have mutual activities that we can share and build better bonds together as a family.
24Life: Describe your perfect summer day.
RH: A perfect day for me would be to wake up and have an early breakfast with my family before we drive to the ocean for a swim or surf. After some impromptu wrestling on the beach with my son, we’d all stop at a sushi place for lunch. Living in Japan has its perks when it comes to fresh fish! In the afternoon, we’d relax by reading books or napping, and then all head to the park with our dog, Bree, for a stroll. Dinner would definitely be barbecue in our backyard, followed by watching a movie together.
24Life: What is your power food?
RH: I love almonds and put them on everything from my morning eggs to my lunchtime salad.
24Life: What’s your number-one stressor and your surefire stress buster?
RH: Feeling like there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done that I’d like to! I’m a big believer in daily meditation and find that is my go-to stress buster.
24Life: What is one thing people might not know about you?
RH: I was either going to move to Japan to focus on my martial arts or become a mountain guide. I still think about climbing mountains from time to time.
24Life: What’s your secret to getting stuff done?
RH: Decide that I’m going to do it, sit down and do it.
24Life: What is your power song for summer?
RH: “Run” by the Foo Fighters.
24Life: What book is on your night table?
RH: I’ve always got a copy of “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday there to pick up and read a passage or two out of.
24Life: What’s your secret for a great night’s sleep?
24Life: Any interesting performance rituals that you have before you teach, work or train?
RH: I always do a short breathing routine before teaching or training in order to get in the right mindset. That way, I can leave whatever else I’m thinking about on the table and focus 100 percent on teaching and/or my training.
24Life: Best advice you’ve given or gotten in 24 words or less?
RH: Let go of the ego and just focus on being you.
Photo credit: Courtesy of GMB Fitness