Motivation is everything when it comes to health and wellness, which is probably why Ron “Boss” Everline – trainer for celebrities like Hydrow Creative Director Kevin Hart – has quickly amassed over 1 million followers on Instagram (@justtrain).
As a new dad and constant traveler, Everline needs workouts that are quick, efficient, and functional. Rowing is one of his top options for keeping both himself and clients in peak physical shape.
Ron recently sat down with Dr. Kristin Haraldsdottir, Hydrow’s Director Of Exercise Research and Innovation, to discuss his perspectives on fitness, motivation, rowing, and family.
(This interview has been edited for clarity.)
KH: It seems like your ethos is really in line with Hydrow’s in terms of the value of movement. What led you to actually centering your life around fitness?
RE: I think it all came from the place of being an athlete. I definitely didn’t think I wanted to be a trainer. I was an entrepreneur; I opened up a gym as a business owner, not a trainer, and I knew I was going to work at the gym for a little while. There were a lot of people who told me that I was really good at my job. One particular woman said I changed her life by helping her get healthy and lose weight.
It took a few months for me to go, “This is what I want to do. This is my purpose.” I always thought that football would be my purpose where I would make people happy and change their lives, because of my perseverance to become this super athlete. And then something just happened; I realized that my life’s purpose was to truly help people. Fitness was it, but I wanted to become a fitness entrepreneur in the best way that I possibly could. That meant exploring all things fitness, which doesn’t happen overnight.
KH: I love that. So I follow you on Instagram, which is a pure pleasure. You make it seem like movement and exercise come naturally to you – you make it look effortless. Do you have days where you just don’t want to move or your energy is low? And if you have those days, what are some techniques that you use to get yourself moving?
RE: There are days when I don’t want to move, but I have to show up not only for other people but also for the things that I say that I want for myself. And so I hold myself accountable every morning that I wake up. And now I have a whole new focus with being a dad. All those things add fuel to my hustle.
KH: I think that resonates with a lot of people, especially when you’re a parent wanting to show up for your kids and be the most present parent that you can be. What if you have just 10 minutes, or what if you don’t think you have any time?
RE: I will be honest: There’s always time.
There’s always time for what you want to make happen. Often, all it takes is waking up a few minutes earlier. For me, it’s mental; it’s about not missing something you said you were going to do. We use the word “motivation” a lot in the wellness industry, but I think what I would like to hone in on more is discipline.Motivation is day-to-day. Zig Ziglar said it best, it’s like bathing: you know that you need it every day.
KH: I love it. It’s definitely a positive feedback loop. The more you give to it, the more it gives right back to you. And even just 10 minutes of exercise, it can change your whole day.
RE: It does. When those endorphins start to release, it’s good to reflect for a moment, like wow, I did something for myself, I took the time.
KH: Love it. So let’s shift gears. Father’s Day is coming up, and you’re a new father of a 10-month old! In order to spend enough time with your newborn and be a dad, what’s changed? Are you thinking more about efficiency and saving time when it comes to your own workouts?
RE: Absolutely. I’m hyper-focused on getting the workout done so that I can come back and enjoy my son. I want my son to see his dad as an example of action, not just talking about things. That’s why I stay disciplined.
KH: Speaking of getting the workout done – let’s talk about rowing! When did rowing start to play a role in your own workouts?
RE: Coming from football, we didn’t row or even run. We were powerlifting, we were strength training… it was a lot of explosive, fast movements. After I became a trainer and began crafting new workout routines for myself and my clients, one day I dropped in somewhere and started training with some guys, and we were using a rowing machine. And I’m like, “What in the…?!” This thing was cooking me. It made me want to compete. Pretty soon I was trying to get 500 meters in under two minutes. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Rowing became a part of my workouts. The movement is fun, but also intimidating because you know that it’s a full-body movement and you can’t really cheat. You can go slower or faster, it’s whatever effort level you want it to go at, so it scales. There were times we would row 3,000 meters for a warm-up, and by the end my hamstrings were on fire, my forearms were on fire, my back was on fire, because it was something I had never done. It’s such a weapon and most people don’t understand it. And that’s part of why I started falling in love with it. I was like, “Oh my God, this is the real deal.”
KH: When did you start introducing it to your clients?
RE: Right then and there. It became a regular component of my everyday gym life. We have one at the gym now. If someone comes in and says, “Oh, we have a knee problem,” I immediately direct them to the Hydrow as a great low impact solution for many people, no matter what their fitness level may be.
KH: Right. The thing about rowing is that it’s a compound movement that you do 20 to 30 times a minute. So it’s like putting those pieces together to get the strength and cardio components. When you are building programming or thinking about programming for clients, you probably see a wide range of people and goals, and how much time they can or are willing to commit, and what their goals are.
RE: I program everybody as if they’re an athlete. I program every single person to come in and win the day in the gym. So yes, there are so many different exercises and movements that you can do with Kevin (Hart) or Russell Westbrook, or anyone like this, that will help them perform well and look good too. For Russell, it’s about pure performance. For Kevin, he needs to think about aesthetics too and safely recover from his back injury.
I want to teach everyday people to understand that they’re an athlete and that they can move in any kind of way.
Rowing is for anyone. Most people say they hate cardio. But this is efficient, effective cardio. The compound movement of rowing just gets you going. When you’re running, you can cheat. In rowing you can’t cheat; you’re hitting the entire body.
KH: So, I have one more question for you. In this ‘new world’, what do people need now more than ever before to feel connected with both their bodies and their community? This past year and a half has been so mentally and physically challenging for everyone.
Are you thinking about your approach to working with people any differently?
RE: Yeah. I think it’s a privilege. Try to remind yourself to have fun, connect to the movements, and you’ll feel alive.