Meet Ryan Matthews, June Member of the Month

June 3, 2023
Meet Ryan Matthews, June Member of the Month

Ryan has been with us for over 7 years and when he talks about the amazing community, he is and has been a major part of it! He has learned a lot about fitness and he has made many gains over the years. While his goals may have changed over time, his love for Joe T’s remains. Read more about him below. 

What brought you to enduraLAB?

I was looking for several things, the first being a well-rounded strength and conditioning program. A program that could help me focus and excel in the areas that hadn’t progressed or improved as effectively as others. After years of consistently working out you can easily fall into the mold of only doing certain lifts or movements because they match up better with your strengths (which I have few)… This gave me A LOT to work on! Second is finding the right environment, which at the time was the optionality on class times (with an evolving home and work schedule), being around other members that could help create a competitive environment and access to a best-in-class gym (excellent equipment and coaching). The LAB has ALL of this covered (and much more!).  

What did your workout routine look like before joining the LAB?

Before joining the LAB I worked out with one of my best friends at Rivercrest. We would typically work out together 3 days a week starting at 5:30 a.m. The routine was lift upper body or lower body and then finish with cardio or HIIT WOD. I would also work out on my own 1 – 2 additional days per week. It was a great routine, but looking back the gym equipment and the programming was a limiting factor.

What healthy changes have you made since joining the LAB? 

I have definitely paid more attention to my diet as I age into my mid 40’s and focus on maintaining muscle. The objective is to consume more protein throughout the entire day and balance out the carbs. I have also noticed my weekly alcohol intake has dropped because of my workout routine (5 days a week). It’s amazing how quickly your mental outlook and cravings change when you’re able to consistently maintain and optimize a solid workout routine. This is obviously easier to achieve when you’re in the groove during the week and typically the weekends are another story. Like a lot of Texans, I am partial to Margaritas and Ranch Waters!

Tell us what you do outside of the LAB? 

I am in the commercial real estate industry and focus primarily on the representation office users, which typically falls into two types of transactions (lease or purchase). There has been a lot of change in this industry since COVID… My Company, JLL has an office in Fort Worth where I have worked since graduating from Law School. I feel blessed to have been able to work for the same Company in the great City of Fort Worth my entire professional career. I also have 3 kids that span from 9 – 17 with my wonderful wife Lauren who is also a member at the LAB! Outside of family and work (and working out…), I enjoy traveling with the Family and being outdoors, especially watching TCU football games. We rarely miss a game even if it requires travel.

How have you grown as an athlete since joining the LAB? Brag a little.

This is a tough one to answer because it’s easy to only measure the tangible milestones… and honestly, they sometimes aren’t as obvious or fair to measure once you hit a certain point in your fitness journey. With that being said, I continue to achieve a higher 1-3-5 rep max each cycle on all the barbell lifts which is fun and rewarding!! However, I believe the biggest area of growth has been the ability to listen to my body and know when to take my foot off the accelerator. This has taken some time to recognize (and many pep talks from Lee), but I am now at a point in my life where longevity is the focus more so than trying to shave off time in a WOD or reach a max for an extra 10 – 15 lbs. This mindset is still evolving, but changing my focus to longevity is going to pay major dividends down the road AND keep me around the LAB longer!

What is a goal you have set for yourself in the next 6 months?

I would love to add about 50 lbs. to my bench press but genetics is likely a limiting factor… I continue to work with Coach Blake on how to improve my bench, which for me is focusing on the triceps. Another goal is to become more efficient with my double unders (50 plus reps). I have heard rumors that being efficient in this movement feels like active rest… I currently experience the exact opposite.

What is your favorite enduraLAB event or program?

 Just finished the Murph Challenge, which is my favorite physical test but also has the mental and emotional aspects. I love to be part of a Community event at the LAB that honors all who have given their lives in service to our country. I have also enjoyed the Push Pull program which focuses on specific barbell lifts. The program is a great way to improve technique and capacity. Another benefit is the opportunity to meet other members who work out at different class times during the week.   

What advice would you have for a new person starting at enduraLAB?

This will sound redundant, but walking in the door for the first time is the biggest step. I promise you will feel at home after the first day! Second, try and be consistent at all costs even if it starts by attending class (2 - 3 days a week). The Lab offers 8 class times per day and several open gym options. There really isn’t an excuse to be inconsistent unless you’re traveling or fighting an illness. Finally, give the programming some time and be honest with yourself before you judge the results. I promise the coaching and programming will pay off if you’re consistent!

If we had a workout in honor of you, what would it be called and what would it consist of?

I actually like burpees believe it or not… but I don’t care for the WOD “Those Burpees Suck”. Towards the end of WOD there are 60 burpees (for time)… Let’s be honest, no one needs to do 60 reps in a row of anything much less burpees (but I digress…). I also like pull-ups, running short distances (inside 800m), thrusters and KB swings. My two favorite WODs are probably Helen and Fran.

Favorite treat meal/restaurant in D/FW? Current read / podcast? Pump up song?

I think a lot of you know this already, but I sell out once a week for Joe T’s and more specifically Martin Specials aka Tino Specials. If you haven’t had one, ask for one the next time you’re there! You can usually find our family there for either dinner on Saturday or Sunday brunch. I listen to several podcasts specific to real estate so I will not bore you with those, but I do prefer podcast’s over reading because I fall asleep too easily in the evenings. 5:15 am wake-up comes early! A good podcast full of useful wellness and longevity topics is by Ben Greenfield “Life” AND for music, Blake occasionally plays my favorite gym band, Rage Against the Machines when I need a little something extra to get going. Outside of the gym I really like listening to Zach Bryan. I recently attended a Zach Bryan concert at Red Rocks last November. Bucket list!

Any final words or thoughts?

The greatest value of being a member of the LAB (almost 8 years!) is the Community. What I found is you’re able to accomplish a lot more by being part of something bigger than yourself. “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them and they will change your life”. Quote from a famous comedian of all things… the Lab Community here is an exceptional group of people that I have been able to lean on and learn from over the years. This Community has allowed me to achieve way more (fitness journey) than I would’ve alone. FACT

Continue Reading

pushpress gym management software for boutique gyms and fitness studios