Building muscle, getting lean and sticking to a regular workout routine isn’t easy. Like anything in life, it takes sacrifice and commitment, refusing to give up on a long-term goal that will not happen overnight. In some cases, that’s what inspires people to try and push themselves to transform their physique — the grind — whereas, for others, it’s the ultimate detriment because we all want overnight success and refuse to persevere.
For CEO Shawn Burst, though, he was able to build muscle and get into the best shape of his life at age 50 because he committed to a plan and pushed himself harder than he’s ever done before. That’s because the businessman — who’s the Founder and CEO of an all-in-one marketing platform called DirectMail.io — went through a grueling 10-week fitness routine that saw him shed a few extra pounds and get ripped, proving to himself that he could be in better shape at the half-century mark than he was at the quarter-century point of his life.
A former football player at Tulane who has built his company into a leader in the direct mail industry, Shawn Burst already had the grit and hustle inside of him to succeed, but he tested his mental and physical strength by doing something most people his age could never dream of. Why’d he do it? Well, Burst sat down with us to give his motivation behind the idea, what the most difficult part of the 10-week program was and how his drive from building his business helped him complete his goal of building muscle and getting jacked up.
Shut Up & Hustle: First Things First: What The Hell Made You Want To Try This Crazy 10-Week Workout Plan?
Shawn Burst: “In my mind, 50 years old was a thing. It symbolized something to me. Typically, the world says that we are on the downside of our life at that age. We get a pass on why we can’t achieve things that we could before. Whether it’s because our body couldn’t withstand the punishment it would have to endure, or whether there’s no way because of the actual commitment in preparation (meal prep, time in gym, etc…), I wanted to prove to myself that I could endure the mental, emotional and physical pressure this would entail, as I believe our previous life experiences directly impact our ability to persevere as new challenges face us each day. Once I was in, that was it. There was no turning back.”
Shut Up & Hustle: Can You Describe How Mentally And Physically Demanding It Was?
Shawn Burst: “Physically, it was extremely demanding. I have a partially torn labrum and rotator cuff in one of my shoulders, and arthritis in one of my knees. There was a tremendous amount of shoulder work and also a lot of HIIT training. I knew this part of things would be brutal, and I needed to be smart and really stretch prior and after workouts. In addition, right at the five-week point, I got terrible tennis elbow in one arm.”
Shut Up & Hustle: Damn, You Still Stuck With It, Huh?
Shawn Burst: “I refused to use any of this as an excuse on why I might not be able to finish/accomplish what I had in mind. Mentally, I made up my mind when I started that my mental makeup would be positive. That I wouldn’t let my mind wander and play tricks on me. I focused on the day in front of me, understanding that completing each day got me that much closer to the goal.”
Shut Up & Hustle: Was There Someone Who Helped Push Or Inspire You Each Day Through Those Tough Times?
Shawn Burst: “My beautiful wife. I’m of the belief that a woman can bring out the best or worst in a man. Mine has been the epitome of bringing out the best in me through her support, strength, encouragement and trust. She has ridden the roller coaster like a champ.”
Shut Up & Hustle: How About Your Typical Day During The 10-Week Program, What Was That Like?
Shawn Burst: “My days were actually pretty normal. I didn’t want this to take away from my day-to-day life, and I didn’t want this to put any extra burden on my wife and kids. So I meal prepped every Sunday. It would typically take 3-4 hours to cook my proteins on my Green Egg and get prepped for the week.
“Eating was the biggest change in my life. Eating six times each day was hard. Most of the time I wasn’t hungry, but I just had to force myself to eat. I didn’t want to deviate at all from the plan that my trainer (Lucas) gave me.”
Shut Up & Hustle: Be Honest, You Had A Few Cheat Days, Right?
Shawn Burst: “I was allowed one cheat meal a week, and that’s what I did.”
Shut Up & Hustle: Were There Some Days Where You Really Wanted To Skip, Or Worse, Just Quit?
Shawn Burst: “No. Never crossed my mind. No regrets.”
Shut Up & Hustle: For You, Where’s That Kind Of Drive Come From?
Shawn Burst: “Everyday, my drive comes from my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In my relationship with him, he has shown me the way he wants me to live. He designed me — actually, all of us — to live on the edge. To constantly push. I call it walking the plank.
“Because of the peace and love from Jesus, I find comfort in being uncomfortable; in all aspects of my life. Physically, relationally, business, I am always pushing, and am never satisfied with where I am. I’m happy and content, but not satisfied. I’m pretty sure that’s how I’ll be forever, because it’s wired inside of me.”
Shut Up & Hustle: You Tracked The Entire Transformation Week By Week, When Could You Start Seeing Big Differences?
Shawn Burst: “Between weeks 2-3 I could start seeing some things happening, and, by week five, I was pretty amazed. It takes a little bit to get your body dialed in and working like it’s supposed to, but once that happens, it’s really amazing.”
Shut Up & Hustle: Why Try This For Yourself At 50? That’s Next Level Beast Mode, Man.
Shawn Burst: “My question was why not? Isn’t that what I was called to do? I was a good athlete. Played college football at Tulane. Always been in pretty good shape. I wanted to step out in faith with a big goal, and be in better shape at age 50 than I was at age 20. I felt like conquering this would help me conquer some of the other things I’m trying to accomplish in life; like building a great company in Mandeville, Louisiana that I’m the CEO of called DirectMail.io. Work is a grind. Small team. Big vision. I know it’s a hill to climb to get where I want our company to go.”
Shut Up & Hustle: What’s It About Pushing Yourself In This Way That You Apply In Your Own Business?
Shawn Burst: “It’s the same application in business. In order to accomplish extraordinary things, you must be willing to do the things and commit in a way that’s extraordinary. It’s a pretty simple proposition.
“The commitment. The work ethic. The attention to detail. The constant measurement. Seeking out experts. Having a clear and concise plan. These are all things that can be applied, and I use them in each of my life. Business. Spiritually. Emotionally. Relationally.”
Shut Up & Hustle: If There’s One Piece Of Advice You’d Give Someone Who Wants To Transform Themselves Like You Did, What Is It?
Shawn Burst: Follow the same principles that I did and I believe you can conquer anything.
- Establish the “WHY”
- Develop the goal/vision
- Seek out experts to consult with
- Develop a plan
- Establish KPI’s to track your progress
- Execute your plan. Don’t deviate. No cheating. No excuses.
Shut Up & Hustle: What’s The Aftermath? How Have You Stayed In Great Shape Without Such An Intense Program?
Shawn Burst: “I realized years ago that the key to staying in top condition is nutrition. I’ve heard the stat about being 80 percent what you eat, 10 percent genetics and 10 percent exercise, and I think that’s pretty accurate. Watch what you eat, and the game gets a lot easier.”
See Week-By-Week Pics Of Shawn Burst’s Transformation Below, Where He Built Up Muscle Throughout The Routine.