Healthy To A Hundred: Nick Peters of QuickHIT Fitness Labs On 5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life
An Interview With Savio P. Clemente
Motivation: If you don’t have a long-term, meaningful goal, it can be easier not to follow through on fitness and nutrition. I tell all of my clients to find a meaningful reason they want to be healthy into their later years. These reasons work best when paired with an event down the line, such as a child or grandchild’s wedding, 60th wedding anniversary or other big life events. When you have a goal or milestone you want to achieve, it gives you something positive to work toward.
The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Nick Peters.
Nick Peters is a certified personal trainer and National Sales Director at QuickHIT Fitness Labs, the fastest-growing private personal training studio in the nation. For the past 15 years, he has supported his clients on their health and fitness journeys. Nick focuses on three pillars — exercise, nutrition and accountability — to help his clients reach their goals and achieve sustainable results.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
I have been involved in the fitness industry for about 15 years, both as a participant and a professional. I graduated from college with a degree in kinesiology and immediately helped open a chain of supplement and vitamin stores across Wisconsin and Iowa. While it was a rewarding job, I wanted to be a larger part of my clients’ health and fitness journeys. With that in mind, I decided to join QuickHIT Fitness Labs three years ago, and we have been able to impact over 3,500 clients nationwide.
Over the years, I’ve developed a passion for overall health and longevity, and I have spent countless hours researching and testing methods on how to improve both. It is through this research that I have found what I believe to be the best methods and tools for helping to increase our quality of life as we age and, hopefully, prevent premature death.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
The stories that stick out the most to me are ones where people have poor diet habits and don’t realize how bad they are, or they think they have good habits. Some clients don’t have terrible eating habits, but I learn that they don’t understand the impact their “little” choices have when they add up. I’ve had clients not realize that the 24-pack of Mountain Dew they drink every week or the two 5-pound containers of M&Ms they consume can be detrimental when done repeatedly.
From these experiences, I have learned to 1) always dig deeper when someone comes to you for help and find out what is really going on, and 2) find unique solutions to client problems. When someone comes to me wanting to lose weight and they are consuming 10 pounds of M&Ms per week, cutting them off completely will cause more problems than it solves a lot of times. Instead, the client can slowly cut back the amounts until they get to a reasonable level or to a point where they can eliminate them without any negative consequences.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My kids have helped me to become a leader in health, fitness and longevity space. Once I had children, I quickly realized the need to get in better shape and become healthier overall for them. In order to participate more fully in their lives, I knew that I needed to start taking a different approach that was more holistic than just focusing on bodybuilding. Then, my dad passed away when I was 28 and he was only 60. Although I got to spend a lot of time with him, there was still a lot more that I wanted to share with him. I didn’t want my kids to have the same experience, so I made extending my longevity a priority in my life.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
It’s hard to condense all the traits it takes to be a successful leader, but the three traits that have served me best are work ethic, honesty and passion.
I believe work ethic is the most important because you want those working with you and for you to have faith in you as a leader. If you are asking them to do things you wouldn’t or work shifts you haven’t worked or you never take, then you risk losing their respect. I have found that when employees don’t think you put in the same effort as you ask of them, they either give up or leave.
Honesty is also important. If you aren’t open with your employees or aren’t regularly sharing your vision for the company or being transparent about what’s happening behind the scenes, your team can lose motivation quickly. Employees who know your end goal and reasons for any changes tend to become much more accepting.
When it comes to passion for your work, your employees, clients and social media followers all need to know your reason for doing what you do. Anyone who is successful in business, life and health has a deeper reason for why they want to reach their goals. For example, my goal in business is to help people become the best and healthiest versions of themselves, and my deeper reason is that I have watched what unhealthy lifestyles and poor physical fitness can do to people close to me. Truly successful leaders aren’t motivated by money; instead, they follow their passion and want to positively impact others. If people don’t feel that you, as a leader, actually care about them and your mission, they won’t be afraid to call you on it, especially on social media.
Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I have been in the fitness industry for nearly 15 years and have studied everything from bodybuilding to sports performance to extending longevity.
Longevity, in particular, has been my main focus for the past six years. When my son was born in 2016, I decided to learn everything I could about becoming the healthiest version of myself so I could be the best father and experience as much of his life as possible. This desire to know as much as I could about longevity only intensified when I lost my dad to cancer in 2019 and again when my daughter was born in 2020.
I approach health and longevity in a very unique way. When working with clients, my staff and I teach them that fitness and wellbeing is a lifelong journey, and in order for them to stick to that journey and be the best version of themselves, it needs to be enjoyable. Fitness should be an addition to their lifestyle, not a detriment to it. Although we know we need to eat healthy and stay active, we still need to enjoy ourselves while we’re doing it. This is the key to a healthier, happier and, hopefully, longer life.
Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.
When I first started focusing on enhancing my longevity, I tried red light therapy, meditation and yoga. You name it, I tried it. But I found that consistent resistance training and sensible eating are the two things that invariably make me feel my best, and I believe, will help me lead a longer life. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy pizza and burgers, but I enjoy them in moderation. I can definitely notice a change in my energy levels and mood when eating properly and staying consistent with workouts versus when I fall off track.
Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”?
- Fitness: You need to maintain a level of physical fitness in order to live a long life and stay healthy in your later years. Studies show that exercise, even a small amount of movement, can provide health benefits. In fact, adding just 10 minutes of walking a day can lead to a longer life for some. Other studies suggest that increasing physical activity can reduce mortality risk by 15 to 60%. And we have all seen examples of someone who retires, and within a couple of years, starts struggling to get around or gets hurt more often. Our bodies like to maintain their status quo. If we live an unhealthy lifestyle, our bodies may rebel when we try to be healthier and vice versa. That’s why it’s important we maintain some degree of physical activity throughout our lives.
- Nutrition: Everyone has heard about the importance of nutrition, but not everyone fully understands it. As we age, our bodies start showing cumulative effects of what we have done in our younger years. But if we eat healthily and give our bodies the nutrients they need, then they will work more optimally. In the United States, we had fewer people with lifestyle diseases such as cancer, heart disease and vascular disease 50 years ago. People ate more whole foods and vegetables then versus eating more processed foods now.
- Accountability: As we age, many people begin to cut back on their healthy habits. Aches and pains creep up on us, so some opt to stay at home on the couch and not do anything. Having an active friend or family member or hiring a health coach makes it much easier to maintain an active lifestyle because of the accountability factor. I hear from my clients all the time that they love going to swim aerobics or pilates because of the friends they have in the class and who keep them accountable if they aren’t there.
- Motivation: If you don’t have a long-term, meaningful goal, it can be easier not to follow through on fitness and nutrition. I tell all of my clients to find a meaningful reason they want to be healthy into their later years. These reasons work best when paired with an event down the line, such as a child or grandchild’s wedding, 60th wedding anniversary or other big life events. When you have a goal or milestone you want to achieve, it gives you something positive to work toward.
- Support: This is often overlooked, but having a supportive network of family and friends can boost your longevity. Feeling isolated and lonely not only impacts our mental health but our physical health as well. Older adults dealing with loneliness and social isolation are at risk of premature death, as well as having an increased risk for illnesses such as dementia and depression.
Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?
To live a full life, you need to be able to enjoy life. In order to do that, you must value your personal health and fitness. If you are able to stay in shape and avoid injuries and illness, you will be able to enjoy all of life’s moments.
Some argue that longevity is genetic while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?
While both nature and nurture are important to longevity, how you live your life impacts both your quality of life and longevity much more than your genetics. We have started to see a lot of studies showing us the impact of healthy living, especially in our later years. My clients will sometimes feel defeated before they’ve even started because of a family history of disease, but I point out that they have control over their fitness and nutrition, which can benefit them long term.
Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?
One of the most challenging times for our company and me was 2020 and everything related to the COVID-19 pandemic. When shutdowns were first announced, our staff at QuickHIT Fitness Labs was extremely worried about their future, the company’s future and how they would continue helping their clients. Our leadership team knew we had to find solutions to continue pushing our mission forward. At a time when many businesses were trying to figure out how to navigate the challenges, we started planning how we could continue to serve our clients and keep our employees working and safe. We spent long hours building online workouts and programs for our employees to do virtual training sessions. We researched the pandemic rules and guidelines in each of our markets across the country to figure out how we could remain open. In the end, we were successful during a difficult time while continuing to make a positive impact on our clients’ health and well-being.
When facing any type of setback, it’s important to first pause and assess the situation, then come up with a game plan on how to reach your goals. It not only helps lower your stress level but also helps you be more successful in the long run.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
One of my favorite sayings in health and fitness is, “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
This speaks volumes when trying to develop healthier habits. If you hate eating vegetables, find new recipes that help you incorporate them into your meals. Or, if you’re trying to cut out soda, have water and flavor drops or fresh fruit to add to it to make it more tempting and easier to choose instead. A little planning and preparation can go a long way in helping you achieve your health goals.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would love for more people to experience the benefits of exercise and resistance training. At QuickHIT, our Robotically Controlled Resistance™ machine automatically varies the resistance and speed of the exercise to accentuate the negative or “resistance” phase to maximize the efficiency of each rep. We’ve seen firsthand that people only need to work out for 20 minutes two to three times a week to see real results. And as we continue to grow, we believe it’s only a matter of time before we ignite a fitness revolution and help more people realize their goals.
What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?
You can follow QuickHIT Fitness Labs on Facebook and Instagram by searching for “QuickHIT Fitness.” You can also visit our website at quickhitfit.com. I can personally be found on Instagram as Nick.qhfitness and LinkedIn by searching my name.