How Virtuoso’s Matthew Upchurch Stays Fit
When you travel 200 days a year, as Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew Upchurch does, it’s easy to let go of your healthy routines and pack on the pounds.
But Upchurch – thanks to a life-changing stay at a California wellness resort – has succeeded where others fail, keeping weight off and incorporating exercise and healthy eating into his daily life. The Wall Street Journal has featured his journey in its What’s Your Workout feature.
Upchurch told the Wall Street Journal that he grappled with weight issues for years: “I used to joke I have gained and lost the equivalent of a small kindergarten class, I yo-yo so much.” Despite regular exercise on an elliptical machine, he couldn’t lose weight permanently because he hadn’t changed his diet.
The Ranch at Live Oak features a variety of physical activities including yoga
The transformation started in June 2012, when a friend suggested he go to The Ranch at Live Oak in Malibu, California. The luxury boot camp at the ranch, one of Virtuoso’s resort partners, consists of four to five hours a day of group hiking, weights, core work and yoga. Participants also consume a vegan diet of 1,200 calories a day.
At The Ranch at Live Oak, Upchurch lost 13 pounds. He continued to lose weight after he departed – another 8 pounds in the following month. “The Ranch was like a shock to the system,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
A shock that worked: Upchurch has lost and kept off 60 pounds since his first boot camp. How does he do it?
Wherever he is in the world, Upchurch does cardio five to six days a week. His goal: to log 10,000 steps each day on his fitness tracker. When he’s home in Fort Worth, Texas, two days a week, he does a 30-minute interval workout on an elliptical machine, alternating between hard and easy paces. Other days he’ll do a 45-minute elliptical workout, keeping a steady pace at the right heart rate to burn calories. He also takes a hilly walk in Fort Worth’s Lincoln Park for 30 to 90 minutes four or five days a week.
Upchurch also strength trains two to three days a week on his own, then once or twice a week with a personal trainer, depending on his travel schedule. At least twice a week he practices a style of power yoga called Baptiste yoga, done in a heated room.
Upchurch works with a life coach on meditation, and meditates for 15 minutes before going to sleep. “He told me every hour I go to bed before midnight counts as two hours of rest,” he says, noting that he’s in bed by 9:45 p.m.
His diet has also shifted significantly since his first stay at The Ranch at Live Oak. Upchurch eats 80% less red meat, twice as much fish, and three times more greens. He starts the day with a shake made from the Ranch at Live Oak’s organic greens powder. After working out, he likes boiled eggs and carrot juice or an egg-white omelet with spinach and greens. “We eat a lot of fresh salads, whole-grain rices, soups and we love Mediterranean foods like tabbouleh,” he says of his dinner fare with his wife, whom he credits with being a major influence in his wellness transformation.
The boot-camp week has become an annual tradition with Matthew Upchurch. He goes just before Virtuoso’s biggest event of the year, Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas in August.
“A trade show in Vegas is full of temptation so I go into it with a healthy mind-set,” he says.
To read the complete article in the Wall Street Journal, click here.