Coach Zarrugh on Fitness, Nutrition, and the mindset for a career change

Ahmed Zarrugh a religious follower of Active Mind & Body’s game plan over the past couple years and is featured in this month’s bachelors edition of Cosmopolitan magazine.  After 6 years of success as a college football coach (and former player at Oregon State) Ahmed switched gears and started up his own company in the medical field.  His tenacious attitude with work and play has paved the way for a bright new career.

I have know Ahmed for many years and always respected his tremendous work ethic. From working 70+ Hour weeks with the football team while getting his Master’s degree through the graduate assistant program, Ahmed has always been a prime role model displaying an impressive balance. I decided to sit down and find out what makes this guy tick..

How have you managed to stay in good shape without having much spare time?

Not having enough time in a day is probably the number one excuse people have for their shortcomings in taking care of themselves, but that’s just that…AN EXCUSE.  It really doesn’t take that much time to look after your health, it’s just a matter of WANT TO.  I worked out for years without ever stepping into the gym, all you need is your body, the floor and some will power.  A few times a week I would load up your wake up workout and 11 minutes later I had myself a good sweat going.

The other component is nutrition, and again it really is the demanding on your time, it just takes some discipline and forethought.  You provide your audience with plenty of nutrition tips and easy recipes.  Even if you incorporate a couple of pointers you can make a big difference.  I’m really not even that strict with my diet but it does feel good to put healthy food in your body.  I try to keep stuffing my face down to once or twice a week and I often will drink green tea after meals to speed up my metabolism.

How do you think health and nutrition plays into career success?

I think it makes a huge impact.  We are creatures of habit and if you are on point with your health you will more than likely be the same way at the workplace.  I always told my players, the same guys that miss class and struggle in school are usually the same guys that fail to reach their potential on the football field, same thing applies here.

What are a couple of simple tips that someone could take for nutrition

I would say someone trying to get a hold of their nutrition should start by buying a hand blender, you can get them for $20 at Target and they can blend just about anything.  I will sometimes start my day with throwing in some veggies, a banana, almond butter and some other goodies into the machine and I have a healthy and tasty morning shake that can help fill you up. Ive never been a big supplement guy but I would recommend a good natural protein or meal replacement, I have been using the Pea protein by Nutra Summa to mix shakes when I can’t get to a solid meal.

Top Bachelor in Oregon. How do feel about being in Cosmo magazine?

Its a little corny and I’m not big on self-promotion but you have to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes.  A friend of mine got me in there and she was pretty excited about it, I didn’t want to let her down and its always good to step outside the box and do something new.

Why the change in careers?
Let me first tell how what a tremendous experience coaching was.  Not many people realize what all goes into it, and I can speak on behalf of most coaches by saying that ultimately the greatest thing about it is taking part in the development of a young man.  With that being said, for me is came down to opportunity cost.  I’m a curious kid and the industry is very intense, it didn’t leave much time to do other things, but I don’t regret a minute of it and I’m still involved in a limited role.  Anything you do is never a waste if you put your best foot forward each day, you’ll always come away with value.
How difficult was it to have a change of careers?
It was very difficult. It took me a few months of thinking. I would say you should start be writing down the things that you want out of life and see if what you are doing satisfies those wants compared to alternative careers. Then have a couple different plans to execute the change.  Its tough to step away from something you are so familiar with into a career that you don’t know much about but I had good support and made a point to put myself out there and make myself uncomfortable each day.  That discomfort allowed me to speed up my learning curve.


What advice has carried you in your career, both coaching and beyond?

A couple of things I live by are

1.  Always seek to add value; too often people take a selfish approach to their line of work.  I always said to myself, “How can I add value?”  By doing this you will always be a +1 and an asset.  After that your personal gratifications will follow.

2.  Always seek to obtain knowledge, too often people engage in activities that are urgent and require their immediate attention, sometimes these activities are important and sometimes they are not.  Seldom do people engage in activities that are important but not necessarily urgent.  Whatever situation we are in there is a million pieces of knowledge and information free of charge.  It is up to us whether we tap into that knowledge or not.  When I was a young coach I would constantly sit in on other coaches meetings even if it didn’t pertain to my current job duties, but I had the unique opportunity to gain knowledge and any information I could obtain might serve as a benefit down the road.

Click here to support Ahmed as America’s top bachelor… And I’ll send you his phone number.

Representing Oregon



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