Interview with Seth Tourje

I am honored today to have the opportunity to share an interview I did recently with a friend from college, Seth Tourje. Seeing where Seth is now compared to when he was in college is nothing short of amazing.

This guy has transformed his life in a variety of ways including his health and fitness. So I asked Seth to share a little about that journey with you. Hope you enjoy.

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seth1Name: Seth Tourje
Height: 5’11”
Current Weight:
 177lb
Age: 23

How did you get started in fitness?

I actually just walked in off the street. I had heard about the whole Crossfit thing from a few friends at school, but never thought I would actually do it. Then one day my roommate found a groupon for a box in Newport and after our first month I was hooked.

Where does your motivation come from to keep going each day?

Above all else, my motivation comes from the desire to be functionally strong. I want to be able to lift things over my head or jump over fences or push a car for a half-mile, if the need ever arose. Basically, I want to be able to take care of myself and those around me.

What is your favorite workout routine? And what workout routine works best for you?

It’s hard to pick a favorite workout routine, because in Crossfit it’s always varied movements, times, and weights. The definition of Crossfit is actually “Constantly Varied Functional Movements at High Intensity.”

There are a few “Benchmark” wods (workout of the days), however, that all Crossfitters do every couple months as a way to gauge their fitness progress. Of these Benchmarks, a few stand out above the rest to me.

  • Fran (21, 15, 9 reps of Thrusters @#95 / Pull ups)
  • Helen (3 Rounds for Time: 400m run, 21 Kettle Bell Swings @24k(53lb), 12 pull ups)
  • Nasty Girls (3 Rounds for Time: 50 Air Squats, 7 Muscle Ups, 10 Hang Cleans @#135) which is slightly more of an advanced wod.

Seth’s Times for the Workouts Above:

Fran – 2:49
Helen – 8:23
Nasty Girls – 8:45

What does your diet look like?

I have a pretty solid diet; I stick MOSTLY to the oh-so-popular Paleo diet, but with the amount of exercise I end up getting during the day, I have started having to add in extra carbs (i.e. potatoes). Diet shouldn’t be about eating this and not eating that so you can lose weight, it is about eating whatever makes your body perform the best.

You’re not going to put unleaded gas from Arco into a Formula 1 car, so why put potato chips and ranch dip in your body?

Change your diet and give it a couple weeks for it to kick in. Your body will need some extra time to adjust to your new diet, but it will catch up after a few days. Everyone’s body is different, but it took me 10 days for my body to recover from the Paleo transition.

seth2If you could pick only five exercises to do, what would they be?

  1. Back Squats
  2. Dead Lifts (if you want to get strong, deads and back squats are the way to go)
  3. Pull Ups
  4. Squat Cleans (& Jerks)
  5. Thrusters

What is you preference when it comes to doing cardio?

Crossfit is all about intensity, that is why people see better results in 4 months at X-fit than a year at Globo Gym. Constantly Varied High Intensity intervals are a must. And sprints, as a Level 1 trainer, when people talk to me about their insecurities about their abs, I always tell them to go run sprints.

(Note From Dennis: As you all know, I am constantly telling you that sprints are by far the best physique shaper on the planet. If you want to lose tons of belly fat and see your abs… start sprinting!)

What supplements do you take? 

I take Progenex, a recovery protein, after most of my workouts. In between competitions I take creatine sometimes, when I’m trying to bulk up. I believe that we should be able to get MOST of the stuff our bodies need from our diet, so I try to eat with that in mind when I go grocery shopping.

What advice would you give others just starting on their fitness journey?

Give it time and be committed. Its hard work getting in shape. Don’t give up after a month if you don’t see results. Keep pushing and stay the course, there is no easy way to lose fat and get in shape. A good body comes with hard work, not diet pills and running 5 miles a day. (Dennis: Very well put. Write that down!)

seth3What motivates you each day to keep going?

My friends at the gym keep me pushing every day for sure. Crossfit creates such a great community, every day you come in and see the same people and you push each other to be better on the daily.

Any favorite inspirational quotes you want to share?

“May I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Galatians 6:14

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Zealous.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in terms of fitness?

I have certain weightlifting goals (i.e. 400lb DL, 300lb Back Squat), but my goal in fitness is like I said above, to be able to take care of others and myself when no body else can.

What is the biggest fitness “myth” that you hear or see people doing everyday?

That there is only one way to workout. You hear people in the Globo Gyms ragging on Crossfit, and the same from Crossfitters about the Globos. There are plenty of ways to workout, just because Crossfit works better for me doesn’t mean it will work better for my next door neighbor (although I’ll recommend it to him until he tries it anyways).

(Dennis: Great advice. There are hundreds of ways and workouts to help get you in shape. The key is choosing something that works for you and sticking with it!)

Any other last words?

I feel its safe to say I’m a completely different person than when I started. There has been more than just physical growth. A mental shift occurred somewhere along the line, changing me from whatever I thought I was to an athlete.

I no longer have any self-esteem issues, nor do I struggle completing tasks I am assigned. I have learned not only to put my head down and grind it out, but I’ve learned to problem solve and how to, as my dad would say, “work smarter, not harder”! I learned how to compete with others, and myself and push through mental and physical barriers that seem impossible at the time.

All of that to say thank you to my Crossfit community, and those who have helped push me this far!

Final Notes:

Seth is a Level 1 Crossfit Trainer at Southcoast Crossfit. He has been Crossfitting for about 13 months. Before this, Seth says he was always strong, but wasn’t overly fit nor did he put any extra effort into working out. Clearly, that has drastically changed…

If you found inspiration from this interview, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS!