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Here's How This 42-Year-Old Guy Changed His Life And Body

His father's early death from a heart attack motivated him to get fit.

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Dan Wells, 42, owns CrossFit Horsepower in Los Angeles, California.

Pete Henze / Via instagram.com

He's pretty freaking strong. For example, he can do 53 pull-ups in a row without stopping. And he can back squat 350 pounds.

He's pretty damn fit right now, but he wasn't always.

Instagram: @officialdanwells / Via instagram.com

Back when Wells was in his 20’s, his day-to-day life was pretty sedentary.

"There was a time when I sat in a cubicle for 70 to 80 hours a week working as a CPA, clicking and dragging spreadsheets," he told BuzzFeed Health. On top of all the time spent sitting at his desk, he was drinking "too much alcohol." His energy was low and he just didn't feel good. But he said it didn't seem necessary to think about his health. "I thought, 'I'm young, I'll be fine.'"

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When Wells was 22, his father died of a heart attack.

His dad was 52. "That was a major turning point. I was like, 'Damn, so apparently you can actually die,'" if you don't take care of health which, Wells says, his dad did not.

Wells said he realized that when you're not taking care of your health, "You die early and your adventure gets cut short," and besides that, "the days between now and that short journey kinda suck. You have low energy; you don't feel good." He said he knew he had to "either continue down that path or get my shit together pronto."

He chose to get his shit together health-wise. But he didn't really know how to.

Instagram: @officialdanwells / Via instagram.com

The very beginning of his journey to wellness was when he started making what he calls "major mistakes" like going on diets that severely limited his calories, drinking tons of diet soda, and pretty much just following advice from commercials.

Once Wells started meeting people at the gym, he began to rely on them for information and advice which led him to traditional bodybuilding-type workouts (a day of bis and tris, leg day, chest day, etc.).

When Wells changed up his lifestyle, he also switched careers. He moved from accounting to investment banking, but within a year of that transition, he quit to become a personal trainer.

He was fit and getting fitter, he thought. That's when he tried CrossFit.

Instagram: @officialdanwells / Via instagram.com

In 2011, when he was 37, Wells tried CrossFit for the first time and was wowed by how hard everyone around him was pushing themselves. "I encountered an environment of people who were just outworking me," he said.

Plus, CrossFit indulged Wells' super competitive side.

"It bothers me to know that someone might be outworking me," Wells said. So, he started CrossFitting seriously and began to understand "the value and power of intentionally surrounding yourself with competitive situations."

In 2013 and 2014 he qualified for the CrossFit Games Regionals in Southern California and in 2015, he qualified for and competed in the CrossFit Games.

In 2016 Wells was featured in the first season of NBC's show Strong, in which 10 trainers and 10 clients compete against each other on two-person teams for a cash prize.

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He starts his daily hourlong workout with a heavy lift.

He might work on squats (back, front, or overhead), deadlifts, shoulder presses or weighted pull-ups. After his strength work, Wells finishes with a high-intensity workout that lasts anywhere from five to 15 minutes. This workout typically includes a bodyweight movement (like burpees, box jumps, or pull-ups) and then either a heavy lift (he calls these "grenades") or a cardio movement like running or rowing.

And he pays a lot of attention to what he eats.

"I eat the highest-quality ingredients I can find, with minimal to no processing." His diet is typically about 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein and he eats enough to fuel his training. "I'm never hungry," he says.

A typical day starts with a teaspoon of fish oil which aids recovery and reduces inflammation. "When I don’t have fish oil I can feel it in my joints," Wells says. Next up is Bulletproof coffee [coffee with butter added] with half-and-half and Stevia. "Then I will throw bacon in a pan and pour out half the grease and use the rest to make two or three eggs. Then I throw a pile of kale into the pan and cook that with sea salt and pepper."

And for dinner: grilled lamb chops, kale in coconut oil with sea salt and pepper, and mashed sweet potatoes with butter.

Courtesy Dan Wells

Wells says that his approach to his diet is to "keep the odds in his favor" by eating healthy, balanced meals most of the time and leaving some room for less ~nutritious choices~ like drinks with friends or a weekend celebration.

For example, he has a sweet tooth.

Instagram: @officialdanwells / Via instagram.com

He loves chocolate covered almonds and if he's going out for drinks, "I'll probably get a tequila or three," he says.

Wells believes that the way to whip your diet and exercise routine into shape is to stop fixating on quantity (as in reducing your food intake and increasing the length of your workouts) and instead focus on quality (as in eating minimally processed foods and doing workouts that legit challenge your strength and stamina).

Get his recipe for chocolate chip banana protein pancakes (picture above) here.

"You don't think at the age of 37 you'll take up something new," he said.

Instagram: @mcserranob / Via instagram.com

"And four years later you're in the LA Galaxy's stadium [for the CrossFit Games.] I wish everyone could experience that...it has to be earned through years and years of concerted, brutal hard work."

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