The Most Energetic Fitness Trainer on Instagram Shares His Secrets

Ron "Boss" Everline talks habit-forming, the NFL and Kevin Hart

April 14, 2023 6:50 am
A photograph of fitness trainer Ron "Boss" Everline standing with his hands on his hips.
The one they call "Boss" has been training Kevin Hart for a decade.
Courtesy of Ron Everline

Ron “Boss” Everline is relentless. Before turning himself into one of the most recognized trainers in the world, Everline was another young athlete determined to make the NFL.

While he never got a call-up from any team, Everline didn’t let that stop his pursuit of greatness. He learned quite a bit about human performance over years of training, and decided to devote his life to passing that knowledge to others. He now influences the wellness routines of millions, as a trailblazer on Instagram’s fitness scene.

One of those individuals is comedian and entertainment powerhouse Kevin Hart. The two have spent a decade together, and as their social media indicates, their workouts are quite the spectacle. Beyond the training, they collaborate together with brands, like the recently rebranded C4 Smart Energy.

We spoke with Everline about working out with Hart, getting the actor ready for the highly anticipated film Borderlands, and how they both maintain their Energizer Bunny levels of energy.

Walk me through your fitness journey.

I originally wanted to be in the NFL, and I had family members who did make it into the NFL. We all fed off of each other’s energy. Everybody wanted to compete at a high level, and it drove a lot of our day. I trained hard for my shot, but it wasn’t meant to be for me. Early on, I learned the benefit of checking your ego at the door, and working as hard as possible to keep the right people around. They say you are the five closest people around you.

Even though I didn’t make it into professional football, I didn’t stop putting that competitive energy into everything that I did and I’m doing after. I tell people all the time that football not working out is one of the best things to happen to me. Football didn’t work out for me, but it worked out to get me to where I am today.

How did you first start working as Kevin Hart’s trainer?

I first met Kevin back when I was 18 or 19 years old, playing football. So you could say I’ve known him for a long time. Fast forward to when I was in the fitness business, working with the singer Ne-Yo as his trainer. I had worked with Ne-Yo for a number of years, and he decided that he was going into another phase of his life that didn’t include us working together. I had a training company at the time and was traveling all over the world, so I was already pretty busy. 

Kevin reached back out around that time to say that he was looking for a personal trainer and wondered if I would do it full-time. I told him that I was down for it, but only if he went into it thinking of me as more of a partner than an employee. I wanted the power to really put the pressure on him, as well as really push the business that we both were doing forward.

What were your goals when you started working with Kevin and how did you achieve them?

Kevin really wanted to change himself. Kevin wanted to be on the cover of magazines, and we got him there. I was betting on us both, but mostly myself. I helped him get to a place where people now know him as the comedian who takes care of his body and has created content all around his wellness every day, including shows. He was all in from day one, and he still is today. 

I have worked with Kevin for over ten years now, so people understand it. But at the beginning there was a lot of work that we had to do to make sure people didn’t think of it as a gimmick. Every session that we did, we had fun and joked around, but we always had focus, too. Kevin and I have had fights. We’ve battled it out. But that is what it takes sometimes in any kind of relationship. 

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What is the training relationship like between you guys? How do you work?

Kevin and I argue like a married couple. We go at each other’s necks. We challenge each other. We compete with each other. I know how to throw competition into the work that we do. But on top of that, the gym has become our therapy, or our version of golf. We go in there to train, but also to talk ideas. We’ve grown a lot together through business, training, parenthood and friendship. 

How much does competition play into the training that you guys do?

I compete to uplift, not compete to destroy. Everybody tries to say that we shouldn’t compete, but I live to compete. And whatever we are doing, I’m doing it to win, because I’m not doing it just to do it. I want to push and pull you, I want you to be brought to a new level.

How does a training day for you typically begin?

Kevin and I are both early risers. I went from a five-in-the-morning guy to a four-in-the-morning guy. I made the change after hearing a Kobe interview, and now Mark Wahlberg is all over 4 a.m. as well. I love to compete…so now I’m up at 3:30 in the morning. I wake up, taking my Cellucor preworkout, then head to the gym. I’ll open up a can of C4 Smart Energy and start the day. 

What do you like about the new C4 Smart Energy?

I enjoy the sense of focus and cognitive benefits that it offers. I think most people only think of C4 as a workout drink, that you only open one up when you’re going to have a crazy session. But it’s not just about a workout drink, it’s a drink to get work done. 

Speaking of energy: if seems like you have an endless reserve of it. Did you always have a crazy amount of energy?

The level of energy that everyone sees today has always been there. When I was younger, I remember being told by people that I was too energized, too positive. But I never stopped being who I am. It actually lit more of a fire for me to continue being who I am. I try to focus that energy into many facets throughout my life. I don’t call my training facilities gyms — I call them energy houses. I don’t want people walking in there thinking of them as just a gym, I want them coming in there chasing that energy. We’re there to transfer it to them. 

People also pick up on your energy through some of the videos that you post. 

I love the digital world, and what it has brought to fitness. I don’t think I’m out of line when I say that I was a bit of a pioneer on social media with showing the back lunge to curl to press. The things that people used to say were crazy back in the day. Now we’ve seen how fundamental they are, and of course there are people on social media who are doing a lot extra these days. Now some of the biggest names in fitness and the biggest online trainers are doing some of the things that I was ridiculed about at the time. 

Kevin has a crazy touring schedule sometimes, and you travel a great deal yourself. How do you guys stay fit on the road?

The first thing that I want to do when we land is go straight to the gym. Staying disciplined in that way. If I told myself that I was going to run three miles, then I am going to run three miles. Being accountable on the road is huge. You don’t always have a lot of time. Sometimes you have time for 25 minutes of hard work, and that’s all you really need. In addition to that, recovery is huge. You need to get enough sleep to start with. I travel everywhere with my Theragun and my boots from Therabody. Being able to loosen up and relax the muscles. I am always wearing my WHOOP to track my recovery and sleep. 

Speaking of traveling, you traveled with Kevin as he prepared for Borderlands. It seems like he got into the best shape of his life.

Borderlands came to us right when we were right in the middle of the pandemic. Everything was still shut down. We were training two, if not three, times a day. It was sick how hard we were training. We would do a workout at five in the morning, and he would go to the set at seven in the morning. Once he got back from set, around seven in the evening, we would go work out again. We would go back for cardio at midnight after dinner and hang out a bit. One of the key things with Kev is getting him to slow down. Those breaks where you’re waiting for 60 or 90 seconds…that makes it rough. But he really bought into it. We didn’t eat anything odd outside of our cheat meals, which were Sunday. 

So many people look to you for guidance. Who do you pull inspiration or motivation from?

For mentors, I’m looking at everyone around me to learn. I’m always looking for winning formulas, because success leaves clues. I love a David Goggins. I didn’t resonate when he first came onto the scene, I came to him later. I realized that he can say things that I couldn’t say, or didn’t think about saying. I love the energy that he projects. But I would be doing myself and everyone around me a disservice if I only focused on people in the fitness world. I watched my brother run a big hospital in Austin, Texas. I also take notes from people like my wife, and Kevin. I don’t want people to emulate someone else, or me. I want people to take all the motivation and inspiration they get to become that next version of themselves. 

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