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Motivation

One Simple Habit To Guarantee Fitness Success

One Simple Habit To Guarantee Fitness Success

One Simple Habit To Guarantee Fitness Success
First, the sad truth: conventional ideas about so-called fitness motivation suck.

You can’t count on “wisdom” that belongs in fortune cookies. Nor can you count on hardass sayings that belong on t-shirts.

Neither will get your butt out of bed and into the gym at 6:00 AM on those cold winter mornings.

The truth is a much simpler and vastly more effective:
Set a training schedule and stick to it.

It’s the best way to lock in consistency with your diet in the training and make better progress. Which brings us to…..

The Day I Met Arnold Schwarzenegger

Well, almost. I didn’t actually meet Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There I was sitting in a cafe in Venice, California with my wife and a friend. And then… there was Arnold. In the flesh! I gasped, did some weird shaking thing with my hands, and lost my shit like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

But it wasn’t just the fact that I saw Arnold. It’s what he was doing.

He was exercising. Riding a bike, actually. With a full boot on his leg.

Think about that for a second. Yes, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger, arguably the most influential figure in the history of fitness.

But he’s still a 70-year old man crushing exercise after an obvious injury or surgery. For all I know, he could have broken his foot delivering a face kick to the predator and saved us all from impending doom.

But that wasn’t it.

Two fellow trainers in town for the same event also saw Arnold the day before and day after. Guess what he was doing? Training at Gold’s gym.

Arnold had every excuse to not be motivated and skip training. His leg was jacked. He’s probably insanely busy. His joints likely ache and pain from decades of extreme training. But at the end of the day, these are all excuses.

And excuses are the result of relying on motivation; rather than habits, to drive action. All of which leads me to say…

Fuck motivation.

It’s only temporary. You don’t need it. You need habits. And one habit in particular: a regular workout schedule, like my client John.

John’s Story

John is 35 years old and single. John made a lot of money in his business and cashed out. He can do pretty much whatever he wants pretty much whenever he wants. All day, every day.

But John is 70 pounds overweight. He’s frustrated and overwhelmed by information overload and his inability to stay consistently motivated.

He’s sick of feeling embarrassed to take his shirt off on his boat (#firstworldproblems) and hates the way his clothes fit.

Still, when John is motivated to train he’s strong and focused…for about a month at a time. He loses weight, his clothes fit better, and he starts going on dates again.

Then, all hell breaks loose. He relies on motivation and starts training at consistent times. Soon, 3:00 pm becomes 4:00 pm. Then, it’s 4:30 pm..then he cancels.

His diet falls off and he’s back to crushing fast food because it’s convenient. The “lack of motivation” leads him astray to the vaunted negative feedback loop and he adds the same 5-10 pounds back time and time again.

Does John sound familiar?

Chances are, yeah. Either you or someone you know has the same struggle. Motivation crumbles and program hopping sets in. One Dorito leads to the whole bag. Soon, you’re ordering Dominos and falling into the same old trap of…

* frustration
* no results
* wasted cash on over-hyped up supplements, and “lose ten pounds by yesterday” schemes

The Real Answer

So what’s the solution? Sure, giving tough love and saying “suck it up, buttercup” sounds great in theory. But it doesn’t always work in practice. Most times it doesn’t.

So, what is the one thing that really helps people stick to their fitness routine, get stronger and look better naked?

Setting a rigid schedule and sticking to it. With consequences.

And no, I’m not talking about punishment burpees. I’m talking cold hard cash. Read on…

If you’re here, you’re probably in the minority of folks who enjoy exercise. But we both know it’s never enjoyable to do anything you don’t like, whether it’s suffering through another episode of Lost, working a job you hate or eating a bland diet of rubbery chicken and broccoli.

Instead of wondering….

“Will I be motivated to lift after a work and sitting in traffic?”
“Can I really stick to workouts before work?”
“Do I have enough time to exercise today?”

We need discipline to drive action, not motivation.

How To Make It Work

We need to set rigid guidelines to clarify action and purpose in today’s work. Currently, we all have too many choices throughout our day. As pointed out in the Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz, our plethora of options isn’t doing us any favors physically or psychologically.

“Autonomy and freedom of choice are critical to our wellbeing, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.”
— The Paradox of Choice, 2004

Basically, we have so many choices we have no idea what to do with ourselves. This leads us to piss our time away on social media and snapchatting “date night” instead of being present.

We focus on tasks that are neither associated with our goals or have any positive impact on our lives.

They’re just empty entertainment at the cost of your goals. With this in mind, I propose an idea have a directive to get you back on track to building your best body.

Plan exercise, so action is no longer a choice.

It’s not an option “when it’s convenient,” because that time will never come. There is no perfect time. It’s time to stop relying on emotion.

Do you want to know who relies on emotion? Dogs.

rockyAnd as much as I love dogs, their emotions dictate they’ll eventually shit on the floor. Or pee on your comforter.

Even the guy at the left.

Your ability to set a schedule and make decisions based on their benefit, rather than your raw emotion separates you as a human from an animal. It also separates who build the high-performance body they want from those who don’t.

The choice is yours. Are you ready to take the next step?

Then set a schedule and stick to it.

Back To John and Arnold

This is what John and I agreed to. No longer would “fun” plans or an unplanned moving knock him off his plan to workout. No, it wasn’t fun to get up at 5:30 AM and be to the gym by 7:00 AM when he could have slept in. But it didn’t matter. It got the job done.

Thinking back to Arnold, there’s no denying he’s blessed with incredible grit and genetics to be in great shape. But he has the determination to set habits and make training a priority in his day.

It’s not a choice. It’s a planned event in his day to improve his health so he can stay jacked enjoy life to the fullest.

There’s no need for motivation if you set habits and get it done.

There is no hoping for time to train if you make the time.

Schedule workouts like any other meeting or event. Organize your life and responsibilities around them.

True emergencies can prevent you from training. Such is life. But you can still make progress by using 1% of your day, a measly 15 minutes, to workout.

It’s okay to dial back your training or trim a workout to a fifteen-minute bodyweight circuit. But it’s not okay to completely stop training for weeks or months on end. When you remove choices, you’re only left with the option to take action and succeed.

My Challenge to You

Set a schedule for working out. I recommend getting up earlier and doing it before the inevitable “panic emails” or emergencies of the day occur. Pick when, where, and how you’re going to train.

Take out $150 in cash in $5 denominations. Grab two envelopes, one labeled “hits,” and the other labeled “misses.” Tell someone you need their help to keep you accountable this month.

Hits: Plan a night out 30 days from now or a purchase that costs $150. Start with all your money in the “hits” envelope.

Misses: Think of a cause or charity you hate. Politics seem to have everyone’s panties in a bunch, so pick a politician you despise.

What to do: Every time you miss a workout, take five bucks from your “hits” envelope and put it into your misses. At the end of the month, send your hard earned cash to your misses.

Why this Works: Loss aversion is the powerful tendency of people to avoid loss. It’s twice as powerful as acquiring gains.

What Will Happen?

If you step up to the plate and own it you’ll lose fat, build strength/ muscle, and achieve any other goal you set your sights on. Plus, you’ll “find” $150 to spend on something you enjoy. Score.

If you swing…and miss? That’s okay. We all fuck up, but you still need to put $5 into the “misses” envelope. Use screw-ups as a reason to get back on track. Pick yourself up and make the next best decision…or fund something you despise.

But if you stay in the dugout and skip workouts? You’ll stay the same…searching for the magic cure and fall into the same vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting and program hopping. Plus you’ll waste $150, which really sucks.

We all have choices. Be like Arnold. Stop treating exercise as an option;. Make it an event.

Your ability to set a schedule and limit decisions preserves your ability to make the right decisions for the goals you really want to achieve.

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Are you ready to step up to the plate?

Then all you need is an expert plan, the accountability to see it through, and the consistency to take action.

But will you?
Further, if you were going to take action…wouldn’t you have done it already? 

All great transformations take the right customized plan and hard work. But working with an expert coach accelerates your progress by giving you elite knowledge, motivation, and the accountability to build your best body.

Those are what’s missing, and I can supply them to help you build your best body. 

I’ve recently opened new spots in my elite online training program and want to personally invite you to join the elite and build your best body. Why me? While it’s “cool” and a stamp on my ego to tell you I’ve helped hundreds of people transform their lives, worked with everyone from busy men and women to elite athletes and published content read by millions on every website from CNN to T-Nation…

 

my real passion is helping busy people like John retake their bodies, build muscle, lost fat, and build a body that looks as well as it performs. 

If you have a spring-break to get ready for, a New Year’s resolution to crush once and for all, or just a strong desire to transform your body, retake your health, and optimize your life then I want to help you.

No one builds their best body alone. I know I haven’t. So let’s do this together. Believe in yourself, put your faith in me, and apply for the program. Spots are competitive, but if you’re a good fit for the program, we’ll get after it and transform your life.

You’ll transform your body.

You’ll get strong AF.

You’ll simplify your training and diet.

You’ll look better naked.

 Let’s do this together.

 

====> Apply Today ⇐===

 

 

A Motivation Story (And Four Killer Tips)

A Motivation Story (And Four Killer Tips)

A Motivation Story (And Four Killer Tips)

Guest post by Jack Purdom

This is a fitness motivation story with a twist. It’s about  how an unmotivated client finally got into the fitness habit, once and for all…without the use of a megaphone. It’s a new take on the old problem I deal with in my free eBook Getting Past Busy <<<=== Download Here

Whether you’re a coach or a personal training client, you’ll probably find it resonates with you. It helps solve the perennial problem of motivation to actually getting workouts done. And I’ll top it off with four tips you can use right away.

Liz’s Fitness Motivation Story

It all began with a text from my client, Liz:

“I don’t feel motivated to go to the gym today.”

Now, is this an unforgivable crime against the fitness world or mankind as a whole? Obviously not. I think we’ve all been guilty of feeling this way at one point or another.

Liz’s problem? She sent that text (or one like it) at least once a week.

We tried rah-rah pep talks.

We had discussions on the importance of consistency.

We experimented with positive and negative reinforcement.

Hard-assery, open and honest discussion, anger, compassionate understanding: none of it worked.

Nothing ever changed.

Inevitably, I would receive a text or call a couple of hours before our scheduled session complaining of a lack of energy or motivation.

I was at my wit’s end. So was Liz, she felt l her goals would never become reality.

We both felt helpless.

I was convinced I had failed her and she was convinced she had failed me. Both of us assumed responsibility and wanted to make it work. But we didn’t know how to “create motivation” on days where there wasn’t any.

How Everything Changed

Liz had gone away for a week on vacation. She actually showed up for her first post-vacation session. It seemed like a good opportunity to something new and different.

So I hit Liz with this non-negotiable demand:

“I want you to make your bed every morning for the next week.”

I didn’t demand she change anything else.

It had nothing to do with fitness. It had nothing to do with what she was putting in her body for nutrition. And it had absolutely nothing to do with her goals.

What Happened Next

To cut to the chase: it worked like a charm.

The first week went by and Liz proudly reported that she had stuck to the plan and made her bed every morning. Outside of that, she didn’t feel much different. In her words: “Life was business as usual.”

With a successful week of bed-making behind her, we added drinking a full glass of water upon waking to her morning routine. At the end of the second week, she walked into her session beaming.

Not only had she completed her tasks every morning, but she was bursting to tell me that she felt she had made much better choices when eating during the week.

Over the next two weeks, we added a couple more small items to her day. Liz completed them all.

After a month, Liz had solidified four habits into her daily life.

But that wasn’t the best part…

Liz didn’t miss a workout all month. She didn’t even realize it. Liz had been so laser-focused on completing her tasks every day that she didn’t notice not missing workouts.

The added bonus? Liz also lost five pounds that month. It was a tasty cherry on top.

According to her, “the workout was just another part of my day. I didn’t think about doing it, I just did it.”

And that’s the beauty of habit-building.

The Power of Habit in Fitness Motivation

Allow me to let you in on a secret.

The almighty Church of Motivation is selling you lies and hampering your progress.

– You don’t need to watch another video montage to the soundtrack of The Dark Knight dubbed over with inspirational speeches.

– You don’t need the perfect Spotify playlist with every song synced to a specific section of your workout.

– You don’t even need to be feeling great or having a good day.

Motivation is fleeting and can only carry you for so long.

Habits, on the other hand, work regardless of circumstances and are lasting. Once built, they stick around and actually lead to unconsciously building other habits.

They don’t need to be difficult, they don’t need to be time-consuming, and they don’t even need to be directly related to your goals. (At least at first.)

The Takeaway

Here are four fail-proof methods to begin your own habit-building journey:

1. Create a Morning Routine

There is no more surefire way to increase productivity than by starting your day out with a few easily repeatable actions in the morning. It will lay the foundation for success and frame your goals for the day.

How To Do It

  • Choose 3-4 small actions
  • Ex) Glass of water, 10 minute run, 3 goals for the day
  • Select a “habit trigger.”
  • Ex) Water bottle, running shoes, notebook
  • Review and Adapt
  • Ex) Completed the routine for two weeks, add 10 minutes of reading

2. Prep and Plan

As the old saying goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Set yourself up for success so there are no excuses. Take one hour out of your week before it begins and plan the following:

  • Your weekly meals and the necessary groceries needed
  • When you’ll workout and exactly what you’ll be doing
  • Your wake up and bedtimes (set 15 minute reminder alarms)
  • Your next hour of review and planning

3. Flex Your “No” Muscle

Now that you’ve made the decision to improve your life and designed your plan, don’t let anything or anyone stop you. Identify where potential obstacles may exist and prepare your response. This doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun the rest of your life, but it has to be within reason. Your family and friends will understand and support your newfound decision to create a better life. Examples of possible situations:

  •  Text from a friend inviting you to a late night at the bar
  • Your aunt forcing a homemade dessert on you
  • A lousy night’s sleep leaving you tired and wanting extra sleep instead of the gym
  • Co-workers trying to coerce you into getting fast food for lunch

4. Avoid Throwaway Days

Don’t let one bad meal or a missed morning routine turn into “I’ll just do whatever I want the rest of today and start again tomorrow.” Hit the mental reset button immediately because tomorrow turns into Monday, or next week, or next month, or even the infamous New Year’s resolution. If you feel like quitting because of one bad decision, try this:

  • Repeat the mantra, “One mistake is not enough to knock me off track”
  • Look ahead to the next item on your improvement plan and commit to making it happen
  • Remind yourself that a 90% successful day will still bring you closer to your goals while a 0% day will take you in the wrong direction

What new habits will you add to your day?

And how will you make time for it all?

Find out in my free eBook Getting Past Busy <<<=== Download Here

About The Author

jack-purdomJack Purdom is a Chicago-based trainer and writer who helps busy people lead better lives. He holds a M.S. in Exercise  Science and Nutrition, with additional certifications as a personal trainer and nutrition coach from The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Precision Nutrition. Jack blogs at Trainer Jax. 


Four Surprising Ways to Boost Motivation

tips to add muscle, high performance exercises

We’ve all been there: in need of a motivation boost. 

It normally starts with…

Bing! Bing! Bing!

The damn alarm clock is doing its thing. Again.

But your eyes just don’t want to open. If you’re training,  your body doesn’t want to lift.  

Or, if you’re a trainer… you don’t want to face another 12 hour day of back-to-back clients.  You wonder whatever happened to that great idea of getting out of the “hours for dollars” rat race by launching one of those online training businesses you keep hearing about.

You just say to yourself: “Today is not the day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.”  But will tomorrow ever really come?
weightlifting coach
Sound familiar? It should, if you are being honest.  We’ve all been there. Everyone’s motivation wanes at times.

And the lack of motivation can last for  days, weeks, and months on end. Sometimes it can feel like we are  staring through a telescope at our goals.

The goals seem to live in a galaxy far away…that is receding ever further into deep space with each passing day.

Rather than taking the next step, we sit and wait, trembling in fear  and think: “That six-pack (or new business model) is so far away, why even bother?”

It’s the same sort of faulty logic that leads you to eat an entire container of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. After all, you’ve already messed up on your diet by eating the first spoonful.

So why fight it?

And how is one more day of failing to take action on your business plans really so bad?

This sort “stinking thinking is a central concept in the addiction literature.

It stems from a negative feedback loop that keeps us from doing what we know we want and need to do.

Which begs the question:  “What is motivation? “


More importantly, how can we harness the awesome power of motivation  to achieve our dream bodies and lead our best lives?

Motivation is what drives us to take action on our goals.

tips to add muscle, high performance exercises

What are your goals in life? It could be the money or professional status. It could be becoming a beast, having great sex, and looking great naked. It could even be helping others and making a difference in the world.

I’m not judging. (I’ll leave that to your Mom!) And the heavy stuff is probably best left to discussions with your soulmate, shrink, clergyman or bartender.

I am simply suggesting that if you are experiencing difficulties, the problem may be:

The goal isn’t big enough or important enough to you.

Related Post: The Success Mindset

Whatever an overarching driving force, motivation will wane. You’ll have off-days. You will inevitably:

–  Skip a workout
– Blow your diet on that Ben and Jerry’s and Ice Cream
– Decide reruns of Breaking Bad are a better choice than working on that big projectMy advice?

Accept it.

Live with it.

You can’t win every battle.

And we are all highly imperfect human beings.

So we need to forgive ourselves — and move on, as we refocus on goals and motivation.

Use  the steps that follow to:

–  Persevere
–  Simplify
– Get back on track

Most of all, focus relentlessly on the next, best action.

 

1. Set Habits to Eliminate Decisions

Discipline begets freedom. This seems like an ass-backwards thought, but setting guidelines and rigid habits is the key to maintaining motivation in other areas. Motivation takes willpower.

And willpower evaporates faster than steam when you have too many decisions to make and decision fatigue sets in.

That’s why President Obama only wears gray or blue suits.  He says: “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” And the same was true for Steve Jobs and his well known turtle-neck and jeans.

We have a limited capacity for decisions and thus, motivation. My training and business coaching clients have the most success when their mornings become automatic.

Start the day off with minimal decisions. Have your clothes picked out, a breakfast shake or other food choices ready to roll, and your plan of action already decided from the night before.

Reducing decisions eliminates fatigue. With a fresh mindset, you’ll find motivation effortless.

Read More: Morning Rituals to Become Unstoppable 

Hold Back To Move Faster


Another seeming paradox.

But consider something we’ve all seen in the gym. It has to do with  an average gym guy we’ll call Dick. Dick has just  made it back in the gym for the first time in three months.

Dick is pumped. He’s eager to kick life in the teeth and get swole, son! (I couldn’t resist) And the first week he owns it.

He’s in the gym five days, working hard, eating right, and doing his thing.

Then, he fades out. The second week he’s in three times. Then once.

What happened?

Dick took off too fast. Five days in the gym was too much of a change and shock to his world.

Real life intervened, probably in the form of a work or family crisis. So the least familiar task  —  heading to the gym — fell by the wayside.

Biting off more than you can chew is the surest way to  lose motivation. So add five lbs plates to the bar this week, not 25 lbs plates. And if  you’ve skipped the gym for months, go for three days, not five, on your first week back.


2. Get an Accountability Group, Partner, Or Coach

Most people fail a fitness transformation not because of lack of information, but because of lack of direction and accountability.

As I wrote in an article entitled “Why Personal Trainers Need Their Own Coaches and Mentors for The Personal Trainer Development Center:

Sir Isaac Newton, said:

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Truer words have never been spoken: none of us achieves success alone. And there’s also an intellectual honesty issue.

If you don’t use coaching yourself, how can you preach its virtues to clients?

This logic exptends beyond coaches.

We all need accountability.

And if motivation is a constant issue, than finding someone to hold you accountable for your actions is the best investment you can make in yourself.

Please keep reading until the end of this article for information about how I might be able to help.

3. Just Get Started

In his book, The Ego is the Enemy Ryan Holiday refers to author Robert Greene’s description of “Alive Time.”

During Alive Time people are learning and taking action. This contrasts with Dead Time  when people are passive and waiting for change to happen.

Motivation and taking action aren’t mutually exclusive.  One leads to the other. You just have to start.  You need Alive Time.

Like a ball rolling down a hill, the longer you keep going, the more unstoppable you’ll be. But it all starts with a nudge.  

Put down the books, throw away the articles. And get to work.

There’s no time like the present. Think less and do more. Then, you’ll find the motivation you’ve been looking for.

4. Stop Focusing On the End Goal

It’s said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And  we  can’t complete reciting the alphabet from A to Z without hitting B,C,D… and all the letters  in between.

Motivation is hard to maintain because we push our goals too far into the future. We focus too much on how far away we are from the goal, and not enough on how far we’ve come.

So we lose sight of the big picture. We become unduly concerned about small missteps along the way.

And that’s why we sleep in and skip our workout.

Or fail to take action on our plans, like expanding into online training if you are a trainer.

We can only control what we can control, and that’s the present moment. Reflect back and ask yourselves, “What are the actions I can take that will get me to my long term goal?”

Be Present.

Then focus on execution.

Nail this rep.

Or that business plan.

Then the next.

Over time, focusing on each step itself leads to mastering the task at hand and accomplishing the goal itself.

Instead of getting lost in complexity break it down into small, digestible parts. Then, with your goal as a lighthouse in a black sky, take the next best step, one foot in front of the other to get closer to your goal.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at. “ -Bruce Lee

Motivation is great, but hoping to achieve your goals isn’t enough. Get someone to hold you accountable.

Simplify the process and set your daily habits to eliminate decisions. Then focus on the moment at hand.

You can’t change the past, nor predict the future. So why not maximize what’s in front of you?

Own the moment, and you’ll own motivation.

Can I Help? If You’re A Trainer, Let’s Work Together on How You Can Build A Thriving Hybrid Fitness Business.

As an online and in-person trainer, I understand the need to build a long-term sustainable business.

You can’t trade dollars for hours indefinitely.

Nor can you continue working split shifts from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM while neglecting time with family, friends, and loved ones.

And whatever happened to your own training?

Or taking a weekend off ?

It’s time to work smarter and reap the financial rewards you deserve. And help more clients achieve their goals and improve their lives.  

My team and I have developed six figure online and in-personal training businesses simultaneously. We call it the Hybrid Fitness Model.

The team includes Daniel Freedman, a TV producer turned business development and marketing expert who has worked with CrossFit,  Precision Nutrition, and the Personal Trainer Development Center.

We offer hand-on, custom consulting. This is not an eCourse or Mastermind group. We’ll customize our service to your needs and position your business for long-term success. 

Most of all, we’ll show you how to become self-sufficient. We teach you how to fish, not how to keep buying fish from us.

No one gets there alone.  We’ll be with you every step of the way. But due to our personalized approach, we have just five spots available for fitness professionals, this week only.  

Are you ready to re-take control of your schedule, make more money, and help more clients?

Taking action is the first step. 

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