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 inconsistency 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 Jay Ferruggia. 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…
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 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…
* 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.
And as much as I love dogs, their emotions dictate they’ll eventually shit on the floor. Or pee on your comforter.
Even the guy below.
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.