Category Archives: Motivation

Fitness and Failure: Is It Really All or Nothing?

I was training a client the other day and we were chatting about her progress. She’s made tremendous improvement since we first started training but she told me something that, in turn, sparked this post.

Her fear of failing.

It’s an all-too-common situation for many of us, myself included. Whether it’s the expectations we have for ourselves or from others, we’re sometimes hindered by fear of failure.

This brings up an interesting and important question: Can you fail at your fitness goals?

Let’s dive in a bit deeper to find out.

Letting Go of the All or Nothing Mindset

Scale, Diet, Fat, Health, Tape, Weight, Healthy, Loss

Here’s an example of some internal dialogue that you may be familiar with:

“I know I shouldn’t be eating this because it’s pretty high in calories.”

Eats food anyway.

“Great, now I’ve failed.”

Or this one:

“I’ve worked out 3 out of 4 days so far this week so I’ll skip my workout today.”

Decides to skip workout and later feels guilty about it.

“I shouldn’t have skipped that workout because now I’ve lost all of my progress and have to start over.”

Sound familiar?

If it does that’s because many of us struggle with stuff like this on daily basis. But here’s the deal: just because you eat something you weren’t planning to eat or you skip a workout, doesn’t make you a failure or mean that you’ve failed.

Step 1 towards reaching your fitness goals will require you to let go of the all or nothing mindset. It’s not an easy thing to do, but once you do you’ll notice an immediate shift in your mindset.

Making the Shift

Thought, Idea, Innovation, Imagination, Inspiration

There’s a reason people believe they can fail with their fitness goals.

Part of it has to do with the overbearing nature of the fitness industry and the idea that you’re either 100% committed or you’re just not hardcore enough.

There’s no middle ground.

I’m guilty of spouting the suck-it-up mentality at times (sometimes it’s warranted) but in general this isn’t the best practice for lots of people.

On the other hand, we have social media showing us all of these examples of people with ‘perfect’ bodies. Many of them have large audiences and a major influence on other people’s behaviors, whether positive or negative.

Too many people believed they’ve screwed up or failed if:

  • they skip a workout
  • they eat carbs or sugar
  • they eat too much in 1 meal
  • they eat something deemed as ‘unhealthy’
  • they have alcohol
  • they miss a meal
  • they go out to eat
  • they indulge in their favorite treat
  • the scale goes up
  • they eat something that’s processed

It’s no wonder so many people are afraid of failing. It’s a good thing the above examples don’t make you a failure because I’ve done each of these and I’m still continuing to make progress, as are my clients ūüôā

When we really take a look at what helps us make progress we realize that fitness success is determined more by habits than by single circumstance events. Here are some examples of what it takes to be successful:

  • consistency
  • patience
  • understanding and awareness
  • flexible mindset
  • hard work/effort
  • forgiving (in the sense that eating one particular food doesn’t make or break results)

It’s these habits or behaviors that will determine success in the long run. And, success can mean many different things to everyone.

Dealing with Others’ Perceptions

Chicken Breast Filet, Chicken, Salad, Slightly

Part of our fear of failure comes from letting other people down than it does with ourselves. I can definitely understand where this comes from, however, it’s important to remember why we care about fitness in the first place.

It could be to look better. It could be for health reasons. It could just be that staying active feels good and helps improve your daily life.

Whatever your reasons for being active are, they are important to you so keep that in mind.

So what happens when other people start to take notice that you’re eating different, bringing your own food to work, and making physical changes?

Some people can be encouraging, while other’s may give you a short-sighted compliment that you don’t really want to hear. “You’re too skinny,” or “You’re getting too bulky, what are you doing?”

While they might not mean to be ill-intentioned, their words still carry significant weight.

The best advice I can give you is this:

Ignore the comments that you perceive as negative and appreciate the comments that are positive. Most of the times people make these comments because they’re curious why you’re doing something different than them. Why are you eating a certain way? Why are you making physical progress but they aren’t?

Most of the time it’s just simple curiosity and a little bit of ignorance as well. I’d be willing to be that you’re more knowledgeable about exercise and nutrition than they might be so it’s natural for the onlooker to be curious about what you’re doing.

The key takeaway here is this: it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, whether good or bad. What matters is that you’re happy because you are making progress and you know that you’re in control.

So, Can You Fail?

No ūüôā

This is extremely important to understand. The only possible way to fail is if you quit.

As long as you keep going despite the ups and downs, you cannot fail.

Let me say that again: you cannot fail with your fitness goals. It’s not, do this and be good or do that and fail. It’s do these things consistently and over time you will be successful. There is no failing as long as you keep on trying and never quit.

There is no failing as long as you keep on trying and never quit.

Once you’re able to wrap your head around this you should feel really, really good. And, I’d be willing to bet that you start making more progress than ever before because you’ve let go of the paralyzing all-or-nothing mindset.

Listen, you don’t get abs overnight right? You don’t gain 30lbs after one meal, do you? You don’t bench press 315 if you haven’t done 225 yet.

Making fitness progress is a long journey and one that will be filled with many ups and downs.

Fitness Isn’t a Yes or No

The longer you’re in the fitness game you come to realize that everything is on a sliding scale. There will always be people that argue X food is good and Y food is bad.

People that say one type of exercise is superior to another and people that will tell you that you have to do XYZ and any deviance from that will cause you to fail.

But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. No one is going to be a 100% compliant with their diet nor is it necessary in order to get the results you’re looking for.

Learn to let go of the fear of failure knowing that failure isn’t even an option. You either make progress towards your goals, or you learn along the way. Ups and downs are a part of the fitness journey so whatever you do, just keep going.

Learn Diet Habits to Get Lean for Life Below

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (6/11)

I’m back this week with another jam-packed list of some of the best fitness articles from around the net.

Hope you enjoy, and, if you’d like to make better progress this summer, grab my free fat loss guide at the bottom of this page.

Top Articles of the Week

  1. When to Work Harder, How to Work Smarter, and When to do Both via Nia S
  2. So You Say People Who Don’t Squat or Deadlift Will End Up Broken, Injured, or Dysfunctional? Show Me. via Lee B
  3. Improve Shoulder Health with This Exercise via Ryan W (me)
  4. Easy Training Is Good Training via Tony G
  5. 3 Band-Resistance Exercises To Challenge Your Whole Body via Meghan C
  6. Tip: The Very Best Way To Row via Paul C
  7. A Guide To Flexible Dieting via Brandon M
  8. The Weight Of The Weekend: How It’s Hindering Your Progress via Jen C
  9. The Mini Cut Manual via Steve H
  10. Sit A Lot? Do This Drill for A Healthier Back via Ryan W (me)

Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Get Results

 

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (5/28)

Back again with another jam-packed list of the best fitness info from this past week.

Hope you enjoy!

Articles by Me

5 Ways to Eliminate Sneaky Calories for Faster Fat Loss

Articles of the Week

  1. The Trap Bar Deadlift is Not Cheating via Tony G
  2. The Secret to Building a Lean, Muscular, Body ‚ÄĒ For Life via Bryan K
  3. Technique Tuesday: Shin Angle During Lunges via Tony B
  4. Become a true master: Autoregulation via Steve H
  5. Skyrocket Your Bottom-End Squat Power via Josh B
  6. Your Core Training Blueprint  via Andrew H
  7. Scaling The Pull-Up via Zach L & Andrew M
  8. Can You Really Lose Fat and Gain Muscle Simultaneously? via Kara M
  9. 10 Common Weight Loss Mistakes And How To Fix Them via Rudy M
  10. The Beginner’s Guide to Fat Loss via Ryan W (me)

Create Your Own Fat Loss Plan with the Free Guide Below

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (5/22)

I’ve got the 10 best fitness articles from the past week lined up and ready to go.

Hope you enjoy!

Top Articles of the Week

  1. No, You’re Not Addicted To Sugar via James K
  2. Understand Caloric Deficits For Weight Loss via James F
  3. Fat Burning Foods: What Experts Don’t Want You To Know via JC D
  4. Is Apple Cider Vinegar A Miracle Food? via Brad D
  5. The Case for Hypertrophy via Bryan K
  6. Why I Love: The Leg Press via Steve H
  7. The Calorie Deficit Sweet Spot via Steve H
  8. Deadlift Grip Considerations via Dean S
  9. Facepulls for Shoulder Health via Tony B
  10. You Don’t Need To Love Your Body, You Need To Own It via Joy V

Get Your Free Fat Loss Blueprint Below

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (5/14)

I’m back with the top fitness reads of the week for you to dive into.

Hope you enjoy!

Top Articles of the Week

  1. How to Trust the Process via Steve H
  2. Fat Loss Isn’t Easy. But You Can Make It Easier via Amy D
  3. The Weird and Highly Annoying World of Scale Weight and Fluctuations via Aadam A
  4. How I Found Peace With My Body via Jen C
  5. My Go To Mid-Back Mobility Drills via Tony G
  6. Social Media Body Image via Mike I
  7. 4 Reasons to do the Touch and Go Deadlift via Lee B
  8. A Tougher, More Effective Way to Lunge via Joel S
  9. Improving Shoulder Motion: Lat Inhibition via Dr. Quinn H
  10. 7 Ways to Get Better Arms for Summer via Ryan W (me)

Lose Fat, Define Muscle, and Build Strength

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The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (5/7)

Short but sweet list of fitness articles this week to help you lose fat, build muscle, and get into better shape overall.

If you enjoy these posts and would like even more tips on training, nutrition and fitness then be sure to join my member’s community at the bottom of this page.

Enjoy!

Top Articles of the Week

  1. The Calorie Deficit Sweet Spot  via Steve H
  2. 6 Ways Sugar Is Sneaking Into Your Diet via Cassandra F
  3. 3 Of My Top Core Exercises That Will Help You Build A Pillar Of Strength via Meghan C
  4. Dumbbells Are Better Than Barbells For Pec Development: There, I Said It via Tony G
  5. The Case For Hypertrophy via Bryan K
  6. What To Do If Your Genetics Suck via Nia S
  7. The Hardest Topic to Write About: Program Design via Tony G

Learn How to Get Lean For Summer

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (4/30)

It’s Sunday again which can only mean one of two things.

Coffee or bacon. I prefer both.

Anyway, I’ve got a chock full list of the top fitness content from this past week for you to dig through.

If you’d like to see more stuff like this and get tips and workouts delivered straight to your inbox to help you look and feel better, you can join the community at the bottom of this page.

Enjoy!

Articles by Me

5 Rules to Get Leaner, (Not Bigger) This Summer

Top Articles of the Week

  1. Is a Calorie Really Just a Calorie? via Brian St. P
  2. Exercises You Should Be Doing: Off-Bench DB Press via Tony G
  3. 10 Ways to Get Better Sleep Today via Steve H
  4. 7 Things I Learned Getting to 10% Bodyfat (And How You Can, Too) via Ryan W (me)
  5. Stop Training Only Half of Your Hammies via Nick T
  6. Flat vs. Round Back Deadlift via Adam P
  7. Overhead Press Star Complexes via Christian T
  8. Why Everyone Needs to Deadlift via Johnny T
  9. Technique Tuesday: 2 More Tips for Better Kettlebell Swings via Tony B
  10. Triceps Hypertrophy Training Tips via Dr. Mike I

Lose Fat and Improve Muscle Definition in Time for Summer

5 Rules to Get Leaner, (Not Bigger) This Summer

To help you lose fat without worrying about¬†getting bigger this summer, I’m launching my online coaching program Leaner, (Not Bigger) on May 15. If you’re interested in more clear muscle definition, fat loss, and improved energy be sure to read to the end of this article.

Today, I want to share 5 rules for getting lean this summer.

If you follow them, not only will you be able to achieve your leanest body ever, you’ll also learn how to stay lean year round.

Set Realistic Goals

The quickest way to fail is to set goals that are simply way out of reach, at least for the time being. Instead, set realistic goals this summer that you can actually achieve.

Such as losing 10-20lbs in 3 months. 

Saying you’re going to drop 50 is a bit of a stretch and honestly not going to be best in the long run.

So before you begin your summer transformation, establish goals for yourself that are a challenge but also one’s that are realistic and achievable.

Personally, I’d recommend coming up with daily, weekly, and monthly goals.

If fat loss is your goal (which I’d assume it is since you’re reading this) then an example for each of these might be:

  • Daily goal: drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water & eat about 1g/lb of bodyweight in protein
  • Weekly goal: Achieve 80% compliance with your nutrition plan. If you eat 42 meals per week (6 meals per day), having about 33 of those meals hit your target calories and macros will help you achieve your weekly fat loss goal
  • Monthly goal: Be consistent with daily and weekly goals which will lead to nice fat loss over the course of the month.

Create a Deficit

To lose body fat we need to be in a calorie deficit.¬† But, this doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself to lose weight.

Contrary to popular belief, you should eat as much as possible as long as you’re still losing fat. I’ll have more specific nutrition guidelines for those in my Leaner, (Not Bigger) online coaching program, but for now, get started with THIS nutrition guide.

The key to losing body fat and sticking to your diet is creating a deficit that you’re able to stick to and maintain for the duration of your ‘fat loss period.’

Also, a lot of people tend to forget that ‘diet’s’ like this are only supposed to be temporary. They’re designed to help you shed body fat in a designated period of time, not the forever diet you might see many people fail over and over again with.

The way you will need to eat for this period of fat loss will be slightly different than normal everyday maintenance mode.

Hope that makes sense.

Lose Fat and Enjoy Your Favorite Foods

You can eat carbs, drink alcohol, and include some ‘junk’ food while losing body fat at the same time.

The *key* isn’t what, but rather the quantity of these items.

Using a flexible dieting approach, your diet should be made up of those foods which you know to be healthy and good for you.

But, that doesn’t mean you need to eliminate any of the foods you actually enjoy eating.

I’ve found personally and with my online coaching clients that allowing some flexibility in the diet helps with consistency and adherence in the long term.

If, however, you’re ultra strict and forbid yourself to have bread, you’re only going to want that food that much more and may end up over eating that food when you do eat it.

A big portion of Leaner, (Not Bigger) will be focused on developing nutrition habits that focus on the main drivers of fat loss while also allowing you to enjoy your life at the same time.

Lift Weights a Lot to Get Leaner, (Not Bigger)

I’m a big fan of lifting weights. Especially when it comes to fat loss.

But here’s the thing: *a lot* of people that strive for fat loss fear¬†lifting weights because they think lifting will make them too big or put on size really fast.

But, it doesn’t quite work like that.

You don’t just pick up a dumbbell and automatically get huge. You’ve got to have several other ingredients for that including large amounts of calories, adequate sleep, and certain amounts of training.

With Leaner, (Not Bigger) you’ll definitely be including some lifting.

Why?

Because lifting is just as important for getting big as it is for developing more defined muscle and really helpful for fat loss, too.

Lifting will help increase your metabolism so you can burn more calories at rest.

Lifting will also help you define and tone your muscles as your body fat dwindles week to week.

With the combination of resistance training and a calorie deficit, you’ll shed fat and define muscle. The end result?

You’ll look and feel better than ever. And, you’ll wonder why you didn’t incorporate more resistance training in the past.

Use Cardio to Get Leaner, (Not Bigger)

Training, Ropes, Workout, Fitness

There’s tons of debate about what kind of cardio is best for fat loss.

The truth is, you don’t even *have* to do cardio to lose fat.

But, when combined with a solid lifting routine and diet, cardio can be an effective way to burn extra calories, speed up fat loss, and improve cardiovascular health.

My advice to you?

Choose the type of cardio that 1) you enjoy and 2) you have time for/can stick to.

For busier individuals, spending 45 minutes walking on a treadmill just isn’t an option.

If this is the case for you, you’d be wise to choose metabolic finishers at the end of your workouts or performing shorter duration interval training.

For example, you could add this circuit to the end of a lifting workout:

A1) Body weight squat x 15

A2) Spiderman pushup x 8-12

A3) Overhead Medicine Ball Slam x 10

A4) Straight Leg Sit-Up x 10

Repeat for 3-4 rounds with no rest in between exercises and 1-minute rest in between rounds. You’d be able to do this in under 15 minutes, which, if you’re short on time but still want to get some cardiovascular benefit and elevate the heart rate, would be a good option.

What is Leaner, (Not Bigger) and Who’s It For?

It’s for men and women who want to get more visible muscle tone and definition rather than trying to get huge.

There’s nothing wrong with programs that get people huge, but this isn’t one of them. This is for people who want to get strong and lean and athletic and more defined without being muscle bound.¬†

Unfortunately, lots of people shy away from lifting weights because they don’t want to ‘get too big.’¬†

But don’t worry, I’ll take care of your training and nutrition guidelines to ensure that you get more toned and defined without the typical ‘bulk.’

With my online coaching program, Leaner, (Not Bigger), it’s possible to lose 10-20 lbs in 3 months as long as you’re willing to work hard, be consistent (and patient), and you can follow my directions.

All while gaining strength, improving muscle definition, boosting stamina, and increasing energy.

So here’s the deal:

The program will open for registration on May 3rd and will run through May 10th. I’m capping new coaching clients at 10 so that I can ensure I’m able to deliver the best possible coaching possible.

I’ll have even more details soon, especially to those on my email list. And, if you’re subscribed to my email newsletter, you’ll get first dibs to sign up for Leaner, (Not Bigger)¬†at the early bird rate.

Be confident with how you look and feel heading into summer and don’t worry about getting ‘bulky.’¬†

Join Below to Get an Early Bird Rate on Your Fat Loss Transformation

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (4/23)

I’ve got a fresh batch of the top fitness reads of the week for you to dig through this Sunday.

I just hit send on this bad boy from my local Starbucks.

Speaking of, what do you think about the outrage over the new unicorn drink?

Seems silly to me that people get so bothered by a drink. Maybe it’s just me.

Enjoy this week’s list.

PS the unicorn drink is sold out here by the way ūüėČ

Top Articles of the Week

  1. My Wish for Female Fitness: Less Talk About Less via Tony G
  2. Wheat Belly Deception: Understanding Wheat, Insulin and Fat Loss via Adam B
  3. Disliking Your Body Doesn‚Äôt Have to be ‚ÄėPart of Being a Woman‚Äė via Nia S
  4. 1 Exercise, 7 Ways to Build Legs and Glutes: Everything You Need to Know About Lunges via Nick T
  5. The Truth About Physique Transformations (How to Lose Fat the Right Way) via Bryan K
  6. Too Little Time! 5 Tips to Exercise Efficiently via Gregory G
  7. How Bench Press Technique Impacts Shoulder Health via Eric C
  8. Nutrition Tips While Traveling via Nick S
  9. Ugly Ab Training via Christian T

Summer is Coming

It’s true.

Summer will be here before we know it and a lot of people will be scrambling at the last minute to get *summer ready*, whatever that means.

To me, looking and feeling confident during the summer is a great feeling but it’s something that takes time. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

That’s the exact reason why I’m kicking off my online summer fat loss program, Leaner, (Not Bigger), on May 15th.

  • Registration for the program will be May 3rd-10th and spots will be limited because I’m a one man show and I can’t take on too many clients or else I won’t be able to give my best to each person.
  • I’ll likely cap the program at 10 members who are serious about getting into the best shape they’ve ever been in this summer.

Leaner, (Not Bigger) isn’t for just anyone, though. It’s specifically for people who simply want pure fat loss and who do not want to get bigger but want to get leaner and more defined so they can feel more confident this summer.

  • You *won’t* get big or bulky with this program. If you’re at all worried about gaining too much size with this program you can rest easy because I can assure you it won’t happen.
  • However, if you want to lose some extra body fat that you’ve been wanting to get rid of for as long as you can remember, this program *might* be a good fit.

I’ll have more of the specific requirements of my program in the coming week, so if you’re at all interested in shaping up for summer without having to worry about getting bigger or adding more muscle, stay tuned.

*And, if you’re on my email list (which you can join right below), you’ll get a special rate for the entire summer coaching program.*

Get Leaner, (Not Bigger) This Summer

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (4/9)

Enjoy this week’s list of the top fitness articles to help you get stronger, build more muscle, lose more fat and get into better shape.

If you enjoy this content, please be sure to join the community at the end of this post. By doing so, you’ll receive a free nutrition ebook to help you dial in your diet and get you making even better progress.

Now, onto the top reads of the week!

Top Articles of the Week

  1. 8 Takeaways From Complete Sports Conditioning via Eric C
  2. Beyond The Back Squat: 3 Squat Variations To Mix It Up via Meghan C
  3. Wedging Into The Bar For A Stronger Deadlift via Dean S
  4. How to Travel for Business or Vacation and Still Lose Fat via Bryan K
  5. To Lose Weight, All You Need Is Love via James F
  6. How to Perform the Bodysaw for Stronger Abs via Ryan W (me)
  7. 3 Fatal Flaws with MRV for Hypertrophy via Steve H
  8. Rear/Side Delt Training Tips for Hypertrophy via Dr. Mike I
  9. Exercises You Should Be Doing via Tony G
  10. Scapular Positioning During Press Exercises via Tony B

Lose Fat, Build Muscle and Make Better Progress