Another edition of coaching insights from the past week with my clients and group coaching clients:

1. Total fitness overhauls are cool on paper but their real world success rate just isn’t great.

A better approach is to attack the biggest problem first, then gradually add more tasks as you develop competency. Build on success.

Interestingly, people new to the game often think their big one is not enough cardio and that the treadmill will solve their problems. Those a little wiser assume diet is number one.

I find the big thing is usually lifestyle.

Show me your schedule and your habits and I can pretty much guess what your approach to diet & exercise is like.

I can also accurately predict your likelihood of succeeding if we don’t fix those things first.

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2. The best thing about getting in shape is the confidence it develops.

Not the nerve to wear your Daisy Dukes through Costco (to each their own) but rather the confidence in being able to work with your body.

Now I did NOT say CONTROL your body. That’s just repackaged anxiety; something you see in folks who can’t enjoy a meal without knowing exact macros or they crank up the cardio the second the scale starts to creep. (See also: the reactions to “I blew my diet” below.)

In short, the tools that initially made them feel some control over their bodies eventually become their prison.

Fact is we only control so much in our environment, and even in our sovereign bodies there’s physiology at work that exceeds our grasp.

So at any given moment the best we can do is do the best we can — and then chill out and calmly work with the outcome we get.

Now by confidence in being able to work with your body, I mean the ability to accept and work with this natural ebb and flow.

So you can gain a little fat during a mass phase or on vacation but now you don’t stress about it — because you KNOW you can get right back there again on your terms, when you really want to.

I guess I basically try to make my job obsolete. Oh well. 
Retirement doesn’t sound so bad.

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3. Reacting to “I blew my diet”: Bad, Better, Best.

Bad Thinking: “I blew my diet. I suck.”

Better Thinking: “I blew my diet. Oh well. Just gonna forget about it and move on.”

Best Thinking: “I blew my diet. Oh well. Just gonna forget about it and move on, but later I’ll look back and try to figure out what led to the screw-up.”

Absolute Worst Thinking: “I blew my diet. I suck. Oh well, since I blew it I might as well eat whatever the hell I want until Monday and get it all outta my system, then start over. But this time for real.”

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4. We’ve been lifting to build muscle for over 100 years.

If you think you’ve “invented” a new exercise:

1) If it’s effective, I guarantee someone was doing it 50 years ago.

2) If it’s legitimately your invention, I guarantee it’s shit and there are already far better alternatives.

And to people renaming obscure yet established exercises after themselves: dude that’s shitty.

Like the guy on Instagram who tried to pass off the Petersen step-up as his own.

C’mon on man, give credit. Be better.

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5. I will never advocate the “training is war, kill or be killed” schtick.

Sure it amps you up but it’s fake, like banging 1000mg of caffeine and confusing the jitters with real focus.

It’s also unsustainable. At least it better be. If you’re over 40 and this faux-bravado shit still stokes your fire then the jokes on you.

It’s drummed up by dorky writers and advertising reps who KNOW its total bullshit — they even laugh about it. But they also know it sells.

Every impressive LONG TERM lifter I’ve met gets their drive from a love of the lifestyle and how it improves their life, especially stuff beyond the gym.

And after so many years of training, that’s what helps them go for an extra rep, not visualizing storming a beach under gunfire like a 14 year old playing Call of Duty.

I’ve posted similar rants in the past (I admit, its a peeve) but its because I want it to come to an end.

And because some readers who’ve actually served in dangerous places have let me know they find this shit insulting as well.

Again, be better.