“I’d really love to work with you again,” she said.
Without so much as a breath, I coughed out, “AGAIN?” “You didn’t work with me YET,” I flatly stated.
I was following up with a lady in my network recently; and that’s how the interaction unfolded. I think she was as surprised at my comment as I was shocked and offended at hers. There are people who hired me but never even began approaching what I would consider working WITH me. We met. We had some appointments. You didn’t work with me.
I’d wake up at 2:45am to scour notes, prepare myself for appointments, give myself the most thorough review of pertinent research, and bring the full payload of focus and enthusiasm for their sessions only to find 15% of them mentally checked out, late, cancelling, overstressed, distracted, and looking for gimmicks. I’m not a trainer. I’m not a prep coach. I don’t write up plans. I DISCOURAGE people from partaking in fitness programs of 12-24 weeks or less in duration. All I do is all I’ve ever done: consult people on revisions/ways-forward which will place them in the best position for success for whatever they aim to do for life, efficiently combat all their bullshit that they tell themselves to prevent progress, and walk through life improved. I’m very clear about this. I don’t misstate it. I don’t miscommunicate it. I don’t misrepresent it. Anyone who ever “signed up” to “train” with me or “get a plan” from me was grossly mistaken about who I am and what my process is.
You can mostly be accurate if you call me a mentor, a teacher, a health and fitness expert, a professional businessperson, a performance coach. You straight up haven’t clue one about what I’ve been doing for 20 years (or the 10 prior to that) if you avoid these terms. It’s not that the term “personal trainer” is completely irresponsibly inaccurate. It’s just not sufficient or appropriate for 98% of what my business is about and what I do. My clients who are medical doctors ask my advice on physiology and biology. My clients who are physical therapists ask my advice on treatment strategies. My clients in MENSA ask for my second set of eyes on their laboratory results. My clients who are commercial real estate investors ask my advice on land purchase deals. My clients who are writers talk literature with me. My clients who are high level finance experts chat acquisitions with me. If you came here for Guido in a tank top, you missed the point completely. I’d sooner discuss Descartes and Newton than even think about barking orders for push-ups. I'd sooner teach you the etymology of a word and soar through linguistics than spend a moment pushing a workout on an already-broken person who can't think bigger yet.
Small minds do small things. Small minds live small lives. I didn't skip dinners with my wife so I could make our "workout" appointments. I didn't pass on nights out or trips to visit my family for "training" sessions. I made every dramatic sacrifice for the purpose of helping people change their lives. I didn't do all that I did because I'm a "trainer." I did it because you came to me in need. You needed to change. If you didn't understand that, that's fine. If you still don't understand it, that's fine. Just please don't say you worked with me. You never worked my process.
Nearly every article I’ve ever written, every post I’ve ever made, every conversation I’ve ever had about health and fitness is VERY clear that the journey is lifelong and holistic. More directly and overtly, I tell people that I don’t actually believe in working with someone for less than three years or only covering some exercise and diet basics. In the second year, we identify seasonal and repeated behaviors which are ruining the person’s relationships, career prospects, health, and goals. We can’t break those patterns and routines in even the second year. It’s a stretch to do it in the third. But by the third, we will have a clear idea how to do it with everyone. I can’t honestly say I’ve worked with someone MY PROCESS if we didn’t regularly meet for three or more years in a row during which that person confronted himself or herself.
It’s simple really. Anyone who works the same job, lets people walk all over her the same way, behaves the same way, and believes the same things never worked with me. People who work with me change jobs, move, speak differently, think differently, live differently. They stand taller. They fear less. They have less pain. They choose. They manage time. They say they will accomplish something, and, BY GOD, THEY DO IT. My time is not a bolt-on artifice footnoted onto an unchanged life.
I’m not being hyperbolic. You may think you know what you do around the holidays. You have written a narrative about your summers and New Years resolutions. But you have no real idea until you have a coach or consultant reviewing your stats, notes, prep, mindset, excuses, and behaviors through the same holiday at least twice. You’re not going to accomplish that for ONE special occasion in less than thirteen months. You’re not going to accomplish that for all seasons in less than twenty-five.
Those are just facts.
If you merely want to have a cool short-term success story, literally just take a decent multi-vitamin and stop eating for two weeks. Drink spring water. Move. Do some light workouts. Take liberal caffeine if needed. Meditate. Schedule a few days off work and sleep in. Boom: 20-30lbs lighter. But don’t waste my or your time pretending to “work with me.” Sure. I lost 70lbs. I gained 100lbs of muscle. I know training. I know the science of exercise and nutrition and applied biology better than most people on the planet. That’s not WHO I AM. Or all that I am. That’s not the point. That’s not how you’re going to change.
It’s not a fit for most people. Most people want to believe all the same things about themselves. That’s not going to work for my process. You’re not a good person or a bad person or weak willed or strong willed. No. We talk about WHY you’re doing all the counterproductive behaviors and refusing to make productive choices. This hurts. It’s very painful. So most people can’t handle it. And that’s fine. Don’t work with me. Also, don’t tell people you worked with me when you rejected this approach.
I have a great deal of love and respect for all people, enough love and respect that I will not suffer lies when someone hires me. Dishonesty is the primary roadblock for progress. As long as someone keeps telling herself lies to feel good about her inaction and counterproductive behaviors, she’ll keep spinning her wheels doing the same things. That’s not my process. If you work with me, you work MY process, and you confront the bullshit.
I’m not talking about shaming. In fact, quite the contrary, I want to REMOVE value statements and judgements from the equation. Change has nothing to do with “good job” or a pat on the back. Change isn’t about lists. It’s about confrontation. Very few people are tough enough and ready to confront themselves with the expectation that their former selves are likely going to be destroyed to become all that they want to become. You can’t walk into my space, listen (I mean, REALLY LISTEN), agree on a way forward, and then go back to the same old job letting people spit on you and kick you around. You do that, and you never worked with me. NEVER.
“Eat this, not that” is bullshit. “Lift this, not that” is bullshit. None of this addresses WHY you haven’t done it yet. None of this addresses HOW you do it. None of this addresses WHY you would do it.
I’m not about WHAT. I don’t care about WHAT. I only concern myself with WHY and HOW. If you want WHY and HOW, you work with me. If you want WHAT, go to bodybuilding.com or copy the latest Men’s Health routine or follow the “six week abs” on some influencers’ website. That’s fine. You didn’t work with me.
And then, after more WHAT has completely failed you, after you’ve wasted more time by avoiding who you are and HOW to revise that, I’ll still be here. When you’re ready for HOW and WHY, work with me. Until then, even if we’ve met, even if you hired me, you didn’t work with me.
According to research, it at least doesn’t track the way that people conjectured: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/12/health/metabolism-weight-aging.html.
In fact, look closely at that screenshot from the 1978 Lancet paper, and you find this has been a known fact for over 40 years.
The highest measured metabolism I’ve ever seen was in a post-menopausal woman with over 200lbs to lose (her stated goal). She was the client of an employee of mine. Her MEASURED (I want to be clear I’m not talking estimated or mathematically approximated; we hooked her up to an oxygen exchange mask to MEASURE) metabolic rate at rest clocked in over 7,000 calories per day. This is AT REST. When I was 22 years old, my measured resting rate was about 2,400. At age 37, my measured resting rate was over 3,000 while six days fasted.
Here’s the real kicker: when children are GROWING MORE BODY MASS their average metabolic rates are 5600 in non-obese adolescent males and 7223 in obese adolescent males: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7562278/ . GAINING weight is the highest metabolic rate.
Larger people have higher metabolisms. Smaller people have lower ones. People growing more body mass have higher metabolisms. People losing body mass have lower ones.
Everything you’ve ever said or heard or read or thought about metabolism is mostly wrong. Even if it was accidentally right, it was for the wrong reasons. An older person may measure a slower metabolism simply because skeletal and muscle mass is less, they eat less, and they’re both weaker and less active. Age didn’t do it. Choices did. Gender didn’t do it. Strength or loss of strength did.
Moreover, as always, we are confronted with the meaninglessness of metabolic RATE. The rate doesn’t matter AT ALL. Higher rates are correlated to growth, if anything. We don’t want faster. We want BETTER distribution of metabolic effort. If rate improves, so be it. But what we care about is NET distribution of effort.
I don’t know why, but people cannot seem to grasp this concept. If you spend 2 million dollars and one penny per year but only make 2 million per year, you don’t gain wealth. You’re on the street in a matter of months. The average person thinks making 1 million is amazing. Making 1 million is nothing if expenses are high. The equation for finances is bigger than a simple-minded earnings or top line revenue number. Likewise, a 7,000 calorie per day metabolism sucks if that’s all aimed at growing fat tissue. While starving, all that’s happening is that person is burning up 4lbs of muscle and tendons every day. They’re getting fatter.
Conversely, a person who makes 70k per year, but wisely invests 30 each year will be a multi-millionaire in 25 years. Likewise, a person with an 800 calorie per day resting metabolism will be fittER when investing effort appropriately. Time works on your side when you work the system intelligently. "Getting older" is only worse if you made decisions to worsen your landscape.
Strengthen. Focus on micronutrient and protein sufficiency. 800 is no problem. If you eat like an idiot and refuse to be active, it doesn’t matter if you have a 7,000 calorie per day metabolism. If you spend like an idiot and refuse to invest, it doesn’t matter if you make millions of dollars per year.
The NET outcome is a result of the total influences. One single line of input/income or rate doesn’t tell us much about the final output. Where the effort goes tells us a lot more.
A lot of people have a hard time understanding how I never did more than 16 minutes of cardio while I personally cut bodyweight from around 290 to 220.
Aside from the obvious role of consistency and nutrition, there is this thing called EPOC: excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. In fact, everything we do affects how much oxygen the body consumes thereafter (sometimes more, sometimes less) consequently impacting how the body distributes its energy for a time.
Your rate of oxygen consumption is linearly connected to how much and how you remove body fat. Think about how much oxygen an elite track athlete must consume to resume pre-race equilibrium after hitting 26 miles per hour at peak sprint. That’s why they’re so lean even if they only exert themselves for 45 or fewer seconds at a time.
The general issue for the average person is an erroneous understanding based on the calories-in/calories-out distraction/pseudoscience/mythology. People think they have to progressively starve while progressively slaving away more minutes of exercise. But both DECREASE resting oxygen consumption and baseline metabolism. This is a severe problem of scale, since you have 168 hours in a week. If you DECREASE fat burn during 160 hours in a week because of too minimal of eating and 8 hours of low-to-moderate intensity exercise (i.e. - no sprints or progressive weight training), how will your NET outcome IMPROVE?
Proper use of EPOC to affect body composition and athleticism never requires MORE minutes of exercise. It does, however, require precision. You must increase work performed within the SAME OR LESS time. This takes rigor, because you have to ensure you can continue the progressions for a very long time.
On the first week, you spend 20 minutes 3 days per week, first warming up for a few minutes, then completing 4 working sets of weighted squats. In 4 weeks, it's still 20 minutes, it's still 4 sets of squats, but the weight lifted is 25% more. You consume more oxygen. You are telling the body to get leaner in the other 167 hours per week that you aren't working out. Your stronger muscles are using up more calories in all of your other activities throughout the week, whether it's sleeping, driving a car, or walking up your workplace steps. In another 4 weeks, it's still 20 minutes (maybe less), and still 4 sets of squats, but the weight lifted is ANOTHER 10% more (38% more than your start). You consume even more oxygen. You are telling the body to get even leaner in the other 167 hours. In another 4 weeks, your weekly time commitment is the same or less, but your metabolic benefit can be over 45% better. Peak sprints or sprint intervals can be programmed the same way. That's NO increase in exercise time cost for a quarter to a half-a-year WHILE rapidly shedding fat.
If, foolishly, you go too hard and tap out your potential exercise intensity early, then you can’t well use this tactic for more than a week or two. Practically immediately you're stuck in the time trap, where you have to keep working out longer, hoping that you aren't shutting down metabolism during the other 164 hours in the week, the other 162 hours, the other 160, the other 158, the other 156. Do you yet see the problem you've created? Even if you exercise 20 hours per week, while you've shut down your metabolic advantages for the other 148 hours, there is no way to coax the body into progress. Almost 90% of your weekly hours are spent getting fatter. That's for people who exercise 20 hours per week! For people who do no strengthening, 100% of your weekly hours are spent getting weaker. The average person who thinks she's working diligently at fitness is spending 100% of her hours getting weaker and over 90% getting fatter. People hold up their personal yardwork or home landscaping as evidence of fitness efforts; but, again, even if it's 40 hours per week, more than 76% of the week is spent getting fatter without a precise and rigorous EPOC program in place.
However, when EPOC is done properly/strategically, the calories/macros and time spent on exercise can stay about the same (sometimes calories actually have to increase because your exercise demands have gone up so much, or time of workouts has to decrease because the intensity has so skyrocketed), and your body continues to get leaner and more athletic.
No certified or licensed professional strength coaches disagree. I've heard some pop fitness influencers contend this; but none of those naysayers have lost 70lbs doing no more than 16 minutes of cardio, nor do they have clients who are 100lbs lighter 15-20 years later. But I have; and I do. And I'm telling you: you can get shredded with fewer minutes of exercise.
My wife USED to suffer frequent and prolonged migraines. I USED to have seasonal allergy induced asthma of frightening severity. There are a growing number of people who USED to be diabetics, USED to have anxiety and depressive disorders, and/or USED to have heartburn and acid reflux.
“USED to” is the operative phrase. I had long been going down a path of chronic overwork and underrest, such that I was having difficulty swallowing any food of any sort from 2008 to 2012. I’m sure that all-out Crohn’s and diverticulitis was knocking on my door. After setting out on a variety of fasts and elimination dieting, I discovered that not only was the esophageal spasming issue gone, so was my sense of nonstop stress, and so were my seasonal allergies. Rather than being handicapped ten years later, I’m healthiER and feeling youngER.
It’s a sample of one. So I didn’t pay it much heed. Through similar tactics my wife had eliminated a viscous cycle of migraines she’d been suffering for over 20 years.
No drugs. All medical professionals were unhelpful. But we’d cured the “incurable.”
It still didn’t dawn on me the profound level of our findings.
But through more reflection I noticed that it wasn’t a small number of people I’d coached who no longer had symptoms of various autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions. In the literature, likewise, there are many documented cases of FORMER fill-in-the-blank-here.
Scientists have been more welcoming of the overwhelming evidence in the past 10 years. What once was maybe dozens or hundreds of pragmatists like me conducting mini miracles in the health and fitness profession is now affirmed biology. Namely, we now know that when people fast or mimic fasting for multiple days or weeks, there is a profound stimulus for stem cells and rewiring of faulty immune system signals: https://www.cell.com/cell.../fulltext/S1934-5909(14)00151-9
It’s no small number of research efforts which have reproduced the results. We KNOW that it works. To what degree and for how long and for each individual is still being sussed out and will be an ongoing set of discoveries.
Nonetheless, do know that there is an increasing number of FORMER whatever-you-think-is-incurables.
With no formal education on the subject and no major backers like Cousteau had, Valerie Taylor and her husband completely altered scientific understanding. In the Disney+ feature, “Playing with Sharks,” we discover that all scientific experts were in consensus about the aggression of sharks and the crushing power of a shark’s jaw: sharks seek people and their bite rends right through bone. Experts were wrong. They weren’t even close. Valerie found that it took a great deal of goading to encourage a shark to even try biting a person. Essentially, she had to push her arm into its mouth, and then found its bite totally impotent while wearing chain mail.
Some people run experiments to discover. Some people avoid experiments because they’ve made up their minds ahead of time.
I hear a lot of the following:
- that can’t work
- that won’t work
- that doesn’t work
In health and fitness, this is commonplace. Not just among the average people, but experts too, I find that when I ask people to show me their personal experimental research on the subject, they’re empty-handed. Perhaps a spirit of humility and an excitement about CONDUCTING science might be in order?
I avoid “can’t,” “won’t,” and “doesn’t”, and I’ve observed tens of thousands of clients, members, coaches, lab work, studies, and published findings on health and human performance. So far, it seems that empiricism/testing hypotheses greatly outperforms armchair theorizing. Play with the sharks or keep your armchair philosophies to yourself.
I think about Green Eggs and Ham. The first half of the book is a description of human behavior: speaking from abject ignorance and inexperience. Essentially, the character says, “I won’t even bother considering something which is weird or unfamiliar, no matter how it’s presented.” Then, he considers the unimaginable. He conducts one single experiment. The world changes.
Think about if everyone had continued rationally insisting that “invisible waves” were superstition. We would have never discovered the electromagnetic spectrum. Thanks to experimentalists like Faraday (who had little to no formal scientific education), we could crack the code. Now, we are able to send thoughts (texts) through the air, lock our homes via “mind control” (apps) in another state, and read other people’s minds (tweets).
Years ago, my father was getting ready to have a pacemaker installed. He had no pronounced familial or personal history of cardiac irregularities. But, he was getting low heart rates. I looked through his medications, several of which cause low heart rate. And I asked if the doctors would consider reducing, altering or temporarily removing some of the medications to see how these were influencing him. I received a resounding “no.” Someone has persistently low heart rate - you put a pacemaker in him. That’s the medical truth. Don’t bother them with facts.
The ridiculousness seems obvious. But it isn’t. It’s ubiquitous. People, especially those who should be the most inclined to conduct science, just don’t. They’ve got their minds made up. Don’t bother them with alternative ideas, and God forbid you run an experiment yourself. I mean, you can’t just go around “sciencing.” That would be heresy. Leave it to the priests/specialists.
Rather than thinking a health condition is impossible, maybe consider an experiment. Consider a weird alternative. Why stop at a second opinion? Maybe conduct science instead of thinking “this is how things have always been or must always be.”
You may think that you could not would not adopt a healthy behavior or achieve a fitness objective...
But, try it, and you may. Try it and you may, I say.
Try to play with the sharks one day.
The typical American fitness attempt is 6-8 weeks long every 1-3 years at an average of 3-5 hours per week. That’s as little as 18 hours (1,080 minutes) up to 120 hours (7,200 minutes) per 3 years at MAXIMUM.
Instead, I recommend creating an ongoing practice of 10 minutes per day, 7 days per week, no matter if you’re busy or sick or demotivated. People can always do MORE. But they should have a basic minimal practice. This puts people at 10,950 minutes (182.5 hours) at the end of year 3 at MINIMUM, if the practice didn’t grow at all.
I always aim for people to develop consistency PAST the 3 year mark, such that we can increasingly predict that they will trend AWAY from American averages (which are abysmal).
In the average scenario, each break in consistency results in a minor to major withdrawal of the benefit gained. In the 10 minute practice, there is a fairly linear progression indefinitely. Thus, it isn’t simply that scenario two is superior by 50-900% in total minutes; it is superior by magnitudes more than than, given that there is compounding of benefit. And that’s even if we never grow beyond 10 minutes.
I call it the compounded interest of physiology. People always want dramatic changes and programs; but there’s no staying power to those.
The tortoise and the hare was meant to be instructive.
In 1987, scientists revealed that fat cells change sex hormones in the human body: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/45/1/277/4694899?redirectedFrom=fulltext. In the past 34 years we’ve discovered that fat cells tell other tissue what to do. Namely, body fat directs the central nervous system, the immune system, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and heart: https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/89/6/2548/2870285. Fat tells your body how much pain it should experience, how lean it will allow you to get, and even what thoughts and feelings to have. Hormones run everything we call life. They are the signaling agents, the communication managers, the directors of all body systems. And their boss is the fat cell.
Since body fat adversely impacts so many body systems, we can see why we may want as little as possible; and we can also see why a person with more body fat can work significantly harder on exercise and nutrition than a person with low body fat and receive less reward. It doesn’t mean that lean people can’t experience health issues and mental health problems any more than people who wear seatbelts will never get harmed in a car accident. It just means that we have to be more sophisticated in our understandings of risk and reward.
Fat cells secrete self-supportive growth factors. More simply, fat makes more fat: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9843879/. If your fat cells had their way, you would be 90% body fat. Make no mistake: that’s precisely their aim. They inhibit the growth of all other tissue, attempting to whittle away bones and muscles and tendons and other critical organs. While the body remains under 10-15 percent body fat, adipose tissue is a sort of symbiotic cancer. It will begrudging work with us, even toward our well-being, if we are active enough and eating sensibly enough. Above 15-25 percent body fat, the combined message of fat cells becomes a terminal metastatic cancer aimed at its own enhancement to the demise of the host.
Calories cannot represent this appropriately. I have underweight peers who get leaner while eating 4,000 calories per day; and I have overweight clients who are MORE active and who’ve gained body fat while eating 1,200 per day. The communication from hormones is no small thing.
Body fat is the most narcissistic of all cells and tissues. It hates all other tissue. All it cares about is itself. Unlike all the other organs which are happy to serve the greater purpose of joy and contentment and health and fitness, body fat is hellbent on a single proposition: grow and/or make your life hell.
Thus, it must be eradicated. It can’t, mind you. That’s the type of narcissistic sociopath we’re dealing with. You can never destroy it completely, not until some time after you die. This is yet another window into how pernicious adipose really is: every other organ will one day fail and lead to your death; but only your death will lead to the complete failure of body fat. This enemy, therefore, must at least be cut back as far as it can be.
Always keep in mind the visualization of an evil monster whose tendrils run through your entire body and mind, influencing your every act, and your every lack of action, every decision, and every thought. Fat isn’t content with preservation. Its singular focus is proliferation and domination at whatever cost. Reference the body systems influenced by fat cells and it becomes clear what type of war we are in. Why would fat tissue signal the kidneys? It wants to raise your blood pressure and force you to experience stress so that you will eat and behave in a way that grows the fat cells. It thrives on your pain and anxiety and depression. It wants this. It demands this. It yearns for these malfunctions. It requires that you feel helpless and hopeless. How else would it continue to grow?
The average American loses a pound of skeletal mass and gains 1-2 of fat every year after age 25. You think we choose that with a clear mind?
It is a difficult confrontation. This parasite, this cancer, this infection, this enemy within will make you see reasonable changes as unreasonable. It’s in control of your hormones, after all. And hormones run your brain. Sex hormones direct the neurotransmitters which tell you to be empowered or disempowered: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2015.00037/full. What do you think the fat cells want? You think they want you to feel empowered over your life so that you can destroy them? Come now. Let’s be reasonable.
I understand this battle firsthand. My fat cells are so virulent and so dark that they demand a sacrifice from me on any concerted cutdown. Even with lifting heavy and eating perfectly, I’ve many times lost well over 10lbs of muscle while cutting over 20lbs of body fat, ending up 30lbs lighter, but only feeling 10lbs leaner. Fat cells HATE to be reduced. HATE.
It’s such an unfair ordeal. But an obese person can eat 800 calories per day, burn 1,000 from a two hour walk, and still get fatter. They’ll just burn skeleton and muscle. The body will use that 800 to try to grow more fat. The hormonal signaling is so against this person. A lean athlete can eat 8,000 calories per day, burn 500 in intense training, and get leaner. Their hormonal signaling is stacked against the fat cells.
But, there is good news. For those who persist through a weight loss journey to low enough body fat, all of the inverse can become true. And this does happen, by the way. That is, once the percent of tissue in the body represented by fat cells is less than 10-15% (depending on the individual, and for how long they fought to maintain this point), it can become difficult for fat to grow. Signals are inverted. There just aren’t enough votes from the tyrannical fat cells to outweigh the democratic constituency of other tissues. Fat cells are still an evil cancer; but they’re more like the rare crazies at a town hall meeting, instead of being the widespread voter suppression efforts to destroy all others.
Body fat directs your hormones. So tend to it in kind.
These skydiving photos are from my 18th birthday. Since around age 10, I stated that I would go skydiving. My parents were understandably opposed. So I said I’d do it the day I turned 18. And I did. Even as a child, I could keep my word over the course of nearly a decade. It gave me very little patience for people, since most can’t keep a promise for a day. They don't adhere to what they say they will do. Adherence is the number one predictor of weight loss success; but people spend almost no time on evaluating how and why they refuse to adhere to planned nutritional programming. If you don't learn how to keep your word, why even bother continuing to say a word?
As a professional coach, I have had to dig a lot deeper into understanding other people and what integrity really means. The pressures of life and who we think others need us to be end up dictating many outcomes. Our word falters. And our identity shifts toward “I am the person WHO doesn’t do what I say I will.” It becomes increasingly difficult to rely on yourself because your word increasingly means nothing.
Thus, learning to keep your word is where one must begin. It won’t happen by signing up for a 12 week course, an online workout program, a really fun series of exercise classes, a diet tracker, or fitness tracking tech. If you haven’t rebuilt the identity of “I am the person WHO does what she says she will do,” then how dare you even think you’ll be the person who does what others advise to do? You can’t keep your word. You sure as hell can’t keep others’ words. Learn to keep your word. Stop bouncing around pretending like a different program is going to magically imbue you with honesty.
Without this awareness, please don’t bother setting health and fitness goals. However, WITH this awareness, please begin by plotting PROCESSES which you knowingly and reliably WILL do. With each small win, you may command a greater ask. And with each greater ask, you will have earned a greater trust in your own word. With the identity in hand of “I am the person who does what she says she will do,” you and all others can count on you perhaps for the first time in your life. With that identity, your goals can be grand. But most importantly, they can BE. Nay. They WILL be.
100% show rate. Up at 3:40am. No breaks. 2 hours notes prep. 13 hours of appointments. 15 hours on my feet. Home at 7:30pm.
Where do I fit my workouts and food?
- Actually, I do train myself on the heavy days like this. While I prepare client notes and read scientific studies in the morning, I do cycling or treadmill incline walks. Throughout the actual day at the top of the hour I perform a single set of 1 or 2 chosen lifts for that day, usually below threshold. Wednesdays it is weighted pullups and grip. I performed 15 sets of 15-20 reps with 30lbs added on pullups and 15 sets of Iron Mind CoC 2 and 2.5 gripper for 1-5 reps. Each set takes 30-60 seconds.
But what about food?
Generally I like to fast. Hitting protein sufficiency can be a little dicey, although I have no problem eating 2lbs of bison in a sitting at 7:30pm, which is what happened yesterday.
For clients who are focused on more overt bodybuilding, shakes and many small meals are often an inevitability. I’ve done plenty of experiments with that too. It just doesn’t work for me anymore as I’m out with the kids all day 3 days per week and book 2-3 days like this calendar shot, keeping the 4th work day purposely as light as is realistic; and I’m simply not going to sit down to eat more than once or twice a day during 6 days every week.
Thus, I know busyness isn’t a proper excuse. People tend to think their schedules are pressured and it must be easy for someone who works at a gym to make it happen. But I'm telling you that even when I worked at the big box clubs it was a real challenge to have back-to-back appointments and meetings from 5am to 8pm and then work up the gusto to lift heavy and do hard workouts. A meeting might get moved or a cancellation might crop up and we had to immediately get our rear in gear to perform a workout. Guess what: in the middle of the workout I often had to go greet a prospective new member touring the gym anyway. You think you have difficulty getting your exercise done? Try working as a top performer in a corporate gym.
There is a way to manage peak efficiency regardless of the heft of a day. Evaluate how your idea of perfect can be the enemy of the good lifestyle. Up before 4am and going hard until 8pm, I do it every week and have without exception for 10 years, and nearly every week for 17 years. You may simply have to rethink what you call a “workout” and a “meal.” And when you do, it’s not just that it CAN be done. It will be done.