Over 15 years of personal training and coaching people from all walks of life, you begin to pick up on a few things. Early on in my coaching journey, I realized the need for people to have “wins” and win early on in their fitness journey. There is magic in winning the day as you stack the W’s.
In the first 5 years of my coaching career, I worked in a corporate box with a boss who thought functional training was the best way to train people. They had this program they wanted us to push on clients and to familiarize clients with because at the time, “The Biggest Loser,” a shitty show on TV at the time, was all the rage in a country beginning to tilt heavily towards obesity and laziness.
Sure it was motivating to see some of the journeys taking place. It also meant gym-goers seeking personal trainers were looking for the workouts taking place on the biggest loser, nothing else. People assumed that if you balanced on a Bosu ball while playing catch with an 8 lb. medicine ball with your $50 a 30-minute trainer, you would achieve these fantastic results. To say they were disappointed that their results did not match the ones they saw on TV would be an understatement. For better or worse, The Biggest Loser changed the perception of weight loss that it should be a lot of weight lost weekly and fast. Nothing could be further from the truth because anything achieved fast never lasts. The contestants’ results were the same, with over 70% of the show’s participants gaining the weight they lost back.
I never fell into this way of training clients, and that was probably a reason my boss never liked me, but he had to grin and bear the results I was getting by teaching clients how to use the gym that they paid a monthly fee to utilize.
I instead focused my clients on basic proven exercises and utilizing the machines in the gym, thus making them confident in using them. I had this crazy thought that people were paying at the time $39.99 a month for a gym membership and $360 a month to train with me 3 times a week for 30 minutes. This meant I had to do all I could to set them up for success and ultimately serve them in the best possible way.
This approach gave people some confidence to use the gym on their own and utilize the workouts I had programmed for them. Well, guess what magic happens when people show up and do work in a gym? They get results. Those results grow your brand as a coach. This simple yet effective strategy enabled me to grow my business, where I currently coach over 90 clients strictly based on referrals. You deliver an excellent product rooted in truth, and you will be surprised just how far you can go.
Truth is, people focus on the results, not the starting point, let alone the journey that health and fitness truly is. You do this for life if you want to increase your chances of a more enjoyable and productive experience.
You know what is found in those before and after pics that fill your social media screen?
Wins. Lots of successes that are stacked daily overtime. Enter the weird phenomenon known as “winning.”
When you win, you are motivated. You are motivated to kick some ass, prove people wrong, and live your best life yet. The problem is life comes calling in the form of work, family, your friends, your mean Aunt Hilda, or the piece of cake you ate while you were locked in your closet crying over shitty willpower.
This is resistance, and resistance is always trying to steal your motivation.
Working out is one area where most people I have trained claim they are “dumb” at or “stupid” with along with not knowing anything really about how to eat, workout, cardio, supplements to take – the list is forever long of things people say they are clueless on.
I do not blame them a bit for feeling that way because it is not like we were taught any of this stuff you are not taught how to set up a workout, cardiovascular heart rate zones, macros, sleep, supplements, etc. It’s not hard to get lost in all the information and misinformation being shared out there.
How do you survive such dumb feelings of being lost, inept, and, worst of all, a failure?
You adjust your attitude and become a student.
Attitude defines more than you can ever imagine along the journey of improving your health and fitness.
I discovered that early on, when I went to physical therapy. The days I was annoyed or did not want to go usually resulted in some of the best sessions by merely framing it as a challenge. I had a physical therapist at age 9-10 who pushed me mentally with challenges. He knew I wanted to get back to playing baseball, and he would make some motivational digs here and there along the way of my recovery. I believe that it is helpful to all who go down the journey of self-improvement. The simple truth is that showing up on the days you do not want to, putting in the work, and winning go way further for you in the long run than any “special” workout or diet you will consume. If these extraordinary things worked, you would not have an obesity problem that consumes over 70% of the American population. Sorry, not sorry.
It is easy to become complacent. It is also hard to deal with and accept being bored on this journey. With 25 years of working out under my belt personally and coaching people for 15 years, I can tell you that boredom is something you must embrace and show up on the days you would rather go home or stay in bed.
Putting in the tedious work is where the real magic is found truth be told. I could ALMOST safely bet by now, I have tried every diet, food, supplement, training program, and a lot of other shit in this journey regarding my health and fitness. I can also say that being bored is something I have been for about 10 years or so.
Sure, I read about new and exciting ways to gain muscle, lose weight, or see cool new exercises on social media, but still is boring to me. Once you have been working out for a few years, you eventually stumble on what works for you, or if you have a coach, you both arrive there. This is where results take shape, in my opinion. Once that happens, the fun, for the most part, gets sucked out the window. That is when you need to change your approach to working out as a personal development challenge than something that should excite you.
You need to stop letting everyone tell you that working out should always be fun and exciting because it will not be that way. Furthermore, you are not a damn child that needs to be entertained all the time; you are a free person capable of making the right decisions. Taking care of your health and your fitness should be something we all do as our obligation to this great life we are given.
Every day we rise to face another day. At the start of each day, we can decide right then how the day will be for us. Whether it be promising, threatening, or in between, we can determine our day’s path.
I want to leave you with this thought you need to ask yourself every day as you begin to picture your day; “Do you hate losing or love winning more?”
The answer to that question will decide your journey above all else.
Win the day or lose the day.
The choice is yours.
Winning is a habit, and habits build momentum.
No victory is ever found without first winning.
About Jeff Black
Jeff is a nationally recognized health and fitness coach, public speaker, podcast host for The Excellence Cartel, owner of Iron House Strength & Conditioning, bodybuilder, and Osteogenesis Imperfecta Advocate. He is also a roundtable expert on IntenseMuscle.com.
Today, Jeff works collectively with some of the top coaches in the health and fitness space presenting to other coaches and individuals on health and fitness. He has a passion for leadership and serving others to help them be their own hero. He is recognized for his results, but above all else, the passion he has for the coach’s heart he holds dear.