Another year older, another year wiser.

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Honolulu, Hawaii

In this post I want to shed some light on a few observations I’ve made that I hope you can find value in — spark change and reinforce positivity.

1. Can’t help everyone

 

In the past, I worked with anybody who came knocking on my door. Now that I’m much more educated with a ton of experience under my belt, I’m more selective with who I choose to work with… for good reason.

There’s a world of difference between someone who says they need help, and someone who actually wants help.  Perhaps it was my optimistic nature, but that premise never really stuck with me up until last year.

Wanting to help everyone that crosses your path is well-intended… but, it’s wishful thinking.  With personal training, or any type of professional instruction for that matter, it’s a two-way street.

The person in front of you or on the other side of the phone has got to meet you half way.  No amount of pizza and ice cream facts spitting or knowledge bombs are going to help someone who doesn’t really want to be helped.

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2. Best job in the world, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows

 

Making a living empowering people, and educating them to be more self-sufficient with their training is a reward in and of itself. Saying I love what I do would be a huge understatement. But I’ll tell you what, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

You know how many trainers I’ve seen come n’ go since I started back in 2013?

Too many to frickin’ count.

It’s a harsh reality for folks who want to be revered in this industry, which they haven’t got a clue about.

Granted, any gym rat can become a trainer with a weekend course/certification, but to immerse yourself into the grind you need to put in — most aren’t willing to do that, and I’ve seen it up-close.

As a frame of reference, when I was still getting my feet wet, I woke up at 4:30am almost every day for my morning clients. When I had a break in between, I would read books on business or strength training. Did I mention I taught after school P.E.? Yup, that was every afternoon.

If there was enough time, I’d try to squeeze in a 30min nap before I headed back to the gym for my next wave of clients. Towards the evening I would continue to read or watch informative and applicable information on YouTube until I fell asleep.

What I’m trying to convey is that if this whole thingamajig is a hobby, you’re not going to get very far. You got to love what you do for what it’s about, not what it could potentially provide.

3. Training borderline crazy all the time doesn’t end well

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It’s no surprise that the vast majority of lifters and athletes glorify ball-busting hardcore training.  Even a lot of the everyday folks I work and correspond with love it. Don’t get it twisted. I’m a big believer in going ham or batshit crazy from time to time.

In fact, I think a lot of people out there need to suck it up and train their ass off. It builds mental toughness and resiliency.

Unfortunately, though, we have no disregard for our tolerance limit.

Even under the right circumstances where every nuance is proper — sleep, recovery, nutrition, supplementation — you can’t go all-out all the time. Knowing when to back off or dumbing it down is a tactic not many individuals take a liking to.

Trust me, I can totally relate.  I want to hulk smash every chance I get. But, being able to know when to put your chips in rather than going all in every turn is a skill you should consider — especially if you intend on playing long.

Not every training session has to be a Battle Royale. Train smarter, not harder.

4. We’re always looking for shortcuts

 

As much as I want to be able to deadlift 450+lbs while still being jacked, I have to be realistic in terms of the rate of progress.

It’s not how much you can do in a single workout, it’s about how much you can do for a long period of time.

Yes — there are individuals who have a predisposition to gaining muscle much faster than others (lucky Sumbitch), but remember, they’re the exception, not the norm.

Those of us mere mortals have to take a more calculated approach — and refrain from getting caught up with how slow progress is.

Besides, adversity is an overlooked advantage. It allows us to continually work no matter what.

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Whenever someone asks me what’s it like being a trainer, I give them my honest answer.

It’s frickin’ awesome!

Okay — not all parts of it are fun.

It’s a sweet gig, and I can’t imagine doing anything else, but at the same time it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

But seriously though, wearing sweatpants to work is awesome.

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I’ve been a personal trainer for four years now, and I still can’t fully decide which population I have more of a challenge with, Type A personalities or people who need to be spoon fed. On one end, you have the go-getters. The people who are gung ho about their goals. While on the other, you have the little-to-no compliance folks. With these guys, they peruse social media telling there friends they wish they had their motivation.

If I had no choice but to choose who I have more of a challenge with, I’d probably veer towards the Type A’s…SLIGHTLY.

And I say slightly because…

They Overlook The Value Of Rest and Recovery

 

We obviously know the importance of it. Unfortunately, this premise gets swept under the rug too often. Hell, virtually every supplement out there is meant to hack your way into better performance. Finding a compromise and spitting facts at someone who’s hell-bent on training six days/week to damn near everyday is like trying to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s a tough pill to swallow for productivity junkies because they feel like they have to train a ton otherwise their progress will stall. Unless you’ve been injected with the super solider serum, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll achieve optimal results with that approach, let alone sustain it.

Remember: all you do in the gym is break your body down. I believe that you need to train with intensity and ferocity, but you also need to follow it up with a period of rest and recovery. 

Progress occurs outside the gym, not in it. Quality > Quantity.

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In the day and age we live in, it’s mind-boggling how many of us fail to take advantage of the available tools and resources we have at our disposal. Yet, funnily enough, we continue to weep and complain about how “hard” we have it.

For instance, you can hire a qualified trainer and have a pretty solid plan laid out… BUT, the ability to actually put in the work is no where to be found. Sorry, folks. You’re not entitled to anything, and results aren’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter.

Truth hurts.

1. Embrace The Suck Factor

 

It’s quite humbling that more and more people are starting to know who I am and what I do. That having been said, whenever someone tells me the ol’ I need to get in shape before I go to the gym excuse, I just shake my head.  That’s like waiting for the other three tires on your car to wear out before you take it in for repair — it makes no sense whatsoever.

Look, it’s hard and we all have grueling schedules. Suck it up! And, guess what? We’re always going to be put in less-than-ideal circumstances. In fact, something I’ve learned from working with my clients is that conditions are never going to be perfect (and are rarely in your favor). At some point you’re going to run out of excuses, and realize that you can’t get much done if you only work on the days you feel good.

Understand that taking care of your health, getting stronger, looking and feeling good, is a choice. It’s your choice.

Give forth an honest effort and work to make it happen.

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2. Alter Your Environment

 

When you’re trying to get in better shape, it is, in fact, a daily struggle. At times it can get lonely, and it’ll feel like you’re walking on a thin ice — which is why having a supportive environment is more favorable.  It’s surprising how a lot of people have next to no support. There’s a ton of value in being around other people who want it as bad as you do, and you’re cutting yourself short if you try to do it alone. When you surround yourself with like-minded folks, you automatically tend to do better.

The best program in the world won’t mean a thing if you can’t execute it to a T. Having support from your family, friends, or even your co-workers goes a long way.

If you find yourself always hopping on and off the horse, it’s time to establish an environment that’s conducive to your goals.

3. Change The Dial, Don’t Stop

 

For some, diet and exercise is synonymous with depression and unpleasantry.  The thought of rolling out of bed to workout doesn’t get them excited.  I don’t know about you, but what I find depressing and unpleasant is the thought of having to pop medication like candy.

An invaluable lesson I’ve learned from my years working at a commercial gym was that if you work easy, execution becomes hard. If you work hard, executing becomes easy. To give context, it’s much the same with training. Initially, it will be hard, but once you get the ball rolling, it becomes less difficult. Working diligently improves the odds of success. It’s all in a matter of staying consistent.

I’m all for taking breaks when needed, but it’s another thing when you completely fall off the wagon, and unfortunately, that’s what ends up happening.  It’s virtually impossible to quantify the results when that becomes the recurring theme. The training never stops, folks. The dial just changes.

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