1. It doesn’t matter how you feel
Motivation is fickle. If you expect to be super motivated to hit the gym every day you’re nuts. It’s not happening.
The reality is that on some days you simply won’t feel like hitting the gym.
Who cares. Go anyways.
You’ll be surprised by the number of times you end up having a great session even when you don’t feel like training. In fact, I’ve hit many PRs on days that I really, really didn’t want to train.
And this applies to anything else you do in life. You’re not always going to be up for it but you have to learn to push past that feeling and do it anyway.
It’s like that old Woody Allen quote, “80% of success is showing up.”
So show up. Even on the days you really don’t want to.
2. Progress is hardly ever linear
When you first start training progress comes fast and furious. It’s not uncommon for people to make dramatic changes to their fitness level inside of 6 months. This is what is often referred to as “noobie gains.”
However, once you get past the “noob” stage (which can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months) progress begins to slow down. You no longer make gains on a weekly basis. Now it takes weeks or months to make significant progress and it usually doesn’t happen in a straight line.
Welcome to life.
This is why a lot of people give up on their goals or dreams. They can’t handle putting in the work for months or years and not see a payoff.
What these people don’t realize is that all the good stuff is happening in the background.
So don’t quit if you’re not seeing progress right away or as fast as you would like. Hold the line. Make adjustments if necessary but stay on the path.
3. Consistency is king
Weekend warriors are a joke.
“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.”
This is why I don’t believe in “off” days from the gym.
Train every single day.
It’s about building a mental groove. A habit. A predilection for healthy living.
This doesn’t mean you need to be going balls to the wall every day. That’s impossible. Some days will be hard while others will be light and that’s totally fine. Just be physical every day.
That’s the way it works if you ever want to get good anything in life. No one has become successful in anything without being consistent.
4. It never gets easier you just get better
I love doing hill sprints and I’ve been doing them for many years now as a part of my conditioning routine.
You would think at this point sprinting up a hill would be a piece of cake for me.
It’s still hard and it still sucks.
And that’s the beauty of it. The hill ALWAYS wins.
This is a great metaphor for life. Don’t expect it to any easier. Just get better.
5. You need a plan or a goal
If you’re not tracking your training sessions in a journal then you’re wasting your time.
And if you don’t have a plan or a goal you’ll be constantly spinning your wheels. This is why so many people fail
That fact is if you want to hit your fitness goals you have to:
- Outline them specifically
- Develop a solid plan of action
- Track your progress
It’s the only way.
And this applies to any goal you have in life. You need to be specific about what you want to achieve and chart a course of action. Otherwise you’ll be rudderless.
6. Doing it with someone is better than doing it alone
I’ve been training alone for years and years but I still recommend guys find a good training partner.
Because a good training partner will push you past your limits, hold you accountable, and stoke your competitive spirit.
And if you’re lucky enough to find a training partner who does all of the above AND is much stronger than you then gains will flow.
One of the keys to success in life is surrounding yourself with winners. Seek out friends and mentors that are living the type of life you want to live and learn from them. Have them push you and motivate you to be your best.
7. Pain is inevitable suffering is optional
Yes it aches. Yes it burns. Yes it’s painful.
But you don’t have to suffer.
“It’s all about mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
The pain you experience is growth. You should seek it out. Revel in it.
Big life lesson in that.
Being able to push past the pain is what separates champions from non champions:
8. There are no shortcuts, secrets, or magic pills
You know what the secret is to getting into great shape?
Showing up every day, putting in the work, and controlling what goes in your mouth.
Everything else is more or less noise. Never forget the basics.
The Pareto principle rules our lives. 80% of our results in practically any endeavor is the result of 20% of our actions.
So ignore anyone trying to sell you a shortcut or a loophole. You might as well assume it doesn’t exist.
Identify the big actions you need to take in order to reach your goals and focus your energy on them instead.
9. No one cares what you used to do
Once in a while I will run into an old guy in the gym who will feel the need to tell me how big and strong he was “back in the day.”
It reminds me of Al Bundy reminiscing about scoring 4 touchdowns in one game back in high school in the sitcom Married With Children:
Don’t be this guy. Ever.
No one cares what you used to do.
What are you doing right now? That’s all that matters.
I’m not saying don’t ever look back on your achievements. There’s a time and a place for that. But generally speaking you want to have front sight focus. No rearview mirror. The past is over. Work on your future now.
10. It never ends
So you hit all of your fitness goals and finally got the body you always wanted. Congratulations. I guess it’s time to kick back on the couch with a beer in hand and watch some sports.
Anybody who has put any significant amount of time in the gym knows that the work is never done. There is always something to improve, something to work on.
This is the mindset you need to carry over into the rest of your life. You’re only finished when you’re dead. Until then you should always be pushing forward.
Are there any life lessons you’ve learned in the gym that I didn’t cover here? Please share them below in the comments or hit us up on Twitter.
Here’s to saying fit!