When I was younger, my karate instructor Sensei Clarence West instilled in me a few fitness principles that have stuck with me my whole life.
He was a hard nosed instructor who always stressed consistency, hard work and pushing myself to the max. These principles stayed with me through my time in the U.S. Army and also now as a fitness trainer.
While I like to give out a bunch of good workout tips here on Gym Junkies, I know getting information from multiple people is sometimes even better. So this week I asked a bunch of my good friends who are bloggers and personal trainers to give me their #1 tip for achieveing your fitness goals.
As many of them say a simple diet and a good workout program are the basis for getting the body you want. But the right mindset is just as important. So here ya go, 19 incredible tips for getting the body you’ve always wanted.
Please leave a comment at the bottom if you have a great tip for helping someone hit their fitness goals…
Tip #1 – Nate “Built for Show” Green – TheNateGreenExperience.com
“Stop being a pussy and start holding yourself accountable by focusing on taking the first step forward. You probably already know the first few steps you need to take, but you’re just too scared or lazy to actually take them.
If you need to lose fat, stop eating so damn much. If you need to gain muscle, try eating more. It’s really not as hard as you’re making it”
Nate writes about fitness and women at TheNateGreenExperience.com
Tip #2 - Jim “Smitty” Smith – DieselCrew.com
Assuming that you are following a sound, comprehensive plan for achieving your goals, you must be relentless. Consistency is the key. If your goal is to build muscle and get stronger and you have excuses like; I’m having a bad day (exercise relieves stress), I don’t have enough time (effective muscle building workouts can be done in as little as 15-20 minutes) – you will never succeed.
If your goal is to lose fat and get lean, planning ahead, the night before (or for the entire week on Sunday) is the solution.
Consistency is the key to NOT to miss a workout or a meal and ultimately, the key to reaching your goals.”
Smitty is a strength coach and you can read his blog/articles at Diesel Crew.com
Tip # 3 – Mark “The Ripped Runner” Sisson – Mark’s Daily Apple
“Make your easy workouts longer and easier and your hard workouts shorter and harder.
This means ditching long, arduous “chronic cardio” workouts that keep the heart rate elevated to the 80%+ max HR range. Our ancestors didn’t ramp up their heart rates signficantly for over an hour every day and I don’t think we should either.
The chronic cardio style of training requires one to refuel their glycogen stores with a high carb diet (promoting fat storage and fostering inflammation in many cases), and increases the chance of burnout and failure (it takes extreme and unecessary commitment and fortitude to maintain this type of exercise on a day-in day-out basis). Instead do extended periods (1-3 hours or more) of low level aerobic activity – think walking, hiking, light cycling, playing.
The other half of this equation involves ramping up the intensity of your workouts. Keep it short and fast-paced. Try the Tabata protocol for any number of workouts (sprints, burpees, various weight bearing activities).
This style of training will improve both your anaerobic and aerobic capacity and encourage the production of HGH. And you’ll be done with your workout in 20 minutes.
I am convinced this is the key to overall long-term fitness success so let me say it once again:
Make your easy workouts longer and easier and your hard workouts shorter and harder.”
Mark writes about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle at Mark’s Daily Apple.
Tip #4 – Zach “Kill It” Even Esh – Underground Strength Show.tv
“NEVER miss a workout. Most people quit RIGHT before reaching their goals or give up right when things begin to happen. This stuff takes time, but if we look at things by the inch, slowly, slowly, inches become feet, feet becomes yards, yards become miles, etc, etc.
Tip # 5 – Carla “Biceps” Birnberg – MizFitOnline.com
“My best tip for weightloss (as in not for pre-competition/sports etc.):
From the beginning set yourself up on a program (from food to workout) that you can do for LIFE. For the long haul. Day in day out. If you get married. If you are married if you add kids to the mix etc.
Think longterm & set yourself up for success! 2hours of cardio might work great today/this year (wink) but not in the future.
In my opinion it’s all about the consistency for the longhaul which builds true fitness.”
Carla writes about all things fitness at MizFit
Tip # 6 – Rob “Mr. EAS” Williams- 10 Kinetic Laws.com
” The number one tip I use with when it comes to reaching fitness goals is to CLARIFY what it is that the person WANTS. Individuals tend to focus on what they DO NOT want. (e.g. I don’t want to be fat OR I want to lose weight). This type of approach is counter productive because according to quantum science, the subconscious mind doesn’t process a negative.
Instead I encourage individuals to state what they DO want. (e.g. I want to be lean OR I want to be muscular).
When this type of approach is taken then individual then can start to model the behaviors of a “lean” or “muscular” person when it comes to both training and nutrition. From a mental standpoint I’ve seen individuals have a easier time reaching their goals.”
Rob writes about personal development topics at his blog 10 Kintetic Laws
Tip #7 – Rob “Gold Gloves” Pilger – Boxing Performance.com
“As you are training for the goal, visualize your goal as if it’s attained. Use guided imagery at it’s finest. Surround yourself with like minded people who will support you in reaching your goal faster while not sabotaging you in reaching it.
I know that where the mind goes in realistic goals the body will follow backed by a sound training program of course. See it done to get it done right.”
Tip #8 – Scott “Shutterbug” Bird – Straight to the Bar
“Find a training style you enjoy. Lifting weights in a commercial gym,
running up sand dunes, swinging a kettlebell in the backyard. If you
enjoy doing it, the workouts will never feel like ‘work’. You’ll look
forward to them.
In my case that’s grip work. Regardless of what else I’m doing, I
always look forward to a bit of bending/tearing/levering. Love it.”
Scott is the editor of the fitness blog StraighttotheBar.com
Tip # 9 – Yavor “Da Beast” Marichkov – Relative Strength Advantage.com
” My #1 tip would be consistentcy. Just don’t stop and you will eventually reach your goals, not matter if you have a sub-optimal diet, training program, genetics or whatever. If you just keep at it, you will succeed.
Here is my favorite quote on this subject by Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
Yavor writes about all things strength and fat loss at Relative Strength Advantage
Tip #10 – Mike “IF Life” O’ Donnell – LifeSpotlight.com
“Slow and steady wins the race of life. People looking for shortcuts and quick solutions are destined for no real gains and reverting back to old bad habits.
Take it one day at a time, know what you need to be doing right now, and the results will come.”
Mike writes about health and nutrition at LifeSpotlight.com
Tip #11 – Krista “Superwoman” Scott Dixon – Stumptuous.com
“Write things down.
First, when it’s written down, it’s real. There’s a cognitive function
that’s specific to writing — a separate brain process devoted to
putting words on paper (or on a screen). Writing helps take something
from a thought or idea to reality. Words have power.
Second, writing provides a record that can be checked. Humans are
really bad at correct recall. They overestimate activity and
underestimate food intake. They think they ate well all week, and
forgot the birthday party for the coworker on Tuesday, the drinks on
Wed after work, the mochaccino on Thursday morning, the Friday night
nachos, etc. etc. When you write things down, then review them later,
you will see immediately whether you’ve been accurate in your
estimations. Most of the time you’ll find that your perceptions aren’t
very precise nor correct. Numbers, however, tend to have excellent
Third, writing allows us to be accountable to ourselves. There’s
nothing that slaps you back into reality quite like reading words that
you wrote to yourself. You can’t even blame anyone else! No, there it
is, in your handwriting — “Jan 1, I resolve to get in shape”. Darnit.
This is especially true if you post that written record where you (and
other people) can see it.”
Krista writes about weightlifting for women at Stumptuous.com
Tip #12 – Chris “West Coast Livin” McCombs – KickBackLife.com
“See yourself exactly where you want to be and talk about it all the time like it’s reality.
When I lost 143 pounds in 15 months I talked about it everywhere I went… I was constantly telling people “I’m getting ripped” and “I’m getting lean”
Because of this I believed deep down inside that I was actually getting ripped, and my subconscious brain made sure I took the right actions to make that vision a reality.
Sure I had to put in the work at the dinner table and in the gym, but it was knowing EXACTLY what I wanted, what it looked it, and believing it that made it happen.
See it, talk about it and believe it and it’ll happen.”
Chris writes about fitness marketing for trainers at KickBackLife.com
Tip #13 – Doug “The Athlete” Fioranelli – RiseAboveStrength.com
“Make sure your athlete quantifies and understands their goals and the time it takes to achieve them. Most want to lift more weight, have bigger muscles, or be more conditioned but they rarely quantify those things.
How much weight, how much bigger, how much more conditioning? When you get this out of them you can both realize the type of training and the time it will take to achieve those goals.”
You can read more from Doug at RiseAboveStrength.com
Tip #14 – Kira “No Treadmills” Clarke – The Fight Geek.org
I don’t think I’d be a good goal-specific coach, I’m more process-focused kinda dude. I always suggest to people to focus on enjoying the actual process of training before (or at least while) embarking on a specific fitness goal.
I think specific fitness goals are best achieved within the broader context of a happy and fun fitness lifestyle. If you loathe the process, you’ll probably never reach your fitness goal … or even if you do achieve your goal, you probably won’t be able to maintain it.”
You can get more videos and fight info from Kira at The Fight Geek
Tip #15 – Rusty “Mr. Hollywood” Moore – FitnessBlackBook.com
“Okay, let’s say I was coaching someone about Fat Loss. You can cut calories pretty darn aggressively if you perform resistance training training. The American College of Nutrition published a study in 1999, where they took 20 people and put them on 800 calorie per day diets…for 12 weeks! You would think that there would be muscle loss and a slowing of metabolism, etc.
The diet and cardio only group lost muscle along with fat and their metabolism slowed substantially. The resistance training group maintained their muscle mass and actually lost more fat than the cardio group. Also, they had a higher metabolism than when they started this study.
So…feel free to diet hard every now and then, but make sure you are doing resistance training. No need to go crazy and go down to 800 calories for 12 weeks, but a 2-3 week “low calorie fat loss blitz” won’t cut into your social life too drastically.”
Rusty writes about fitness and getting the Hollywood look at FitnessBlackBook.com
Tip #16 – Scott “Modern Forager” Kustes – LifeSpotlight.com
“Find an activity that you enjoy – This is especially important for the beginner. Nothing will kill that zest to get back in shape than considering your workout to actually be work.
I enjoy sprinting, so I don’t run distance. Perhaps a mile or two on occasion, but most of my workouts center around heavy strength training and sprinting. If I had to go out and run 3-5 miles several times per week, my workouts and fitness would suffer.
So first pick goals that you want to achieve for yourself and then find activities that you enjoy that support those goals.”
Scott writes about fitness and nutrition at LifeSpotlight.com.
Tip # 17 – Stephen “The Renegade” Ladd – HumanFormFitness.com
“First and foremost, it’s all about whole food nutrition. It doesn’t matter if you want to get ripped to shreds or be a sumo wrestler – if you eat like crap, your results will never be optimal.
You may reach your goals on the outside, but your internal health, and therefore your overall strength, vitality and performance will suffer.
Eat real food and use quality supplements very sparingly.
Stephen is a personal trainer and nutritionist he runs Human Form Fitness
Tip #18 – Israel “On a Mission” Lagares – Fat Man Unleashed.com
“Involve others. That’s right. It’s pretty simple. Involve others. The power that it carries is unlike any other. Just like at this post for example. Gym Junkies decided to involve other health/fitness bloggers to make this thing even more successful.
Listen. I am not saying that everyone needs someone to help them achieve their fitness goals, but it’s more than likely that if you involve others that your chances of success are increased. There’s something I read a few years back about a study that concluded that people that are social/have friends live longer.
The power of social interaction and involvment is crucial when trying to lose weight or get in shape. The more people you tell, the more responsible you feel to them and yourself. They are also more likely to help you stay on track and not fall off the wagon…or if you do fall off they will help/coach you into getting your act together.”
Israel blogs about his weight loss journey at Fat Man Unleashed.
Tip # 19 – Vic Magary (this is me) – Gym Junkies.com
“You MUST be willing to step out of your comfort zone to hit your goals.
No matter if your goal is fat loss, building muscle or eating better you have to make a conscious decision to stop doing what is easy and natural to you, and try a route that actually works.
So many people say “that doesn’t work for me” or ” I can’t lose weight cause of my genetics” BULLSHIT. The problem is you want to keep doing the same thing you’re doing now and get different results. You want to eat ice cream and pizza 5 days a week and somehow get different results…
You have to sackup and step out of your comfort zone!”
Vic writes about fitness and workouts right here at Gym Junkies…
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P.S. – Leave me a comment with your favorite tip form this post, or your own best fitness tip!