3 (Not So Glamorous) Keys to My Training Success


A big part of my approach with diet and nutrition for clients is knowing that everyone and their situation is unique, and the real key to success is finding the strategies and solutions that work for that person. I have found that the most important thing with exercise is doing it. For most people, they just don’t move enough. I would like to share with you what works for me. You will notice that these 3 keys are rather basic, but when applied consistently, they yield great results. At 32 years old, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.  Last week, I attended a wedding where I had to wear a tux. I pulled out the tux from my wedding (which was 10 years ago) and I needed to have the pants taken in at the waist.

Consistency and effort are not glamorous but they are essential for diet and training success.

Train at 6am – I get up 4-5 days a week at 5:15am so that I am starting my training session by 6am. For me, if it doesn’t happen first thing in the morning, it isn’t going to happen. I have grown to love training in the morning and I rarely miss a training session. If you find that training after work or later in the day is hit or miss because other commitments arise, then I recommend you give early morning training a try. There is also a cognitive benefit of intense exercise before you start your work day.

Have a Reliable Training Partner – It is easy to skip a training session when you have no one to answer to but yourself. Motivation runs in ebbs and flows.  Knowing that you have a person counting on you to be there to train with will give you that little extra kick in the pants to get to the gym when motivation in waning. Don’t just get any training partner, be selective. Find someone that you know is reliable. Find someone with a similar drive and training style. You don’t have to use the same training program, but if you like weight training and they like hitting the treadmill – you two aren’t a good mix.  I’ve recently moved and one of the first things I did was find a new training partner that I knew I could count on to show up and train hard.

Have a Coach that Guides You – Just like a good training partner keeps you working out when you say you are going to work out, a good coach will keep you on track by consistently following your diet and/or training program. Joe Dowdell has been writing my training program for over 2 years now. Having Joe write my programs has benefited me in two important ways.

1. Joe know his stuff – Joe is considered by most to be a celebrity trainer but unlike most celebrity trainers that I have met, he knows his stuff. Joe’s training programs flat out work. I am not a training expert.  I could write my own training programs and do very well, but I know that it is sometimes hard to have the best perspective when coaching yourself.

2. Joe keeps me compliant – I’m not going to waste Joe’s time by having him create a training program for me, and then not adhere to it. Every 4 weeks, Joe wants to know about the results I’m getting and how I stuck to the program. This added level of oversight can make a huge difference with respects to effort and consistency in the gym.

Joe doesn’t do online coaching, but there are a lot of very qualified guys like Tony Gentilcore and Dan Trink who offer coaching that will get you a great program regardless of your location.

If you are having trouble getting in 4 hours of exercise a week (the minimum I shoot for with clients) then I recommend that you put some of my strategies (or variations of them) into play. When in doubt, go simpler (not easier) and strive for excellent adherence and execution.

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