Updated: Jul 20
As I started writing the list of 5 things, I just kept going. I could have narrowed it down to 5 if I really wanted to but then I felt I would be doing you an injustice by holding back valuable information. This list is in no particular order but all of these things can contribute to your overall health and success in and outside of the gym. 1. Drinking water is the easiest thing on earth that makes a difference in performance, progress, and overall health. You can only manage what you measure so I recommend getting a large water bottle with clear numeric measurements on the side. 2. Find your why. Why do you want to exercise? Does it make you feel more confident? Does it give you more energy? Do you want to be active with your grandkids? Whatever it is, identify your why and everything becomes easier. You can't always rely on motivation. 3. Weights don't make you bulky. This one is more towards the women but I promise lifting weights doesn't make you big. $8 coffees from Starbucks with a lot of sugar do. It takes months to build just a few pounds of muscle and in the process, you will lose fat, boost your metabolism, improve bone density, and much more. 4. Progress isn't linear. You're going to have bad days and miss workouts. You're going to fluctuate in weight and feel weaker some days. It's normal and it's all about how you respond. How does a still pond respond to a stone thrown into it? Answer: Appropriately. It takes shape to the stone and returns to being still so next time you have a bad day/week/month, respond like water. 5. There is no substitute for hard work and consistency. Those two things can take you VERY far because at the end of the day, there is no magic pill. Maturing in the gym is realizing you have to keep working out after getting in shape. 6. Nutrition is more important than you think. This one might be the most obvious one on the list but you'll be surprised how many people don't look at their diet when they don't see the results. You can't out-train a bad diet. Adequate amounts of protein are important for both weight loss and muscle growth. 7. Don't compare yourself to others. Everyone is on their own journey and if you're constantly comparing yourself to others you will never be proud of the progress you're making. Personal records (PR's) are one of the most important things in the gym for a reason because it's you vs you. You aren't comparing yourself to anyone else and it's about you getting 1% better every day. 8. Recovery is just as important as the workout, if not more important. It personally took me way too long to learn this one. In the gym, you're constantly breaking down your muscles and if you're not prioritizing sleep, clean eating, hydrating, stretching, etc. your muscles will never recover. I could write a novel on this one but long story short - the 23 hours outside of the gym are just as important as the 1 hour in the gym. 9. If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail. Training without a plan is like driving without a GPS. You might eventually get where you want to go but it's not the fastest way. Remove the guesswork from working out and follow a strategically laid out plan that aligns with your goals. This is why I created The PR Training App - to help as many people as possible reach their fitness goals by walking into the gym with a plan. It has 3 training plans with a 4th one coming soon! (PR Bodyweight). 10. Have fun. If you don't enjoy your workout routine you're less likely to stick with it for the long haul. If you don't like running, don't do it. Find something you enjoy and move with the purpose to be healthier. Find a community of like-minded individuals who share the same passion and this will make it all more enjoyable.