Fitness Lifestyle

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When we think about fitness we immediately play images in our head of sweating it up at the gym, cycling through power cleans, grinding through a heavy squat, and sprinting towards the finish line. There’s also a sense of awareness that ties working out to healthy nutrition. As we discussed in our previous article ( Nutrition Guidelines ), there are many misconceptions about what nutrition should look like, but generally speaking, it is accepted that nutrition and fitness go hand in hand. What nobody thinks about is what happens the rest of time. Say you work out 2 hours a day. Say you exercise perfect food hygiene, chew your food thoroughly, and spend another 60 minutes eating every day. That accounts for 3 hours of your day. What’s going on in the remaining 21 hours? Are you still ACTIVELY working towards your goals? Should you be? The answer towards that question is a resounding YES.

Fitness gains do not come about during training. If anything, training provides a dose of stress to our bodies. It is the body’s ability to repair the “damage” caused during training that results in adaptation. That is why we must consider what we do when we step outside of the gym to be part of the process. We’ve already covered nutrition and how it should parallel training. We could also say that it’s one of the main pieces in the lifestyle component. Let’s look at some other things that should be in place to ensure that we’re on the right path to fitness.

Goal Setting

Setting goals can be quite intimidating to some people. Fear of failure will often take over and not allow us to clearly state what it is we hope to accomplish. This applies to all facets of life and fitness is no different. It’s crucial for every person to go through those moments of reflection and identify what it is that they truly want. Not what you SHOULD want, or what is EXPECTED from you, but what that voice inside keeps telling you to pursue. There’s no right or wrong answer, no aspiration too big or too small. Everyone has the right to want whatever it is that they want. This can be short term as it can be long term. It’s not set in stone and conditions/ timeline may be revised, as well as completely erased if it comes to the point where priorities or circumstance change. The important thing is to establish where it is that you want to go, so that we can then seek a path that will lead you to it.


Once we have established goals, we need to look at benchmarks Let’s consider these to be stepping stones, points that we will reach along the way and let us know that we are still walking the right path. These are the little checks that provide a sense of fulfillment in knowing that we are in fact moving in the direction we want to move. Just to be clear, one cannot squat 500lbs without squatting 400lbs first. Just as one cannot lose 50lbs without first losing 25. The same can be applied in some way or form to any fitness goal. The important thing is that we are able to identify what they are, so that we can recognize them along the way.


If we consider the goal to be destination, and benchmarks to be the turns we take towards that destination, then we must consider that there will be many crossroads along the way. Whether or not we reach our destination, and the time it takes us to get there, will depend on our ability to consistently make the correct turns and take the right roads. It’s all written down on the map, and we know what it is we must do to get there, but it’s 100% dependant on one’s ability to follow that blueprint. Are we consistently eating what we should be eating? Are we taking in enough water throughout the day? Are we sleeping enough and at the right times? Are we spending enough time warming up and cooling down around our workouts? Are we taking care of our bodies with soft tissue work and stretching? Are we periodically seeking outside help in the form of massages and adjustments? The list goes on and on.

These are all considerations that must be taken when putting together a fitness package. The detail that goes into must take into account the level at which the individual is in, so that specifications are reasonable for that person to implement. Most importantly, in order for the program to work, lifestyle, nutrition, and training must be in sync.


Real coaching revolves around these points. These are conversations that must be had and individuals must be challenged to take a step back and think about their “WHY”: Why do you do what you do? Why is fitness important to you? That will be the first step in identifying goals, and the coach will be able to start putting pieces in place and providing direction as to how to reach those goals. Of course, the coach is only in charge of the blueprint and providing platform of checks and balances. Ultimately, it is up to every individual to make his own decisions and be accountable for his actions.

Again, I must stress that individuality plays a huge role in this process because it goes deep into what a person truly wants to get out the journey. It’s the only way to keep one invested in the process and providing a sense of fulfillment along every step of the way.  It cannot be generalized and each particular case contains infinite intricacies. This is the main reason why fitness programs should be individualized. Our main job as coaches is to bring up these conversations and ensure that training, nutrition, and lifestyle are all aligned. Pursuit of goals entails a 24/7 commitment. So ask yourself, are you committed to your goals? What are you doing to make them happen? I’ll leave you with this: A goal without a plan and signs of realization is not a goal, but a FANTASY.

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