1.) Do it for Yourself

This is something that most people getting into fitness think they’re doing but really aren’t. Yeah sure you want to have a six pack and steal all the honies at the beach, but that won’t be enough to keep you motivated. Neither will getting in shape for your husband, wife or kids. You need to get in shape for you. Not for someone else, but for you.

It has been ingrained in us that we should do things selflessly because that’s what Jesus would do, or because it’s more gratifying. However, if you spend all of your time serving others (which is noble don’t get me wrong) you’ll find that nothing is left for you. You won’t have time to take care of yourself, and if you can’t take care of yourself can you actually take care of others in the long run? If you actually want to succeed at getting fit it needs to be for you and you alone, because eventually no one besides you will care how look.

On another note, it’s not their body so if your spouse or in my case girlfriend says, “It would make me happy if you lost the beer gut/love handles.” Tell them, “Life is too short to drink bad beer/eat crappy food.” It isn’t their body so if you really don’t want to do it, don’t let anyone pressure you into it. This road is hard if someone tells you it isn’t they’re lying to you and probably selling you something too. Do it for you or don’t do it.

2.) Find a Gym that Suits Your Needs

The perfect gym for you will look different than the perfect gym for me. I want there to be chalk flying, heavy metal playing and everyone working their asses off. I want to see jacked people squatting heavy and I want to see not-so-jacked people working hard to be the best they can be. You may want to have a commercial gym with lots of cardio and a lunk alarm (read a different blog if this is you). On a serious note, you may want a less hardcore gym because intense facilities are, well intense.

3.)Master the Basics

You’re probably rolling your eyes as another fitness blog dares to bring up, “the compound movements.” Well I’m rolling my eyes because you’re fat and weak and still using the pec deck to increase the size of your chest. There is not a single successful person in the fitness world who has not paid their dues on the squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press and bent over row. Show me someone who is truly strong who doesn’t do these movements and I’ll take it back, but you won’t. Well maybe you will because there are freaks out there, but I’ll have them do the compound movements to test their strength so I’ll win either way.

The word basic generally makes one think easy, but anyone who has truly mastered the basics of anything knows that they’re anything but simple. Do a squat with a loaded barbell and hit depth without committing the seven deadly sins of assholery, and you are no longer the average lifter. You’ve entered the realm above novice and are well on your way to cringing at the 16 year old half repping all the plates in the gym.

In order to master the basics you will probably need a personal trainer, but if he tells you half repping you squats, benches and overhead presses is okay find a new one. At the very least spend $10 on Starting Strength and teach yourself the basics.

4.)Discover Your Preferred Method of Training

I cannot emphasize this enough. If you hate the way you’re training you won’t do it. I’m not talking about not wanting to squat because if you don’t want to squat I will convince you that you should squat. I’m talking about  you hating every second of your workout If you hate the row machine do your conditioning on another machine, or maybe find a track and go outside (gasp vitamin D, how dare you that I see the sunlight). If you absolutely hate training legs do it anyways, but that doesn’t mean you have to leg press. There are hundreds of different exercises you can do for your workouts, so find some you enjoy and do it.

Once you get past the beginner stage you can start looking at training methods like strongman, powerlifting or bodybuilding to spice things up. However, do not jump straight in to taking a one rep max or lifting an atlas stone if you can’t correctly perform the basics (duh, I feel like an idiot for even writing that).

5. Train Hard

Last but not least, work your ass off. You aren’t here to socialize with the guys eating donuts or the girls who only do booty work (although they are fun to look at). You’re here to work and get better, so ignore all the haters, ignore all the doubters, put your headphones in and go to work. You can have your donut after your workout because you earned that shit.

Until next time,

Drink beer, eat food and enjoy life (after your workout)