Even today, years after officially retiring from coaching, I still get asked, “what’s your secret?” For a long time my standard reply to this question was there was no secret, I did the workouts I programmed for clients, I ate the foods I recommended they eat. I’m finally ready to admit that statement was rarely true. Coaches and trainers do have methods we follow that we don’t share with the majority of our clients. We have secrets we don’t reveal until now.
Fitness is my life, my job, my hobby, my passion. I get paid to workout, I get paid to eat right. I get paid to keep up with the newest trends, breakthroughs in science, and research. I really can and often do workout several times a day, even though I tell you not to.
First off working in a gym all day allows me certain abilities most clients don’t have. I can time my meals throughout the day and take the time to prepare and eat quality foods. I workout more than you, but I’m also eating more than you, doing more mobility and doing more practice. I know you just don’t have the time to dedicate to fitness that I do so I recommend activities and practices that will have the highest impact for the time you do have available. I have an hour a day to get you the results you’re paying for.
My workouts are rarely the same as yours. My goals aren’t the same as yours either. In CrossFit where I spent the most time coaching, we programmed for the common denominator. The majority of people in our group classes were there to lose bodyfat and get in general shape. Compared to most of my clients I am already in shape. My goals and needs are different than yours. I often lifted heavy and limited cardio and met-cons. I wasn’t trying to lose weight or get back to my swimsuit body, I was trying to get freakishly strong. Different goals require different methods. Intense cardio can impede muscle growth in a dedicated strength building program.
Like my workouts, my nutrition plans are not the same as those I prescribe to clients. Again my goals and needs are not the same as most clients. Whereas you may be trying to cut bodyfat and lose weight, my number one goal is building muscle and gaining mass. I will always recommend clients limit their carbohydrate intake and avoid sugars. I was once where you are now, I know the struggle of cutting bodyfat. I also know the best way to kick start that process is to cut out most carbohydrates, avoid sugar, eat more meat and fat, and limit total calories.
The best way to build muscle is to add more calories. The best way to fuel repeated high intensity workouts throughout the day is through increased carbohydrate intake. I would never recommend my diet to most of my clients, you just aren’t active enough to burn off all those extra calories. So why would I set you up for failure. Do as I say, not as I do.
I look at health and fitness from a very different perspective than you do. Most of my clients come to me because they have a problem. They want my help, they want me to give them solutions and shortcuts. They want quick fixes. How can I get a six-pack by summer? How can I increase my squat and bench. Most people are event or outcome focused so much so that they are blind to the process. They see athletes on TV doing amazing things. What they don’t see are the years of practices, sacrifices, and failures that led up to that success.
The people we see and admire look the way they do because they LIVE a certain way, all day everyday, every month, every year. It never stops, there are no off days. I understand that, because I’m on the other side of the counter so to speak. When you’re paying to go to a gym for group classes, you’re not paying for classes, you’re paying for a result; the six pack, losing 20 pounds etc. That’s your goal. My goal is to get you there. I understand that involves a process.
I am comfortable with weeks of little to no apparent progress because I understand lasting change is about leading a certain lifestyle. I understand that what took months or years to put on through poor choices and bad habits may take months and years to undo. I can tell you that, but you will rarely understand it. You will expect instant results because you’ve been conditioned by our modern society and civilization to expect and demand instant gratification. You will see me standing in front of you in class, a fit muscular coach; the result. What you don’t see are the 18 years of nonstop exercise and practice that led me to that moment in time; the process.
The Final Secret:
I am human too. Having a healthy body and sharp mind does not happen overnight or by accident. In may case it’s taken the majority of my adult life and it’s a journey that still hasn’t ended. My weight goes up and down. I fall off my diet too. I like sweets, I like beer. I hate running and sweating when its hot outside. I don’t like people in my face telling me what to do. I disdain fit young tweeners showing off in class and hope I’m there to see them when they’re 40 and struggling just to keep their sore joints moving. I want many of the same things my clients do. The real difference is I know how to get them, and now that I do I share it with as many people as I can.