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By Fernando Paredes
Everyone wants to be successful in what they do. Your health, fitness, and performance are no different. People want to see results! I know I do. This is why you see people slaving away through their workout, cardio session, or exercise class. Some transform their bodies and lives forever while others constantly seem to struggle. Why?
Why do some see results and others don’t? Are there reasons?
Yes: vital reasons!
In my twenty-plus years of experience as a health, fitness, and performance trainer, I’ve worked with a variety of clients and athletes: post-rehab patients with hip/knee replacements, people with lower-back issues, executives, athletes across many sports, doctors, confused beginners, elite triathletes, and a former World Champion. I’ve noticed that without exception each and every one who was successful practiced fi ve things that led to their success.
They did these five things every day. People who struggle with their goals do not consistently do these five things.
These five things are not some secret workout, diet, or supplement.
There is no secret. These five tried and true things are more like concepts, strategies, habits or practices. Whatever you call them, they work, and they work every time.
So if you want to skyrocket your results and ensure your success this year, just follow these five things every day and I guarantee you will transform your health, fitness, and performance too.
Over-training is a progress killer. Successful trainees avoid over-training like the plague. They do what is needed to get the job done. If they need to train three days a week at high-intensity for forty-five minute sessions to get the results they want, that’s what they’ll do – no more, no less. Successful trainees will NEVER do four, five, six, or even seven sessions a week just because they can, want to or feel the need to satisfy some ego urge. They much rather use their rest days for reading a good book, spending time with loved ones, or just plain sleeping.
You’ve heard the saying that some people “eat to live or live to eat.” Who doesn’t love to eat? I know I do. While we all enjoy tasty food, successful trainees predominantly view food as fuel. They seek the protein, carbs, and fats that will fuel their body, health, fitness, performance and progress. They think in those terms first and taste is second. Would you give a high-performance sports car dirty low-grade fuel? Would you give a newborn baby low-quality junk food? Of course not! Why? In both those cases, you place a high value on giving each the right thing to ensure their success.
Successful trainees don’t just hit the weights and do cardio. They include ALL the components of physical training in a balanced way to make consistent progress and prevent injury. All the muscles of the body are important: the stabilizers, tiny structural muscles, and synergists. They all matter. And they all get adequate training. Successful trainees understand they must also include proper stretching, structural core work, corrective exercise, and myofascial work. They view a stretch session with the same importance as a weight-training session, not just an afterthought, giving it the time it needs. For some it can be as simple as a five- to ten-minute daily routine, while an elite athlete may require a forty-five-minute routine. Regardless of their level, each one gladly does it.
Having the right mindset is probably the easiest to explain yet the most difficult to understand and apply. It involves having the right focus and a positive yet realistic outlook for your training and yourself. While training involves focused hard work, you can’t be too hard on yourself or progress will dry up. Successful trainees always keep their training positive and never compare themselves to others. They understand the only healthy comparison that leads to consistent progress is comparing themselves to who they were yesterday, a week ago, or a month ago. The only real competition you’ll ever have is against the person staring back at you in the mirror.
Successful trainees always have a plan. Whether developed on their own or designed by their coach, they take their plan seriously and follow it to a “T.” Your plan should always contain specific objectives that need to be attained for each training phase along with short-, medium-, and long-range goals. Successful trainees NEVER give up because something went wrong within a given day, exercise, meal, workout, or week. They look at the big picture. They look at their entire training program. They understand the goal is to win the “war.” In the process there may be a lost battle or two, but that’s OK. Don’t ever change something just because it may “feel good” to change it or because it makes you feel like you did something. Most times, no training change was needed. Just an attitude change. Stay focused, dust yourself off, and stick to the plan. So if you find you’ve been struggling to attain the results you want, I can assure you it’s because you are missing one or more of these five things. Read them again, understand them, and practice them every day, and you are bound to succeed.
This is how all successful trainees do it. You can too.
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Fernando Paredes, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, FMS, a 20-year veteran of the fitness industry, is a sought after fitness and performance expert in the Bucks/Philadelphia region. He is a contributing fitness columnist for PhillyFIT magazine, Liberty Sports Magazine, has been featured on Comcast Network’s “Your Morning” show, “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle,” WFMZ Channel 69 News and The Philadelphia Inquirer because of his innovative Core-to-Strength Training ™ approach. Fernando has gained the reputation as the expert other trainers turn to for advice and the ‘go-to’ source for anyone interested in attaining lasting results and achieving their true potential.