So I looked up the other day and realized that it was 15 years ago this month that I started my first job in the fitness industry. It is crazy how quickly time passed and how far I have come as a trainer; so much change and growth.
I went all in on this thing, I quit a decent paying and steady job to change careers. I’ve never looked back. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have loved every bit of it.
Realizing that it has been 15 years, made me do some reflecting on how far I have come as well as how I evolved. From training one on one with private clients wearing a purple Barney shirt at 24 Hour Fitness in Richardson TX, to meeting Sandra at the Centrum Sports Club in Dallas, to managing a mixed martial arts gym for 5x World Champion and UFC veteran Guy Mezger all the way to owning CrossFit West Houston, what a path! As I reflected, I wondered if I could impart one thing, one little piece of nugget for success with fitness what would be the one concept that would help the most people. What is the one thing that leads to the most success? To arrive at the answer, I had to look at how I got here.
I left a steady job working in the mortgage banking industry mainly because I wasn’t being fulfilled. I loved living a healthy lifestyle though, several years before I looked in the mirror and made a change. I decided that I needed to make exercise and health a priority in my life. I voraciously read magazines, books and sought out advice from people in the gym. The more I learned the more people asked me questions. That planted the seed in my mind to start on fitness as a career. My parents thought I was crazy and I think thought I would fail. Later they met several of my one on one clients at our wedding reception, who told them that I really helped them. Their words to my parents were both flattering and satisfying.
After a couple of years of training folks one on one, I moved on to manage Guy Mezger’s Martial Arts school. It was there that I had the opportunity to one learn how a facility operates and two how to train groups of people. I was fortunate enough to obtain my Brown Belt in Chun Do Kwan under Guy. Following a martial arts program helps you learn to systematically teach. Very valuable lessons for sure.
It was working for Guy back in 2003-2004 that I found CrossFit. I was training with guys much younger while getting ready for my brown belt test. The test would require that I stand up spar one on one, as well as submission wrestle and gang fight in 2 on one, three on one, 10 on 2, etc. Quite frankly I was getting my ass kicked on a regular basis. I determined that I needed a different type of strength and conditioning, then the crappy body building style training I was doing. I was not prepared for combat, like I wanted to be. That is when I took to the internet and found CrossFit. Which of course, led me to getting my level 1 and opening CrossFit West Houston as one of the first 1,000 CrossFit Affiliates and the 8th CrossFit in Houston.
So what does this have to do with fitness success for the individual? In one word, consistency. Consistenc is the key.
Consistently making time for movement. It does not have to be a “workout”, sometimes life gets in the way of getting a long hard workout in, but we all can find 15 minutes in a day to have a brief warm up and do a 10 minute movement circuit such as:
When you have more time, hit the box to get some good strength work and crush a WOD. Workouts that are good for you don’t always mean that you need to be working for 45 minutes and leave you a crushed weeping tub of goo. Move every day, consistently.
You might just find that it will feel like a workout but you will also help mobilize your hips, hamstrings and work the abs.
Consistently moving well. Always use full range of motion to get the best results. Full range of motion may not be the same for everybody, BUT if you consistently practice attempting to get to full range of motion you will get there.
Consistently eating good food. Real food, good proteins chicken, lean beef, eggs, seafood, good carbs vegetables in all varieties, some fruit and good fats like coconut, avocados, olive oil, olives. You will consistently find good results.
Consistently getting good sleep. Seven to nine hours every night in a dark, cool room without tv or cell phone distraction. There isn’t anything good on TV anyway.
Consistently finding ways to relax. Whether it is yoga, meditation or even deep breathing to help relax and manage stress. Stress leads to the production of cortisol which can lead to all kinds of sickness as well as that extra layer of fat around your mid-section.
You are what your record says you are.”
Bill Parcels Super Bowl Winning NFL Coach
If you consistently skip workouts, take long breaks from exercise, while eating crappy food choices, then you will not be happy with the way you look or even how you feel. It could also lead to sickness, malaise and depression.
One thing I have seen a lot of in my career, is the “I have been traveling a lot for work. I have eaten like crap and not been working out. I need a really great workout to make up for the last two weeks.” It doesn’t work like that. You cannot undo two weeks of debauchery in one workout. That should not be a surprise but I have heard that a lot over the years.
The people that have the most success in fitness make fitness and healthy eating a habit. They do it daily. They forgive themselves for missed days or the occasional crappy eating and get right back to it.
Consistently do the right things. Consistently pick up heavy things. Consistently move. Consistently make good food choices. Consistently get good sleep. If you fall off the band wagon, for a meal or a night or a vacation, get right back on the consistency train.
Be consistent. Move every day. Make good food choices. Be fit, be well.