I have been immersed in the world of health and fitness for half my life now. I have learned so much and I’m still learning a ton every single day. However, sometimes I wish I can go back in time and tell my younger self a thing or two. Because there are multiple lessons, secrets if you will, that I have found to be indisputable truths. These are life-changing and I could be doing so much better now if I had known all of this sooner.
Enjoy 30 Mind-Blowing Secrets to Fitness:
Secrets to Fitness #1: If you can do it on your phone, you ain’t working hard enoughIf you can do it on your phone, you ain't working hard enough. Click To Tweet
I can’t tell you how often I see people using machines chatting as if they’re sitting on a couch in their living rooms. Getting fit requires a certain minimum level of intensity. You can get very fit at many different levels of intensity, but going below that minimum threshold is barely doing anything. And if you’re acting like you would if you weren’t exercising, you’ve found it.
Secrets to Fitness #2: Sometimes you need to look silly to get great gains
When trying to get in shape, you need to put aside a certain level of pride. Whether that means wearing funny-looking clothing that will help you move your legs better, grunting like a maniac, or lessening your weights until you feel like you can be bested by a 9-year-old girl, it’s not about what looks good. It’s about what works!
Secrets to Fitness #3: Running is by no means the only cardio out there
You want to increase that lung capacity? Get yourself sweating like crazy? Best choice is obviously lacing up those running shoes. Right?
Not. At. All.
The only person who should run (unless required by their sport of choice), is someone who loves running. Which is not most of us. You should never spend your time doing an exercise you don’t enjoy. You simply won’t be able to maintain the routine in the long term, which is necessary for continued gains.
So instead go out dancing. Play soccer with the boys. Beat the crap out of a heavy bag. Join a martial arts gym. All exercise is great and will help with the waistline. Choose the one you enjoy and can picture yourself doing for years to come.
Secrets to Fitness #4: Trying to get rid of your belly? No one is laughing at you!
It’s easy to think that when you go to the gym, everyone is staring at your big belly and judging you. Nothing can be farther from the truth!
If you’re trying to change your life, you have entered a supportive environment, and everyone there is cheering you on. We cannot wait to see where this goes. We cannot wait to see what you look like in a couple of months. And we are going to praise the ever-living hell out of you.
Secrets to Fitness #5: Quality Trumps Quanity–Always!
Some people think that when they want to get in good shape, that means they’re now sacrificing multiple hours of every day of their life.
Obviously you’re going to need to put in some time to get results. But it might not be nearly as much as you think.
And there are many dangers to spending too much time on your fitness goals. These dangers can range from simple ones, like lost motivation due to spending so much time away from other important life tasks, to really complicated ones, like overtraining, which will ultimately undermine all your fitness goals.
Learn to not only do something you love, but find a reasonable amount of time to devote to the task every week. And make every minute count. The quality of your training will always be more important than how many hours you crank out.
Secrets to Fitness #6: Everyone is different
Trying to research health and fitness online is a scary world. There’s so much information, it seems impossible to figure out what to do with it all.
But one thing’s for sure: Sometimes you’ll try something that worked for someone else, and you’ll be shocked when it doesn’t work for you.
And that’s because one of the biggest secrets to the health world is that everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for another. So the only solution is to keep trying new things. Adopt the things you like and that work, and leave the others behind.
It’s a great opportunity to get in touch with yourself. But it is a whole lot more complicated than the one-size-fits-all approach that is way too easy to find out there.
Secrets to Fitness #7: Knowledge is more important than the gym you choose
Read, watch, listen. Soak in information. If you know what you’re doing, you can get in shape anywhere. Even in your own living room!
So if the only gym near you is a cheesy Planet Fitness with a limit on how big their weights can be, don’t fret. With a bunch of knowledge, you can become shredded in any environment.
Secrets to Fitness #8: Number 7 is true… but the right environment can motivate the hell out of you
So even though the knowledgeable person can get in shape anywhere, that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to the right environment.
In such an environment, you’ll be inspired by the hard work and intensity of the others in the gym. You will see them sweating and breaking past their limits, and it will motivate you to try harder. Their presence can add so much more to your potential success.
Secrets to Fitness #9: Heavier weights aren’t necessarily more effective
Swallow your pride, kids. Yes, it feels good to swing along massive weights. And sometimes that’s exactly what you should be doing.
However, other times the particular exercise or your fitness goal requires a smaller weight. Even potentially a super-tiny weight. And when that’s the case, that’s exactly what you should use. Stop looking around to see if someone’s laughing at you. First of all, they’re not. Second of all, if you accomplish your goals, let them laugh all they want. You’ll be ripped and healthy and powerful and gorgeous. Who’s laughing now??
Secrets to Fitness #10: The food industry is NOT on your side
Fact is, if you want to be healthy, there is one thing you absolutely cannot get around. You need to learn how to read food labels.
The food industry loves to dazzle you with trite statements like “no trans fat” or “fat free” or “low carb”. They don’t want you reading ingredients or interpreting the nutrition information. They just want you to see fruit in your low-fat yogurt, assume healthfulness, and go on with your merry day.
They made money. You got diabetes. Win-win!
The industry is not doing you any favors. You’re going to need to learn how to interpret all this information. No one will do it for you. And knowledge is most certainly power!
Secrets to Fitness #11: The big fella isn’t the one I’m striving to be
There are so many goals a person can strive for when getting in shape. It’s easy to look upon the guy with the freakishly large muscles and assume they clearly know what they are doing. Strive to be like them, of course.
But bodybuilding is it’s own form of fitness, one that is very specific, not right for everybody, and arguably quite dangerous.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you are strong. Certainly doesn’t mean you’re more athletic. And it could mean you’re doing dangerous things, like dehydrating yourself, taking steroids, or incessant tanning. And it’s not even a desirable look to most people.
There are many ways to lift weights. Bodybuilding is just one of them, and likely not the right choice for you.
Secrets to Fitness #12: Soreness is good… pain is really, really not
I love when I’m sore a day or two after a workout. It symbolizes I pushed my body a little past its limits, and I’ll be rewarded for that in the near future (hopefully). But that’s a certain uncomfortable tightness in a muscle. You can still exercise when it’s there, and it should go away soon.
But your bones and ligaments don’t get sore. And your muscles shouldn’t feel like they’ve been torn. Don’t fight past a pain in your elbow joint or knee. It won’t lead to greater gains. It will lead to an injury.
Learn to know what your body is trying to tell you. Sometimes it’s saying “Good job!” But other times it’s saying “Seriously brah, it’s time to take a day off.”
Secrets to Fitness #13: Don’t drink calories
If you have the typical American diet, you are probably eating a whole lot of garbage. And you are probably not satisfied with what you see when you look in the mirror.
But one simple change can make all the difference: Stop drinking calories.
It’s the first thing I recommend to anyone looking to lose some weight. Stop putting cream and sugar in your coffee. Push aside your lemonade. And for God’s sake, toss your Coke in the trashcan.
None of these are contributing nutrients to your system, nor are they helping to make you feel full. All they’re doing is helping you mindlessly pile in calories.
Slowly but surely get these bastards out of your diet, and you might be consuming hundreds if not thousands of fewer calories every day. It will have such a dramatic impact, I’m actually jealous of those of you who are currently drinking a ton of calories. Step #1 for you is so easy, and so effective.
Secrets to Fitness #14: Don’t do (or eat) things you hate. Sustainability is key!
If you hate it, you won’t do it. If it’s awful, you won’t eat it. Stop trying to force yourself to do exercises you don’t enjoy or eat foods you find repulsive. Instead, search for rigorous activities and healthy foods you do like.
There are countless things out there to try. Your only limitations are your energy and your creativity. Try new things. Experiment with new recipes. Find what you love, and build toward a sustainably healthy lifestyle. Anything less is never worth it.
Secrets to Fitness #15: There’s a lot of information… but don’t get frustrated
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you start down a path of learning about such enormous subjects as health and fitness. It’s truly never-ending. And, on top of that, both worlds are loaded with contradictions or information that has changed drastically from what you may have learned growing up.
Don’t worry about it!
You should never expect or hope to know everything. Nor should you get frustrated by all the misinformation. Trying to know it all and to avoid controversies are unrealistic goals.
Just focus on knowing a little bit more than you did yesterday. See what works for you and what doesn’t. And enjoy the process of growing to be a wiser, healthier person.
Secrets to Fitness #16: Diets are stupid
Every single fad diet in the world has one thing in common: They’re all stupid.
Yes, with many of them you will be able to lose some weight. But with almost all of them, they’re not designed for a prolonged lifestyle. And all that weight will be back before you know it.
Learn to eat healthy. Learn what that means. Learn to eat balanced meals. And learn how to quickly and affordably prepare fantastic food. Build toward a lifestyle, not a quick fix that will backfire in just a matter of days.
Secrets to Fitness #17: Some people will never be able to put down the cookie
We are taught from an early age that moderation is the key to a healthy diet. You can eat a cookie… but just one. If you do that, you’ll be fine.
Life on this planet has taught me there are only two people: Those who can opt out of the second cookie. And those who can’t.
If you’re in the first category, congratulations. Moderation is a choice you can make. Enjoy the blessing.
If you’re in the second category, there’s no such thing as moderation. You eat whatever is available. You finish the ice cream container or the bag of pretzels. You only stop when it’s all gone.
And if you’re that type, you need a better strategy than moderation. Because it will never work.
Secrets to Fitness #18: There is no magic pill
Stop searching the internet for that one thing you are missing from your diet or your supplement regime that will change everything.
Sadly, it doesn’t exist.
There is no magic pill or super food.
Nothing–nothing–will ever replace hard work, dedication, and perseverance. The quicker you recognize this, the quicker you can close your computer, get off your couch, and go ahead and actually make a huge difference in your life.
Secrets to Fitness #19: When they tell you to stop eating eggs, tell them to kiss your ass
Eggs are great. They are loaded with protein, vitamins, and healthy fats. They are a near-perfect food. And they are in a special category of being one of the few extremely healthy foods left in this world that is also extremely affordable.
They got a really bad reputation in the 90s. It was undeserved and definitively disproven. But if you think they’re a problem, it’s probably because we still live in the shadows of that stupidity.
If anyone tells you eggs are bad, please remind them that they should grow up and read an article published since the start of this century.
Secrets to Fitness #20: Drink water. Drink the hell out of it!
Water is the best thing you can possibly put in your body. You need a lot of it, and you should drink a ton of it.
Carry around a water bottle. Drink whenever and wherever you can.
Remember that crazy uncle who said he was worried you were going to overhydrate? Yeah… please ignore him. Yes, it is a thing. An extremely rare and unlikely thing. The goods outweigh the extremely unlikely bads by leaps and bounds.
Drink the stuff like your life depends on it.
Actually, it kind of does.
Secrets to Fitness #21: Just because doctors suck, doesn’t mean they’re always wrong
I’ve grown to distrust doctors over the years. That lack of trust gets reinforced almost every time I step foot in one of their offices.
Yet, they’re not all bad. And they’re not all wrong all of the time.
Learn to be discerning. Learn to get second opinions. And even though a healthy amount of skepticism can be beneficial most of the time, getting a diagnosis is fundamental, and looking into the advice given isn’t a bad idea. I had a miserable time with doctors growing up. And even still, there’s some advice I wish I had paid attention to back then. I think I’d be a whole lot better off to this day.
Secrets to Fitness #22: But doctors certainly are wrong sometimes…
That does not mean all of what they say is good advice or is accurate. It is OK to be a healthy skeptic. Get alternative opinions. Seek natural treatments. Never assume that the doctor standing in front of you knows everything. They rarely do.
I’ve had countless bad encounters with doctors. I had a doctor tell me my torn ACL was completely healed, and I started behaving accordingly. That ended disastrously.
I recently had a doctor suggest I lose 30 pounds. I told him how much I weighed (I had weighed myself that morning), he said I was flat-out wrong. Then he weighed me and basically said, “Ah, OK, don’t do that.”
The point is, doctors are needed sometimes. But they are not deities. Question them, and question them often.
Secrets to Fitness #23: The scale lies… BMI too
Two people can weigh the exact same thing, and one can be overweight while the other is the pinnacle of health. Scales are useful sometimes. But they only give a very small part of the story. And BMI (body mass index) is even worse!
The goal of everyone out there needs to stop being weight loss. Weight loss is stupid. Maybe even dangerous.
But it’s a lot sexier than saying “changing body composition”.
But only one of the two is actually an intelligent goal.
Changing body composition means, in its simplest form, burning fat while building lean muscle mass. Ultimately, you can stay exactly the same weight on the scale. It could even go up! And BMI might tell you that you are overweight or even obese.
But it’s all lies. You’re doing fantastic!
Secrets to Fitness #24: All exercise is good… and can be overdone… and the end results are never obvious
I’ve already stated that you should only do exercises you enjoy. And one reason is that all exercise is good. Every single physical activity will improve you.
They have other things in common as well.
All exercises can be overdone. There’s a delicate balance to the human body. Do the right amount and you feel like a million dollars. Do too much, and you feel rundown and exhausted. Or you might even face an injury.
Also, the results might not be obvious. Certainly not right away.
If you start playing soccer, you might not notice a difference in a month. A year later you’ll look back at yourself, leaner, stronger, with more endurance. You’ll be shocked at the difference.
But that’s because fitness is the long game. It’s meant for those of us with patience, not those of use who want to see results immediately. Be patient. Great things are to come!
Secrets to Fitness #25: Not all protein is built the same
I remember being so excited when I saw all those affordable protein bars and shakes. They were delicious and promised massive amount of protein with no effort.
I wonder how many people plow their bodies with that garbage, never wondering what exactly they’re eating.
Protein can come from a whole lot of sources, but they’re not even close to equal.
Most of the aforementioned protein snacks were loaded with soy protein. It’s cheap crap and most people are better off without it. Pretty much every protein source available is better than soy protein, and comes with fewer risks or controversies.
Secrets to Fitness #26: The greatest devils: Your chair, your car, and the mighty elevator
Everyone, myself included, is guilty of boiling down one’s health to the quality of the diet and the time spent exercising. But these ultimately amount to very little of one’s actual day.
If you want to truly live a healthy lifestyle, you need to stop being lazy all around. Which means you need to move a whole more than you want to or probably currently do.
It’s a very easy world to be lazy in. It’s designed for moving as little as possible. We sleep in a cozy bed, drive to work in a cozy vehicle, work all day in a big office chair, and plop down on the couch to watch Netflix when it’s all over.
And throughout the experience, we encounter many of the devils actually making us less healthy. The chair. The sofa. The elevator. And so many more!
We need to learn how to move more often. Bike to work. Take walks throughout the day. Take the stairs. Get up! Move around more. A lot more. Trust me, in the long run, your body will thank you for it.
Secrets to Fitness #27: If you’re miserable, nothing will work
What’s going on inside your head has endless impact on what’s going on with your physical health.
If you are stressed all the time, you need to work on getting yourself to a better state mentally. If you don’t, it could be all your other efforts will still fail.
The body punishes the miserable, and rewards the calm, relaxed, happy person.
Never neglect your mental health!
Secrets to Fitness #28: Do martial arts… but you still might get your ass kicked
Martial arts have insane benefits. It is a great way to stay active and in good shape. It can help build a community and increase your confidence.
But not all martial arts are equal and there are many martial arts studios that really aren’t training their students in an appropriate manner.
If you want to research like crazy until you find the place that will make you a warrior, capable of defending yourself against anyone, I encourage this.
If you just want to go to the local dojo at the YMCA, you should know two things: a) Exercise is exercise. If it helps you get in shape and stay motivated, then keep up the good work. b) However, when confronted with a belligerent drunkard at the local tavern, you might still get your ass kicked. It’ll be humbling and eye-opening… but at least you’ll be fit.
Secrets to Fitness #29: Not all exercises are equal
Now, I know I’ve said that the most important thing about fitness is to find something you love. And I stand by that.
However, there is one small caveat… It’s not 100% true.
It’s true that you can get in great shape by doing everything from ice skating to playing DDR. However, there are activities that will likely never produce the results you are looking for, even if someone may call them a sport. Know the difference between a sport and a hobby. Or a low-impact recreational activity. Nobody, as far as I know, has ever gotten in shape by playing pool or fishing.
And the same goes for the gym. You might need to learn a little bit if you want to get great results. You will get greater gains and burn far more calories if you do movements that use more and larger muscle groups. To incorporate isolation movements for smaller muscles is fine. To have them dominate your whole routine is a bad idea and will likely result in super lackluster results.
So put aside your curls and forearm exercises for the time being. And learn how to squat!
Secrets to Fitness #30: Ask loads of questions
You don’t know nearly as much as you think you do. So ask a whole lot of questions. Ask guys at the gym. Get advice from trainers. Google like a madman! Whether it seems this way to you or not, everyone wants to help you. They’ll talk your ears off if you let them!
Everyday is a new opportunity to expand what you know. Don’t miss out on it!
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