3 or 4 years ago I wrote a blog post with 99 lessons from life in it. At the time, I didn’t think much about. So when it went viral I was surprised by how many people enjoyed and shared it.
Last year I decided to give my original post an upgrade. I ended up rewriting a lot of it – pulling from my notes in my journals, my voice recordings, as well as insights on things I had changed since then.
What started as a blog—that I was going to write over the course of a week —ended up taking almost a year to complete. I am really proud of the completed project and am currently packaging it as an ebook – which I will be giving away for free. My hope is that you can take the lessons I have learned over the course of my life and apply them to your own—and benefit from them as much as I have.
Since there was no way to cover all the lessons in the podcast, I chose 17 powerful lessons and stories to share with you.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
How I approach each day and the lesson that you need to live by if you want to continue to grow and improve
The most important thing to understand if you want to win in life – no matter how bad a card you have been dealt or the obstacles you are facing
The one word that you need to understand that will help your happiness thrive
My favorite documentary and why it fires me up to be the best in the world at my craft every time that I watch it
A painful question that will determine whether you need to change
The 3 C’s that drive our intrinsic motivation and what helped me get out of some of the darkest places in my life
The formula for achieving anything you want in life
The 7 lessons of the Japanese forrest and why they are such an important part of my belief system
The 5-steps to changing your subconscious behaviors
The number one thing we should buy and use
How to use your favorite self-sabotage stories to unlock your growth
In this episode of the podcast I sit down with Vigor Coach, Theo Bowie to discuss the lessons we have learned and would tell our younger selves.
We dig into things from two perspectives:
What we would tell ourselves if we were a young coach just coming into the industry who is looking to learn and grow personally and professionally.
What we would tell ourselves if we were a fitness business owner starting with nothing but a vision who is looking to build something that will positively affect people locally and/or worldwide.
As a wise man once said, “Life’s too short to learn from just your own mistakes.” It’s important to learn from the mistakes and lessons of people that have been there, done that, and are still doing it. Then apply those lessons to your own life so that you don’t repeat them in your own life.
Don’t get it twisted – you will still have to put in a LOT of work and face struggle, obstacles, and failure(s). But this is the true definition of learning from mentors.
If you are a coach, business owner, entrepreneur or a part of a team, you will benefit greatly from the golden nuggets in this episode.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
How we scare interns to see if they’re really committed to interning at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance
One of the most important things Theo would change as a young coach to excel faster while also creating less stress
The difference between time management and work when you’re younger and when you’ve been at it for a while
The exercise that will make it very clear on how much time you’re wasting; and how much more time you could have for yourself, your family, and meaningful work just by doing it
The opportunities and perils of social media and how to navigate it to get what you want without falling into “the trap”
Money management 101 and what almost no one does that could build their financial health and wealth
The key thing you must avoid if you’re going to become a business owner of any kind
What truly makes you happy in life and how to create work and life mastery
Advice for young coaches to excel, create opportunities for themselves and build a career on integrity and connections
When it comes to weight loss it’s not about how fast you can the lose weight, but how long you can maintain that weight loss that really matters.
You see we don’t have a weight loss problem in our society, we have a weight maintenance problem.
I was giving a lunch and learn talk explaining this concept of weight maintenance to a group of thirty engineers at a firm.
To show the engineers what I mean we did a short exercise.
I asked the audience of thirty to raise their hands if they’d ever lost fifteen pounds or moew in their life.
Every hand in the audience went up.
I said “now keep your hand up if you’ve maintained that weight loss for the length of time I’m saying”
“3 months” a good amount of hand went down.
“6 months” more than half the rooms hands drop.
“12 months” only two hands up
“18 months” same two hands up
“24 months” one of the hands drops.
Out of the thirty people in that audience every single one of them had lost at least fifteen pounds in their life.
Out of those thirty people only one person was able to maintain that weight loss for two years or more.
This is why it’s not about how fast you can lose the weight, but how long you can maintain it. Your ability to maintain that weight loss comes down to your habits, and forming them into a lifestyle that doesn’t overwhelm you.
The right habits will allow you to lose weight, keep it off for good and not feel overwhelmed , and those habits are what this blog is going to show you.
Eat A Half Plate Of Veggies At Every Meal:
Well the verdict is in and your mom was right…
You need to eat your veggies, not just for basic health purposes but because they’re also great for weight loss.
Vegetables are rich in fiber and and water both of which make you feel fuller for longer, and contain a ton of micronutrients.
They’re also a great high volume food meaning they take up a lot of room in your stomach but don’t contain many calories.
When it comes to foods that are a calorie bang for your buck vegetables sit atop the list from a fat loss and health perspective.
Aim For 8-10,000 Steps Per Day:
I understand that a few extra walks with the dog doesn’t leave you drenched in sweat and gasping for air like a good HIIT session does.
However this doesn’t mean that walking isn’t an effective weight loss tool though, because it absolutely can be.
Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis also known as NEAT is a specific component of your metabolism that’s responsible for your non exercise calorie burn and burn far more calories than its given credit for.
One of the most effective and low stress ways to boost your NEAT is to incorporate more walking into your daily routine.
Whether it’s walking on breaks, parking further away at the grocery store or batching all your calls together and walking while you talk there’s a ton of great ways to increase your daily steps.
Walking was the tool I used to break a fat loss plateau and help a client of mine Scott, lose sixty two pounds for his wedding.
Scott’s Successful Weight Stall
Scott’s was a client of mine I met at the boxing gym we both trained at.
He mentioned a few times that he had a wedding later in the year and wanted to lose some weight for it.
When Scott and I met for the first time to start our coaching he explained that he wanted to lose sixty pounds for his wedding later that year.
I was honest with Scott about what it would take to achieve that, and he was on board.
There were a lot of texts, emails and calls exchanged going through this process of helping him to drop the weight for his wedding.
We were about two months out from the wedding when Scott had a weight stall and nothing budged in the slightest for three weeks in a row.
When going through his folder I realized he didn’t get a lot of activity outside the gym each day and there was a card we hadn’t played yet.
We kept everything the same, but I had Scott do a 30-45 minute walk in the morning, and then at night as well sometimes.
Two weeks after he started walking everyday Scott was back on track losing weight weekly.
He couldn’t believe that something as simple as walking was what did the trick.
This is what I love about getting people to simply move more and incorporate some walking each day.
The return on investment can be massive when you do it consistently, and make it part of your daily routine.
Make Some Lower Calorie Swaps:
No matter what diet you follow, the reason you lose body fat is that you’re burning more calories than you’re eating and drinking.
This is known as a calorie deficit, and one of the easiest ways you can mindlessly reduce your calorie intake without sacrificing flavor is to make lower calorie swaps.
By making some of these lower calorie swaps you can easily cut out a few hundred calories per day.
At the end of a week or month, those few hundred calories everyday with lower calorie swaps will add up significantly!
Another benefit of lower calorie swaps is they allow you to still eat foods you enjoy and avoid feeling deprived, but stay on on course towards your goals.
Unfortunately there is no lower calorie swap for doughnuts and cake, but I’m always on the lookout!
Use some of these lower calorie options to reduce your calorie intake while still eating foods you enjoy:
Pasta for spaghetti squash or miracle noodles
Pasta for zucchini or carrot noodles
Rice for cauliflower rice
Egg whites with whole eggs
Half your starches and double the veggies
Use almond cashew milk/creamer instead of a heavier creamer
Replace caloric beverages with low or zero cal beverages like Zevia, Kombucha and flavored seltzer water.
On Less Active Days Double The Veggies and Reduce The Carbs:
There’s nothing inherently bad or fattening about carbs when you eat them in the right amount for your needs.
They can be a perfectly healthy part of your weight loss plan, but when you’re far less active you’re burning fewer calories during the day.
By doubling vegetables, and removing the denser carbs you’ll be able to eat a larger volume of food that’s filled with fiber, micronutrients and some water.
This larger volume of vegetables keeps you fuller for longer while keeping calories lower than if you ate the same amount of denser carbs.
Watch Out For The Health Halo Effect:
The majority of your food you eat should be high quality nutritious food with some wiggle room for fun foods too.
However a huge problem arises for your weight loss goals when you fall victim to the “health halo effect.”
The “health halo effect” is when someone believes a food to be healthy they’ll allow themselves to eat more of that food because they think it’s good for them.
You need to keep in mind that just because something is “healthy” doesn’t mean it’s always going to be great for fat loss..
Regardless of how healthy your foods choices are the calories still count, and for many people they assume because they’re eating healthy they don’t need to be aware of the calories coming from those foods.
You don’t need to get neurotic about things but just look at the calorie content and serving size of the common foods you eat so you’re aware of the amount of calories and portion sizes.
Some of the common health halo foods people gloss over are:Salad dressings
Nuts (especially roasted and salted)
Nuts (especially roasted and salted)
Put Your Fork Down Between Bites:
Many of you sit down at meals and eat so fast you would think it was a race, and the grand prize for winning month after month is a growing waistline.
When you eat quickly it’s no surprise that you’d end up overeating and feel excessively full afterwards.
During eating the gut has to signal satiety and fullness to the brain, and by eating too quickly you shortcut that system and eat far more than you need before the brain turns off the hunger signal.
It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes for the stomach to signal satiety in the brain, but you’ll rarely find people that spend that much time at the dinner table, let alone eating.
By taking the time to relax, slow down and adequately chew your food it allows for your gut to communicate to the brain, and tell you to push the plate away.
Another less appreciated benefit of slowing down your eating is better digestive function. By adequately chewing your food it helps with the mechanical and chemical breakdown of foods.
An easy way to slow down your eating is to put your fork down in between bites at each meal and snacks.
The fork down habit is a really simple, yet effective and natural way to take a little longer to eat meals, improve digestion and allow you to stop eating when you’re full, not stuffed.
When you incorporate the habits from this blog one to two at a time, and really work on making them a natural part of your routine and lifestyle I can guarantee you’ll lose weight.
Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll be able to achieve that weight loss in a very sustainable fashion while avoiding all the overwhelm and frustration other crash dieters go through year after year.
The habits you choose to adopt will dictate how long you keep the results you get, and when it comes to weight loss using a simple approach that doesn’t leave you overwhelmed is the best route to go.
If you’re interested in a nutrition strategy session with our Precision Nutrition certified coaches, where you’ll sit down and go over a success blueprint that works for you, click on the link below to schedule your free session.
There’s no strings attached, we create clarity and a path for you while adding a lot of value. Many people choose to become clients by helping them implement the blueprint. Schedule your strategy session HERE.
I met Paul Mort in a business mastermind almost a decade ago. At the time, he was a personal trainer running boot camps in England and had built it up to 17 locations. He was brilliant — but at the same time — crazy, and a roller coaster. Throughout the years we became close friends as I watched him build and sell companies, all while struggling personally with bi-polar disorder – which wrecked havoc on his health and family. This all came to a climax when in 2014 he was on the edge of a cliff ready to jump and take his own life.
What happens next is not only incredible, but also inspirational. As Paul took the step back, he made the decision to turn his life around in every way. He has since became unstoppable in the areas of business and fitness. He also saved his marriage and family.
Today he is off the lithium medication and helping other men turn their lives around. Paul came and visited me in Slovenia to hang out for three-days and we decided to shoot this podcast because his story is too powerful — and full of lessons that I believe will help others transform — not to.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
What stopped Paul from jumping off the cliff – and the question that could turn your life around
When you’re feeling down or depressed, the steps to change that “state” which helped Paul breakthrough
How to get out of the movie that you’re playing in your head by asking yourself THIS series of questions
Why things don’t turn out great when you start a sentence with, “I feel like…”, and what you should say instead
How to create avoid creating a strategy that ends up making you feel like crap
The happiness list and how to instantly improve your days
How to know when you’re being true to your vision of success as opposed to chasing someone else version of it
How to match up ‘what’s behind the scenes’ and what you’re actually putting up on stage
How Paul was able to scale his business with ONE marketing platform and build a million dollar businesses. He shares that platform
The most important lessons from email marketing and tips you can apply now
I’ve always been a hard worker. What The Rock calls, “the hardest worker in the room.” In a lot of ways, I had to be. I was dealt a “bad hand” and made some bad choices because of it growing up. I was short but chose to play basketball anyways. I grew up in Communism. Wasn’t great in school because I had what many would consider ADHD today. My Dad was away from age 11 doing his best to provide a better life for us. And I was also knuckle head, so I chose to run with the wrong crowds as an adolescent and lived a life of crime for a long time.
At an early age, I ingrained hard work into my identity. But what if hard work is not the solution to the problem? What if it has more to do with being strategic and doing focused work on the right things to move ahead in life? I address those questions in this episode.
I’ve learned a lot of lessons from my mistakes. I’ve also learned from some of the best when it comes to actually doing what you want/say you’re going to do. I share my insights from those experiences in this episode. If you have something that you want to get after, this episode is a must listen.
If you apply any of the lessons that I share to your life, I’d love to hear how it went for you. Action gets results, and results build momentum. And the thing about momentum is, it’s like a moving train: it’s hard to stop.
With that said, let’s go!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
Why you need to stop chasing two rabbits because you won’t catch either
Why you should go small and the reason you’ll succeed doing it
A domino can knock out an object that’s 50% bigger than itself. I teach you how to apply this concept to your life and outline how it will make your day and week as productive as possible
The real things that will help move your life and business forward
Why your willpower is like a battery, and why you might be draining yours before you even start your most important work
Why your work and life should NOT be a balancing act, and how to get the absolute most out of both
The “Rule of P’s” and how it can lead you to or away from productivity
A focus question to ask yourself daily to help you prioritize your tasks and get the most out of your day
How to create a “bunker” and protect yourself from the BS that distracts you
It’s important to get insight from multiple angles when it comes to fitness business, coaching, and succeeding as a team in a small business. To talk more about that, I brought in Vigor Coach, Theo Bowie to help answer your questions on coaching, programming, mindset, business, the things that influence our lives, and everything in between.
Theo has been developing and growing within Vigor Ground for close to 6 years now. He has come a long way since he started withy us – from running our Strength Camp and Mobility programs, to contributing a lot on the content side of our business, and becoming an integral part of a special project that we will be launching later this year for fitness professionals; which I will be sharing with you soon.
In this episode we keep things real. We share our insights from two angles—coach and business owner—to give you insight on how teams function and what to look out for so you can build the most powerful and connected team possible within your gym or business. This episode is a must listen if you currently run a gym, or have aspirations to open one.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
A good way to establish trust and culture within your team—on both sides of the coin
How we personally define fitness as individuals and how it influences our training and programming
An example of how to approach a training program of a long distance runner, and insight into coaching clients
The books that drastically influenced our lives, from philosophy to business
What I would do/how I would do it if I was starting a gym again
Insights on how to “re-start” anything including your diet and training program
How to improve retention and create a great experience for clients
How we started small group training at Vigor Ground and why we did it
I’ve been playing basketball since I was a kid, but started playing the sport seriously at age 11 after going to summer camps for years. I sucked at first, but got better the more hours I put in – which grew my love of the game.
The game, the people, and many of the coaches that I’ve worked with over the years have taught me so more than the skills of the game. They’ve taught me skills for life and building championship teams, along with how to apply that to business and life itself. All of which changed the course of my life for the better.
Though I didn’t always learn the lessons until later on, I kept many of them logged in journals – which I still refer to often. I’ve also dived into a lot of books from basketball greats like John Wooden, Phil Jackson, Jay Bilas, and Kevin Eastman lately. I have so much to share that this will surely be the first of many episodes on the wisdom, lessons and insights one can get from basketball. I hope that you enjoy it.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
How my perceived shortcomings in basketball ended up being some of my greatest strength in business and life.
How to re-evaluate and shift your perspective surrounding yours “gifts”.
Why life is a team sport and if you’re not helping the teams around you get better you’re missing out on more success and a fulfilled life.
The “3 gaps” and how to recognize which one is stopping you from creating a championship life.
What ‘The Knowledge Bank’ is and how to know if you are depositing every day to build it up as your most valuable asset.
What ‘Teamness’ means and why I believe it’s the biggest missing piece to helping you build a successful business.
The 3 parts that must be present to have championship “Teamness”
The word and perspective I brought back from my trip to Africa and how it changed the way I operate in my business and life.
The triangle of past, present and future and how to use each to your strength.
How to know if you’re “coasting” or working towards a championship life? I’ll give you the litmus test that will show you.
The championship creed I have on laminated cards for myself and my team.
Recently I was asked to come and present to a group of team leaders at Boeing – with the goal to help with motivation and culture. This came about because some of the leaders at the company have been following my career and what I do at Vigor Ground. I had a few weeks to prepare so I dug deep into the bottlenecks I have faced in my career and business. I also thought through how I could best inspire change and give guidance in actionable steps.
I don’t think the group was expecting what I ended up delivering to them, but it was what I believe is the perspective, catalyst and strategies to become a conscious leader and build an unstoppable team.
I go over the majority of what I shared during that presentation and workshop in this podcast episode.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
Why you MUST shift to a leadership perspective and the crucial mindset that makes you a leader
The one thing that is stopping you from moving forward that has to change first or no other lesson will work
Why you have been given the gift of fire and must first recognize and then use it in these 5 ways
The one thing you can’t lead without, and how to keep it in endless supply
The story of Muhammad and day one leadership
The 7C’s to building a winning team in business and life
The one “C” that is the foundation of everything and how you’re messing up
The 6 questions I ask myself daily to live my leadership values
What are you broadcasting daily? One type of broadcast is going to destroy your network
The 3-step process that we have instilled to eliminate unproductive complaining
How you’re casting a vote for who you are every day, who are you voting for?
Taking the temperature of your team and the 4-step process that will allow you to help change the environment
I started business consulting in 2011 after having many coaches ask me how I was building Vigor Ground and its success at that time. For a long time I didn’t feel “comfortable” doing business coaching, but eventually pulled the trigger because I could see how I could help people build better gyms. A year later as I built a relationship with Steve Krebs, who at the time was also running a successful gym in upstate New York, we decided to start The Pack Fitness Business, a business consulting company focused on helping fitness business owners grow their business. We had success with it and helped hundreds of fit pro’s, spoke on many stages, developed a mens personal development retreat called, Resurrection and created our own live event called, Changing The Game.
We went our separate ways less than two years ago and now Steve has a marketing company STA, a program for young entrepreneurs called Young Bucks Academy, he also coaches high level performers. I say this to shine a light on the fact that we have done many things in the last 10+ years and with that has come its fair share of struggles, stress, anxiety, failure, arguments, blood, sweat and tears. In this episode we share some of the things most don’t talk about when it comes to overcoming the hard parts of life and business. We also dive into what it takes to achieve success, along with the perspectives, strategies and stories that will help you on your journey of life and business.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
How men are taught to stuff their feelings and not be vulnerable and why it creates chaos personally and professionally.
The “handbook” we wish we had going into business.
What it truly take to overcome stress and anxiety on a life and situational basis.
The things Steve would “whisper in his ear” when he was 27.
Why I believe you must hustle when you’re younger so that you can build some very important virtues; which I outline for you.
Why studies show that for “corporate athletes” physical fitness is the building block to success in life and work.
What causes us self-sabotage and how you can get out of the cycle of non-achievement.
Why we never compare down, we only compare up, and how this creates a daily problem in our lives.
The skillsets that are a must for entrepreneurs.
How business can corrupt you and why value-based decision making is the method to prevent it.
Why you need to stop trying to change the game and looking for the cheat code when you’re playing the game of life.
When it comes to giving advice on anything, I am a proponent of a principle Ray Dahlio calls “believability”; which essentially boils down to listening to someone who has been there, done that, gone through/overcome the struggles, and is still doing it successfully. When it comes to fitness business and coaching Q & A’s I answer from a place of knowledge. I draw from all of the things that I’ve studied and experienced over my 13 years owning gyms (on two different continents) and helping hundreds of fitness professionals directly grow their gym’s and coaching businesses.
The answers I give in this podcast are drawn from my experience and based on Ray’s “believability” concept. Enjoy!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
When it is the right time to stop coaching and grow your gym. I address the question: is there ever a right time to do that?
How to know if you should do what people tell you to do vs. what you want to do and how to avoid being confused by this
Why you shouldn’t work to sell your business
What it really takes to build systems for sales, marketing, fulfillment, team communication and customer experience
Investing in yourself, your team, the client experiences, equipment and innovation; I tell you which one should you do first and how much you should invest
The power of moments, giving back and connecting your tribe
The concept of “whitespace” in your gym and why it’s important to have an area where you can differentiate yourself
What the Vigor Dream Scholarship is and how we’re changing the way gyms do charity work
What to do when you run out of ideas for content creation and ways to build content that will do well while setting you apart from everyone else
One of the ways I learn and create at the same time and how that can help make you a better coach
The curse of knowledge and how it can affect your ability to connect with your clients and the marketplace