11 Lessons for Your Leanest and Fittest Fall

Fall is here.

The kids are going to school and you may finally feel like you have some space for you.

Some time and energy for yourself; to take care of you.

Is it time that you get in the best shape of your life?

Would you like to do it faster, do it easier than ever and make it last?

I know, sounds like an infomercial. But, hear me out…

We’ve all seen amazing before and after photo’s, the kind where the transformation is so huge it looks like two different people are in the picture. Here at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance we literally have hundreds of these jaw dropping transformations.


Here is the reality, the photos only tell a small part of the body transformation and the overall story.

Many wonder what really happens in the months between the photos.

How do these people really lose fat, gain lean muscle, find their inner strength and finally find their (true) smile?

In this article I’ll share what they did and how you can do it, too.

For close to a decade now, our team has coached thousands of people in the Renton, South Seattle area to serious body and life transformation and we’ve helped them lose fat, get healthy, and change their lives.

After working with all these people and tracking their progress, habit changes and behavior along with going around the country and the world to connect with the best of the best coaches in every field (training, nutrition, mindset, behavior change, environment, etc.) to make our program not only extremely successful, but also predictable – we’ve discovered the 11 Key lessons that make our programs work; lessons that YOU follow to achieve your body transformation.

No matter where you are right now, these lessons can be the catalyst to your transformation and you can get started with them immediately.

Lesson #1 – Get Real & Commit to the Change.

True change is very hard until you don’t get real with where you, where you want to go and commit to the journey.

If you don’t assess where you truly are then many times you will take the wrong steps to get to your goal, get overwhelmed fast drop off and then possibly think you are at fault and that “something is wrong with you.”

There is nothing wrong wit you and you CAN do it, but you do have to find out where your true “point A” is.

Doing the way you’ve done it probably isn’t the right way, especially if you keep trying, falling off and then beating yourself up for it.

Be kind to yourself.

Then…truly commit.

Just like a child falls, stumbles, gets back up, improves, stumbles and falls again – until she/he succeeds – you’ll also have your own journey and know that just because it won’t be all smooth and everything won’t go as planned, that doesn’t mean you’re failing.

You’re learning and one step closer to your goal.

With the right support and coaching the learning curve is at warp speed and it will feel easier (rather than feeling like a it’s always a struggle and the only way to get results is to “suffer”) than ever to succeed.

First, you MUST get real and commit to your transformation. This is many times the toughest part of the process.

Lesson #2 – Make Nutrition More Important than Exercise.

“Whoa. You own a gym and train people and you’re saying that Luka?”


You see when most people think about losing weight, dropping fat, building lean muscle and getting in the best shape of their life, they think they have to start working out.

Maybe in the past you’ve signed up for a gym, even hired a personal trainer, bought a book that was promoted by a celebrity or that you saw on TV, picked up a magazine that has a workout plan to achieve _______ (desired result). And yes, exercise/working out is a crucial part of losing body fat and getting results; but it’s NOT enough to get you there all the way and I’ll say that nutrition is the most important piece of the puzzle.

Actually all the research shows that exercise by itself isn’t as effective as most people think.

So what works then?

Simple: Focusing on nutrition and eating habits. The super charge comes when nutrition coaching is coupled with an effective, proven exercise program. This is five times more effective than just exercise by itself.

It’s a big reason why this decade we’ve focused on taking on education in nutrition, behavior change, mindset strategies, etc. and why the whole Vigor Ground team coaches through the Precision Nutrition system (and are certified coaches).

When you combine the two, the sum is much bigger then it’s parts, kind of like Omega Prime (if you like Transformers and things of that nature – like I do).


It’s a huge driver in why at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance we spend a lot of the time coaching nutrition and eating habits. This approach is the one detail that make a huge difference in our clients results and transformations. It’s also why we the whole team is certified and coaches through the Precision Nutrition system and MindMAP (having the skillsets, knowledge and experience to have proven results over and over).

When it comes to losing fat and getting fit, we know that helping our clients with nutrition and eating habits is a priority – you’d be wise to make it a priority for you if you’re finally committed to making a lasting transformation.

Lesson #3 – What’s Your “Fire”? Find the “IT” That Drives You.

What is the one thing calling you to action right now? All of us have that one thing that drives us, the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe it’s a number of things but chances are they are connected to one driving force that calls you to make the changes in your life and take action.

Most people never looked deep enough to find it so when they embark on a journey and it gets tough, they quit because the internal fire wasn’t strong enough.

So what is it? What is your “IT”?

I’m talking about the deep purpose of why you decide to change. Don’t think of IT as a goal, think of it as a mantra; a statement that says who you are, what drives you, and where you want to be.

It can be as little as five words, and yet, this statement will guide your every decision and action throughout the course of the days, weeks and months of whatever transformation you choose to take on (it will help change your behaviors).

A question I ask all my clients: ”Do your behaviors match your goals?”

Finding your motivation makes it more powerful because it is what influences the behaviors that then help you achieve your goals.

There is no rule for your statement; it can revolve around family, health, career, relationship, etc. As long as you dig deep enough to get to the core of what is most important to you.

Once you have created the IT statement you will keep it in front of you and repeat it throughout the day. Keep it in your wallet, create a wristband out of it or have it on your screensaver. Visualize the benefits of living your life through your statement.

This statement is so important because our minds operate in three ways: the conscious, the subconscious, and the creative non-conscious process. This is how we create a vision of ourselves, which then dictates our realities. If we see ourselves in a negative light, then our subconscious will take care of it that our actions are in line with the image that we have of ourselves. A positive view translates into positive actions and the other way around.

Decisions are a result of the repetition of positive actions and thoughts. I can’t emphasize enough that for success in almost anything, you need to find an inner driving force that goes beyond a training or nutrition program. You’re always fueled by deeper reason whether you recognize it or not, so saying you just want to lose 20 lbs is not enough. Tap into that inner drive and align it with your behaviors and actions.

Below we’ll do an exercise to help you establish your IT statement.

#1. Write down eight (8) words that are meaningful to you. Then circle the three (3) that are most important and meaningful to you right now (you can pick from some of the words in the box below)

#2. From the three words you have picked, write a story about living your best and grandest life possible and create a statement out of it

#3. Take #2 and cut it down to one IT statement


So if I picked ten words and out of those ten the most important three for me were:

Personal Best. Family. Freedom.

My statement may be “I will bring my Personal Best every day so that I can build a legacy through my passion and provide Freedom for my Family and myself”

My IT statement would be “Bring Your Personal Best To Build Your Legacy And Family Freedom”
This is what matters the most to you, it fires you and its what you will use to keep that fire burning daily.

Now we found the fire deep inside, let’s go to the next step.

Lesson #4 – Choose Proof Over What “They Say” (Theories).

Most people get swayed into trying out untested theories because of what “they say.”

“They” may be a friend, an infomercial, a celebrity on TV, or something in between promising a quick and easy fix to all your problems.

At the end there is a lot of disappointment and wasted time with no results or changes to show for it (or they are temporary at best because they are not sustainable!).

No one wants to start a training or nutrition program where there is zero success rate. Yet a lot of people invest their time, energy and money into something they’re not really confident in works.

At Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance, we take the doubt by sharing our clients before and after photos and success stories, along with content that constantly shows the science and real world applications of what we do and why it works. Which answers questions like:

“How do I know the program works?”

“How many people have you helped…who else?”

“Are there people just like me who have done this?”

You can walk into the doors of Vigor Ground and see tons of transformation stories all around the gym along with 100’s more on our sites.


And we’ve been featured in magazines such as Mens Health, STACK Magazine, Bodybuilding.com, Onnit Academy Magazine, as well as two national best-selling books, covering our approach on body transformations (Onnit did a full feature article on our approach to helping people transform – seeing it as the future of transformation programs in gyms)


If you’re serious about getting results and don’t want any more frustrations from “they say” program then commit to a program that can prove it actually works. At Vigor Ground we’ll show you exactly what our programs are capable of before you start. You can even do a no risk trial and talk to our clients directly.

When a program really works is when there is that kind of transparency. Success rarely hides but rather shines.

Lesson #5 – Do the ONE Thing.

One of the downfalls of many programs is taking on too much at one time, overwhelming the person and leading them to fall off from the transformation journey.

At Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance we meet you where you are and coach you to be successful rather than to overwhelm and make you feel like a failure by trying to changes all aspects of your life with a stressful and pressured overhaul.

Many times strategize the one small task to do each day. Every day. If you do less you lose momentum of success; yet many times if you do more, you get overwhelmed and frustrated.

Have you had that happen before?

Getting fired up and having the courage to try and change every part of your life all at once, from the time you wake up to joining a gym and changing up your nutrition, reading, reducing stress – at least dozens of changes?

Then weeks in (or maybe you made it a of month) you crashed and burned to be right back where you started – with an extra level of frustration (and feeling like you just can’t do it)?

This is why it’s important to build on ONE habit at a time rather than the “gung-ho” everything at once sprint to the finish line mentality.

One Thing

At Vigor Ground we find out where you are and what you can take on now and then build the strategies to work with you and for you rather than against you. It’s not about the past or the future but what is required of you TODAY.

The question we ask ourselves is, “What behavior matches our clients goals that they can do today so that it moves them forward to success?”

The ONE habit stacked on top of another day by day eventually becomes a snowball effect of healthy eating, training, lifestyle habits our clients do daily and achieve their transformations (that last!).

Lesson #6 – Find Someone to Keep You Accountable.

It would be great if you could just be accountable to yourself. That is the ultimate place to be for success and one you want to get to.

But we know this isn’t the case when breaking through old habits to create new ones. Otherwise you would be where you wanted to be right now.

You need someone in your corner who helps keep you accountable to the things you said you would do and picks you up when the motivation is lacking.

We’re not talking about a drill-sergeant yelling at you and making you feel crappy when you didn’t do something. That doesn’t work! We’re talking about real coaching where you get empathy, you’re heard and then you work together on a strategy that will help you succeed.

At Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance we remind our clients about practicing their habits, their nutrition steps, their training program (which they do at our facility and if not we make a plan to do it elsewhere).

It’s not just about getting training in but rather about developing nutrition and lifestyle habits that will get them to their goals.

Did they practice their new habit today?
Did they do their training session?
Did they work on themselves through lessons we outlined?

That way the client, as well as the coach, knows how compliant they are and this helps them stay on track. Even when things get tough the coach is there to help with the RIGHT strategy for that client to get them back on track.

Lesson #7 – Fit the Nutrition and the Training Program to You, and Not the Other Way Around.

How many times have you went on a diet and training program and failed?

And how many times have you tried the same, or similar diet or program?

After falling off, did you feel it was you that was the problem?

What if it wasn’t the best approach for YOU?

You see, most programs (both nutrition and training) are intense and they try to change a lot at once. Which makes it nearly impossible to change anything at all.

The key is to choose to take on a program that will meet you where you are. Whatever you decide to do, you must be confident that you can do it consistently. A habit doesn’t become a habit by practicing it just a few times.

There’s a good chance that in the past you went on a diet that was overwhelming when it came to the number of habit changes almost instantly. You may have also took on a training program that was “cookie cutter” and you were thrown straight into the fire – all out, with expectations of being able to maintain this rigorous tempo.

But was it sustainable?

If it’s not sustainable then it means it won’t be able to produce results over time (and help you keep them).

At Vigor Ground we ask a simple question:

“On a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 being unconfident, and 10 being very confident – how confident are you that you can do this habit every day with 90% compliance?”

If the answer is a 9 or 10 then we go implement this habit into the program and practice it. If it’s anything less then we find an easier habit so the client can be confident doing it consistently – and succeed.

If you don’t feel confident in starting to drink a gallon of water a day, then break it down to 4 small bottle and start there, or maybe even 2.

Whenever you can answer a 9 or 10 – “Am I confident I can do this habit every day?” – you have a new habit.

Many times people will say “but this is so easy…” and if that’s the case then they can do it consistently. As they show they are able to stay compliant we increase difficulty.

The consistency of results through this process is empowering and motivates clients as they see progress that sticks without feeling overwhelmed and thinking “I can’t do this for the rest of my life.”



Lesson #8 – Measure Actions.

You’ve heard many times that you should track your results.

This is true only to a point.

Most of the time people will continuously check where they are on the scale only to get frustrated while not focusing on the actions that will lead to the result.

We can’t control the outcome as much as we want because there are so many different factors involved (which is also why comparing to someone else’s results can bring frustration) – but we can control the actions that lead us to the result.

Focusing on losing 30 lbs is an outcome you don’t have control over today.

If every day you step on the scale to check your weight and you’re “not there yet” it becomes stressful as you are focusing on what you don’t have.

If you redirect your attention to the actions that are on the path to your goals then you have control, you reduce stress, enjoy the process more and you turn your attention to what you do have.


“I’m going to do the training session I have outlined today.”

“I’m going to have protein with every meal today as it’s the habit I’m practicing right now.

“I’m going to read the lesson Luka gave me on deceptive brain messages and contact him if I have any questions.”

When we focus on what is in our control and repeat these actions daily, over time; THAT is what leads to amazing results. Constantly focusing on the outcome while not paying attention to what is in front of you leads to stress and frustration.

Lesson #9 – Find the Right Community and Association.

When it comes to amazing body transformations, being surrounded by the right people, the right community is extremely important.

We’ve found that people who have a strong network of family members, friends, other communities, or even complete strangers on the internet have more success and more dramatic results then people who go at it alone or are surrounded by groups that are unsupportive in the goal they’re working to achieve.

When you have association with others that are in your corner and going through the same obstacles and struggles as you (and have maybe overcome some of them), then you can connect with them when you’re excited, frustrated, thinking about what steps to take next. When people who can offer feedback, guidance, support and compassion when you need it, surround you – you have a foundation for success.


Our Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance clients have the ability to connect with their coach whenever they need them for support and to get help solving a problem that is keeping them stuck (wherever it may be) OR they have an ability to connect with other Vigor Ground members through a private group or in house at the gym. When you have a bunch of cool, compassionate people focused on one goal, it’s amazing what you can accomplish.

As cliché as it may sound, the quote “You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” rings true and really applies here.


Lesson #10 – Choose a Proven Environment for Success.

This builds on the last lessons of surrounding yourself with the right community.

Many times it’s also the environment that must be changed.

If you can combine the environment that also houses a big part of that community that supports you – then that is a double whammy win!

Your environment is everything you hear, see, and feel; all of which influences you to act and behave in a certain way.

The question you should ask yourself about your current environment (in a non-judgmental way) is….

“How is this working for me?”

Many times you’ll realize that the environment you’re in is not supportive of your true self, your desires and goals.

Rise as One

Where do you workout?

Where do you go when you want to calm down so you can focus on your habits?

Where do you turn to when you are stuck and need help with a solution where someone will listen to you first then give support and guidance?

What is the safe place where you will get lifted up and you can be yourself without judgments and comparisons?

Becoming aware of such things is the KEY first step in making a change.

One of my favorite sayings is “Awareness precedes change.” Once you become aware you can do something about it.

At Vigor Ground Fitness we have gone around the world to learn from the best in every field, from training, nutrition, mindset, behavior change, motivation, coaching, environment. We base things on science AND the real world results.

Just some of the science we have found behind motivation and environment is what we use in our programs at the Renton Gym:

  • Group training environments create the strongest opportunity for relatedness
  • Create an individual challenge within the context of a unified group effort; create a common bond
  • When possible create opportunities for PR’s (personal records) and rally the team around their effort
  • Create a culture where individual and team success are one
  • When possible provide clients with the opportunity to interact within the context of training
  • Client interaction will result in peer coaching and observational learning
  • Create natural opportunities for clients to be social, share success, and discuss limitation
  • Give clients a stage to be heard, finish and start every session with a message, involve clients, “whose got the breakdown”

These all fall in line with one of our core values, which is Rise As One.

It’s also the reason our group training metabolic programs are called “Team Training.” We’re on your team and you’re part of a team that’s mission is to help you succeed no matter what.

Lesson #11 – Focus Your Willpower on What is Most Important and Have ________ Help With the Rest.

Like I have mentioned throughout the previous lessons, it’s challenging to take on a transformation….

…yet worth every bit of effort.

The daily tasks you put on yourself when you take on the challenge are sometimes too much so to prepare yourself for success, while you’re busy staying focused on your daily habits and behaviors, you’ll need someone – a friend who’s made a transformation before, a coach, a trainer – to track your progress and make, necessary adjustments to your program, nutrition, as you go along.

At Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance our coaches monitor each client’s progress and see if the client’s behaviors match their goals. We support, answer questions when it does, while also making necessary changes when needed and making decisions to get the clients back on the right path when they veer off.

When your energy can be conserved and focused on the main things that will move you forward towards your goals and your transformation that is when you are in a position to succeed.

Put yourself in a position to be successful.

11 Lessons from the Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance Body Transformation Programs.

If you haven’t been seeing the results you want and you have started and stopped transformations in the past and you’re finally ready to overcome the obstacles, follow these 11 lessons:

1. Get real and commit to change
2. Make nutrition more important than exercise
3. Find the “IT” that drives you
4. Choose proof over what “they say”
5. Do the ONE thing.
6. Find someone to keep you accountable.
7. Fit the nutrition and training program to you and not the other way around.
8. Measure actions!
9. Find the right community and association.
10. Choose the right environment for success.
11. Focus your willpower on what’s important and have ______ help with the rest.

What’s Next…

You may be going over the list and getting overwhelmed with the amount of things to do. Just “wooosa” and stay calm and remember that you’ll start by just making one simple change right now. Trying to attack all 11, or even 3 or 4 goes against what one of the lessons was (and the underlying theme throughout the article).

Which one of the above do you have?

Do you have an environment for success? Support group? A coach?

If not then you should get one.

In our Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance transformation programs we take care of all the 11 things and much more. If you’d like to work with us then fill out the application form below as we have 30 spaces available for our Lean And Fit For Fall Transformation Challenge.

Click on the banner below, fill out the form and we’ll get in contact with you and let you know what to do next.

Fall Challenge


Get the coaching, support and guidance (you need) to help you get lean, build muscle and take control of your body. The accountability, community, tools, and strategies for you to keep the results for good.

Backed by science, proven over 10-years with results with real clients from every walk of life. Become the next success story by joining today.