Everyone always asks me what the most important thing is to obtain your goals. Is it lifting heavy? Lifting light? Supersets? Cardio? Getting enough protein? Getting enough calories? Getting enough carbs? Diet in general? Using the proper supplements? Is there a magic pill?
Ten years ago, I found the answer. The truth about what you REALLY need to do to make gains, no matter who you are or what your goal is. It’s so important it makes all these other considerations virtually meaningless by comparison.
Are you ready?
The SINGLE most IMPORTANT thing you can do to achieve your goals is to train with like-minded people in a place you want to be.
Establish this condition first and all other issues will sort themselves out. It’s so simple and yet so overlooked.
A lot of us started working out because we played a sport in high school. Others started working out, and hated every minute of it, because they wanted to regain their high school physiques. Regardless of the reasoning, we all started doing this as a solo endeavor. We like to accept credit for our success by ourselves. We like that we can go to the gym on our own schedule. We can be away from the world with an iPod and be in our own heads.
This is all well and good, but full of limitations. We pride ourselves on our work ethic. You may be able to push yourself hard, but you will never be able to push yourself as hard as when someone else pushes you. Sharing the same space with others creates energy you can’t summon alone. I’m not talking about the mindless zombies poking along on the treadmill beside you reading the latest issue of People Magazine or looting your weights while you are mid-set and focused. These leeches suck your energy and make your workout less effective.
Another reason you need to be with other people is incentive. Trying to compete with yourself and break your own records can’t compare to the motivation being around other people who are trying to break your records. I grew up a competitive person. Some of you did as well. There are some of you that say “I’m not a competitive person”. That’s because you have never put yourself into that type of environment. At 4Balance we try to create an atmosphere that is all about beating each other—being friendly, and supporting each other too, but also trying to crush everyone’s PR’s under your feet, including your own. At 4Balance Fitness, you be doing personal training but unlike Ultra Fit, people are allowed to talk to you and vice verse. The goal is a fun, rewarding hour in the gym.
This isn’t some macho Darwinian nonsense you need to “rise above”. It applies as much to a yoga studio as a hardcore gym. You need to be hungry and striving for improvement, and being part of a team that both supports you and snaps at your heels is crucial to keeping that mindset.
For years, I ignored this reality because, quite simply, I felt I had to. I couldn’t find a serious private gym to train at, so I settled for commercial ones. I followed programs by the best coaches in the industry, and while I made progress, there was always something holding me back.
It didn’t matter how much my nutrition was dialed in, when I trained, how much mobility work I did, or what my workout playlist was. I was still one lone man squatting by myself in front of a mirror with the Backstreet Boys playing from the speaker overhead. No matter how much I psyched myself up, I couldn’t recreate the feeling of training with my former teammates. So, I stumbled across 4Balance and started working here as a coach/trainer. I loved coming to work and soon loved working out with my clients in a competitive atmosphere. I love seeing who was the best on the whiteboard and placing a target on their back. Ultimately, we all need to win. We need to beat something. If we always fail, we get bored and eventually quit. How many of you have told me that story when you walked into the gym?
Moral of the story: Don’t go it alone. Get with people and get after it. It’s all you need to do.
That’s what we do at 4Balance. We present you with quality training, educated nutritional counseling, we get after it hard, support your progress and snap at your heels when you aren’t focused on the finish line.