These 3 Things Either Make You or Break You

Your Challenge is ...

Sifting through the piles of BS.

Because the problem with fitness training today, in a nutshell:

Everyone is different but the training is boilerplate.

  • You are unique. You have different goals than the next guy.
  • You want different things. You have different problems. Different constraints.
  • Your knowledge base is different from him.
  • What you like for exercise is different.

This is why one-size-fits-all training doesn’t work. It’s not addressing your specific issues. Everyone is different yet generic training programs are what’s available.

They won’t work. They don’t work. Plain and simple.

It’s why DIY training doesn’t work either. They’re just workouts. They’re just exercises re-packaged in another way and given a fancy new name:

"The Secret V-Back Shredder"

No that's just pull ups, cable rows and deadlifts packaged into a circuit. It's not what you need.

If your current regimen isn’t working, a new workout won’t solve your problem.

Because it’s not the workout that really matters. You’re struggling with something else, something more fundamental.

Yet you continue looking for a new workout or new diet or a fancy new supplement. Something to snap you out of the doldrums.

You’re conditioned to believe a simple workout change will do it. Because that's what the fitness industry sells. Bullshit basically.

​Your Results are ...

  • Your progress stagnates.
  • You’re not getting any closer to strong, fit and confident.
  • You’re still languishing in uncertainty.
  • You’re still kind of soft and jiggly
  • and you don’t have any real hope of getting better.

That’s why you miss workouts and eventually stop training altogether.

It’s not working so why do it?

Here’s the key to success in life, business and certainly fitness:

To get a predictable result, you have to always know three things and then follow an organized and logical path.

  • 1 - Where are ya going? This is your goal or what you desire. You’re pretty good with this one. You know what you want. Maybe it’s fat loss; maybe it’s getting stronger or looking more muscular; maybe it’s improving mobility; maybe it’s running a 10K in 3 months. It’s unique to you. You've got the goals thing down pretty well.
  • 2 - Where are you now? It is extremely important to understand this. Where are you? Really where are you? You need an unbiased, well thought out, fact-based observation here. This is where you’re really falling down. Your analysis of the “where you are" is not good. You’re fooling yourself. And if you really don't know where you are, you can’t possibly know the third important thing.
  • 3 - What is the very next thing you should be working on to move yourself forward? There is only one very next thing. And if you’re confused about where you are right now, you'll screw up deciding what to do next. And that’s why your progress will stall and eventually fail.

You know where you want to go (the goal) but your analysis of where you are now is faulty so you can't possibly know what to do next to get maximum results.

You need an effective plan which focuses on doing the right things. First things first. You gotta do the right things.

Meet Tom, he doesn't know where he is

I know this guy Tom who works out at my gym. And he goes pretty religiously. I see him there all the time. But he doesn’t seem to be making any progress.

old flabby guy

Not really Tom but kinda looks like him

He looks the same as he did last year. He was flabby then and still is. But at least he hits the gym pretty consistently, I'll give him that.

Now I can tell by watching him he doesn’t really have a workout plan. He’s pretty haphazard. A little treadmill, some machine lifting, some light dumbbells, a lot of sitting around resting on the machines.

You know this type of guy. Spends a lot of time in the gym but doesn’t know anything about effective workouts.

Anyway, I also see Tom occasionally at Starbucks in the morning. I’ve seen him at least a half dozen times at 7 am in the coffee line.

I don’t hit Starbucks all the time but every now and then I go and when I do I usually see Tom getting his morning fix. It’s the same thing every time.

  • One of those giant venti frappuccino 500 calorie gut bombs, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a fucking milkshake.
  • Plus he gets a pastry, either cinnamon roll or a muffin or something similar
  • and also a bottle of OJ.
  • It’s got to be 1500 calories of shit. No nutritional value but a crap-load of calories.
  • Plus it’s about $15 to boot. It's crazy.

So I can extrapolate and pretty accurately know that if Tom eats this crap first thing in the am then the rest of his day pretty much follows suite. He’s eating shit all day long. Right?

You won't be surprised to see him at Micky D's for lunch and having Mac N Cheese for dinner.

So I know his workout regimen and his nutritional plan (not really a plan, actually more like an anti-plan). He doesn't know I know, but I know.

So fast forward, I run into Tom at Starbucks again but this time on the weekend. I was sitting down in there with a coffee just doing some planning and reading emails and stuff.

He comes over and sits down at my table and launches into a series of questions about protein powder. I can tell he’s been researching protein powder.

 He wants to know:

  • if whey protein is better than casein?
  • or should he get the one with the added BCAA’s?
  • or some have creatine, should he get that?
  • or what about the beef protein, is that good?
  • Should he take it before his workout or after.
  • How much should take? On and on.

He’s on a mission to buy the best protein powder available.

So I’m listening to him and he finally says something like:

“You know I’m tryin to pack on some more muscle, what kind of protein powder do you think I should get?”

And he stops jabbering for a second, waiting for my answer.

I look him square in the eye and say “Tom, stop eating donuts for breakfast.”

Bam! He’s caught off guard for a second but then says:

“No, I want to know what protein powder will be best for muscle building.”

​Tom doesn't know where he is

​So I say to him, Tom, the single most important thing for you to get straightened out is what you eat first thing in the morning. Nothing else matters. No protein powder will overcome your problem of loading up on crap every day.

Now I don’t know if I got the message across or not. He probably went out and bought some protein powder anyway.

But this is a classic example of what I call Big Rocks, Little Rocks.

You’re focusing on all the little stuff, the Little Rocks, but not getting the foundational stuff, the Big Rocks in place first.

Little rocks are tactical things. Some may work, some are pure bullshit, won’t do a damn thing but it doesn’t matter either way. Little rocks are no good without having the big rocks in place first.

Lay the foundation first. Know your #1 Thing.

At any point in time, there is only one "#1 Thing". And you should be working on it.

This is why the Spartan Method works.

You spend the time to understand: Where are you going?

  • Losing fat is one place.
  • Building muscle is another.
  • Training for a backpacking trip is different than trying to run a faster 10K.
  • You want to look muscular and trim for a winter cruise
  • or maybe you want to squat down and stand back up without pain.

You have a unique goal to yourself. This sets your direction. But ya have to understand your starting point.

  • Where are you really?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you suck at?
  • What’s going well?
  • Where are you struggling?
  • What’s missing?
  • What foundational elements should you be working on?

That’s where you start. From there you define, what’s the next big thing you have to hammer down? And what metric will you use to measure it?

How will you know it’s getting better?

Here’s the key takeaway:

Doing the right things is far more important than doing things right.

The Spartan Method systematically moves you through nine distinct steps or phases, evaluating your readiness at each step and then giving you what you need to master that phase.

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Measure
  • and Re-assess

It’s a continuous loop of growth.

So there ya go. Spend some time really analyzing where you are right now. Your strengths, weaknesses, what’s bothering you, what’s unclear.

Charging blindly ahead only works for a short while. And you’ve been doing it for years.

Make the choice. Continue on your current path and hope for the best. You know in your heart that nothing will change. Or opt for a new path based on a systematic approach.

A proven, science based path.

There’s power in knowing what you’re doing makes sense. It’s invigorating. You feel energized and your confidence grows. You’re not wasting your precious time anymore but rather investing it wisely into your healthy future self. You'll learn to love working out.

If you want to talk about how the Spartan Method can get you untangled and on a path to success, click the the green button and set up your Free, 15 minute, no obligation, let’s just talk about it, Fat Loss Breakthrough Session.

Take this positive step. Click the green button and get started.

About the Author Mark Fickler

Mark aka The Old Spartan and Over-50 Fitness Savior is a 61 year old coffee guzzling father of five wandering the outdoors around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mark helps Men Over 50 get lean, healthy and strong so they can be cool dads and grand dads using his signature Spartan Method system.

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