A Compliment, Sort Of

Here’s a popular line that every personal trainer hears on a regular basis: “I need to start working out. I’m going to come to see you.” I’ve heard that said so many times over the years that it doesn’t even register any more. Most people do not follow through.

At a recent party, my wife and I ran into someone that we hadn’t seen for quite some time. Sure enough, he uttered those words, but before he did the conversation went like this:

“Hey guys, it’s been a while. Mary, you haven’t aged at all. JP, you have some grey hair on your head. How old are you now?”

“I’m about to turn 45,” I told him.

“Wow,” he said, “you look great for your age.” Then he turned to my wife and joked, “It must be nice to have a husband with a body like that.”

Without hesitation my lovely wife remarked, “He’s got the body of a 20-year-old, but the mind of a 60-year-old!”

I’ll admit, I’m no party animal. I don’t go out much, get drunk, eat junk food, or stay up late, and I barely dance! My lifestyle is quite regimented: I get up and go to bed at the same time every day, I eat healthy for the most part and rarely eat out, and I exercise regularly and don’t skip workouts. Some people may consider that type of lifestyle boring, but it’s usually those same people that complain about how they look and feel.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too! In other words, you can’t improve your condition unless you improve your lifestyle, at least not if you’re interested in long-term success. You can cheat the process with surgery and drugs or get by with a poor lifestyle for a short period of time, but eventually you’ll pay the piper!

When people come to me for training advice, I often take an holistic approach. Training is only part of the process. If you’re truly interested in getting results, a healthy lifestyle is imperative. That means, proper eating and sleeping habits. You can’t get results if you don’t recover adequately from your training.

Going out every weekend and partying to the wee hours of the morning will not help your efforts. Add alcohol to the mix and perhaps some recreational drug use and you can bet that recovery will be compromised. It will be difficult to lose body fat and gain quality muscle under these conditions, especially if it’s a weekly occurrence.

There’s nothing wrong with staying out late every once and a while and having some fun, but if it becomes a regular occurrence and it compromises results, then you have a decision to make. If you really want six-pack abs, you’ll need to get to bed early and ditch that six-pack of beer! Some sacrifices will need to be made.

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