How to Solve One of Life’s Big Fat Problems…

People often ask me how I come up with my ideas to write. Or, how I find the time to do it. The truth is that I'm writing in my head constantly, so the opportunity to actually get it out of there is usually a cathartic relief. I write to live and to process the world I live in. Sometimes, it's a real challenge because all I want to do is get back to my writing desk and get whacking away. That can be distracting. I still haven't come up with the best way to capture all of those thoughts streaming by all day long. Hence, the importance of sitting down every day for at least a few hours to process that steady stream of telepathic energy.

This weekend was a great example. I went to the gym on Saturday. The same way I've been doing it for a few months now. Not my studio, but a local gym that's closer to home, has daycare and doesn't feel like work. It's not too big either, like that giant box on the belt line, or that one down the street from my studio that has so many rooms and compartments that I think it lost it's identity a long time ago.

One of the problems with this gym, however, is that I'm not in charge there. I don't get to tell anyone else what to do, and what I see happening there is often disturbing.

As a fitness pro, I hear a lot of recurring themes. One of them plays over and over like an old record stuck on the turn table after I've fallen asleep. There's no sound anymore, just the quiet rub of truth that allows me to do my work the best way I can. Don't take it personally, I'm a great listener, and willing to hear your story as often as you would like to tell it.. Even if it is the same one I heard only an hour ago or just last week. Because if you tell it to me often enough, I might be lucky enough to find the chance to help you learn from it.

The story I'm referring to is the one where you are all bent up because you feel you've been working so hard and you're not getting results. The one where you try and convince me that you're doing everything right and that there must be something wrong with my system - the science behind what we do. When I was younger, this drove me mad because I almost always took the blame. "There must be something I forgot to do or that I'm not doing right," I would think. "What is it?"

What I've learned over the last 10 years is that yes, I can always do better as your coach. The ancient Japanese principle of Kaizen (constant, steady improvement) always applies. But ultimately, when you're not getting results it only means that you're not doing everything right. You're not! Again, don't take it personally, just accept it and try and learn from your mistakes. Because unless you're cranking out 150 minutes or more of cardiovascular exercise each week (All of it in your target heart rate training zone), doing serious strength training with real weights (the kind that hurt when you drop them on your toe), and following a nutrition program that involves eating 5-6 balanced meals a day, contains plenty of protein, and is geared specifically to your own metabolic blueprint (we can measure this at the studio), you're not holding up your end of the bargain. You're not!

Might you achieve results with less than 100% adherence to all of the above? Yes, you might, and likely you will, but it won't come very fast. Because it doesn't come that fast anyway. No matter what the infomercials are telling you on Saturday afternoon.

Last Saturday at the club, I witnessed the problem first hand. A thirty-something year old guy with dark black hair, a Saturday beard, and hunched shoulders trying to hold up his athletic club branded t-shirt with as much dignity as possible. He looked like your typical techie. He would fit right in at Microsoft, IBM, or Google I'm sure of it. He'd be right at home behind his computer, but in the gym he was a dandelion in December.

His mouth drooped open, and he clasped loosely to the spray bottle that holds the germicide used to clean the machines. It wasn't clear if it was for the machine he was going to use next, or the one he was about to use. It was impossible to tell because he was just standing there, staring into one of the televisions that hangs on the wall, mesmerized. Immobile. Brain cells melting one at a time...

The televisions in the gym are the topic for another discussion...

In his mind, I'm sure he feels he's doing all the right things. He joined the gym, attends periodically wearing his branded athletic club t-shirt, wanders through the corridor for an hour or so and then goes to take his shower. Hell, he's even there on a Saturday when most of his buddies are still rolling out of bed, or maybe halfway through their second bowl of Capn' Crunch.

Now, I can hear you raising up to suggest that it was only in this moment that I witnessed him drooping all over the gym. While you are correct, I can assure you that after more than 16 years in the business of fitness, it is always clear whether or not someone is working or has worked hard enough. This guy may as well have been at the ballpark. Is he better off than his buddies who never made it? Sure. But the problem is that he's the same guy complaining that this stuff doesn't work.

In another corner, an obese women attempts some crunches on the stability ball. The site is enough to move me in her direction but I hold back. This is not my place to step in, or is it? You tell me...She's yanking on the back of her neck with her chin tucked so far into her chest that I'm sure her chiropractor will be spending weeks to correct the damage. Where is the trainer working the floor? Oh yeh, he's sitting behind the front desk folding towels and greeting members as they stream in, sleepy, unenthusiastic, and no doubt starting to get frustrated with their lack of results too.

Another large man in his mid 40s moves slowly through the free weight maze they have created in the serious part of the gym, and though I think I saw him do a set or two, it would have taken him 4 hours to finish a well-rounded workout at his pace. I run into him a little later in the locker room, and he's already planning his afternoon barbeque. The weather is beautiful outside and any chance to sit in the sun, drink beer, and eat is a good one isn't it?

Next to him is another guy who went off the BMI chart a long time ago. He's got fair skin, has a sweet disposition, and we say hello. He sees me mixing my after workout shake and tells me that he's looking forward to trying one in the new smoothie bar that just opened here. I smile and nod, and head for the steam room.

I want to help every one of these people understand how and what they need to do to really get results, and in this moment I'm speechless, stunned, tired from another great workout, and probably a little daised. How did we get here? And how do we get out? Does anyone have a flash light?

How did we get to a place where people have no real idea what to do get true and lasting results from their fitness and nutrition programs? More importantly, how did we get to a place where people seem satisfied with where they are in spite of the health implications and its direct affect on their quality of life?

Those are big questions, but the truth remains...There are three very important things that you need to have in place every day if you expect to get results from your health and fitness program. Yes, every day.

This is hard work. You won't feel like doing it all the time, and it won't always be easy! You will get conflicting advise and information from a variety of sources. You will hear advertisements that are in direct disagreement with what I'm about to tell you. And heck, you'll even hear ads on the radio about a doctor here in town who has medicine he can prescribe for you that will solve all of your big fat problems.

Here is the straight truth from a guy who has spent the last 16 years of his life working with people on these problems. The same guy who hears now on a daily basis how well his system works if you're willing to follow it. Not from his ego, but from all of his happy clients. In fact I just talked with one today. She's been in boot camp for about 4 months, and now she's off half her blood pressure medication. I have half a dozen other stories about blood pressure but this blog is already too long.

She looks fantastic and is a different person, starting from the inside. She is getting younger every week. Are you?

You need three things to be successful:

1. You need strength training at least two days per week, and three is better. And this is serious strength training. Not the stuff I see at the gym. Strength training programs that cycle your training, build muscle, and keep your body fine tuned like an athlete. No, you don't have to be young or be an athlete like the ones you see on TV. But you do have to approach the process in the same way and challenge yourself the way they do, all the time...

2. You need cardiovascular exercise every day for a total of at least 150 minutes per week. No exceptions! No excuses. And no circuit training for pete's sake. Sorry ladies, Curves doesn't cut it!

3. You need to have your resting metabolic rate tested so that you know exactly how many calories your body actually needs in a day. And you need to eat 5-6 balanced meals throughout the day, take your vitamins, and stop eating junk food. And don't worry, when you're eating right, all the junk food won't hold any power over you anymore because you'll feel a tone better and won't crave it anymore.

You need all three of these things working for you to maximize your results. What happens most often is that people have one or two of them going and then wonder why it's not working. What also happens is that they are often not working hard enough during their exercise and this can really hinder progress. Another great reason to have a trainer who can push you.

Because there are three other key things you need to be successful and we can provide those for you...

1. Accountability
2. Expert Guidance and plan of action that you can follow
3. A solid support structure in the form of us your coaches and the rest of the community of people who are on the same path

Any questions? I've got to go wipe up that drool...

PS Remember, the Nomad Kick Start Program is a perfect way to experience first hand how powerful this process can be. It's a relatively low financial investment and not a big commitment. We can do 5 of these a month and still have 5 left for May. Go to for details

About the Author
John Ashworth is an empathetic sales leader with an incredibly diverse background as a salesman, business consultant, marketing maniac, writer, Dad and full time Bohemian Athlete. aka Johnny Renaissance.

2 comments on “How to Solve One of Life’s Big Fat Problems…

  1. Charlene says:

    It’s about sweating, working hard, wanting fitness bad enough to stop being easy on yourself and avoiding the reality of how your body has declined! I am so glad you said it: if you’re not succeeding, which part of the program are you not doing?

    I am also glad there are experts out there to step in when you are confused, frustrated, discouraged. You made the difference for me!

  2. Thanks Charlene. You have inspired me as well and are an inspiration for so many others. Keep up the great work!

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