5 Best Trainer Secrets To Crush your Hardest Workouts

... and why you should start using them right away.

We all have ‘those’ workouts. Work, kids, hectic schedules, Timmy’s little league game, domestic ‘duties’ – hey, we’ve been there and ARE there. Life is busy for everyone, but we’ve learned that nothing just ‘happens’ unless we pause, are clear with our intentions and MAKE things happen. Here are 5 Best Trainer Secrets To Crush your Hardest Workouts…

5 Best Trainer SecretsTo Crush your Hardest Workouts

1. Plan and Prepare

If your workout is ‘last’ on your ‘to-do’ list, or not on your list at all (read as: “I’ll get to it later…”), you’re likely putting in a half-hearted effort and are literally setting up your workouts in your mind as being unimportant. Our actions matter, and our subconscious mind receives feedback constantly.

Here’s a scenario:

You’re the GM (general manager) on a construction site. Now imagine that your body is the construction site. YOU are the project! 

Now consider this:

  • Would you show up on time?
  • Would you make schedules?
  • Would you use quality materials (healthy food), or would you look for shortcuts, ways to cut corners, and show up on the job-site last thing of the day, or as an afterthought when the ‘mood’ struck?
  • How would you react to a tradesman who showed up late and clearly wasn’t on the same page as you in terms of your end-goal?

Here’s the thing – your name is on this project! Your time is valuable! Your ‘house’ (body) is the foundation for you and your family – it better be strong, and it better reflect a level of craftsmanship and care that tells you and the world that YOU ARE WORTH IT (because you are!).

Put the time into you, show up like a boss, be on time, arrive with passion and excitement, and use quality materials. Your body is your trademark and your brand – what does it say about you?

One great tool we’ve put together to help you plan and prepare your meals is this free PDF we’ve created for you. Click below to download it now:

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2. Work out with a Buddy

Sometimes just changing up the environment can add a whole new spin on things and keep you interested. Call a friend over and invite them to work out with you. That one action may just change someone’s life! 

Don’t think so?

Consider this – we lead by what we do. Success fuels success. Whether you realize it or not, your actions are not happening in a vacuum and your commitment is not isolated to just you. Even if no one is saying anything, believe me, people are watching you. Your actions plant seeds in others, and that is true of working out consistently, eating clean, showing up on time for work, acting with confidence, standing taller, showing up in your relationships differently – you get my point.

Feeling good and acting with intention in your workouts causes a ripple-effect in every area of your life. Not to sound woo-woo, but as we move through our world (the world), we are either choosing to be the change that we want to see, or we are not. How we show up matters and does affect the things and people around us. I’m sure you’ve heard of “The Butterfly Effect” – if not, check it out here.

Here’s an example:

Jane is dedicated to her health and fitness. She’s been getting amazing results and goes out one afternoon for lunch with the girls. She makes a very healthy and specific choice at a restaurant that makes her friends poke fun, but also makes the waitress, who’s been battling with weight for years, to stop for a brief moment and go, ‘hmmm’. That single decision that Jane made to eat clean, no-matter-what, starts a chain reaction for the waitress, internally, that may not take root tomorrow, but may affect her a year down the road. Sound crazy?

We see it with our clients all the time in our Online Challenge Groups. First the husband joins in, soon parents and family are looking at food differently, and before long our client’s family and friends are reaching out to us to get fit and the wellness ‘wave’ grows! My point is, don’t underestimate the power that your decision to live ‘on purpose’ has on the world / people around you! A simple invitation to a friend or family member to join you in your workout can be a fun compliment to your routine and make a huge impact on their health and wellbeing.

3. Get into a Routine

This ties into my first point above. Research has shown that we have a cognitive ‘tank’. That tank empties as we move through our day via ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ decisions. In other words, choices both big and small all wear down our ability to think clearly and make rational decisions. What happens then is that we are more inclined to act from emotion rather than logic; stress and fatigue lead to poor food choices and rationalizing why it’s ‘ok’ to skip that workout.

When I was in the military, we had patrols and exercises that lasted several days with minimal-to-no rest. In Special Ops training, these exercises can be even more gruelling with no sleep, excessively stressful situations, minimal rations, confusion, intense physical exercises — all for the purpose to see how a soldier can operate under severe pressure and fatigue. While an extreme, this illustrates my point very well: the average person’s cognitive function and decision-making abilities severely decline when under duress. Yes, that means the typical 9-5’er with a family and typical life stressors.

So what’s the solution?

When we create a schedule, we no longer have to decide; Automation is key. If your workout happens ‘whenever’, there are far more many reasons to find ‘not’ to do it. Consider brushing your teeth: You do your bit in the morning, and likely brush your teeth within the same order of operations: Wake up, eat, shower, groom, brush and then floss. It’s automatic; you don’t think about it, nor do you have to ‘decide’ if you’ll do it. THAT is exactly how working out and eating clean must be in your life.

If you have difficulty in automating a new behaviour in this way, attach that new behaviour to one that you do already. For example, if you walk the dog every night at 6PM after dinner, make it a new RULE in your life that when you hang up the leash, it’s ‘go time’ for the gym. It may mean packing your gym bag and leaving it at the front door, or if you work out at home, lying out your workout clothes so when the 7AM bells go off, you roll out of bed, get dressed and go.

However you choose to do it, make it work in your schedule and you’ll create a new groove for success on your life ‘LP’ (LP = Long Play for our non-vinyl-loving readers). Heck, make it simple and set an alarm on your phone – when that baby goes off, you get to work, no ifs ands or buts.

Lastly, change the channel, change your mind, and change the lens through which you look at things. What you’ve DONE in your life to this point isn’t what you have to keep doing! What you’ve DONE has gotten you to this moment, and that’s great – Congratulations – you made it! But the question to consider now is  “So what, now what?!”.

For new results and new outcomes, it requires NEW actions. Just because you’ve been ‘an emotional eater’, or ‘have had a tough time sticking to working out’  in the past doesn’t mean you have to repeat these things moving forward. Remember – your past is simply a story. Do you cling to it? Do you defend it? Do you retell it over and over? Or, do you turn the page? That’s the cool thing about being human – we have the ability to CHOOSE, to CHANGE, and to CREATE a new story. What are you choosing to do from this point forward. Remember, you are the author of your life, so make it a good one!

4. Make Your Goals Specific and Envision your End Result

Getting clear about your WHY for anything you’re doing in your life is foundational. Take it one step further and create a video of yourself – this is one thing we have our clients do in the first week of our Online Challenge Groups. I strongly recommend this because there is something extremely powerful that happens on a psychological level when we actually vocalize what we shooting for. We bring it from the mind and into the ‘real’ — our thoughts become things. The whole point of this type of deliberate goal setting is to get you to take a close look at where you’re at, and where you want to go. Here are some additional strategies I recommend when goal setting:

  • Create a WHY video that you can go back and watch any time you’re feeling derailed.
  • Be specific in your video – establish a clear goal, set a time frame, discuss action-steps and speak on your ‘no matter what’ tasks and what you simply will not settle for.
  • Make it tangible: Collect images of people who exhibit your desired outcome. This may be a physique goal, an overall health and wellness goal, a collection of transformation videos and photos, or simply a pair of jeans you want to fit into again.
  • Make it public: Nothing makes you want to push harder than when you know others are watching you. Want to up the ante? Make a public post on Facebook about what your big scary goal is and document your journey each week. You’ll be amazed by the outpouring of support, and that will just further perpetuate your success.
  • Meditate: Seriously – what we think about, we bring about. What we focus on consistently comes to light. If that’s to airy-fairy for you, then just do it to simply connect your mind to your mission. All you need is a 5-minte break each day to find a quiet space, and then envision what your end goal feels like and looks like. The more vividly you can imagine your end-goal the better because it’s a little-known-fact that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real and a vividly imagined event. True story.

Lastly, if you aren’t happy with the results in your life to date, I guarantee you that your actions need to be revised and your goals aren’t clear enough. If you are happy with your results to date – awesome! Continue with your eyes forward and on your ‘prize’. Remember, see your goals as having happened already, believe it, and know that you are simply reverse-engineering your end results.

5. Celebrate Success and Enjoy the Process

We’re results driven – especially once we build up momentum and start seeing an ROI. While this is great, we see our clients lose sight of WHY they started in the first place. They get burned out on the process and forget WHY they are actually doing the work.

See, health and fitness should compliment your life, not consume it – at least that’s our position and what we like to instil in our clients. Goals are great, they are what drive us forward, but results aren’t always linear. Yes, there are some standard benchmarks to shoot for, but the body is a complex system! So you didn’t lose 2 lbs last week – does that mean things aren’t working and you should go into panic mode? Of course not. Stay consistent and trust the process! More importantly, ENJOY the process of being on-point and living a fit and healthy life.

Don’t forget to celebrate! Many of us are so damn hard on ourselves. Tony Robbins referred to this as ‘should-ing’ on ourselves: “I ‘should’ have done [x].” Those types of statements are rooted in the past — forget it. If you could have done things differently, then DO things differently. You can’t change where you’ve been – you can only change where you’re going. Enjoy the road that takes you there, course-correct as you need to, and make a point of patting yourself on the back at least once a day for a job well-done (in any arena of your life!).

Want some great ideas for getting your dinners in check? Be sure to download our FREE recipe book, ‘WEEKDAY WOW: Mouthwatering Meals Ready in 30 Minutes or Less.’

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Question: Do you have your own success tips? We’d love to here more! Share your answer on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

I hope you’ve found my article on ‘5 Best Trainer Secrets To Crush your Hardest Workouts’ helpful and that it will keep you on track with your goals. Wishing you best in health!

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  • Your tips are spot on!
    I have recently moved and have not yet found a gym so I have not worked out for a while.
    I think to myself, go to the gym, but it has not been on the top of my to do list. Unpacking and settling in seems to have taken over.
    I was in a routine before the move and it made exercising so much easier. You’re right to say to make it automatic – if you don’t have to think about it you just go and do it.
    Thanks for the reminders. I need to get myself to workout!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Dinh! The routine is certainly key, and we’re creatures of habit at the end of the day. Moving can be quite unsettling and then add finding a new gym to the mix can make it even more of a challenge.

      One thing that has helped us, as well as our clients is simply removing the added variable of getting to the gym as all of our programs can be done at home with minimal equipment. This speaks to many of our busy professional clients.

      You’ll find your groove again!

  • I think working out with a buddy makes a big difference and adds great accountability if you can’t afford hiring a personal trainer. Lucky for me, we have a trainer at the gym at my job, so I get both benefits! One of my personal goals is to be able to do ten back squats with 100 lbs. Right now I’m at 80ish. Go me!

    • Excellent Sarah! I think simply setting a goal is an often overlooked point by many (true in the gym, true in life). Knowing what you want is key. Great that you have a trainer, on-site – that’s a huge bonus. As far as closing in on the 100 lbs, micro-loading each week is a great strategy to expedite that process. Best in health, and thanks for visiting!

  • Audrey Morris

    I happened upon your article right after skipping a cycling class, so all the tips you’ve listed are incredibly timely! I like your idea of creating a WHY video – I have heard that it is important to physically write down ideas and goals in order to solidify them, but I feel like actually recording a video would amplify that same concept x10.

    Throughout the article, I have been thinking about ways to automate my workouts and fit them into my day as a part of my normal routine – I think that is something that has been a big hindrance in the past just considering that as you said, it is easy to make excuses when you do not feel like you are actually skipping something that you had scheduled. Thanks for ending the article on a positive note though! I agree with you that you cannot beat yourself up about past failures – I think if you do, it causes a negative association with working out if every time you think about it you are allowing yourself to feel guilty for skipping a day, etc. Thanks again for the great tips!

    • Thank you for your insight, Audrey. I’m glad to hear you gained some value from it :). All the best with ‘automating’ and putting yourself on the top of your list!

  • Enid Neel

    I love the analogy of your body being a construction site. To look at your life in sections, determine what materials are needed, what tools are needed, how do you use those tools well, when to get rid of garbage, and having a vision of where you want to end( even when the ‘site’ is a mess) Thanks for this…

    • You’re welcome, Enid. I’m pleased to hear this offered value and resonated with you. Great point you make about simply ‘having a vision’ – I think many people forget this step… kind of like jumping in the car and hoping you end up where you want to be. Best to you!

  • Adrian Prince

    I agree Mike, if you want to get fit, you’ve got to make it a priority; that’s why I when I go for my jog, I do it first thing in the morning. I have my clothes organised the night before, so I can hit the road as soon as possible.

    This schedule works for me as I can fit it into my lifestyle quite easily, as I get up between 4 and 5 am, it’s very quiet, there are no other distractions at that time, it’s the best time for me to workout.

    This helps prepare me for the day ahead, I think your post is a really good encouragement and I like what you have said about the ripple effect, well done.

    • Spot-on, Adrian. We recommend that exact approach for our clients; remove any potential sticking points or roadblocks to help you automate the night before, and then follow-through! i like your early AM approach and simply knowing what works best for you – this also sets a great tone for success for the rest of your day! Thanks for reading and for your support!

  • Hari Nirvana

    What great advises, this is real stuff, from beginning to end I just kept nodding and saying yes while reading it.
    Imagining body to be construction site, wow, who would ever compromise the quality, shape and appearance of a building when given a responsibility, but sadly we all do that with our bodies by allowing ourselves to be careless towards it.
    “Your body is your trademark and your brand” I agree, brand is what speaks with the image it creates in people’s mind, we draw a virtual image in minds with brand and trademark, however with body you need to do the work physically and create the image that you have already drawn in your visualization.
    Your body is your brand for sure Mike; I trusted you with fitness right away when I saw the above banner!
    I really loved it that you mentioned what we do is not just about us, it affects others also. Absolutely, we are like radio that plays a song and it gets into the minds of many others who meet us, question is what type of song are we playing?
    Every discipline is all about habit, all self growth materials point towards what you have said here, once we make it a part of our life, it becomes an involuntary process. And this video thing you have suggested, I am going to try it that really seems like something effective!
    And ya, MEDITATE..mind is everything… Thank you so much for your amazing, amazing work!

    • Hi Hari! Glad to hear this resonated with you and I appreciate your feedback. I like your analogy of being like a radio and affecting those that we meet – “What song are we playing?” Nicely put. To that point, I think it’s ultimately how we make people feel, not necessarily what we do. I like your feedback, my friend. Thanks for checking out our blog and sharing your insight. Best in health!

  • Shalene Kritzinger

    Such great solid advice. I was reading this and thinking how similar the steps are towards achieving anything in life! Plan then do.
    My philosophy about finding time for exercise is that if the time is booked into the diary then there isn’t space for negotiating with yourself on whether you will go or not – it’s there so just do it already. No need to think about it. I always say the hardest part about an exercise routine is getting yourself there / to the mat … Thanks for the great website!

    • Hi Shalene – thanks for swinging by. I agree with you 100%. I had a martial arts teacher who would start every class with saying, “The hardest part is getting here. Just get here. I will take care of the rest.” That’s always stuck with me. If it’s important, we’ll do it – if it’s not, we tend listen to the voice that seeks comfort as opposed the higher voice that seeks change and growth. Thanks for reading!

  • Mira

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for this motivating and inspiring article! I personally am a fan of early workouts, mostly because I know if I plan to to it later, it’s easy to skip it.
    I also believe in having a routine and specific goals. I’ve never thought about making a video, but that is defiantly something I will do!
    I like your quotes a lot – especially this one, “Your body is your trademark and your brand – what does it say about you?”. Be an inspiration for others! And also the one about “your are the author of your life”. This is something people tend to forget. If you’re not happy about where they are – then change it. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you again Mike.

    • You’re welcome, Mira. Thank you for your kind words! Good call as far as knowing what works for you, time-wise for your workouts. For many of our clients who simply can’t work out at any other time, we have them lay everything out the night before, and position them for success with as many supports and ‘automations’ as they can.

      It’s literally, hear the alarm, roll out, dress up, and get downstairs for the work out. 5 seconds tends to be about the window for decision-making. 5 seconds to do it or don’t – that’s when the ‘little voice’ pipes up (you don’t have to because_____.’ or ‘You shouldn’t because______”.

      I have to give props to author and speaker, Mel Robbins for that one as she coined the term 5-second-rule. Look her up if you haven’t heard of her – I think you’ll find her stuff applicable to life and your clients! Best to you, and thank you again.

  • Lawrence Gregory

    Hello Mike :)

    This is a very helpful and inspiring blog post.

    I think your site looks incredibly professional and eye catching.

    This quote really stood out at me – “Feeling good and acting with intention in your workouts causes a ripple-effect in every area of your life.”

    This is why it is so important to choose to feel good in every moment, every time we are not feeling good, we’re slipping out of harmony and heading in the wrong direction.

    Thanks for sharing the 5 best trainer secrets to crush our hardest workouts!

    • Hey Lawrence!

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad to hear you could take a few nuggets from my post. I think many lessons can be learned from the gym or anywhere in our life, so long as our eyes are open, and we’re present.

      I like your careful word selection in regards to ‘choosing’ to feel good in every moment as it really is* a choice. Many people get stuck and believe they are victims to extrinsic factors versus taking accountability and accepting that they are in the driver’s seat of their lives.

      Of course, having a vision is step one; from there, staying aligned with our higher vision is part of the practice of living a good life. We may not always get it right the first time, but we will get better with practice! Thanks for visiting!

  • Lauren Simons

    This is a great encouragement and motivation! It is a great tool for anyone, whether they are just beginning on their workout journey or they are seasoned veterans looking to improve. You have many great tools and it is obvious that you are very good at working with people. Your writing is very relational and personal; it makes me want to run out and go to the gym! :-)

    • That means a lot, Lauren. Cheers! I’m biased, of course, but you should do it! :). Thank you for your kind words – we hope you stick around and stay inspired! Keep well!

  • Rachel

    This post is completely motivating. I book marked it so I can reread when I am feeling uninspired. “…acting with intention in your workouts causes a ripple-effect in every area of your life.” This is so true! I am so glad I found your website!

    • Love it, Rachel! Thanks for your kind words and I hope our site can continue to inspire and motivate you. Thanks for stopping by and for spending some time with us!