HE SAID: 5 Lessons learned from over 20 years of Strength Training

1. Death, taxes…strength training basics. There are certain exercises and training methods that have been around for decades and centuries for a reason…they work. Stop adding every new Internet -fad exercise by these self-dubbed “experts” to your training plan. Single Arm, single leg, barbell press while standing on a kettlebell is not a strength training exercise…it’s an exercise in stupidity. The multi-joint movements done consistently over time utilizing progressive overload are proven to give you results.

2. Instant gratification is for the weak. Strength is earned. You can’t fake it. There is no shortcut. In our society, on average, if the video or website we click hasn’t loaded in less than 10 seconds we get frustrated and move on. This mentality spills over into so many other areas of our lives, but no greater than in the gym. People literally look in the mirror after one set and expect to see a difference. My dad used to tell me growing up in sports, “Every day you work hard at practice or in the weight room you deposit money in your bank. On game day you get to make a withdrawal.” Put in the work, have some patience and build your physical and mental bank account.

3. No matter what just keep showing up. If we only worked hard on the days we felt good or motivated we wouldn’t be very consistent. This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest factor in achieving your goals or constantly starting over. Some days you might have to back off the weight a little, change the exercise or just merely force yourself to suffer through. But if you can make it through these days, the other days are easy. If you truly want to get where you want to be then stop having “Day Ones”.

4. Know thyself. What works for someone else may or may not work for you. Your path to the best version of yourself is a process and very specific to your body, your mind, your environment, your family and your schedule. Find the situation that allows you to consistently get the work done.

5. Enjoy the process. Training should not be a chore. It is an opportunity every time you walk in the gym to get better, to gain strength physically and mentally. As far as I know, I have never heard anyone say that the feeling of achievement after putting in all the hard work was not worth it. You also need to avoid the comparison game. There is always someone stronger and/or more fit…always. Comparison only brings frustration and negative self-talk. Look in the mirror, that is your competition.

Written by Kiel Holman


[HE SAID] Jokes aside, resolutions can actually work.

It’s that time of year again folks. New year, new you…again, right? Resolutions have kind of become a running joke these days. So many people literally laugh when they say them out loud, but the truth is you can set goals for the New Year that you actually achieve.


We typically try to set way too many goals for ourselves which leads to being overwhelmed and unable to stick with it. So instead of 10 tips or 5 or even 3, how about just 1 tip? One thing that can help you make it happen in 2019.


Use a Stair-step Timeline to create an Action Plan.


For all of you that want all of your goals to happen in 2019 by January 31st I’m going to need you to stop, hop back on board the reality train and change your mind set for the long haul to success town.  Delayed gratification…yes, it is a thing. Anything worth achieving is going to take consistent effort over time. Let’s take a look on how to set up this action plan.


Go to the bottom of your stairs at your house or visualize standing in front of a staircase. Whatever your big goal is for 2019 go ahead and put that right at the very top of the stairs, which is one year from today. Lets use weight loss as example, how about 50 pounds. It looks far away doesn’t it? Does it seem like a million miles between where you are and where you want to be? I have been there and I know it can seem impossible, but take a look right under that goal. You will notice there is another stair, below that another one, below that another one. Follow each stair all the way down to your feet.  Here is our starting point. It sounds very obvious, but in order to lose 50 you must first lose 1.


Stair 1: 1 pound total (January 31st)

Stair 2: 3 pounds total (February 28th)

Stair 3: 5 pounds total (March 31st)

Stair 4: 10 pounds total (April 30th)

Stair 5: 15 pounds total (May 31st)

Stair 6: 20 pounds total (June 30th)

Stair 7: 25 pounds total (July 31st)

Stair 8: 30 pounds total (August 31st)

Stair 9: 35 pounds total (September 30th)

Stair 10: 40 pounds total (October 31st)

Stair 11: 45 pounds total (November 30th)

Stair 12: 50 pounds total (December 31st)


Now you have a big goal with a whole bunch of little goals along the way and they all have deadlines. Month 1 lose 1 pound, month 2 lose 2 pounds, month 3 lose 2 pounds, months 4-12 lose 5 pounds. When a big task is broken up it now seems achievable. After you have your timeline now you can make your action plan. Make a specific plan of how and where you will begin your workout routine and how you will begin to change your nutrition. These things can be difficult to plan, but I have found that the bigger reason people fall short is they fail to set up a timeline. This creates a lack of direction and no sense of urgency.


This process can be applied to any goals you have this year. Every mile in life starts with a single step. Deep breath and start climbing those stairs. I’ll see you at the top next year.

Written by Kiel Holman - Director of Marketing, CrossFit Coach

[SHE SAID] Don't Wait for that Damn Ball to Drop

December 7, 2018

Written by: Monica Hilton, KAHA & Together We Rise CrossFit Owner

I saw an Instagram post the other day that said, “Over the past year, I’ve taken so many ‘before’ pictures of my body while telling myself I’m going to start working out, I basically just have a slideshow of me getting fatter.”

The post was supposed to be funny. I kind of laughed. But it got me thinking… ‘What if we each had a slide show in our phone that went: Middle school, high school, college, first post-grad job, late 20s, early 30s, late 30s, and so on? What would that physical transformation look like for YOU?’

Take a realistic look at your journey and break it down. Does it look like an extra 20lbs? 50lbs? More? Just an extra 100 calories per day on five days per week is 26,000 extra calories per year. That’s 7.43 lbs. Over 10 years, that’s 74.3 lbs. Welp, that escalated quickly.

But did it? Because if it took you ten years to gain 50+ pounds, why are you expecting to lose it in ten days?

As a counter measure, you could eat nothing for awhile. I don’t recommend it.

Instead, just two simple steps. All I want for Christmas is my two simple steps. 

  1. TAKE OWNERSHIP. This is your life, your journey, and it’s unique to you. To truly understand what your body needs to lose weight, have energy and perform optimally, stop asking MyFitnessPal for the one-size-fits-all equation on how much you should be eating, and stop asking your friend (who’s been skinny since you were both five years old) how the Shake Weight is the only thing she’s ever needed to look “toned.” It’s not about the person next to you, or their workouts or how they lost 15lbs in three hours on the keto diet. You need to know what amount of calories and macros will help you to be able to be physically better than you were yesterday. You also need to find something that motivates you to start, and continue, being physically active. Not into hot yoga? Cool. There are other options.

  2. STOP WAITING. It’s December. If your plan is to “start in January,” how did that work for you last year? Did you know that more than 70% of people who start a fitness program don’t stick with it? Did you know that 99% of those waited to start in January? (I just made that last statistic up. But it’s logical.) Why? Why are you waiting? “Because I want to eat the Christmas cookies.” Cool. We all do. And no one is stopping you from the Yuletide glee that comes from a cutout cookie with icing and sprinkles. But what if you worked for that cookie? What if you were making strides and gaining strength every day so that when that plate of cookies was in front of you, you could confidently say, “I’ll just have one because I don’t want to undo my hard work?” Also under things you might say: “Watch out… 2019 is the year of me. Because I’m worth it.”

So that’s it, take ownership and stop waiting. Easy, right? Nope. I didn’t say it would be easy but it damn sure will be worth it. The good (great, incredibly awesome) news is that you don’t have to do it alone, and you don’t have to have a clue what you’re doing (read: if you’re someone who uses the ‘I don’t know’ emoji A LOT, I’m talking to you).

No idea what workouts might interest you? No worries.

No idea how many calories or what foods to eat? I’m here for you.

No idea where you can even find a friend to find your stronger tomorrow with? It’s all good.

If you’re done waiting and ready to take ownership, email me. Seriously. Don’t wait for that damn ball to drop. Send an email to monica@kahafit.com with the subject line “I’m not waiting until January” and I’ll help you find YOUR plan.

[SHE SAID] Here's How I Can Tell in 10 Seconds if You're Serious About Fitness

November 8, 2018

Written by: Monica Hilton, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Owner

Generally, there are two types of coaches out there: Good cops and bad cops. Good cops are the encouragers, offering lots of words of motivation and the basic rah-rah. Bad cops are the tough love coaches, telling it how it is and reminding you (not gently) that no, you can’t have pizza as a reward for crushing today’s workout. 

I’m a good cop. *shakes pom pons* I believe in you. No matter how many times you tell me you’ll do something and don’t follow through, I’m still going to believe in you.

So at my gym, we offer a free fitness & nutrition strategy session, designed to customize a plan for members or potential members. Over the years, I’ve met with people from all fitness backgrounds with all kinds of goals and naturally, all kinds of excuses.

They say you should never judge a book by it’s cover and I pride myself on being really good at that. Because I’m the good cop, I’ll ask you questions, offer encouragement, create a plan for you and truly believe that you will follow through.

But just like there are two types of coaches, there are two types of strategy-session participants: the dreamer and the doer. So as your encouraging, good-cop-coach, I’m asking you to wholeheartedly assess which one you are so that you can proceed accordingly, in fitness and in life.

Here’s how it works: I ask a series of questions about you, your fitness background and your goals. You answer them, then I prescribe a strategy. So here we go…

Me: Let’s start with an easy one. Are you a morning or evening workout person?

Doer: Evening, I’ll come after work.

Dreamer: *pause* Well, how many workouts are we talking about? I guess I could try morning workouts.


Me: Ok, how about the number of workouts you’re ready to commit to each week?

Doer: I’ll do a minimum of three and occasionally get a fourth when I can.

Dreamer: Ummm, maybe three? Is that enough?


Me: Let’s talk about what you’ve been doing, workout-wise.

Doer: Honestly, it’s been awhile. I had a routine – I was lifting weights and attending a few cardio classes each week – but then life got in the way and I didn’t make it a priority, but I realize that I have to be healthy to take care of those around me so I’m ready to make a commitment to myself.

Dreamer: I’ve tried quite a few things. I bought P90X and made it through about 40 days of it, then I signed up at that 24-hour gym but I wasn’t using it so I quit. I went to a cycling studio and I signed up for 23 classes. I only went to seven but I was busy. Then I hired a personal trainer and worked with her for a couple months but I wasn’t seeing results so I fired her. And now I’m here. 

Me: What about your nutrition? How’s that?

Doer: I could eat better. I know a good nutrition plan will help my workouts in terms of energy, performance and recovery. It’s all part of making my health a priority. Once I have a plan, I’ll follow it.

Dreamer: I’ve tried quite a few things. I did Atkins and Paleo but honestly, who can stick to something that strict? I’m about to try Keto because I think that’s what my body needs. I’ll definitely try a nutrition plan if you put one together for me but how many cheat days do I get?

One of my favorite quotes is, “How we do something is how we do everything.” If you find yourself relating more to the dreamer than the doer in the questions above, the first step is just admitting it. Second, do you find that nonchalance crossing over into other areas of your life?

It’s what I like to call the Convenient & Comfortable Plan:

·       When, and how often, are you going to work out? When it’s convenient. How often is something you haven’t scheduled ahead of time going to conveniently fit into your schedule?

·       Are you willing to commit to a fitness and nutrition plan? If it’s comfortable. How often do you see people achieve extraordinary things by staying inside their comfort zone.

If you’re a doer, awesome. I challenge you to set a big-ass hairy goal for yourself and go do you. It won’t be difficult for you to get back into the routine you once had, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find a place that gives you options that line up with your workout preferences and schedule. Then go smash it.

If you’re a dreamer, own it. Recognize that that’s you, and now let’s set a plan to overcome and achieve. Three quick tips:

1.     Set a workout appointment with yourself because you are a priority. Put it in your calendar. You wouldn’t cancel an appointment with your boss so don’t you dare cancel on yourself.

2.     Make a nutrition lifestyle change over a period of time versus going on a “diet.” Going from a cheeseburger-and-donut diet to strictly chicken and vegetables is not going to go over well with your mental psyche. Week one can be a small transition with calories and macros. Week two tweaks a little more, then again in week three. Asking about cheat meals means you’re in a “when is this over” mindset, instead of realizing that eating healthy doesn’t have to be a restriction on delicious foods. You just have to find things you like. What’s that? You don’t like kale and brussel sprouts? Fine. Don’t eat them. There are plenty of healthy, yummy foods out there and your coach can help you find them.

3.     Ditch the Convenient & Comfortable Plan. This is my best attempt at being the bad cop: Changing your fitness and nutrition plan will not be easy, but it will be worth it. In our busy lives, we’re not going to mysteriously find an extra hour every day and until they make calorie-free ice cream that tastes like Ben & Jerry’s, you’re going to have to get uncomfortable. But if you change your attitude (“Yep, this is tough but I’m tougher”) and priorities (“I don’t have extra time but I’m choosing to spend my time on things that will make me better”), you’ll set yourself up for success.

One day at a time. Trust the process. Rah-rah.

[HE SAID] I've Tried Everything: Have You Though?

October 18, 2018

Written by: Kiel Holman, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Director of Marketing

In my almost 15 years as a coach if I had a dollar for every time someone said in frustration, “I have tried everything.” I would be typing this from the back of my private jet instead of seated at this expertly crafted Wal-Mart Desk.

 If you can’t handle brutal honesty then you should probably stop reading now because here is the truth…


 Your health, fitness, nutrition and strength are all a journey, a journey that will have obstacles, roadblocks, hurdles and setbacks. Each one of these presents you with a choice; make an adjustment and keep going or give up.  When things get difficult you will hear all kinds of criticism and doubters, some of which will be your own voice, telling you it’s just too tough, or not for you, or impossible even. I’ve been there, I get it. But let me tell you something, that’s all a bunch of bullshit. It’s not too tough, it can be for you and nothing is impossible. Don’t let other people project their fears or doubts on you. You can accomplish more than you could ever imagine if you would just keep going. One of the greatest tragedies in life is seeing someone not realize how close they were when they quit.


Here are some quick questions to see to what extent you actually “tried everything”.

1.How long did you try? If the answer is less than 30 days then you did not truly give the new workout routine, meal plan or lifestyle change a chance…not even a little bit. We are constantly bombarded with images, movies and TV shows that are just not real life. Changes in any way require an adjustment and time for it to become habitual. 30 days is bare minimum for that to be realistic.

2.Was it sustainable? 2019 is right around the corner. The New Year is a time where people love to be completely unrealistic and try some crazy new fad that has no hope of ever being permanent. When you are looking to try something new ask yourself if it is something you can realistically see yourself doing long term. If it is working out make sure you have multiple options. The same workout video, a gym with limited options or no direction from certified coaches, or choosing a single modality such as running has a very small chance of allowing you to progress over time and stick with it. A “diet” that is unbelievably restrictive or does not incorporate all three Macros (Carbs, Protein and Fat), or better yet has no solid foods of any kind will not last. Start with the basics before you branch out.

3.Were you consistent? Working out 2 to 4 times one week then missing the next week is not consistency. Sticking with your meal plan less than 80% of the time is not consistency. Without consistency you cannot truly say one way or another if something was working or not. 

4.Did you record anything? If you did not record your weight before you started, your workouts, your meals, etc then you have ZERO proof of how effective this new venture was. Feeling better or worse is very subjective. What numbers or objective things did you have recorded to show improvement or decline? If you didn’t then you are just guessing.

5.Excuse or legit reason? Think about why you stopped. Was it time? Not meal prepping? Too early or late to workout? If you are honest with yourself I think you will find that most things you consider legitimate reasons why you stopped or why something wasn’t working were in fact just excuses. It got too difficult, uncomfortable and your motivation and/or determination failed.

This may seem harsh, but I am a tough love kind of coach. I have seen too many people over the years blame other things on not being where they want to be. I hate to tell you, but a lot of times it is you. You are the one preventing you from achieving your goals. I have prevented myself from achieving a lot of things in life. It sucks and I know it is hard to accept sometimes, but being honest with yourself is something that can open the doors to infinite possibilities.  It comes down to blame and responsibility. No matter who is to “blame” for where you are at, you are responsible for how you move forward from here. Take ownership of your goals.

Always remember…you do have control, you can make the change, you do have the ability, drive and determination. You do. Think it, say it, believe it.


 Maybe there is something you are thinking about right now that you have quit. It happens, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Any day, any minute, any second can be the moment you turn it all around.

[SHE SAID] Negative Self-Talk: You Said WHAT to WHOM?!

October 1, 2018

Written by: Monica Hilton, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Owner

There’s a line in a song I listen to quite a bit and it goes a little something like this: 

“Hello, my name is defeat.

I’m sure you recognize me.

Just when you think you can win,

I drag you right back down again,

‘til you’ve lost all belief.”

Negative self-talk is a thing. I mean, A THING. Sometimes, it can actually be encouraging: Come on self, you know you can do better than that. I’d like to offer a good old-fashioned “butt-slap good game” to those who are able to effectively achieve that, but I am not one of those people. In fact, I was blessed with the ability to absolutely beat the shit out of myself until my ego is lying in the fetal position sucking its thumb.

I’ve come up with (and mastered) a seven-step process to turn your typical training day into a complete disaster. I’m using training as the situation but remember that this process doesn’t have to be used only for training. It can be applied to many areas of your life, such as career performance, relationships, nutrition, addiction, etc. So here we go:

  1. Set an expectation that today, you’ll magically have perfect technique on all of your lifts and be able to lift substantially more than you ever have before.

  2. Start the negative self-talk in your warm-up but keep it upbeat: Wow, I don’t feel as strong as I thought I would today. That’s ok, do your best, even though your best is pretty average right now. Remember that it’s a process.

  3. At the start of your training session, focus more on the things you got wrong instead of the things you got right.

  4. Serve yourself some big, delicious negative sandwiches. You’ve heard of the positive sandwich, right? Constructive criticism sandwiched between two positive things. Do the opposite of that: That lift sucked real bad but it’s ok because you have a great personality but you’re worthless when it comes to lifting.

  5. For the remainder of the training session, completely neglect your ability to brush things off. You know that round of golf (or every round of golf) where your short game is terrible but each tee box offers a new opportunity to turn this ship around? That’s golf. This is lifting. And you suck at lifting.

  6. Keep reminding yourself how much you suck at lifting to create a downward spiral that just never ends. Use key phrases that are customized by you and for you, just to hit your own buttons: You’re five feet tall. Strength will never be your thing. Why do you even own a gym? Just stick to endless burpees… that can be your thing.

  7. Finally, find a way to end your training session on a bad note. Make giant red X’s in your training log for anything you missed and maybe even add notes about just how bad the experience was so you’ll remember it when you start the next session.

You. Are. Welcome.

Normally when I write a blog post, it’s meant to be authoritative, to offer direction, to motivate. This one is simply therapy because you just never know who else might be in the same (beat up, never-good-enough) boat. If that’s you, then hey, grab an oar and let’s see where this adventure takes us.

So as fun as it is to feel these levels of soul-crushing defeat, let’s work on it, shall we? I wish it were as easy as deciding, committing and succeeding. Like most things, there has to be a plan with a goal and achievable steps to get there. 

Step one: Set your goal.

Here’s mine: Get stronger and enjoy the journey. Stop being a dick to yourself.

Step two: Define what that goal looks like.

For me: Embrace the fact that strength is a journey. Work on your weaknesses while not sacrificing your strengths. Do whatever it takes to enjoy the process. Have fun.

Step three: Admit that all of this is easier said than done.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Step four: Choose three (or more) achievable steps to get you from here to there. Start today.

  1. I will turn my negative sandwiches into positive ones.

  2. As soon as the negative self-talk nerd appears in my mind, I will visualize kicking him in the dick and then reminding myself that I am capable.

  3. I will find quotes (“progress adds up,” “you know what you’re capable of,” “get mad or get better”) or motivating thoughts (picturing where I was a year ago) to replace of negative self-talk during my training sessions.

For me, this is not one of those “oh, that’s all I have to do, is it?” posts. Even as I write it, I realize the magnitude of overcoming this hurdle in my life. I mean, I say some REALLY unbelievable shit to myself, guys. Things I wouldn’t say to someone I don’t like, let alone someone I claim to care about.

One little step at a time (because that’s the only way it’s possible), I’m going to learn to appreciate the process, my ability and all the things that come along with those things. I’m starting today and you should too. Because despite what our minds are telling us, WE CAN.

[HE SAID] Five Steps to Your Next PR

September 7, 2018

Written by: Kiel Holman, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Director of Marketing

Just you and the barbell. Focused, you step up while your friends and gym members watch. Deep breath and BOOM, new PR! If only it were that easy all the time, right?

There is a lot of work that goes in before those personal records are broken. It’s not just about always trying to go heavy every time you step into the gym. Here are 5 steps you can take to work smarter while you work harder.

Flexibility/Mobility: This is one that a lot of people neglect, but is one of the most important. As a society we spend so much time seated which causes a number of things to be tight or locked up. Tight hips and upper back can cause a lot of lower back pain as well as shut off muscles we need to work for us in the weight room. Check out the Quick Fix for Lower Back pain series on our Instagram and Facebook pages for exercises you can do during the day or before your workout to loosen up your hips, ankles and back. Your body will thank you and your weights will go up.

Weighted Core Work: It doesn’t matter whether you are going for a new Back Squat, Snatch, handstand pushup or pullup max; your ability to stabilize and transfer power is essential. There are 3 main categories to focus on; static, linear and rotational.

     Static: Weighted planks – Place a plate on your back for 3 to 5 sets of 30 to 60 seconds

     Linear: DB Situps – Hold a DB behind your head with your feet anchored and complete 3 to       5 sets of 6-12 reps

     Rotational: Russian Twists – Start in a seated position with ankles crossed, holding a plate,         medicine ball or DB rotate side to side touching the implement to the ground, complete 3         to 5 sets of 20 to 50 reps

Auxiliary Work: There are a couple different ways you could go about utilizing these to get the most bang for your buck. You can choose exercises that have carry over to multiple exercises or you can choose exercises that target specific weak areas of a lift or movement.

    Carry Over: weighted core work would be an example of this. Another one would be a                dumbbell or barbell strict press. Completing 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 12 reps weekly can improve        your handstand pushups, push press, push jerk, split jerk, handstand walks and even your          ability to stabilize the weight in overhead weighted movements such as lunges and                    overhead squats.

   Targeting Weak Areas: do you know why you fail in certain lifts or movements? Let’s look at       a few examples. 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 reps weekly

   Hips rising when pulling the clean or snatch off the ground – maintaining strong position off     the floor is essential in hitting big weights. Adding exercises like clean or snatch deadlift to       your strength training can make a big difference.

   Trouble getting the bar off the ground in a deadlift – add in some deficit deadlifts, standing       on plates to work the bottom half of this lift

   Trouble locking out the deadlift – add rack/block pulls, set the height at your sticking point

Technical and % work: Once again, if you always just go as heavy as possible every time you come to the gym your overall progress will slow. This is amplified in the Olympic lifts because of the level of technical difficulty.

   Technique work: adding in barbell complexes with an extremely light weight as a warm up         will allow you to get a lot of repetitions in while your body gets loose.

    Example: Clean/Snatch Deadlift, Hang Power Clean/Snatch, Front Squat/Overhead Squat. 3      to 5 sets of 5 to 10 reps

    % Work: 1-5 reps in the 70-80% range for 10-20 sets. The best way to complete this is in an        EMOM (lower reps) or every 90s or 2min (higher reps). This will allow you to lock in your            technique on moderate to heavy weights instead of always trying to max out.

GET YOUR MIND RIGHT: Don’t think you are, know you are. If you don’t think you can lift the weight, you won’t. Your mind is like a video recorder. If you say to yourself, “Don’t miss this lift.” or “Don’t let your elbows drop.” That is exactly what your mind just pictured, therefore that is probably what you will do. Replace those statements with, “Rip this bar off the ground.” and “Keep your elbows up.” This accomplishes what you wanted because your mind pictured success instead of failure.  Consistently hitting big weights and personal records is just as challenging mentally as it is physically. Practice positive self-talk and positive feedback every day in your workouts. Frustration comes along with training, but don’t get mad…get better.

If you have no plan, you plan to fail. Find what works for you and take action. Hard work breeds confidence. The more consistent work you put in the more confident you will be to crush those PR’s.

[HE SAID] Failure... If You Say So

August 24, 2018

Written by: Kiel Holman, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Director of Marketing

We are our own biggest critics. Our daily look, performance at our job and perception of how we are as a husband, wife, mother, father, and friend are picked apart and analyzed to see if they live up to our sometimes-impossible standards. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in our personal body image.

There is nothing wrong with looking for opportunities to improve, but if the only self-talk going on in your head is negative it can completely tear you down over time. It is easy to blame a lot of things such as time, work schedule or kid’s activities as to why you can’t stay consistent with your health and fitness, but a lot of the time you are defeating yourself before any of these other things come into play. Whether it is a lack of confidence in following through that prevents you to start, bumps in the road that require adjustments, the comparison game or your rate of improvement; all the negative, deflating thoughts in your head are working against you. You might not even realize how much you do this. Here are some situations that can possibly trigger those negative voices and ways to shut them up.

1. Starting something new: If it is new then it is a change from what you are currently doing and anything that requires change always gets the critics talking. All the thoughts and excuses resisting this change will come to the surface. Chances are if you are thinking of trying an eating plan or workout routine that you never have it is because you have already tried several other things that haven’t worked. Failed attempts will affect your confidence, but think of it this way; if you don’t try this new thing you have no chance of changing your current situation. So what is worse? The fear of the unknown or the hopeless feeling of being stuck?

2. Making Adjustments:  Things are going well. You are making healthy food choices and crushing your workouts, then it happens. Change in work schedule, injury, new activity your child wants to start…fill in the blank with any life situation. Now what? Your mind will tell you to just wait until things calm back down so you can get back to your routine. I hate to break it to you, but things will never calm down. If you are ever waiting for the perfect time in life to do something, especially when it’s new, it will never end up happening. Remember when you started? You had to overcome a lot to get the ball rolling and make all of this a part of your daily routine in the first place. No matter if you need to modify the type of activity you are doing until something heals, change the night you meal prep or the time of day you work out, you have done it before and you can do it again.

3. The Comparison Game: This is a big one, especially when it comes to health and fitness. Your mind will tell you over and over again, ‘You will never look like her, you will never be able lift what he does, you will never be able to do the workout as fast as them, you will never be able to wear that.’ Don’t every try to be anyone except the best version of you. Look in the mirror…that is your competition. Focus on being better than you were yesterday every single day. If you truly take this attitude and apply it consistently you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

4. Improvement slows: As a beginner the improvements and gains can be quick and rather sizeable. The longer you continue the smaller those gains become and the harder they are to achieve. It sucks, but it’s science. Those voices are really going to speak up now and tell you why even bother if you can’t keep seeing huge results. Look, I have been lifting weights for over 22 years. If I could lift more every time I walked into the weight room I could bench press my house by now. Before you get discouraged and start listening to all of that nonsense in your head, understand that it takes time for plateaus to happen. Secondly, it might just take making small adjustments on what you are doing to get your progress back on the steady incline. This is why tracking is so important. Maybe you need to adjust your calories, the amount of miles you run or how fast you run them. What it definitely doesn’t mean is to quit.

Ultimately you need to look to make lifestyle changes that will benefit you for the rest of your life, not quick fixes. Your health and fitness are a life long journey that require you to persevere through the tough times in order to consistently achieve your goals. Life can be hard enough, don’t make it worse but constantly beating yourself up.