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Success often leaves clues. One that appears frequently and is worthy of modeling is consistency. For fitness professionals, a considerable amount of attention is devoted to those whose goal is weight loss. Proper diet and nutrition are essential to this end. What's been discovered is that all diets work, if you consistently work them. The following list merely scratches the surface of popular diets on the market:

• Mediterranean • Keto • Carnivore • South Beach • Atkins • Gluten-Free • Plant-Based • Low-Carbohydrate • Low-Fat • Intermittent Fasting

Practitioners have experienced both success and failure with all of the aforementioned. With so many divergent paths to weight loss success, what advice can be given to anyone struggling with this challenge?

Varying dietary methodologies notwithstanding, what is evident in those who've made significant physical transformations, is their decision to change. Simply put, they no longer view themselves through their former internal lens. Their conversations are noticeably rooted in the present. They've replaced 'what was'– not with what will be–but with 'what is.' They see the present, as the moment when right decisions are made. One aspect of personal growth is having the capacity to identify the obstacles that contributed to one's former predicament. The greater challenge is to avoid the premature celebration of the new vision, at the expense of the day-to-day activities that produce it.

I'm seldom if ever accused of being the sharpest knife in the drawer. Yet one bit of wisdom that has served me well, is the recognition that every person I meet is a potential teacher. Anyone whose achievements are publicly recognizable is to be studied. Although their brand or mission statement may not be my particular cup of tea, I recognize that their path to achievement is the result of adherence to certain fundamental principles. Superficial aesthetic or rhetorical differences often distract us from the clues left by successful accomplishments. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach intelligent, successful people.

Although weight loss has never been my personal challenge, becoming the best version of myself is an ongoing one. Crystal and Dianne, the women pictured in this article, are real life examples of people whose internal vision has transformed their outer shell. What we now celebrate externally is simply the manifestation of their inner thoughts and ability to transform those thoughts into action. They've demonstrated their ability to create a vision, decide on a course of action and achieve the desired results. It would serve me well to extract and apply the principles of their success in any chosen endeavor.

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For many, the path to health and fitness is a solo journey. The difficult task of justifying an apparent radical lifestyle choice to friends and loved ones often produces resentment and isolation. However, couples who choose to work out together have discovered a multitude of benefits. Exercising together can boost the quality of a romantic relationship. When sharing a common fitness goal, bonds are strengthened in ways that may not have been formed in another way. Studies show that couples who workout together feel more satisfied in their relationships.

Having a gym buddy is an excellent way to create a regular exercise routine with little to no excuses for skipping a planned day. When the gym buddy is someone who shares your household, the degree of accountability is increased. Manufactured excuses such as family or business obligations won't work. The most difficult aspect to working out is simply showing up, so having someone right there to escort you provides less wiggle room for avoidance.

The foundation of a relationship or marriage is teamwork. Taking on new fitness challenges with your partner can take your relationship to a whole new level. By partnering up to achieve health and fitness goals, you create a new, dynamic way for you to bond and to achieve a level of success that you’ve been dreaming of. As you both work toward your goals, you have a better understanding of the obstacles and victories your partner is experiencing. That can help in many ways, not the least of which is trust, attraction and intimacy.


With our busy schedules, finding time to spend with the people we care about can be a challenge. Working out together can be a way to spend additional time together. When you're exercising together with your special someone, you're guaranteed time together for the frequency of your workout schedule. When you’re both committed to the same workout regimen, you’ll be spending time together rather than arguing about one person always being at the gym.

We can all benefit from a little motivation. Who better to keep you going than your special someone? The idea of being “in it together” increases the effort put into the workout itself and with maintaining fitness as part of your lifestyle. There are lots of ways you can motivate each other – just be sure to find fun and constructive ones that work for both of you.

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For many in the over 40 population, fitness activity is undertaken for the sole purposes of making significant improvements in functional ability to offset the physiological challenges that occur with aging. Adopting a regular fitness program has shown to decrease the risk of conditions such as: obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety and diabetes. However, a small percentage in this demographic also aspire to make significant improvements in muscle mass and body composition. Although the advent of sarcopenia (loss of skeletal muscle mass) is much more prevalent after age twenty-five, nearly everyone can improve their physique if they embrace scientific training principles. Their desire to push past plateaus and optimize their genetic potential leads them to seek out effective training programs.

The purpose of this article is not to present a be-all end-all method to induce muscle growth, nor is it to engage in a lengthy debate on the most effective muscle building workout. My intention is to provide readers with an effective alternative to the commonly employed 5-Day Split routine and to simplify the training process. The typical 5-Day Split routine incorporated by many bodybuilders looks like the following:

Day 1: Chest

Day 2: Back 

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Shoulders

Day 5: Legs

Day 6: Arms 

In contrast, Push/Pull Split training although not a new phenomenon is an effective alternative to the traditional body-part split. This method breaks training up by movement pattern. Your chest, shoulders, thighs and triceps get hit on the push day, and your back, hamstrings, biceps and rear deltoids get worked on the pull days. By repeating both workouts on alternate days of the week, you increase the frequency with which each muscle gets trained. The frequency of movement is better for skill acquisition than body-part splits performed once per week and is an important factor in muscle development.

The science of hypertrophy training is ever-evolving as new evidence replaces outmoded training practices. However life does not allow for the acquisition of all conclusive data before one embarks on the path of muscle development. When employing the services of a personal trainer it is the trainer's responsibility to make use of all the scientific research available in combination with providing the professional, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills associated with good coaching, to ensure the best results for those whom he/she serves.

The most apparent benefit to Push/Pull Split training is its application. One need no longer burden oneself with trying to remember the specific muscles trained in the previous workout. All one needs to recall is whether the last workout was a push or pull day. Try Push/Pull Split training for thirty days and assess your results. The ease of application and results may surprise you.

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