45 fitness lessons for anyone

With the start of a new year, I wanted to list out some lessons I've learned over the 5 1/2 years that I've been consistently training and exercising.

Here are 45 lessons I've learned so far in my fitness journey as a fit dad, though these can really be for anyone looking to take control of their health and fitness.

  1. Go into the gym each time with a plan
  2. Plan your meals
  3. Track your food intake
  4. Track your progress
  5. Dress for the gym like you mean it
  6. Don't be afraid to try new workout styles, even just to see what it's like
  7. Changing your workout routine can help get you off a plateau
  8. Get enough sleep
  9. You don't need to take as many supplements as many in the fitness industry would have you believe
  10. Protein is important; but again, you don't need as much as is widely publicized
  11. Carbs are necessary, they just need to be the right kind of carbs
  12. Take rest days
  13. Call them treat meals instead of cheat meals
  14. Bro science is bad — don't trust something just because some jacked dude says its true
  15. You can lift lighter weight and still gain tons of muscle
  16. You can lose weight and never step foot on a treadmill
  17. Listen to your body — know when you're just sore and when you're actually injured
  18. Wipe down machines and benches after you're done using them
  19. Go to the gym even when you don't feel like it — you'll always be glad you did
  20. Drink lots of water
  21. Don't compare your progress to anyone else
  22. HIIT and circuit training are not the same
  23. Set incremental goals for yourself
  24. Reward yourself when you hit those goals
  25. Healthy, nutritious food doesn't have to suck
  26. There's a difference between healthy nutrition and a competition diet
  27. Training to get stronger and training to get bigger aren't necessarily the same
  28. You are only accountable to yourself — no one else can truly know the effort you put forth
  29. Fasted cardio is widely proven to be no more effective than other types of cardio
  30. Any nutrition program that works is all based on one founding principle: being in a caloric deficit
  31. Be wary of any diet plan that alters the way your body was designed to operate most effectively
  32. The less sugar in your diet, the better
  33. Working out and exercising is a constant trial-and-error process
  34. Don't skip leg day; in fact, do it twice a week
  35. Coffee is a perfectly good pre-workout
  36. Perfection is not achievable, but progress is
  37. Good form is better than more weight
  38. Train the muscles you can't see in the mirror as much as the ones you can
  39. Even after years in the gym, you still can learn a lot from others
  40. Mind-muscle connection — focusing on the muscle that you're working — is critical to establish with each lift
  41. You won't see the results you want unless you make fitness a priority in your life
  42. Active recovery days are awesome, especially if you can do it with your family
  43. Stretch and foam roll
  44. Try working out at different times of the day to see if one work better than the others
  45. Guard yourself against overdoing it

Which ones did I miss? What lessons have you learned? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a safe, happy, and healthy 2018 everyone!