As personal trainers, we often take certain, seemingly obvious ‘truths’ for granted and assume that just because we ‘get it’, that other people will ‘get it’ too.

I often need to remind myself that most people who aren’t involved in the health, fitness, strength training world need to be educated and constantly reminded of certain things that might seem obvious to Matt, Jarrod, Katrina & Myself here at the Fit Stop.

So here’s a list of maybe not-so-obvious things that will serve you well if you keep them in mind.


1.   YOU can control the intensity of each workout with your own effort.

low intensity


2.   Soreness is ok, but it’s not a marker of a good workout.  Just because you aren’t’ sore the next day, don’t think that you didn’t train effectively. Some people tend to get quite sore and some don’t.  (it is good to know your glutes work though :))


3.   Stacking fitness on top of dysfunction will only lead to injury or plateau.  That is why we correct technique and give you specific warm up drills to perform. Your training is a constant work in progress to remove / improve dysfunctions and clean up your weakest links (same applies for us trainers too). Disregard this at your own risk!

bad form


4.   Scale weight is not a good indicator of your real body composition nor an accurate indicator of positive or negative results.

muscle v fatSame height, same weight


5.   Attitude is the number 1 thing when it comes to your results. If you have a positive, can-do attitude with a genuine desire to learn, grow and improve – you WILL get results. Put another way, a BAD attitude is a great way to hinder results and progress.

attitude is everything

6.   There are no quick fixes, shortcuts or magic pills when it comes to weight loss, health or fitness.

magic pill



7.   You can boil your training success down to 3 simple things:

         1. Eat right
         2. Show up
         3. Train hard

If you do these 3 things consistently you’re set. If you’re not getting the results you’d like then you need to improve at least one of the above, maybe even all of them!



8.   Lifting weights will not make women bulky! It will make them strong and lean. 99% of females do not have the physiological capacity to gain a large amount of muscle mass, especially when following a clean, healthy diet. Strength training is the best way to avoid becoming ‘skinny fat’

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 10.21.39 AM


9.   If your goal is fat loss, it’s important to know that you typically can’t out-train a bad diet.



10.        Skipping your warm up routine will affect your workout performance, results, and will increase your risk of injury. The purpose of a good warm up is to:

– ‘release’ tight or overactive muscles
– activate inhibited muscles,
– improve postural issues and muscle imbalances
– stimulate the cardiovascular and nervous systems
– groove correct motor patterns & prime the body for safe, effective performance under duress.

foam rolling


11.        What you look like now, and how fit and capable you are, is a by-product of how you eat and move on a daily basis.  This will also be the case in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years from now. How do you eat and move every single day?

fit old man


12.        There are many variables that have contributed to your current level of fitness.  Some people are genetically predisposed to being leaner, stronger, fitter etc. Some people started exercising later on in life so have less training experience  and are playing ‘catch up’. Some people grew up eating poorly, maybe that’s what their parents taught them and they are now trying to change deeply ingrained habits and reverse the consequences. Some people just need to work harder than others to get the results they want. We are all different. It’s important to understand where you are along the spectrum, and where you want to be, and match your dietary efforts and exercise output accordingly.


13.        Most of the time, doing a less challenging exercise with good form is better than a more challenging progression in bad form. Form before intensity. Its our job as trainers to judge what is unacceptable form and what is appropriately challenging and ‘passable’ (yet maybe not perfect form), in the name of progress.



14.        Recovery is just as important as the workout.  A good post workout meal, 7-8 hours of sleep, stress reduction, and tissue quality work are essential to a balanced program and optimal results.



15.        We are not going to do any full range sit-ups and crunches in a group setting.  Your lumbar spine is made to stabilize, not flex and extend repeatedly under load.  We do stabilization exercises for the core, and if your form is right you are working your core on almost EVERY exercise that we select.  Core training at it’s best is trying to maintain good posture under a load or force that is trying to alter that posture.


16.        Everyone has abs. If you want to see what yours look like then you need to uncover them through losing belly fat. You might have heard this saying before  ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’

apple abs


17.        There are plenty of ways to approach improving your diet, not everyone has to follow the same eating plan as long as the fundamental principles stay the same – remove processed foods, provide your body with sufficient nutrients to maintain health, fitness, muscle & strength, create an energy or calorie deficit to lose unwanted body fat.


18.      STRENGTH is the single best foundation for improving all other fitness qualities and making big body composition changes (for both females and males). The stronger you are the easier it will be to train at an intensity sufficient enough to create a training effect & stimulus for physical change (tone up, lose body fat),  improve your cardiovascular endurance (the stronger you are the less effort you need to move), resist injuries, improve balance and stability, and tolerate the strains and stresses of everyday life.

strong girl


19. We’ve all heard the saying ‘You are what you eat’, which is very true, what you eat will have the single biggest impact on your health and lay the framework for your physical fitness and body composition potential. But also think about the quality of the food you eat – if its a fruit or vegetable how was it grown? If it’s an animal how was it raised? Did it live in a cage or roam free? Was it given a natural grass fed diet or an unnatural grain fed diet?, was it pumped full of hormones and antibiotics? Your food is only as good as the health of the plant or animal it came from.
So in reality – ‘You are what you eat, eats’


20. Don’t wait till everything is perfect or all your ‘ducks are in a row’ before you take action and make changes. There’s never a perfect time to start exercising or eating better, you will always be busy, and there will always be other things to do. You will figure it out. Just start doing what you can, and use that momentum to keep tweaking and improving as you go. The irony of this is I was trying to think of a 20th point to add to this list before I posted it live, but ended up settling on 19 as I figured there’s no point just having an arbitrary 20th point just for the sake of making it an even number. I wasn’t waiting for everything to be perfect, which struck me as a good piece of advice. So here we are, point 20 is done.

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