The 9 Definitive Rules For (Somewhat) Fitness Success

The 9 Definitive Rules For (Somewhat) Fitness Success


Some of the most successful people on Earth attribute their accomplishments to certain rules they live by.


These can be rules for behavior in the workplace, rules for interactions with clients, or rules for how they approach challenging situations.


One of my best friends, and former clients (listen to his story here) has been successful in opening and running his own tiny theater in NC.


This fall he was asked to speak to seniors at our alma mater about life after graduation. He shared with them his rules for somewhat success.


So, I stole them.


What is the saying, good artists copy, great artists steal?


Whatever it is, I modified them a little, but they fit well as rules to follow on your fitness/health quest.


9 Rules for “Somewhat” Fitness Success





1. DONT SUCK and when you do be the first to admit it

Life is full of failures and shortcomings.


Michael Jordan missed a lot of shots.


It’s hard to accept that there is no perfect, however, you can strive to be a little better today than yesterday. The most important thing is not to tread in your pool of pity; get out, dry off and keep moving.


So you ate a whole pizza or missed a week at the gym.


AYF: Admit Your Failures


But give your best — always.


When you find that you are not giving your all then its time for some introspection. Failure is acceptable; mediocrity is not.


2. ALWAYS TRY TO SAY YES but know when to say no


I’ve done restrictive diets like Paleo but over time, I have found that flexible dieting is much more sustainable and makes dieting way more enjoyable.


Yes, you can have that pop tart, a few pancakes, or some Ben and Jerry’s as long as it fits your macros/calories.


No one wants to eat chicken, rice, and broccoli all day every day. You should be able to say yes to a cookie or a piece of pie.


Sometimes though you have to say no to that cookie or cheesecake or even the Ben and Jerry’s.


My boy Jason over at Anyman Fitness nailed it with that Facebook status.

Saying “No” when faced with food that is off-plan sucks. But the more you practice saying “No”, the easier it gets. It’s a skill – just like anything else. -Jason

Posted by Anyman Fitness, LLC on Wednesday, February 11, 2015


It sucks to say “no” in social situations, but sometimes it has to be done.


You have your goals.


You know how to stick to them and what will derail you, and Jason is right; it’s a skill. Every time you say no, think of it like you are adding +1 to your defense attribute.


*I also offer this.  Occasionally, be able to say no to that impulse to say no.  


Everything in moderation, including moderation.*




We all love our private time, but it is damned near impossible to get through life as a lone wolf.


Humans are social animals.


Cloud didn’t take down Sephiroth by himself. He had a team.


When it comes to weight loss, accountability is, in my opinion, the biggest component in success.


Accountability forces your actions to rise above your excuses. There are many ways to stay accountable as you work toward your weight-loss goals.


Join a class at a gym where you can socialize with people. Find a dedicated gym partner(s) to train with you.


Find a dedicated gym partner(s) to train with you.




Everyone has different goals when it comes to getting in shape or living a more active/healthy lifestyle. We want to be stronger, healthier, more vibrant and less lethargic all day. For others, they want to look better aesthetically.


I think the vast majority of people exercise so they can enjoy more out of life.


That’s what strength training and conditioning help provide.


Exercise allows us to enjoy more exciting things like hikes, bike rides, or pick up ball with our friends. It aids in preventing easily avoidable injuries, and if you’re gaining muscle, you’re adding to your metabolic rate, which means you get to enjoy more food in the long run.


Who doesn’t love burgers and chicken wings on Football Sunday?


Fitness is a tool that aids in prolonging and enhancing our lives.


We all work hard for our money, weight loss, or sweet muscle gains but it’s the lives outside the gym we train for.


There is no need to spend three hours at the gym a day.


Get in, get out, get on with life.


5. PREPARATION IS KEY (measure twice, cut once)


Measure twice, cut once was the mantra of our scene shop in college.


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

— Ben Franklin


Preparation forces us to scrutinize our thoughts and dissect our methods and ensuring we have a solid plan to follow.


The most important thing you can do when it comes to getting in shape is meal planning.


70% of your weight loss is done in the kitchen. When you know what your food during the week or each day looks like it makes it easier to fit in luxuries like ice cream or happy hour beers.


Do what I do and make a giant crock pot full of chicken for lunch on Sunday. It saves a ton of time and headache.


If making it to the gym is the toughest thing for you to accomplish try these tips:


  • leave your gym bag by the door
  • put your shoes and gym clothes on the floor beside your bed, so they are the first thing you see in the morning
  • put your gym clothes on under your work clothes, that way you are wearing them as a constant reminder all day to hit the gym
  • see rule #3: get a gym buddy or hire a coach to help keep you accountable


Stop LeeRoy Jenkinsing your diet, your training, or your passions in life.


Prepare (plan), execute, and conquer your quests (goals).



I wrote this rule about 6 different ways and yet each time it sucked more and more.


But Rule 6 is a pretty self-explanatory life rule.


This video from Bill Burr about Arnold Schwarzenegger sums up this rule well. Most of us gym rats admire Arnold because he had the balls to dream big and go for it. He never asked for permission. He went for his dreams.


Go for your dreams, don’t wait for permission.





This is by far the most important rule.


If your workouts are not enjoyable, find a way to make them fun.


Start a Saturday or Sunday “Fun Day” with neighbors and play basketball in your driveway, toss the pigskin with some friends or your kids, sign up for a dance class with your significant other, learn an instrument, or have a 30-second dance party in the aisle at the supermarket when Taylor Swift comes on.


Who made it a law that those days when we were kids running from monsters or training to be superheroes had to end?


I created my own hero story and conquered lifting weights by imagining that I was a superhero in training.




You know that moment on a Friday morning when you look over at the break room and notice that last doughnut sitting in the box? You look around to make sure no one else has noticed it and dash off to grab it, right?



That need to win the doughnut war (cause it’s a war) — that’s hustle.


That burning desire to get the doughnut before it disappeared, apply that feeling to everything you attempt in life.


Hustle isn’t easy. Achieving the body of your dreams or pulling a 400-pound dead lift is never easy.


It takes work but treat that goal like you treated that doughnut. Hustle your ass off and make sure you get it before anyone else.



A good rule for life in general, don’t be a dick.


Life is too short and no one likes people who are dicks, dick.



Guys, we can be assertive and show confidence without being aggressive Neanderthals in social situations, especially with the ladies.


Jack Busch wrote a great article describing how we can be  “Modern Alpha’s” without turning into the classic “Alpha” douche bag.


No on wants to hang around a sociopath with a Kanyesque level ego.


Treat people the way you want to be treated.


The Golden Rule might be one of the oldest rules out there, but it’s fair, logical, and easy to implement.


So consider this really an old rule the new paint job of don’t be a dick.

It Comes From Within


We all measure success in many different ways.


Measuring our success based on compliments or awards from others feels great, but true success comes from within.


Follow these rules, or create your own guidelines, to guide you on your fitness or weight-loss journey.


“The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Annie April 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Excellent article! Really needed it today – I get so focused on my workouts I forget to take a break and have fun sometimes.

    1. Robbie Farlow April 9, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Annie!


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