10 Lessons I’ve Learned From 10 Years of Fitness Coaching (About The People Who Succeed)

male sprinter

Every year, zounds of people make heart-felt New Year’s resolutions to get in better shape. THIS IS THE YEAR, they say.

Unfortunately, most of them will have given up within weeks of starting, and it’s usually because they’re going about it all wrong – making the same mistakes over and over again before failing and finally giving up.

Of course, it’d be better if instead of following the masses who make and break New Year’s resolutions like clockwork each year, they studied what successful people do year-round, regardless of the season.

Now, most people know that finding a role model is one of the simplest, fastest, and most effective strategies to succeed in any endeavor, whether fitness or otherwise. Better yet, is when you glean wisdom from many role models, applying the patterns you notice among groups of successful people.

Success leaves clues. And successful people often follow very similar, even predictable, patterns on their way to their success. And in this post, I’m going to share some lessons I’ve learned about the people who succeed in fitness and athletics over the long term – who go on to achieve their goals, fulfill their purpose, and move on to even greater things.

So, let’s get to the lessons.

The Top Posts of 2016

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the top posts of 2016

Below, you’ll find a collection of some of the top posts and videos from 2016 – just in case you missed them when they were first released or would like to re-read any of the ones you liked. So, grab yourself a tall glass of lemon water, a smoothie, or some green tea, and settle in for some good reading. Thanks for the support this year!

25 Fitness Truth-Bombs (The Truth About Fitness)

30 Years, 30 Fitness Lessons (Get This Stuff Right)

5 Things You Can’t Out-Train No Matter How Hard You Try

Interview with Charles Staley About Strength and Fitness

Interview with Mark Wildman about Fitness, Movement, and Fighting

Interview with Marcus Bondi about Bodyweight Training & Advanced Calisthenics

8 johns in home gym

How to do Bodyweight Squats with Excellent Technique

Deep Squats: How To Squat Deep in 30 Days or Less

5 Beginner-Level Bridge Exercise Progressions

How I Became An Early Riser: Finally Succeeding After Years of Failure (Case Study)

How to do Inverted Rows with Excellent Technique

10 Ways to Make Planks Harder: Plank Progressions

john carrying kids

The Workout From HEAVEN

Kettlebells VS Clubbells

Stop Waiting To Be Ready Or You’ll Never Get Fit

14 Kettlebells Compared: The Complete Kettlebell Review

Your Quick & Dirty Fitness Guide for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Into Fitness

Top Videos

25 Exercises to Increase Squat Range of Motion

The Shoulder Bridge Plank for the Posterior Chain

This Self-Confidence Trick Changed My Life

Fix Your Duck Feet by Improving Hip Internal Rotation (Q+A)

Training Hips & Legs With Clubbells


Most Inspirational Stories (originally shared on Facebook):

Finally, I just had to share this one here. Powerful. We need more men like this in the world.

Final Words

This has been a busy year at Physical Living! On top of all the publishing here on the blog and on my Youtube channel, I started a new fitness newsletter for older men, took on some online coaching clients, and released a couple of new products, among other things.

Thank you so much for your support this past year! I’m thrilled every time one of you sends me an email or leaves me an encouraging comment telling me to “keep up the good work” or that something I shared was helpful for you. I really appreciate each and every one of you, and I hope I’m able to keep helping you with your health and fitness goals.

Soon, I’ll be off for a much-needed break with my family. And so, I wish you a very merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and a great start to 2017!

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Health-First Fitness Coach

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The Top Posts of 2015

top posts of 2015

The Best Posts of 2014

The Best Posts of 2013

Best of Physical Living 2013

The Best of Physical Living 2012

Interview with Marcus Bondi about Bodyweight Training & Advanced Calisthenics

marcus bondi - interview

Allow me to introduce you to Marcus Bondi, who is one of Australia’s top fitness coaches, a multiple Guinness World Records holder, and one of the world’s leading authorities on bodyweight training and calisthenics.

This guy is incredible. For starters, he’s in his fifties and can do things that would put most men half his age to shame. He has set world records in both rope climbing and weighted pull-ups. He can also crank out advanced calisthenics exercises such as the human flag, front lever, muscle ups, and one-arm pull-ups, among others (with ease). He’s also been sighted doing many calisthenics exercises using grown men and women for extra weight (more on that below).

Marcus can not only perform many superhuman feats of strength, which would be impressive at any age – let alone 50+ years – but he also has a knack for teaching others to do the same. Naturally, I wanted to pick his brain all about training, and he happily agreed.

So, I sent him a list of questions, and here’s what he sent back…

Stop Waiting To Be Ready Or You’ll Never Get Fit

15 Things That Elite Athletes and Fitness Superstars Don’t Wait For
woman walking

How do some people manage to get and stay in great shape, year round, with minimal effort, and still have a life?

One of the main reasons is because they stopped waiting to be ready. And if you want to achieve your ambitious fitness goals, you should stop waiting, too.

Stop waiting to be ready. Because if you can’t be ready now, you never will be.

Stop waiting for clarity. Get moving in the right direction and course-correct later.

Stop waiting until you feel like it. Your feelings shouldn’t be running the show.

The 90:10 Diet Rule and the Difference Between an A+ and a B+ Diet

How to Enjoy Your Favorite Foods in Moderation, Have a Normal Social Life, and Still Get the Nutrition You Need for Your Health and Fitness Goals


“I believe it’s healthier to be happy on a B+ diet than stressed out on an A+ diet.” – Matt Fitzgerald, Nutritionist and Endurance Coach

How is it that some people can just eat and eat and eat whatever they want and still stay healthy, lean, and fit? And how is it that many of the world’s longest living people are able to enjoy food and drink that isn’t healthy?