Fitness: Going from 0–1

If you’re fat, out-of-shape, and intimidated…this is where to start.

  1. This is a game of subtraction. Normal habits don’t get you extremely overweight or super weak. BAD habits do. You must identify the bad habits and eliminate them. This is hard. It is the reason most people don’t make it from 0–1. Here’s common examples of habits that must be weeded out ASAP: Binge drinking then gorging on shit food after or during; Soda (esp if it is every meal); Being completely sedentary throughout the day; Giving in to peer pressure (copying what foods or habits they have); Saying screw it on vacation or during a holiday. These screwups simply CANNOT happen. There is no way around it.
  2. Sustainability is everything. I don’t care if you do Whole 30 and run 5 miles a day for a month. It was a month. I’ve been working out practically everyday (literally) for 6 years. And I’m still not as fast, strong, and hard as I’d like to be. The trick is, I do what is sustainable. I don’t like extremely restrictive diets. I don’t like obliterating workouts that leave me sore for a week. I don’t do either of those things because my #1 aim is to avoid burnout. It’s a cliche but it is 100% true: the best program is the one you actually do. Rule of thumb: Avoid the extremes in fitness…it’s likely to lead to burnout.
  3. Do something every day. Yes, every day. I don’t care if it is walking, running, cycling, lifting, yoga, pushups, gymnastics, etc. It doesn’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. The point is to re-wire your identity. To put this notion FIRMLY into your brain forever: “I’m the type of person that works out.” “I’m not lazy.” “I’m the type of person that cares about my fitness.” When you start, you don’t believe this. By doing something every day, and even repeating those statements as mantras, you literally re-wire your brain to perceive yourself differently. In essence, we are hacking our desires / motivations by changing our identity. At the beginning, it is much better to do easier things, rather than difficult. Walk instead of run. Do 10 minutes of calisthenics (body weight workout) rather than an hour at the gym. Jog for a quick mile. Do 25 pushups before bed and when you wake up. These things quickly add up. Don’t forget: the psychological benefit of doing these things is more important than the actual physical benefit.
  4. Follow fitness experts on Twitter and check often. Seriously, do it. These guys know their shit and are a treasure trove of fitness information. Here’s who to follow for starters: @TheForeverAlpha @jackdcoulson @josiahfitness @Rob_NBF @GuruAnaerobic @Matt_S_Stephens @ThePrimalMan @PeterAttiaMD … Look at who these folks follow and follow them. Before you know it, you’ll be obsessed with all things fitness and dying to try out the advice. I’d also suggest many podcast episodes on The Tim Ferriss Show, Peter Attia Drive, FoundMyFitness, Joe Rogan Experience, and Ben Greenfield Fitness. It can be helpful to search for a topic on youtube as well, as there are many fitness experts on there, or clips from one of these podcasts.

There you have it! If you do these 4 things, relentlessly & without fail you will see yourself change — oftentimes very quickly. Going from 0–1 is the hardest and most important step. Be ruthless with this, you don’t want to end up in the likes of the millions who start on fitness goals in early January only to burn out by February. That cannot be you. Don’t let it be you.

Working on The Habit Loop.