33 Steps to Better

I posted this a while back

But I was talking to a lady in the gym last week after a session

And I sent her this afterwards

These are 33 lessons in fitness, training, nutrition & the mindset around them all that I’ve learned over my
just over a decade in the industry career:

(I’m 33 years old (ALMOST 34…clinging on) so I based my list of that in case you’re curious where that came from)

#1. Get strong! As strong as you need to get
and some more, but no more than that.

Strength helps everything in life. Builds
confidence, muscle, makes you more resilient,
improves performance, longevity, makes you
harder to kill. You know, the important stuff.

Increase your absolute strength. Absolute
strength is the glass and “everything” else
is the liquid.

#2. Sleep makes everything better.

This is one of the if not THE most important
when working to get better results. It will help
you recover better, be less stressed, have better
cognitive abilities, be nicer and less grouchy, make better decisions,
increase strength, lose more fat, and be healthier.

#3. “The best diet (nutrition) is the one you
can stick to for life.”

If you’re going to change your diet for just
8-12 weeks it makes no sense. Make changes
you can stick to for good (that’s how we
coach nutrition, its less stressful, overwhelming
and gets better results).

Losing weight is not that difficult, keeping
it off is though. Statistics show few people are
able to do it. Just like in sport – getting to the top is tough..
staying at the top is tougher.

Its because the body treats dieting like controlled
starvation. When you lose weight your metabolism
drops, you’re hungrier, and your leptin levels (the
satiety hormone) plummet.

Think about this…

Whatever behaviors you had to incorporate to
lose the weight, you’ll have to incorporate those
behaviors to keep it off.

#4. Daily Movement

Humans are made to move. You should do
something physical every day for at least 30 mins.
This could be strength training, conditioning, mobility
work, faster paced walk.. whatever; just do make sure it becomes a
part of your life (how much, what, when, ..depends
on your life and goals).

Ask yourself every day: “Did I move today?”
If ‘no’ I can guarantee you’ll feel less good at the end of it.

#5. Your joint health is extremely important
and the foundation of all healthy movement.

If your joints move in a healthy way in isolation
then it won’t move well in full movements such
as squats, presses, lunges, deadlifts, or anything
else you do (even every day life activities).

That’s why there is so much low back pain,
shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain and hip
pain – and its becoming worse. We are on phones a lot,
possibly sedentary with work etc so we can’t always assume
we can move freely.

Why we like to do some concentrated mobility work at the beginning
(and sometimes during sessions). If you do not enjoy this then try being
hurt and UNABLE to train for a period of time and see how it feels.

#6. Time and stress is not always an excuse

What I am trying to say is I guess we are all busy and doing our best.
But is you do not look after your health now,
it will look after you LATER. So being busy with things
potentially less important is not always an excuse.
And if it doesn’t mean enough to you right now then that’s cool,
if it does mean enough to you to change and prioritise your health,
then you’ll FIND/CREATE the time (and be LESS stressed as a result.)


enough said

#8. “If man made it don’t eat it.”

While I don’t believe you have to stick to that 100%
because science has shown that restricting
all foods doesn’t help us, I DO believe
everyone should eat at least 75% of their
food from real unprocessed sources. Then you
can enjoy the other 20-25% a lot more 🙂

#9. We are all athletes

Now people may be like
‘no no not me’ as they have never seen themselves at that.
We are all athletes in our own way. Are you trying to tell
me it’s more important and credible to train seriously
to be a part time football player than it is to
get fit so you can chase, look after your kids/grandkids
and play with them. Don’t think so…
(no digging here I used to be there and thought it was super
important being a paid full time ‘athlete’ but there are
way more important things in life).

#10. The environment you train in &
live in is crucial to your success!

The environment you’re in and the people
you surround yourself with will mold
your future; from the way you think, look,
perform, treat others, succeed, how happy
you are.

We adhere to the standards of the tribe so
why not surround yourself with a tribe
committed to becoming the best version of
themselves in every are of life?

You either decrease your standards to suit others.
Or be around others that raise and CHALLENGE your standards.

#11. Make your core strong and durable.

The core is not just “abs”, it’s many muscles
around your upper body.

These are the foundations of quality core

1. Bracing.

2. Anti-movement (the cores main job
is to resist movement)

That means crunches are not high up on the
list of getting a strong core to be honest.
We do do them in the gym as people get the ‘feel’
from it and enjoy that. But we prioritize more compound
movements (pushing, pulling, squatting, deadlifting etc)

#12 “The pain of change must become bigger than the pain of change.”

It’s easy to want to lose weight, tone up and feel better BUT until
the pain of your current situation is greater than the thought/actions required
to change…that’s where we blame motivation/willpower.

#13. Learn how to move well and do
great reps in exercise.

How you do anything is how you do
everything and how you learn to do
exercise reps will be ingrained. Which
means if you don’t do them well you’re
closer to “beating yourself up fast.”

After training for 10-15 years I still coach
and get coached on the perfect rep.

Train with focus, intent and quality!

#14. Cook your own food (as much as
you can).

I get it, all of us can’t do it all the time.
But you CAN do more of it than you are

Author Michael Pollen said we’d start
reversing obesity if people started cooking
for themselves more. I agree.

When our clients start cooking for themselves
more, they improve their relationship with
food, enjoy it more, lose more fat, and
build more muscle, not to mention getting

#15. Pain in life is inevitable.

Hear me out. Life is nothing if not change.

The only way to conquer a thing is to
confront it. If your pain still haunts you
its because you keep avoiding it.

Training is a great metaphor. The body gets
stronger with incremental increases in stress
and strain. In time you learn to love the pain
of training. Why cant you see life the same?

No one became less fearful by avoiding their

#16. Everyone should do single limb training
(legs and upper body too).

We’re asymmetrical and life makes us even
more so. To stay healthy and the most functional
we have to work on those asymmetries and
bring them as close to normal as possible.

All our training programs have plenty of both
to keep our clients healthy and performing well.

#17. You can’t pour from an empty cup

There’s a reason they tell you to put your
oxygen mask on before others. If you’re
exhausted, depleted, tired, stressed, weight of the world on you,
you’re going to have nothing to give when
the world asks.

Take care of you with training, nutrition,
recovery, mindset, and quality relationships.

Also, plan fun activity to look forward to regularly.

#18. You don’t have to run to get fit and tone up

A lot of people fall into the trap of thinking
‘i’m going to get fit so I better go for a run’
look…if you enjoy running the great but if you
hate it then it’s not necessary and you’re going to
create an unhealthy relationship with exercise.

#19. Do your cardio….RIGHT!

Most people don’t know what cardio is,
why we need it and how it can help you with
all your goals.

How do you know if your cardio got better?
And which type of cardio?

Knowing the difference between steady state, HIIT
and speed work is important and just doing the same thing
over and over isn’t always going to yield optimal results.

#20 Long term gratification is powerful

People can get bogged down with slow results.
But if things are going the right way but just taking
a little longer there’s probably not a lot you can do
other than adopt patience. You probably wouldn’t be
happy with 4lbs of weight loss over 4 weeks…but
would you be content with 52lbs over a year??


#21. Find training you can do for the long-

So many people start with: “I’m gonna
train here for the next 12 weeks..”

I ask: “And then what?” …Most people
don’t really know. There’s no plan. You think short term
so you ‘get’ short term results

As Dan John said:
“I have been training since 1965 (that’s a lot
of “six weeks!”).”

Find something you can fit into your lifestyle
and stick with it consistently. And don’t tell
me you don’t have time – you make time
(for what matters)!

#22. Learn to deal with hunger.

It will not cause your immediate harm. Learn
to control all of your desires and you will gain
more control over you life.

Actually, statistics show that one of the key
things any person that lost weight and kept
it off has in common – is cognitive restraint.
Sitting at home watching Netflix when the kids go
to bed and all you can think of is food? That usually
IS NOT hunger…more so a temporary form of sedation
and tiredness.

On the whole
We don’t wake up in the morning and crave crisps, chocolate and wine
Do we?

#23. You don’t HAVE a workout.

Let’s start with one of the simplest
reasons you aren’t seeing the results
you want in the gym:

You don’t have a workout.

More precisely… you don’t have a program.

There’s a lot more to seeing success in
the gym than just showing up (although
that’s a great start)
That’s why people love coming to DM Elite
We take the thought process OUT of it FOR you.
You just show up and we make sure you do the rest.

#24. Keep your food the same but

When you make changes to your nutrition
its best and easiest to eat the same foods/
meals to get results and not get overwhelmed.

As you get better at controlling habits and food,
work on adding more and more variety in
the foods you eat. Try something new, cook
something different, order a different food
when out, etc.

#25. Show up, don’t quit, ask questions.

There are 3 of the
key foundational secrets to success.

I also like ACE:

A – Accountability
C – Consistency
E – Effort

Asking better questions of yourself will lead to better actions.
Why did that happen?
What did I learn today?
What were my wins?
How did I deal with that situation compared to last time it happened?

#26. Recover hard.

It’s difficult to over-train (and I’m a big
fan of hard work and effort!) but its a
lot easier to under-recover.

Do you plan recovery? Massages, walks up hills, low level cardio, quality social
time, meditation, mobility, soft tissue work,
lowering work volume, etc.

Plan it as it matters just as much as the

#27. You’re eating too much – track it!

The truth is if you’re not getting results
with losing weight and/or fat, you’re
eating too much and you must start
tracking what you eat.

You won’t always have to do it but until
you learn where you’re at and how much
to eat you have to create awareness.

If you’re not assessing you’re guessing.

#28. Learn daily.

About yourself, your body, your mindset, your career/business…
what will create a better life for yourself.

Ask questions.

Where attention and energy goes…results show

Realize you’re 100% responsible for your
life! Know better and do better.

#29. Ability to focus on the long term.

Whether its nutrition, training or career – studies
show that the most successful people are
able to focus on the long term rather than
the quick fixes, 30 day detoxes etc

#30. You’ll be stuck if you keep changing
the goal.

“The goal is to keep the goal, the goal.”

Are you a program jumper? Do you follow
through on working on a goal for at least
12-24 weeks?

Its impossible to see measurable growth
if you keep changing the goal and not
stick with a plan.

Trust the process.

#31. Identify exercises that hurt you and stop
doing them.

Just because lots of people tell you an exercise
is great that doesn’t mean it’s for you. If it
hurts stop.

#32. A quick fitness “not to do” list!

Don’t buy fat burners.
Don’t ignore rest days/recovery
Don’t downplay sleep.
Ignore “Magic Bullet” diets.
Don’t overreact to research
Don’t big shop on an empty stomach.
Don’t follow celebs for health tips
Stop doing cleanses.
Don’t train through actual and proper pain.

#33 Decision Making

Don’t make decisions based on how you FEEL
Base them on your commitments &
Where you want your future self to be.

….Oh and be impatient with your actions

And patient with your results

Good bit to finish on

Hope that helped and you enjoyed reading

Reply and let me know what you learned from it


About the Author lisa

Leave a Comment: