Training and Life Lessons From the Last 15 Years – Part 2

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I’ve got a few more things I’d like to share with you about my time in fitness industry.  If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, I strongly suggest you do, there’s some good shit in there!

Now before I get into it, I just want to start off by saying that I feel very fortunate to have made a living in this very fickle industry.

I’m grateful for all of the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with and help and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the failures and successes that I’ve experienced.

Here are a few more lessons I’ve learned over the last 15 years:

10. Marketing is everything – You could have little to no knowledge about training and nutrition but if you’re marketing is on point you can make a killing in this business.  I’m still refining my marketing saavy and it might take me another 15 years before I consider myself an expert in this arena.

I guess I should have paid more attention in those business and marketing classes that I flunked out of before I got into Kinesiology.

However, helping people reach their goals one person at a time is what I know and may still be one of the best marketing tools out there.

11.  Full body workouts are most effective for novice and intermediate lifters – Simple full body splits that maximize caloric expenditure while building strength keeps workouts intense and exciting.

As you become more advanced, then your workouts can become more specialized to achieve specific goals.


12. There are no shortcuts – The hard truth is that getting in shape takes time – more time than most people are willing to invest.

Whether you’re trying to run your first marathon, lose 20 lbs, or squat double your bodyweight, you’re gonna have to be in it for the long haul.

Ask anyone who’s achieved any of the above mentioned goals and they’ll tell you that they put in a minimum of a few months to get there.

Take fat loss for example, professional bodybuilders are a perfect example of how slow this process really is.  A pro bodybuilder will take anywhere from 16-20 weeks to diet and get ripped for a show.  That’s 4-5 months for someone with an abundance of muscle AND the help of performance enhancing substances!

If you’re looking for a quick fix, you’ll be in for a big surprise.  Be prepared to make slow but steady progress; it’s a lifestyle after all.


13. Most of our fears are irrational – The number one thing holding us back from reaching any of our goals in life is that person in the mirror.  If we can get to a point where our desire to succeed is greater than our fear of failure, we could do some pretty amazing things.

Put aside other people’s opinions, remove negativity, and ask yourself “what’s the worst that can happen?”

There is no perfect time to start leading an active lifestyle or to pursue a career path your passionate about.  At some point, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and take the plunge!

Living with a lifetime of regret is far worse than any failure.

Living with a lifetime of regret is far worse than any failure Click To Tweet

Life is more enjoyable when it’s spent going after what YOU want rather than living to please others.

14. It’s life changing – Not to get all dramatic on you but I’m still taken aback when people tell me how much their lives have improved as a result of becoming healthier.  They sleep better, they manage stress better, they have better relationships with their families and friends, and they have a more positive outlook on life.

No pill or surgery can replicate that.

I thought I was just helping people get stronger and lose a couple inches off their waistlines, but now I know it’s much more than that.  There’s something very powerful about enhancing one’s physical health that carries over to the emotional and spiritual and even financial areas of their life.

I’ll never take for granted the impact that health and fitness makes in people’s lives.

15. We’re overworked and overfed – Most of the problems in society today stem from the rat race we call life.  We’re working longer hours, sitting at desks all day, eating more processed foods, and living beyond our means.

If we all just took a step back and assessed our lives, we’d realize that we make things way more complicated than they need to be.

How big of a house do you really need?

How many vacations did you take last year?

Was that steak and lobster really worth it?

I’m not saying that you should live a sheltered life and have no fun whatsoever, but we definitely need to get our priorities straight and stop trying to live up to fabricated expectations society puts on us.


16. Conditioning is just as important as strength – Unless you’re a powerlifter, olympic weightlifter, or strongman, there’s no need to neglect some basic conditioning.

When I was just got into working out, all that mattered to me was getting big and strong.  Now, with a few years under my belt, I realize and appreciate the importance of having a good, solid base of conditioning.  With our lifestyles becoming more sedentary, it’s an absolute must to get the heart rate up and breathe heavy.

You don’t have to compromise a lot of strength or muscle mass (if any) to achieve it either.  Your heart and lungs will be healthier, and you can maintain more respectable body fat levels all year long.


17. Very little has changed – As the saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”  The demand to look, feel, and perform better is a strong as ever.  Perhaps the methods have evolved slightly but the game is still the same.

Results still require hard work and consistency.

Compound lifts are still your best bet for building strength and muscle.

Intervals and circuit training will always increase workout efficiency.

A balanced diet, proper hydration, and plenty of sleep are still the foundation of any good training program.

Protein bars will always have that chalky taste.

18. People will always do what they enjoy – yogis will continue to do yoga, bodybuilders will continue to bodybuild, crossfitters will continue to crossfit and there will always be someone curling in the squat rack.


I look forward to what the next 15 years will bring and sharing my experiences with you.

For now, keep lifting and enjoy the journey!

Isaac Payne










One comment

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