Health And Fitness Is Not A 12-Week Program

This is an outstanding article from Tom Venuto.  He speaks here to what is nearly a universal truth.  Short-term motivational can only lead to short-term gains.  And short-term gains are no gains, because those will always and invariably go away.  And as it goes always – the replacements are disappointment, sense of failure, and lack of desire. 

The obvious is key is to look long term – in this case, striving for life change.

Tom does a masterful job of explaining and illustrating these points.  His 7 guidelines are insightful – and really can be tweaked to apply to a cross section of your life. 

So read and be smarter for it.

Health And Fitness Is Not A 12-Week Program

By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

Not long ago, one of the members of my health club poked her head in my office for some advice. Linda was a 46 year old mother of two, and she had been a member for over a year. She had been working out sporadically, with (not surprisingly), sporadic results. On that particular day, she seemed to have enthusiasm and a twinkle in her eye that I hadn’t seen before.

“I want to enter a before and after fitness contest called the “12 week body transformation challenge.” I could win money and prizes and even get my picture in a magazine.”

“I want to lose THIS”, she continued, as she grabbed the body fat on her stomach. “Do you think it’s a good idea?”

Linda was not “obese,” she just had the typical “moderate roll” of abdominal body fat and a little bit of thigh/hip fat that many forty-something females struggle with.

“I think it’s a great idea,” I reassured her. “Competitions are great for motivation. When you have a deadline and you dangle a “carrot” like that prize money in front of you, it can keep you focused and more motivated than ever.”

Linda was eager and rarin’ to go. “Will you help me? I have this enrollment kit and I need my body fat measured.”

“No problem,” I said as I pulled out my Skyndex fat caliper, which is used to measure body fat percentage with a “pinch an inch” test.

When I finished, I read the results to her from the caliper display: “Twenty-seven percent. Room for improvement, but not bad; it’s about average for your age group.”

She wasn’t overjoyed at being ‘average’. “Yeah, but it’s not good either. Look at THIS,” she complained as again she grabbed a handful of stomach fat. “I want to get my body fat down to 19%, I heard that was a good body fat level.”

I agreed that 19% was a great goal, but told her it would take a lot of work because average fat loss is usually about a half a percent a week, or six percent in twelve weeks. Her goal, to lose eight percent in twelve weeks was ambitious.

She smiled and insisted, “I’m a hard worker. I can do it”

Indeed she was and indeed she did. She was a machine! Not only did she never miss a day in the gym, she trained HARD. Whenever I left my office and took a stroll through the gym, she was up there pumping away with everything she had. She told me her diet was the strictest it had ever been in her life and she didn’t cheat at all. I believed her, and it started to show, quickly.

Each week she popped into my office to have her body fat measured again, and each week it went down, down, down. Consistently she lost three quarters of a percent per week – well above the average rate of fat loss – and on two separate occasions, I recall her losing a full one percent body fat in just seven days.

Someone conservative might have said she was overtraining, but when we weighed her and calculated her lean body mass, we saw that she hadn’t lost ANY muscle – only fat. Her results were simply exceptional!

She was ecstatic, and needless to say, her success bred more success and she kept after it like a hungry tiger for the full twelve weeks.

On week twelve, day seven, she showed up in my office for her final weigh-in and body fat measurement. She was wearing a pair of formerly tight blue jeans and they were FALLING OFF her!

“Look, look, look,” she repeated giddily as she tugged at her waistband, which was now several inches too large.

As I took her body fat, I have to say, I was impressed. She hadn’t just lost a little fat, she was “RIPPED!”

During week twelve she dropped from 18% to 17% body fat, for a grand total of 10% body fat lost in three months. She surpassed her goal of 19% by two percent. I was now even more impressed, because not many people lose that much body fat in three months.

You should have seen her! She started jumping up and down for joy like she was on a pogo stick! She was beaming… grinning from ear to ear! She practically knocked me over as she jumped up and gave me a hug – “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“Don’t thank me,” I said, “You did it, I just measured your body fat.”

She thanked me again anyway and then said she had to go have her “after” pictures taken.

Then something very, very strange happened. She stopped coming to the gym. Her “disappearance” was so abrupt, I was worried and I called her. She never picked up, so I just left messages.

No return phone call.

It was about four months later when I finally saw Linda again. The giddy smile was gone, replaced with a sullen face, a droopy posture and a big sigh when I said hello and asked where she’d been.

“I stopped working out after the contest… and I didn’t even win.”

“You looked like a winner to me, no matter what place you came in” I insisted, “but why did you stop, you were doing so well!”

“I don’t know, I blew my diet and then just completely lost my motivation. Now look at me, my weight is right back where I started and I don’t even want to know my body fat.”

“Well, I’m glad to see you back in here again. Write down some new goals for yourself and remember to think long term too. Twelve week goals are important, but fitness isn’t 12 week program you know, it’s a lifestyle – you have to do it every day, for the rest of your life.”

She nodded her head and finished her workout, still with a defeated look on her face. Unfortunately, she never again come anywhere near the condition she achieved for that competition, and for the rest of the time she was a member at our club, she slipped right back into the sporadic on and off workout pattern.

Linda was not an isolated case. I’ve seen the same thing happen with countless men and women of all ages and fitness levels from beginners to competitive bodybuilders. In fact, it happens to millions of people who “go on” diets, lose a lot of weight, then quickly “go off” the diet and gain the weight right back.

What causes people to burn so brightly with enthusiasm and motivation and then burn out just as quickly? Why do so many people succeed brilliantly in the short term but fail 95 out of 100 times in the long term? Why do so many people reach their fitness goals but struggle to maintain them?

The answer is simple: Health and fitness is for life, not for “12 weeks.”

You can avoid the on and off, yo-yo cycle of fitness ups and downs. You can get in great shape and stay in great shape. You can even get in shape and keep getting in better and better shape year after year, but it’s going to take a very different philosophy than most people subscribe to. The seven tips below will guide you.

These guidelines are quite contrary to the quick fix philosophies prevailing in the weight loss and fitness world today. Applying them will take patience, discipline and dedication and they will put you in the minority. Just remember, the only thing worse than getting no results is getting great results and losing them.

1) Don’t “go on” diets. When you “go on” a diet, the underlying assumption is that at some point you have to “go off” it. This isn’t just semantics, it’s one of the primary reasons most diets fail. By definition, a “diet” is a temporary and often drastic change in your eating behaviors and/or a severe restriction of calories or food, which is ultimately, not maintainable. If you reach your goal, the diet is officially “over” and then you “go off” (returning to the way you used to eat). Health and fitness is not temporary; it’s not a “diet.” It’s something you do every day of your life. Unless you approach nutrition from a “habits” and “lifestyle” perspective, you’re doomed from the start.

2) Eat the same healthy foods consistently, all year round. Permanent fat loss is best achieved by eating mostly the same types of foods all year round. Naturally, you should include a wide variety of healthy foods so you get the full spectrum of nutrients you need, but there should be consistency, month in, month out. When you want to lose body fat, there’s no dramatic change necessary – you don’t need to eat totally different foods – it’s a simple matter of eating less of those same healthy foods and exercising more.

3) Have a plan for easing into maintenance. Let’s face it – sometimes a nutrition program needs to be more strict than usual. For example, peaking for a bodybuilding, figure, fitness or transformation challenge contest requires an extremely strict regimen that’s different than the rest of the year. As a rule, the stricter your nutrition program, the more you must plan ahead and the more time you must allow for a slow, disciplined transition into maintenance. Failure to plan for a gradual transition will almost always result in a huge binge and a very rapid, hard fall “off the wagon.”

4) Focus on changing daily behaviors and habits one or two at a time. Rather than making huge, multiple changes all at once, focus on changing one or two habits/behaviors at a time. Most psychologists agree that it takes about 21 days of consistent effort to replace an old bad habit with a new positive one. As you master each habit, and it becomes as ingrained into your daily life as brushing your teeth, then you simply move on to the next one. That would be at least 17 new habits per year. Can you imagine the impact that would have on your health and your life? This approach requires patience, but the results are a lot more permanent than if you try to change everything in one fell swoop. This is also the least intimidating way for a beginner to start making some health-improving changes to their lifestyle.

5) Make goal setting a lifelong habit. Goal setting is not a one-time event, it’s a process that never ends. For example, if you have a 12 week goal to lose 6% bodyfat, what are you going to do after you achieve it? Lose even more fat? Gain muscle? What’s next? On week 13, day 1, if you have no direction and no long term goal to keep you going, you’ll have nothing to keep you from slipping back into old patterns. Every time you achieve a short term goal (daily, weekly and 12 week goals), you must set another one. Having short term goals means that you are literally setting goals continuously and never stopping.

6) Allow a reasonable time frame to reach your goal. It’s important to set deadlines for your fitness and weight loss goals. It’s also important to set big, ambitious goals, but you must allow a reasonable time frame for achieving them. Time pressure is often the motivating force that helps people get in the best shape of their lives. But when the deadline is unrealistic for a particular goal (like 30 pounds in 30 days), then crash dieting or other extreme measures are often taken to get there before the bell. The more rapidly you lose weight, the more likely you are to lose muscle and the faster the weight will come right back on afterwards. Start sooner. Don’t wait until mid-May to think about looking good for summer.

7) Extend your time perspective. Successful people in every field always share one common character trait: Long term time perspective. Some of the most successful Japanese technology and manufacturing companies have 100 year and even 250-year business plans. If you want to be successful in maintaining high levels of fitness, you must set long term goals: One year, Ten years, Even fifty years! You also must consider what the long term consequences might be as a result of using any “radical” diet, training method or ergogenic aid. The people who had it but lost it are usually the ones who failed to think long term or acknowledge future consequences. It’s easy for a 21 year old to live only for today, and it may even seem ridiculous to set 25 year goals, but consider this: I’ve never met a 40 or 60 year old who didn’t care about his or her health and appearance, but I have met 40 or 60 year olds who regretted not caring 25 years ago.

Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM) is a fat loss program which acknowledges the simple truth that going “on diets,” entering “Fitness challenges” or competing in “Transformation contests” without having long term goals and a lifestyle attitude, is a recipe for failure. Don’t let yourself be part of the latest fitness dropout statistics: visit the Burn The Fat website for more details on how to change your lifestyle… and keep the change!

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle.” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide. For information on Tom’s Fat Loss program, visit:

Intention: The Powerful Tool for Massively Deepening Your Motivation So You Get Big Results

By Scout Wilkins
Do you want to massively deepen your motivation, so you magnify your results in any class you take, any project you take on, any conversation you engage in?

Get crystal clear about your intention for doing whatever it is you do. Your big WHY.

Setting an intention is the most powerful way to laser-focus your attention, both consciously and unconsciously, so you achieve precisely what you most intend to achieve.

A clear intention helps you set priorities, connect to the WHY that will propel you forward, so you make choices that serve you well. If you are clear on your intention, you are going to take on the projects that move you toward that intention, and release the rest. (If not, perhaps your intention needs to be focus).

Setting an intention for a day is a sure way to improve your attitude and results.

After all, as they say – if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll get there.

It’s like coloring in a tiny circle right in the center of the target. It’s been proven that the smaller you make the bulls-eye which you are aiming at, the closer you will come to hitting it.

Great! How do I DO this? you ask…

Sit quietly with this question: What is my intention, for who I want to be, or how I want to be different – coming out of this situation. As a result of taking this course, reading this article, connecting with this person?

I recommend that you come up with a single word that captures the essence of your intention.

Is it your intention to increase your level of confidence? Clarity? Peace? Congruence? Courage? Compassion?

Whatever it is that you most intend to step into being more of, state it clearly, and with conviction.

People often ask me, how do I choose one intention? I have several, and they are all important.

I really get that. How does one choose? And yet it is important to choose a single focus, and it’s actually easier than you may think.

Start by “chunking up” as high as you can…what I mean by that, is on the list of everything that you want to feel, which of those essences are actually encapsulated within another even higher thought? And when you get to the pinnacle, what is the highest thought of all?

For me, I kind of always come back to love as the highest intention…it holds everything. And then, I ask myself – to get closer to love, what do I most need right now, in this moment?

Well, when I am in any kind of anxiety, I need peace. When I am struggling to get something done and holding myself back, often I need clarity – I’m just not clear on the next step, and when I have it I move forward. Or perhaps I need determination. Or compassion for myself. Or courage.

In any given moment, there really is one piece of the picture that’s wobbly, that needs a bit of shoring up.

The lynch pin.

In this moment, what is the core challenge or block to you taking your very next step towards love – or whatever you state you highest intention?

What attribute would most serve you, to take that step?

What do you most need at this time, which will move you in the direction you want to be moving?

Don’t make this too big a deal – just ask yourself, what would most help me, right now, today? Where am I struggling and what do I need right now that will help me release that struggle and move forward?

Know that when you get there, of course, you’ll have a new challenge, a new need, and you will be able to set a new intention in THAT moment. This one is only for right here, right now.

Your clear intention is one of the most powerful tools you can use to keep centered so you can move forward powerfully, in peace.

Do you agree? Disagree? As always, if this has been useful, please let me know by leaving your comments!!

Scout is the Mind Repatterning Ninja, who works with smart, successful women who have hit a wall and begun to doubt themselves, perhaps for the first time. “Is the real me still in there?” “Do I still have it?” Scout guides them to move through that wall, past the fears and doubts that are holding them back. If you are are aware of feeling stuck, and not playing full out in your business, your relationships or your fitness, go here to learn more: to learn more, and apply for a free one-on-one Discovery Session, designed to get you into action.

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How To Increase Your Performance by 1000 Percent By Adapting 7 Small Tasks To Your Daily Routine

By Keith Aul
As my journey of self discovery began many years ago I wanted to figure out how I could increase my performance indefinitely in every area of my life. So I began studying the habits of successful people by reading autobiographies, success journals and books and networking and associating with other successful people in my community.
As a result I was able to discover a formula that Brian Tracy developed over his successful career. The techniques and principles you are about to learn were adapted from Brian’s book, Focal Point.

This formula is called the 1000% formula. Brian based this formula on a universal law called The Law of Incremental Improvement. This law basically states that progress takes place over time in small incremental steps. It’s best to describe this law by remembering this quote, “By the yard it’s hard, but inch by inch, anything’s a cinch.”

Remember change and progress takes place slowly and it doesn’t happen by one or two quantum leaps. The person you are today was a result of all the choices and habits you’ve adapted up to this point. To become someone different, you must be willing to work hard and have the determination to become someone different. Lasting and permanent change happens progressively over a long period of time.

Brian suggests that if you continually learn, study, upgrade your skills and set priorities on your tasks, you could increase your overall productivity and performance by one tenth of one percent each day, day after day, indefinitely.

This formula is called the 1000% formula because if you make these small, incremental changes you could increase your performance and earning power by 1000% over the next decade. For example Brian wrote:

“If you become one tenth of one percent more productive each day, five days per week, at the end of one week you will be one half of one percent more productive (1/10 x 5 =.5%). At the end of four weeks, you will be two percent more productive (4 x.5% = 2%). At the end of fifty-two weeks, you will be 26% more productive than you were at the beginning of the year (13 x 2% =26%). By becoming 26% more productive over the course of a year, and continuing to improve by one tenth of one percent per day, five days a week, you will actually double your overall productivity, performance and output in 2.7 years. If you continue learning, growing and becoming more effective and efficient, an improvement of 26% per year, compounded over ten years, will result in an increase of 1004% in your overall productivity in one decade. “

This reminds me of the compound effect that Darren Hardy talks about in his book. Darren says that if you make small, smart choices consistently over time you will reap huge rewards. Increasing your overall productivity by 1000% in a decade could mean a huge gain in your earning power.

Here are the seven steps in the 1000% Formula that will guarantee that you become at least one tenth of one percent better daily, one half percent better each week, two percent better each month and 26% better each year.

First, arise two hours before you’re off to your job and read for one hour that will upgrade your skills. Do not let anything else distract you during this period.

Second, rewrite and review your major goals each day. This process will only take a few minutes. Grab yourself a spiral notebook and write your goals in the present tense as though you have already achieved them. This will program your subconscious mind to be observant to opportunities to move you closer to achieving your goals.

Tools for Leaders come from FranklinCovey – tools for formulating and tracking your mission, values, and goals.

Third, plan every day in advance. Jot down a list of tasks to achieve the night before either at the end of your workday or before you go to bed. This process will program your subconscious mind while you are a sleep to work on your tasks. When you wake up you will be given ideas that will lead you to the achievement of your goals faster and more effectively.

Fourth, always concentrate on the most valuable task that will give you the most value. Work on the most valuable task first thing in the morning and focus on that until it is done.

Fifth, listen to educational audio programs in your car or during exercise . Turn off the radio in your car and turn it into a university on wheels. Never allow your car to be moving without educational audio programs playing. In my opinion, anytime you have the chance to have your MP3 player or iPod on, load it with your favorite audio books and personal development improvement material.

Sixth, ask two questions after every experience. The two questions are: 1) What did I do right? and 2) What would I do differently? This will help you to grow more and more rapidly by efficiently speeding up the process of doing your tasks. When you focus on the outcomes of these two questions your mind becomes positive, productive and creative.

The seventh step in the 1000% formula is for you to treat everyone you meet like you would like to be treated yourself. In other words like a million-dollar customer. Treat the people you work with in exactly the same manner as you would treat a valuable customer of your firm. Treat every prospect or customer as if they had already purchased a million dollar’s worth of what your company sells, and were thinking of doing it again. Especially, treat the people at home as though they were the most valuable people in the world to you, because they are.

Keith Aul is a recognized leader in the self-development industry. His blog brings together the ideas, principles that make people successful from the greatest thought leaders of yesterday and today. He encourages people to read because of what Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said – “You will be the same person you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read”. Learn more at Also, Read about the core essentials responsible for the success of every super achiever:

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Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, Set S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, Set S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals

by Tom Venuto,

Why do new year’s resolutions usually fail? Why do you start with guns blazing on January 1st, but by February, you’re losing motivation, cheating on your diet, skipping workouts, and slipping back into old patterns? John LaValle, a master trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) suggests that we should take a closer look at the meaning behind the word “Resolution.” Being derived from the word “re-solve,” it really means “to solve again.” And isn’t that exactly what happens? You solve the same problem again and again, year after year?

You know what I’m talking about… That 20 pounds you lost last year, and promptly gained it right back… you are now resolving to take it off again aren’t you? The very nature of the word resolution implies gaining it back again.

Suggestion: don’t make resolutions. Set SMARTER goals.

Resolutions aren’t real goals. They’re more like wishes, and wishes are wishy-washy. A wish becomes a goal the moment you put it in writing. When you write your goals in a certain way, following scientific principles of success psychology, you’ll skyrocket your chances of getting what you want this year… and keeping it.

One of the most tried and true methods for goal achievement is the SMART goals formula. If you searched the net for SMART goals, you would probably find a dozen different variations on the SMART goal acronym. Here’s my version of SMART goals, along with a little extra to make them even SMART-ER.

1. Specific. Set goals with clarity. Your mind does not respond well to vague generalities. If you say your goal is to lose weight and then you lose one pound, then you’ve reached your goal. Is that what you really wanted? Get clear. Be precise. Be specific.

2. Measurable. Set goals that can be quantified in measurable units such as pounds, body fat percentage, lean body mass, inches and clothing sizes. Performance goals can include strength (lbs or kilos lifted) and repetitions completed. Don’t forget to include health goals as well, such as blood pressure and blood lipids.

3. Accountable. Set goals you can be held accountable to. First be accountable to yourself by using a weekly progress chart, a daily nutrition diary and a training journal. Then double your motivation with external accountability and submit your results and journals to someone else who will hold you to your commitments.

4. Realistic.
Set goals that are attainable and maintainable. If you lose two pounds of fat per week, you are doing awesome. 30 pounds in 30 days sounds great in the advertisements, but it is not typical, and rapid weight loss is likely to consist of muscle and water, not fat, and is nearly impossible to maintain.

5. Time Bound. Set goals with deadlines. Time limits are highly motivating. With no time limit, there is no urgency for completion. Set goals for daily workouts and nutrition, weekly weight and body composition and 12 week changes in weight, body fat or measurements. Set long term goals as well for one year, five years and even beyond. For all time periods, be certain that your deadline is realistic.

Now we add some motivational ooompf for this year by making your goals even SMART-ER!

6. Emotional. Goals give you a direction, but strong emotions are the propulsion system that drives you in that direction. Build up a burning desire by focusing on the emotional reasons why you want to achieve your goal. Connect your goals to your values. What’s most important to you about reaching your goal? If you reach 9% body fat, or whatever is your target, what will that do for you? What will your life look like then? How will it make you FEEL?

7. Reviewed often. Resolutions fail because they are casually set once at the beginning of the year and easily forgotten. Stay laser-focused by writing and reading your goals every day. Repetition is one of the keys to re-programming your mental computer for success. Use the goal card technique. Write your single most important body or fitness goal on a small card, then carry it with you every where you go, reading it several times a day.

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. GOALS is a simple, memorable formula for goal setting and goal getting. It may not be new, but then again, there are no new fundamentals. Methods and tactics may change, but scientific principles of success never change. And don’t forget to make your goals even smarter this year. A goal that’s not strongly desired and kept in front of you every day will be forgotten. Stay focused, eat right, train hard and expect success!

“A goal that is casually set and lightly taken will be freely abandoned at the first obstacle.” – Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker

Your friend and coach,

Tom Venuto
Fat Loss Coach

PS. Remember, goal setting is just the start. Goal ACHIEVING requires a nutrition and training plan.  Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is the most comprehensive fat loss program of its kind because it teaches you every element necessary to succeed: nutrition, cardio training, weight training and “mental training” (goal setting and mindset).

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a fat loss expert, lifetime natural (steroid-free) bodybuilder, independent nutrition researcher, freelance writer, and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle: Fat-Burning Secrets of The World’s Best Bodybuilders & Fitness Models (e-book) which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting:

Your Fitness Future Foretold: 20 Predictions for the New Year

by Tom Venuto,

Happy New Year! In this article, I’m going to predict your future and forecast exactly what kind of results you’re going to get in the next 12 months. Sylvia Browne, step aside… I’m pretty good at this.

Several years ago, a public relations firm in New York City asked me to write an article for one of their publications about fitness trends and predictions for the coming year.

It turned out that my “crystal ball” was pretty darn accurate. I nailed most of the predictions I made about aerobics classes, yoga, core training, “holistic” approaches, online personal training technology, the baby boomer market, increasing obesity and many other subjects.

I do confess, it wasn’t that difficult, because instead of just guessing, I actually did some research on industry statistics and I also had some “inside insights” because I’d been a health club manager for so many years and was privy to fitness business trends.

This year, instead of making predictions for the whole fitness industry, what if I could take out my crystal ball again and predict with 99% precision exactly what kind of results you will achieve with your body by the end of the year?

Well, no problem, I can do that too!

I would claim that I have some kind of “gift” for this, but to be honest, you and I don’t need to be psychic to make predictions like these.

There are two things you can always count on: (1) Nature’s laws of cause and effect, and (2) human nature.

On that basis, here are my 20 fitness predictions for the new year:

I PREDICT that if you can reach into your pocket on any day this year and pull out a card or piece of paper with all your body and fitness goals written on it in vivid detail, the odds are 95 to 1 in favor of you achieving every one of those goals before the year is out.

I PREDICT that if you focus your thoughts on your goals and how you are going to achieve them, all day long, you will reach your goals so fast this year, it will make your head spin.

I PREDICT that if you focus your thoughts on health woes and body fat problems and if you think about what you don’t want, all day long, your problems will get worse than ever this year.

I PREDICT that if you made a new year’s resolution, but you didn’t turn it into a specific, written goal with a deadline and a strong reason why you must achieve it, you will freely abandon it the moment the going gets tough.

I PREDICT that if you can tell me all the reasons why achieving your health and fitness goals are important to you, you will be motivated from within to stick with it when the going gets tough.

I PREDICT that at times, the going is going to get tough.

I PREDICT that if you can tell me today what is your life purpose and what is your lifelong vision for your body and your health, you will still be as motivated and driven at the end of the year as you were at the beginning.

I PREDICT that if you don’t have long term goals and a “big picture” vision for your life that you will lose your New Year’s enthusiasm and motivation in a matter of months or even weeks.

I PREDICT that the way you see yourself in your mind’s eye today will be an exact reflection of what you see in the mirror at the end of the year.

I PREDICT that if you have a setback that seems to get in the way of you reaching your health and fitness goals and you tell yourself “this just is temporary; this too shall pass,” then it will pass and it won’t set you back.

I PREDICT that if you believe the way your body looks today is out of your control and you feel helpless or powerless to change, you won’t even make much of an effort this year.

I PREDICT that if you accept complete responsibility for the way your body looks today and you believe that you have the power to change, that you will take action and keep taking action, even through the tough times.

I PREDICT that if you’re unhappy with your physical condition and you say, “it’s not my fault” or you blame it on genetics, hormones or age, then your body will look pretty much the same at the end of this year as it did on New Year’s day.

I PREDICT that the more you have patience, a long term perspective and the ability to postpone immediate gratification, the more likely you are to be a success one year from now.

I PREDICT that the more you seek “miracle pills” or “quick fixes,” the more likely you are to be a failure one year from now.

I PREDICT that you will be tempted by many quick fixes this year.

I PREDICT that if you hang out with losers and negative people this year, you will become just like them.

I PREDICT that if you hang out with winners and positive people this year, you will become just like them.

I PREDICT that you will run into more negative people and losers this year than positive people and winners.

I PREDICT that if you recruit just one friend or support partner that stands behind you and the lifestyle changes you want to make this year, you will double your chances for success. If you surround yourself with numerous support partners, you will become virtually unstoppable.

So how does your future look for the year ahead?

Based on my “predictions,” if it doesn’t look as bright as you’d like it to be, then don’t worry, because a prediction is not predestination.

You can’t do anything to change the past, but by changing your thoughts, attitudes and actions in the present moment, the future is yours to create.

Your friend and coach,

Tom Venuto, author of
Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a fat loss expert, lifetime natural (steroid-free) bodybuilder, independent nutrition researcher, freelance writer, and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle: Fat-Burning Secrets of The World’s Best Bodybuilders & Fitness Models (e-book) which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting:

Goal Setting For The New Decade: Beyond The New Year’s Resolution

When you pause and reflect on the past decade as you look ahead to a new one, it makes you appreciate how short life is, how valuable time is and how quickly the time can pass you by – with nothing to show for it, if you don’t plan otherwise.

by Tom Venuto,

That’s why the passing of another decade can feel like a wakeup call as much as a fresh start: Looking at the technological wonders that surround us in 2010, I can’t help thinking it feels like science fiction.

In fact, modern technology is one of the reasons why some people have succeeded at body transformation while others have failed.

I’m still in awe of the web. The satellite navigation system in my car amazes me every time I drive. I can store a library of books in a device that fits in my pocket. It blows my mind that we can speak to each other face to face through the internet live on video. That’s straight from Star Trek! And those are just the everyday little things.

It’s the greatest time to be alive in all of human history! Unfortunately, today’s modern conveniences have brought a dark side upon us.

Rising obesity has paralleled the march of technology. The chair-bound, desk-job, computer, car, elevator, television based society of today is helping to make millions of people fat and lazy.

Our current way of life is less than a century old, yet our biology hasn’t changed in tens of thousands of years. Our bodies were designed to move and work, not sit and click.

We’ve become spoiled. Complacent. Dependent. And we are paying a price for it. We are fatter than ever before in all of human history. More than two thirds of Americans are now overweight. One third are obese.

People are dying because they‘re too fat.

Ironically, none of our new technology can solve our body fat problems.  There’s no easy way. No pill. No machine. No drug. More knowledge isn’t going to help. We already have most of the answers. We know more about the human body than ever before. But it’s all academic.

The problem lies in the doing. You have to do the work – in the gym and in the kitchen. Hard work.

We are a quick fix society. It’s partly human nature, but technology is making us more impatient. We can have products delivered to us with one click and even do it from our cell phones. We have instant downloads, movies on demand, and drive through coffee shops. We get  our food made and delivered in just minutes while we are sitting in our cars, and it’s still not quick enough. The internet is blazingly fast, but most people will abandon a web page in seconds if it hasn’t loaded. It’s no different with fat loss. We want six pack abs yesterday.

Simultaneously fighting the pull of human nature and the convenience of new technology is no easy task. But there is a solution: Future Orientation.

The most successful people in the world today are those who have a long term perspective. They plan 5-10 years in advance and beyond. They know how to enjoy and live in the present moment, but they take action and make decisions based on their future vision.

The passing of another decade makes you take stock of yourself and your achievements, or lack thereof. “What did I accomplish in the last 10 years? Am I a better person today than I was in 2000?”

If you don’t like the answers, then it’s time to finally get serious about your future because the next 10 years are going to fly by even faster than the last 10 as the pace of life and society gets even faster.

To succeed in the new decade, think beyond new year’s resolutions. Think beyond the 12 week fitness goal. As you write your goals this year, don’t stop with 3 month or even 1 year goals.

Project yourself into the future: 3, 5 and 10 years from now. For each point, dream, fantasize, visualize: if your body, your health your physical performance were perfect in every way, what would that look like? Describe it in vivid detail.

With our ingrained penchant for quick fixes, we often overestimate what we can achieve in the short term and set unrealistic deadlines on our short term goals. But the flipside is that we often underestimate what we can achieve in the long term, so we set our long term goals too low.  Do you realize that people have gone from broke to billionaire in 10 years? In this internet age, some have done it even faster.

My challenge for you this year is to start thinking about your body and your life with the same type of creativity that has led to our greatest technological advances:

Not the same thoughts as yesterday. Not just positive thoughts. just bigger thoughts. NEW THOUGHTS! Creative thoughts! Inventive thoughts! From new thoughts will spring new goals, new actions and new achievements.

Fitness goals should not take over your life, they should enhance every other part of it. So take this opportunity to achieve balance by setting long term goals for every area of your life – health, fitness, finances, career, relationships, experiences, travel, possessions and spiritual growth.

Most people didn’t set any goals 10 years ago. They’re among the masses who are in the same place today as they were a decade ago.  

Some people only set short term goals, so they accomplished a few little things, but then stopped, as if a goal were a final destination rather than a stepping stone along a path. Other people set goals but didn’t follow through on them. They forgot that goal setting and goal achieving are two different things.

Don’t fall into these traps.

If you need coaching in the goal setting process – from the daily and weekly baby steps to the long term goals and dreams that span a decade – read chapter one of Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle.  If you already have it. Now is the time to revisit it.

If you don’t own a copy yet, you can get the program at:

Most people make resolutions. Some people set well-formed goals. But long term goals are the goals that almost everyone forgets to set.

If you didn’t do this exercise 10 years ago, do it now. If you do, I guarantee that in 2013, 2015, 2020, you’ll not only find yourself living at a whole new level, you’ll find yourself living in another world – one of your own creation.

Happy New Year!

Tom Venuto, author of
Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle

PS. Remember, goal setting is just the start. Goal ACHIEVING requires a nutrition and training plan.  Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is the most comprehensive fat loss program of its kind because it teaches you every element necessary to succeed: nutrition, cardio training, weight training and “mental training” (goal setting and mindset).

Learn more about the Burn The Fat program at:

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a fat loss expert, lifetime natural (steroid-free) bodybuilder, independent nutrition researcher, freelance writer, and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle: Fat-Burning Secrets of The World’s Best Bodybuilders & Fitness Models (e-book) which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting:

5 Ways to Stick to Your Fitness Plan

Minimize distractions and stay motivated with these smart tips

Sticking to Your At-Home Routine


By Chris Freytag

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about creating your own home gym.  Working out at home is a fantastic option for anyone strapped for time and/or money.  You can save yourself the trip to the health club and the fees!  But even when your workout is waiting for you in the next room, it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t actually follow through and do it.  So, how do you get motivated to stick with your at-home routine?  Here are some of my tips: 

  • The number one thing to work on is time management.  Time, time, time…where does it go?  You may think that because you can workout at home you won’t need to plan your time as carefully because you can fit the workout in anytime.  Unfortunately, this thought process often backfires.  At home there are a multitude of distractions that will put a kink in the best-laid workout plans.  Schedule your workouts on your calendar just like you would if you were taking a group class. Also, “bundle” your busywork into one convenient time of the day.  By doing your bills and miscellaneous paperwork at one set time, you won’t feel distracted to get it done instead of the workout you planned. Take advantage of time-saving technology like online banking, bill paying, and post office services that will free you up.  That leads me to my next suggestion…
  •  Limit your time on the internet!  I cannot tell you how many times I hear people talk about how they became distracted on the internet at home.  How many times do you sit down to complete one email and a half hour later you are still on the computer looking at something completely off the subject?  Schedule your internet and email time and limit yourself to 15 or 30 minutes or put your computer away until you finish your workout.
  • Organize your life so you are always ready to get up and get moving when the opportunity presents itself.  What I mean by this is have a set place where you keep your gym shoes and workout clothes.  If you have a half hour workout scheduled at home but cannot find your shoes and then realize that you left them in your husband’s car that is time wasted and lost! Also, if you workout first thing in the morning, place a pile of clean workout clothes close to your bed so when that alarm goes off it is easy to get dressed and go.  Spending 15 minutes looking for some clean running pants and matching socks is a waste of precious time in the am and might set you back so that a workout will no longer fit in.
  • Be smart about piggybacking your workouts with other favorite at-home activities like watching Dancing With The Stars that you taped the night before.  I often use my at-home workout on the treadmill to call my sisters and catch up.  They don’t mind that I’m breathing a little harder and we fit in some rare quality time to chat!
  •  Invite some friends over to join you.  I know a woman who has a standing appointment with a group of her friends to do a workout DVD together and then do some strength training (often outside in her yard).  Chances are you aren’t going to cancel on a buddy like you would yourself and the social factor of working out with friends can be a big motivator.

Through some simple and smart strategies, exercising at home can become a part of the fabric of your life!


Isabel’s not into victimhood (well…read this article to understand what I mean), she’s into getting you control over your life  


Tom’s not into it either!  

Start Burning Fat & Building Muscle Today with Tom’s Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle