Over the last week Michelle and I have worked on a list of the top 8 lessons and tips that we’ve learned over the 8 years that we feel would benefit you most. Some of these might seem basic, but most success is found in mastering the basics!

1.) Bet on Yourself

2.) Consistency beats Intensity

3.) Push in Waves

4.) Ready, Fire, Aim

5.) Carbs are NOT your Enemy

6.) Protein and Water are ALWAYS the Answer

7.) When in Doubt Sweat it Out

8.) Stand Up for Yourself


1) BET ON YOURSELF!!!

Back in early 2012 when LiveFit was just in it’s infancy with only 19 clients and 3 workout times per week, I left my full time job to go ALL IN to see where we could take this “bootcamp thing” (as so many people still reference it today).

Just 3 months later my wife who had worked out exactly ZERO days in her life to that point, also left her full time job to go ALL IN. We only had 59 clients when she made that leap!

Fast forward 7 years later and we now keep a steady client base of 170+ clients, we’ve had over 3,000 people workout with us, 76,000 Facebook check-ins, 350+ Transformation Tuesday success stories, 30+ completely original transformation challenges and a lifetime of happy memories.

None of this would be possible if we had not bet on ourselves.

We didn’t know what we were doing, where we were going and how we would get there, but we had enough information to make a decision and did it.

No safety net, no back-up plan and nothing to catch us if we failed.

Doing this leaves you with very limited options, succeed or become homeless.

So when it came to identifying our #1 tip that we’ve learned that we wanted to share with you, it’s to go all in and bet on yourself.

Too many people these days are over analyzing, over planning and only focused on what could go wrong. People want to wait until “it’s the right time” except it’s never the right time more than it is now….

You are not getting any younger and the information you’re using to make your decisions is getting more and more out of date the longer you wait!

Stop being half committed, stop giving yourself an easy way out and finally take the leap to bet on yourself. The longer you wait the less likely you’ll ever do anything.

So the reason I titled this email “time to LET GO!” is because there is only so much tension you can create when you pull back on a bow and arrow. At a certain point you just have to LET GO and see where the arrow travels. Then you analyze and course correct based on what you learn.

But what I see is so many people who have pulled back on the arrow (planning and waiting, planning and waiting) but never let it go to see where there hopes, dreams and expectations will take them.

So whatever it is that you’ve been holding onto, or what goal you’ve been waiting to attack, the time is NOW!!!

Trust yourself, trust your work ethic, trust your motivation and put your back against the wall to challenge what you’re made of.

Whether that’s a new job, getting in shape, a new relationship or new project…just go all in and don’t look back.

Don’t leave this life with regrets and “what if’s”. Leave this life saying “Wow, what a ride!”

Thank you for 8 years of continued trust, support and being a part of our wild ride.

2) Consistency Beats Intensity

The famous quote says “The Flame that Burns Twice as Bright Burns Half as Long.”

We’ve seen this proven true over and over again. The clients who start with us and immediately want to start a diet, and supplements, and private training, and cardio, and _______ are ALWAYS the ones that fizzle out quickest.

It’s important to be fully committed to achieve success, but lifestyle changes take time to implement and to fully integrate into your life. Everything that is quick to implement is most likely a gimmick or short term band-aid.

A perfect example of this is Sharon Smith. At 70+ years old, she is the ONLY client we’ve ever had that has lost over 170 pounds, yet she has NEVER lost more than 5 pounds in any month since starting with us 6+ years ago.

Go back and read that last paragraph again.

So many people have their sights set on losing 20, 50, even 100 pounds or more that they make short term sacrifices instead of making long term lifestyle changes.

Sure it might work for the first 5 or 10 pounds or even the first few months, but eventually we all fall back to our comfort habits and rituals.

If you never create new habits and rituals the moment you get stressed, frustrated, depressed or anything that causes you to lose momentum in your “lose weight quick” scheme, you will undoubtedly return back to your old ways.

The more you deprive the more you’ll rebound!!!

Go back and read that last sentence again.

It’s so hard to schedule in an hour on the treadmill each day or go weeks on end dieting or avoiding carbs. Yet it is so easy to do 50 jumping jacks and 20 bicycle crunches for 5 sets every morning that will literally take you 6 minutes or less!

Both will result in you losing 20 pounds. The difference is…

The first way you’ll lose the 20 pounds in the first 2 months, then continue to gain back 30 pounds over the next 10 months.

The second way you’ll only lose 5 pounds in the first 2 months, then continue to lose another 15 pounds over the next 10 months.

The first way is so strict that cannot wait to eat a bad meal, then when you do and gain a few pounds back you get depressed and it takes you months and months to get back on track. This is because you never learned how to make lifestyle changes.

==> The second way becomes so simple and so routine that you also start going for walks every day after work. You become so much clearer mentally and feeling physically that you start entering into mud runs, go kayaking with friends and doing more physical activities.

==> The second way you barely even realize you’ve made any changes in your life until you look back 12 months later and cannot even recognize the person you had previously become.

==> The second way is how you become happier, healthier and more energetic with the side effect of consistently losing weight and fitting into smaller and smaller sizes.

The first way is about punishing your body and depriving yourself.

The second way is about loving your body and rewarding yourself.

It’s your choice.

3)ย Work in Waves

Your body needs to recharge so you can’t always push 100 mph and expect not to burnout. My suggestion of what I’ve learned works best is to work in 90 day cycles.

I use this for work, fitness, vacations or pretty much any goal that needs to be accomplished. If you can nail just this one step, you’ll have at least 4 major breakthroughs EVERY year!

This is how I set it up (90, 60, 30, 3, 2, 1, 72)…

What do I want to accomplish in the next 90 days (3 months)?

==> Get abs and lose 20 pounds

What do I need to have accomplished at the 60 days left mark to be on track?

==> Down at least 15 pounds, only 1x cheat meal weekly, workout 5x weekly w/ 5-10 minutes additional cardio post workout

What do I need to have accomplished in the first 30 days to be on track?

==> Down at least 5 pounds, only 2x cheat meals weekly, workout 4x weekly w/ 5-10 minutes additional cardio post workout

What do I need to have accomplished in the next 3 weeks?

==> Workout 3x weekly, go for 3 walks/jogs weekly, only 3x cheat meals/items (on weekend only, ex: pizza, chinese food, ice cream)

What do I need to have accomplished in the next 2 weeks?

==> Workout 3x weekly, go for 2 walks/jogs weekly, add in 1 protein shake daily

What do I need to have accomplished in the next 1 week?

==> Workout 3x weekly, no cheat meals Monday-Friday, stretch daily

What can I start with in the next 72 hours to reach my 1 week goal?

==> Get my initial measurements and bodyfat % tested, write out my initial 90, 60, 30, 3, 2, 1, 72 plan

Add in one new and bigger challenge each 30 days, with the largest push during the final 30 day stretch.

After 90 days, back off for a week before starting back at phase 1 of your new 90 challenge cycle.

This allows you to step back to appreciate your progress, avoid burnout and properly reassess new goals to attack next.

So, what is your 90 day goal? Write this down today!

4)ย Ready, FIRE, Aim

You don’t have to be perfect to see success, you just have to get started.

Don’t wait forever on aiming, take the first shot and readjust quickly. Too many people wait for the perfect time to get started. They pull back on the bow, but never release the arrow.

IMPORTANT ==> You are most likely going to stink at anything you do the first time, you might as well get it out of the way so you can start getting better.

You learn by practicing, not by reading about practicing.

Just like no one has ever gotten ripped by watching IG and YouTube videos about getting fit ๐Ÿ™‚

So how do you put this tip into action? Simple, do this…

Next time you are confronted with a choice or have options, make one! You are never going to know what the alternative choice would have led to anyway. Right?

So you might as well make a decision, start learning from your experience and course correcting along the way.

No sure if counting macros, going low carb or intermittent fasting might be right for you? Pick one and start it tomorrow.

Within a couple of days and weeks you’ll know if it’s the right option for you based on: results, how you feel, if you like the food selections, it’s a natural fit for your lifestyle, etc…

But what if you had never started and were still reading about how to do the PERFECT macro, low carb or intermittent fasting program 3 weeks later?

You would NOT be in the same spot you are now, in fact you’d be 3 more weeks out of shape than you are now!

Waiting is never the answer and progress is never made by doing nothing.

Stop over analyzing and try something to see if it works. You’ll never know until you do!

5) Carbs are NOT your Enemy

Sure keto works and of course low carb diets work. But that does not mean you should be afraid of eating carbs the rest of your life, unless you plan on never eating them again.

I don’t know about you, but I love carbs. Bread is awesome. My goal is to eat healthily and exercise enough the rest of my life so that I can eat bread, rice, potatoes and (cookies). The key is knowing when to eat carbs and enjoy everything in moderation.

Carbs are energy. If you are going to be active, eat them. If you aren’t active, don’t eat them. Keep it simple and enjoy your life!

Plus you don’t want to be that cranky, tired, moody, bitchy carb deprived person who’s always on a diet that we all know ๐Ÿ™‚

So how do you eat them without gaining additional fat?

Carbohydrates when eaten convert into a simpler form of energy called glucose. Most people think of glucose as sugar, which is fine for this example, but glucose actually controls SO many other functions of the body.

Today though we’re going to focus on it’s ability to provide you energy and muscle endurance.

As simple as this sounds, if you are going to be active, eat carbohydrates beforehand to have a steady release of energy.

The more fiber that is in the food (sweet potato, brown rice, etc…) the longer it will provide you energy.

The less fiber that is in the food (most fruit, white rice, bread, etc…) the shorter it will provide you energy, but the quicker it’ll be available to you.

How many carbs should you eat?

A simple rule of thumb is to make your carbohydrate portion smaller than your meat and vegetable portion on your plate.

That will ensure you are filling up on protein and vegetables which will help extend the life of the carbs you are eating by slowing it’s release into your bloodstream.

Is there such thing as bad carbs?

Yes. Of course. Anytime that you eat carbs without being active, your body breaks it down into sugar, then unused sugar stores in previously accumulated body fat. AKA- the fat gets fatter!

So if you want to enjoy carbs in your daily plan, it’s best to include them:

==> with breakfast 
==> mid morning snack to hold off hunger before lunch 
==> mid afternoon snack to avoid the “2pm crash” 
==> pre-workout

If I was pressed to say which is the most important time to eat them, pre-workout would be my answer.

If I was pressed to say which is the least important time to eat them, breakfastwould be my answer.

Save your carbs like On Demand TV on your DVR…if you keep recording more and more shows without watching or deleting them, your storage becomes FULL.

Instead if you record, watch, delete your DVR (your belly) will get leaner and leaner and leaner!

I hope this helps you to have your carbs and eat them too ๐Ÿ™‚

6) Protein and Water are ALWAYS the Answer

Fuel the machine. All living things need protein and hydration. This one should seem like common sense, but it’s probably where 50% of clients and 95% of the population go wrong.

Protein helps repair, recover, nourish and grow all living organisms in your body.

Water helps repair, recover, nourish and hydrate all living organisms in your body.

Both of those things sound pretty important!

Within days of focusing on eating more lean protein and drinking more water you’ll start feeling less bloated, you’ll have more energy, tired less often, less hungry between meals, clearer skin, better workout recovery and the list goes on and on.

How much protein should you eat?

There is no perfect answer for this question, but an easy way to remember this is to focus on protein and vegetables taking up the most surface space on your plate. The more you exercise or want to lose body fat, the more protein you should consume.

If you are a label reader, focus on getting 20 grams of protein to meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and at least 10 grams of protein per snack.

The more muscles you have, the more active you are and the more recovery your body requires will ultimately determine your optimal intake.

Can you eat too much protein?

You can do too much of just about anything in life, including protein consumption. But with that said, you are likely NEVER going to reach that limit.

An average female should be able to digest and assimilate 100-150 grams of protein every day with great success and no ill effects.

An average male should be able to digest and assimilate 150-200 grams of protein every day with great success and no ill effects.

How much water should you drink?

A good rule of thumb for water intake is to aim for 1/2 your body’s weight in ounces of water daily. So a 200 pound person would need to drink 100 ounces daily to stay hydrated.

The easiest way to increase your water intake without constantly having to pee and live in the bathroom, is to break up your daily water intake hourly.

So if your goal is to drink 90 ounces of water per day and you are awake for 15 hours per day, you would set an alarm on your cell phone to drink 6 ounces of water per hour! Easy peasy!

Can you drink too much water?

YES, and people have actually died from water intoxication. But it’s not going to happen from drinking a gallon of water or two per day if you are an active adult.

Most of the rare fluke “water incidents” have been part of radio station contests and sports team hazings where participants have drank multiple gallons of water in the matter of just a few minutes.

Don’t do this and you’ll not only stay alive, but your heart, lungs, muscles, hair, skin and nails will thrive!!!

So take a few extra sips of water today, order the extra protein with your lunch and be on your way to a healthier, happier and more hydrated body ๐Ÿ™‚

7)ย When in Doubt Sweat it Out

Having a bad day? Go sweat.

Feeling bloated? Go sweat.

Going through a break-up? Go sweat.

Endorphins are real.

A feeling of community is empowering.

Crushing a workout helps you overcome the suck of life. Always.

So often our initial instinct when things get hard, stress builds up and anxiety starts closing in the walls around us is to shut down, stay inside and stop moving.

One thing that is amazing is that ACTION alleviates ANXIETY.

The brain, just like nerves, can only focus on one thing at a time. Just like when you had pain as a kid and you’d hear “do you want me to step on the other foot so your _____doesn’t hurt anymore?

FACT ==> The problem though for most people when suffering with anxiety is the act of getting started with something to distract your mind.

It’s easy and less path to resistance to pack your bags and hang out with your anxiety for hours, day and weeks before it becomes almost IMPOSSIBLE to get out of your funk.

The key for me has always been to “change my state” as quickly as possible.

A cold shower, a hard workout, hitting a sledgehammer against a tire, and one of my favorite tips from a previous coach…

“Having anxiety? Go knock out 100 burpees in the garage and tell me how you feel afterwards!”

I can’t say that I’ve always (or ever) done that, but the fear of it usually helps to at least redirect my focus elsewhere temporarily.

So our #7 fitness tip that we’ve learned from working with over 3,000 clients in Pasco County over the last 8 years is: “When in doubt, sweat it out!”

It might not relieve all your sadness, anger or anxiety but at least you’ll feel a lot better after your workout, both physically AND mentally.

It goes back to the theme of the week: live fit because you love yourself, not to punish yourself.

8) Stand Up for Yourselfย (TODAY)

Here is something I shared with a close friend last week that I thought would be a GREAT story for you to read this morning…

…you know, the negative people in your life who seem to always drag your energy down and want to squash your dreams?

About a year ago a friend of mine turned me onto a Joel Osteen podcast where he was talking about the majestic bald eagle and how it’s ONLY known enemy in the world is the crow.

How crazy that such a powerful eagle would have a crow, of all things, as it’s enemy?

Turns out what happens is that two or three crows will team up and start attacking the eagle while it’s in flight. They’ll peck at it from all sides and attempt to throw the eagle off it’s flight plan.

Now the eagle can’t fight off more than one crow at a time and so it has a different way of dealing with the pesky crows.

See, the eagle has the ability to fly at 12,000 feel elevation… higher than most all other birds, and so when it’s being attacked by a gang of crows it simply goes higher and higher in altitude until the air gets thinner and the crows (who can’t fly as high) drop off.

My crab story (I’m sending you Wednesday morning) and Joel Osteen’s story about the eagle share the same moral – cut the crabs and crows out of your life and you’ll rise higher and achieve more than you ever thought possible.

You’ve probably heard the saying that your income is the average of the five people who you surround yourself with the most.

I think it’s more than that.

Who you surround yourself impacts more than just your income… it impacts your attitude, your thoughts, your work ethic and your general outlook on life.

Long ago I learned to cut all of the crabs and crows out of my life and started surrounding myself with people who I admired, looked up to, and wanted to be more like.

Just that one thing alone has made my life, my businesses and my happiness better than I could have ever imagined them to be.

Take an inventory of the people who make up your circle of influence, and if you find that they happen to be crabs and crows then eliminate them out of your life.

You’ll be amazing at how different your life will be in just 12 short months.

After all, YOU’RE the CEO of your life… YOU decide who to fire and who to give the promotion to.

I hope these 8 tips help you and you enjoyed reading them as much as we enjoyed compiling this list.

I’d love to hear you feedback on your favorites ๐Ÿ™‚

Committed to your fitness success,

Derek