Our TOP 10-GAME CHANGING Fitness Lessons Learned in 2018


2018 has been a roller coaster like year for us!

A lot of ups and a lot of downs.

What’s funny is you’d think we’d want more of the “Ups,” but what we’ve realized this year, is we’ve learned a ton more from the “DOWNs.”

The same goes within our fitness journey.

More lessons are always learned through the “DOWNs.”

In this article, we want to share with you our TOP 10 FITNESS LESSONS LEARNED IN 2018.

These TOP 10 lessons have been more towards what we call “The New Era of Fitness.”

If you haven’t heard of the NEW ERA OF FITNESS (where the heck have you been. 😉 ), this is the book we wrote 2 years ago and its centered around the following 5 elements:

  1. Flexible Exercise
  2. Flexible Nutrition
  3. Developing a Growth Mindset
  4. Personal Development to get better in all areas of life
  5. Creating a Dynamic Lifestyle

Now that you have some context, these 10 tips will be great for you to try going into 2019.

It will also be very helpful for you if you are a fitness coach.

Keep in mind, this article is long, about 3500 words, so just book mark this page and read 1-2 lessons per day with some coffee 😊

Without further ado, lets get into the TOP 10 fitness lessons learned in 2018.



Lesson 1- Developing a Six Pack in The Brain-

We get tired of the old school-black and white mindset within fitness which involves:

  • Putting body composition on a pedestal
  • Always aiming to have a six pack all year around
  • Trying to be in bikini shape every day
  • Fitness being all about exercise and nutrition only

That 1980’s Arnold era shit was cool back then. But there’s one area in fitness that is still so under looked and that’s mindset.

You must start developing a six pack in the brain just like you do your body.

This past decade, we’ve learned there are 3 key areas in mindset and fitness:

  • Developing a relentless mindset so you can be ready for the phases in fitness that don’t go as expected. An example is a dieting phase not going the way you wanted it to, so you have to be relentless and keep moving forward and understand the next phase may work out better


  • A growth mindset over a fixed mindset so you can keep growing in all areas outside of fitness like: career, relationships, social, adventure, acquiring new skills, etc. We promise that if you are growing in all of these other areas, your fitness journey will be that much more joyful and fun


  • Priming your mindset for success each day. This involves creating a morning and wind down routine, so you can prime your day for success after taking “me time” in the morning and then going out and serving others. Having a wind down routine is essential every day because you can shut off all the noise from the day to day shit, we all deal with and get ready to crush the next day refreshed and excited and not burnt out


Lesson 2- Linear Thinking in Nutrition

Man, oh man, we remember the first couple of years of our fitness journey, how we couldn’t wait to get the next monthly issue of {insert big named fitness magazine} and we couldn’t wait to try their new monthly diet.

Here’s the thing though…This created a linear thinking in nutrition for us.

You see, most diets have you thinking in a straight line, kind of like straight roads or highways.

Tell us if this straight line of dieting sounds familiar?

1st– You begin at your initial weight and all you can think about is getting to your goal weight

2nd– You follow a very specific diet, probably a popular named diet, super strict, and that allows for no deviations

3rd– When you’re on this rigid diet, it’s almost like trying to walk along the white line in the middle of the highway to get to your destination. If you put one foot in front of the other in perfect style, you’ll successfully make it to the end. If you accidently step off the line for even a moment, your likely to be a highway disaster

We tend to be a society of linear thinkers and the same is true within nutrition.

Here are some examples of linear thinking that can set you up for failure:

  • All that matters is that I lose weight and the scale number goes down
  • The faster weight melts off, the more successful I’ll be
  • In order to be successful, I must reach my magic goal weight number by {insert} specific date
  • I will lose 5 pounds per week with no fluctuations what so ever because I have the magic weight loss formula

Here’s how you get away from the downward spiral of linear thinking in nutrition:

  • Conceptual integration with nutrition (understand you can take different concepts from nutrition programs and integrate them. Ex: you can take concepts from intermittent fasting and integrate them with flexible dieting)
  • Have flexibility within your nutrition program. Understand that calories in/calories out is the biggest factor in weight loss/maintenance/weight gain, from there macronutrient ratios are very important, and from there, different concepts from nutrition programs, nutrient timing, and supplements are icing on the cake
  • There are no such thing as linear results. You can’t be perfect for X amount of weeks/months/years on your nutrition program, and if you are, good for you, you get a trophy and certificate saying “you’re awesome.” Understand your nutrition program will have its ups and downs and that’s a good thing because you learn this way, do better next time, and just move on with life



Lesson 3- How to Avoid the Extreme Sides of the Fitness Pendulum Swing

Picture this…

For the first couple of years of your fitness journey you are on the “Too Rigid” side of the pendulum swing which includes:

  • Black and white thinking within fitness concepts
  • An obsession with fitness
  • A selfish lifestyle that puts fitness on a pedestal and affects other areas of your life
  • Comparing your body image to others

After realizing things just weren’t working out on this side of the pendulum swing, you end up on all the way to the other side “Too Flexible,” which includes:

  • Not giving a shit basically
  • No goals, structure, systems or habits built into a fitness program
  • Gaining unnecessary body fat due to poor nutrition
  • Going through the motions at the gym with no real intent to make progress

It took us over 5 years to finally get ourselves in the middle of the pendulum swing, which we call the “Sweet Spot” in Fitness and this includes:

  • Using fitness as a tool and getting better in other areas of life such as adventure/experiences, relationships, career, social, etc.
  • Have a strong intentional plan to make progress in fitness with a sound nutrition program and planned periodized training protocol
  • Being open to integrating nutrition and training concepts and having an open mind with it all
  • Having a fun, joyful, purposeful, and results driven fitness journey and not making it my life



Lesson 4- Flexible Nutrition is Like Learning How to Ride a Bike

We remember when we first were taught how to ride a bike.

We had to use training wheels, so we wouldn’t fall and get hurt.

As repetition and practice with the training wheels accumulated over time, eventually we were ready to take the training wheels off and learn how to ride a bike.

This same concept can be applied within flexible nutrition.

When someone is new or a beginner to flexible nutrition, you need to start them off on flexible dieting, in this case, this is the training wheels.

You should focus on things like:

  • Awareness and education
  • Reading food labels and learning about macronutrients
  • Building multiple sample meal templates within your macros

Once habits are built within flexible dieting, you can take off the training wheels and start riding the bike, in this case you can start IIFYM (IF IT Fits Your Macros).

You should now focus on things like:

  • Building good behavioral habits
  • Understanding energy balance (total calories and calories in/calories out)
  • Eating the foods use like so long as you are hitting your micronutrient and fiber goals
  • Utilizing an 80/20 rule within nutrition (80 % nutrient dense foods and 20% semi junk food they prefer)

It’s easy to want to jump right into IIFYM as a beginner, but be patient, and understand this is not a short-term fix, rather it’s the long game you want to play so it can become a lifestyle.



Lesson 5- Knowing Your Clients Personality Type in Fitness to Excel More

We’ve had this major fascination with learning about personality types and one question we had was “Does Knowing your Clients Personality Type in Fitness Help Them Excel More?”

It hit us because we’ve been Coaches the past 10 years and worked with well over a thousand clients and all were their own unique personas.

Here’s what we came up with to answer this question…

First, let’s look at the HEXACO Model (6 personality factors):

  • H- Honesty and humility
  • E- Emotionally
  • (X) Extraversion
  • A- Agreeableness
  • C- Conscientiousness
  • O- Openness to experience

Now, one dimension of personality that might matter is Conscientiousness.

Think about competitive fitness athletes, they tend to have pretty high levels of Conscientiousness; they’d likely be very self-disciplined, work-oriented, organized people, etc.

But in a case where a very talented athlete was somewhat lower in Conscientiousness, a coach might take some steps to keep the athlete motivated and to monitor their training, nutrition, etc. more closely.

And in the case of very high-Conscientiousness athletes, we suspect that the coach might occasionally need to tell the athlete to back off a bit to avoid overtraining, burnout, etc.

Other dimensions might also come into play in the coach/athlete relationship itself. For example, we would think that athletes who are lower in Extraversion and lower in Emotionality would want a somewhat cool, reserved, more distant relationship with the coach, whereas athletes who are higher in these dimensions would be more likely to want the coach to be a friend (or maybe like an aunt or uncle).

It’s an interesting question and we wish we had a black and white answer for you.




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Lesson 6- Knowing When to Toughen Up and Push Yourself Within Fitness Journey

We’ll be really transparent here, we can’t stand fitness enthusiast or coaches that have the “all or nothing” OR “you have to be so F*%ken tough” mindset when it comes to fitness.

There’s a time and place in fitness when you need to know when to toughen up and push yourself.

But for those that think or preach a 365-day mindset of being so tough and pushing themselves are living in an Alice in Wonderland fantasy fitness journey 😂

The truth is, stuff comes up in life and life doesn’t care about your fantasy fitness journey.

Fitness should be a part of your life, not consume your entire life.

Meaning, when you are dealing with actual real-world issues (relationships, career, excessive travel, family, health, tragedies, finances, etc), then that is the time to not toughen up and push yourself.

This is the time where it’s okay to back off a bit, not quit your fitness entirely, but scale back a little and deal with the issues you have going on.

The time to toughen up and push yourself is when you are playing the victim role in your life, when you find yourself constantly making excuses, when you find yourself not taking care of your health and fitness, and when you have a crystal-clear goal to go after.

The take home message here is to know time and place when to turn it on and off to toughen up and push yourself within your fitness journey.

It’s a mindset within fitness that takes time and experience to develop, but just like a muscle, if you keep putting in the reps and sets, it will grow and strengthen, same with your mind.



Lesson 7- Shutting Out All The “Noise” in Your Fitness Journey

Here us out…

So many of us tend to compare ourselves to others in fitness as far as body composition.

At times, we catch ourselves shaming and guilting ourselves because we aren’t getting the results that the famous Instagram model has.

Or we quit on our fitness journey because the star fitness influencer or guru said it was easy getting results like they got.

Are you following us?

There’s so much noise and external voices that cause so much paralysis by over analysis, distractions, and even times measuring our self-worth with our body images, and we get sick and tired of seeing this.

After being in the fitness industry for over a decade, working with well over a thousand clients, having mentors and coaches, and my own constant battle with my own fitness journey, we’ve found some tricks to cancel out all the noise within fitness so we could focus more on our OWN journey and get better results and we want to share them with you:


  • Stop going down the social media feeds if you are constantly comparing yourself to others


  • Try following other motivating and inspiring people outside of fitness if you tend to measure your self-worth with your body image


  • Have a gym buddy or fitness support system to keep you accountable and focused, so you can get more shit done and get more results


  • Unfollow any of these “Big” fitness influencers that are constantly posting images of their body and making it sound like it’s easy to get results like them



Lesson 8- Taking a “Break” for Your Physical Health is Like a Car

Question for my car people…

What happens when you don’t do the following to your car?

  • Get an oil change
  • Fuel up on gas
  • Get a tune up
  • Let the engine cool

If we had to guess, we would say the car is going to breakdown eventually.

The same happens with the body and mind. However, it takes an excessive amount of overtraining to really have the body breakdown (Fry et al. 1997; Keogh et al. 2017; Baechle & Earle 2008).

But it is possible once you start to…

-Mentally not want to train

-Physically feel beat up with aching joints and tendons that lead to injuries

-Sleep is disturbed

-Stress is chronically elevated

The reason is your body is like a car, it needs rest, it needs a tune up through a massage, adjustments, etc.

It needs recovery through sufficient sleep, proper nutrition, less stress, etc.

Your body really is like a car and don’t be afraid to get extra rest every 4-8 weeks by taking a deload week, by taking a self-guided deload week, or completely laying off the weights and doing outdoor activities or sports for a week or so.



Lesson 9- Removing the Mask in Your Fitness Journey

We don’t know if you feel the same way, but we feel a lot of us wear masks in society these days.

These masks can be worn during work, social events, in relationships, around family, etc.

We feel one big mask people wear and don’t want to remove is the “fitness mask.”

Let us explain this…

When we first started our fitness journey over a decade ago, we would wear the “Fitness Mask,” this consisted of the following feelings and emotions:

  • Constantly comparing our body image to others
  • Wanting overnight results with minimal effort
  • Judging ourselves so hard that it took the fun out of working out
  • Shaming ourselves when we would eat out and derail our diets

As soon as we removed this “Fitness Mask,” the following happened:

  • We got more results
  • We enjoyed the process more
  • Workouts were fun again
  • We were able to eat out without blowing our diets and beating ourselves up

We all wear “masks” in life from time to time, sometimes we can remove them fully, and sometimes we need more work to remove them.

But we promise you, once you start working on removing the “Fitness Mask” that we see get so many people in bad habits, unfulfillment, and minimal results within their fitness journey, you will start to enjoy your fitness journey more, adherence and consistency will be increased, and thus you will get better results overall.




Where are all our chicken soup lovers?

We won’t lie, we remember when we would get sick, our mom would make us “caldo,” which is a Mexican chicken soup…BOMB!

We’re pretty sure we’d fake being sick just to get some of that caldo 😉

We’d always ask our mom, “what do you put in this?”

She told us to make a good chicken soup, you need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Broth
  • Cut up potatoes
  • Chopped carrots
  • Chopped zucchini
  • Diced onions

You see, you can’t just have broth and the chicken, you need all the ingredients to make a good bowl of chicken soup.

Same concept in fitness, people think they just need a good training and nutrition program.

Fact of the matter is, that’s flat out wrong, and after working with over a thousand clients, here’s what we teach my DDT members about “FITNESS BEING LIKE A GOOD BOWL OF CHICKEN SOUP:”

  • You need a WHY & PURPOSE
  • You need to develop BEHAVIORAL HABITS & SYSTEMS
  • You need a powerful SUPPORT SYSTEM
  • You need a strong REWARD in place
  • You need your fitness program to be centered around your individual LIFESTYLE, GOALS, PREFEERENCES, ETC

Now that makes a damn good fitness journey just like a good bowl of soup!



Wrapping This Up…

We remember a decade ago all we cared about was what we saw in the mirror.

We put our body composition on a pedestal and it became an obsession to where its ruined relationships, had us miss out on vacations, and family functions.

We surrounded ourselves with what we like to call “them,” people who put their body composition on a pedestal and always compared their self-worth to what they saw in the mirror.

Half way through our fitness journey, we got tired of that, and we made it a point going forward to bring fitness down from that pedestal and use it as a tool on our life belts, and to push the “NEW ERA OF FITNESS” movement to help people like you.


People like them look at fitness as black and white like an on or off switch.


People like them have zero flexibility, enjoy 100% rigidness, and extremism within their exercise and nutrition journeys.


People like them think getting results is just counting calories and reps.


People like them just want a six pack within the abs.


People like them, let fitness control their lives.

So, our question to you is, are you ready to enter the new era of fitness with us or do you want to be like them?




Our new physical paperback book “The New Era of Fitness” is finally out!

We are pretty much giving it away “FREE” and giving away a “FEW BONUSES” along with it.

Get it HERE