5 Tips to Build Your Fitness Regimen for Long-Term Success

90-day body transformations may not be the best way.

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. — Napoleon Hill

EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: Any advice or recommendation given in my writing is what works for ME and may not be the best regimen for you based on your psychological or physiological makeup and stability. Please consult a doctor when making decisions about your health.

Many of us are probably guilty of being fascinated at the amazing 90 days transformations that might come across our feed when we’re scrolling on Instagram and think about how amazing it would be to make such a transformation in such a short time frame.

Everybody wants that nice summer bod, right?

However, there’s a growing trend on Instagram from the fitness industry perspective that is rather surprising since it seems to go against much of the what I would say are the world’s nature desires as human, but yet it appears to be catching on.

The trend is that more Instagram fitness leaders are showing what there fitness journey looked like over an extended amount of time (years) instead of hyping the 30 or 90-day transformations that so many people love to see.

We live in a microwave society in which everyone seems to want things faster and faster with less work. When I heard that people were actually implanting abs in their body (it is real, check it out) instead of putting in the time to work out to actually earn it, I knew we had reached a new level of low.

That’s why I was so happy to see more and more posts showing the progress that one can make over a number of years and that it takes dedicated consistent work to get the results that can lasts a lifetime.

Being someone who truly believes this is the best way to begin a weight loss journey, I want to share my top seven tips that can help someone in this endeavor.

1.Track your food daily

Many people HATE this step because it comes across as a bit tedious, but the reality is that for you to create a different life for yourself, you need to go on an educational journey to truly begin to understand your body.

The first step of this journey is to get a sense of how your body responds to different types of food to know what works for you versus what doesn’t.

When it comes to fitness, everyone’s body is a bit different in regards to how it might react to certain foods.

What might work for some people in regards to keeping their weight under control may not work for you as well, but the only way to get a sense of that is to track everything that you are eating and measure it against how your body is reacting to it.

Doing it weekly will not give you the microlessons you need to truly understand daily what you need to do eat more of or what you need to eat less of to be successful.

Why you should use MyFitnessPal to track your calories consistently

And the great part about this is that you only need to do this hardcore for a short amount of time (3–6 months) before you should have enough data to be able to make better consistent decisions for the rest of your life.

Once you get a feel for what is working versus what isn’t, you don’t have to track it as closely unless you are making major changes to your diet in the future…short sacrifice now for long term results later.

2.Weigh yourself daily

I sometimes get pushback on this from people who argue that individuals with psychological medical eating conditions will obsess over this and this could drive them to a negative dark space.

While I greatly empathize with those individuals, if that is the case, then this advice is NOT for them. They should first focus on getting the psychological help they need to overcome this neurosis and make sure they are completely mentally healthy before thinking about anything like this.

Before embarking on any new fitness program, everyone should speak with their doctor (medical or psychological) to ensure it is the right thing for them.

For the individuals who get the thumbs up from their physician without any restraints, this advice can be truly helpful for one’s weight loss journey.

To ensure you are on the right track with your diet and exercise decisions, you have to measure the results of them every single day to truly understand what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Guessing will get you nowhere and will often lead to a lot of frustration of not seeing the results you desire.

If you are truly serious about understanding your body, getting your fitness under control, and building a foundation for long term health and accountability, you can’t ignore this step.

3.Workout first thing in the morning

I know there are a lot of schools of thoughts about when is the best time to work out, so I’m going to finally settle this debate right now.

It’s the morning.

There are just too many benefits that come from working out before your day gets going, and the argument to do it in the evening instead doesn’t really stand when you compare them against each other.

Why I work out in the morning AND the afternoon

Outside of those listed in the above article, there are others that are ancillary benefits that will help your overall fitness effectiveness in general.

One: in the evening, there is a much greater chance that “something” will come up and you’ll not be able to do it.

Two: there are WAY more people at the gym in the evening than the morning, increasing the chance that you won’t get a good workout in because of too many people being on the equipment you need or the distraction from talking to others.

Lastly, to be able to work out early, you typically will have to go to bed a bit earlier, which will increase the chances that you will get to bed at a decent time and get the sleep you need to physically grow and mentally be at your best each day.

No brainer…morning is the way to go.

4.Dedicate to exercising at least 6 days per week (even if it’s only for 10 minutes)

Many people have professed the 3 days per week workout regimen is enough if done consistently, and while I will agree that 3 days per week is better than no days per week, I’m a bigger fan of the amount of time you workout not mattering as much as the frequency and consistency.

What I mean by this is if you have the choice to work out 3 days per week for one hour or work out 6 days per week for 30 minutes, I argue that the latter will be much better for your overall long term fitness goals.

This is because when you do something 3 out of 7 days per week, you are actually NOT doing that thing (57%) more than you’re actually engaging in that activity per week (43%).

Extrapolate this over weeks and months in which “something” is going to come up that is not going to allow you to stay on your regular schedule (e.g., vacation, work, medical emergency), and that 43% could easily fall below 40 or even 30 percent.

Therefore, if you commit that you will do something six days per week, it stops becoming something that you work into your schedule when you can and becomes something that you do almost every single day like clockwork (like putting on your clothes or brushing your teeth).

By making this small mindset change, you’ll be surprised at how your body will respond by beginning to expect it each day. You’ll find yourself desiring to not miss your workouts because of the tremendous benefits they will provide in greater energy and clarity to tackle the day.

Some is better than none, and beginning the day with something that requires discipline and commitment (especially on the days that you don’t feel like doing it) will jumpstart your mind to focus on approaching others things that come your way that day in that same manner to ensure greater commitment to long term success rather than short term emotional appeasement.

5.Make small incremental changes to your diet

As cliché as it is, the phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is ideal as it relates to fitness.

You can try to make all the changes in your diet over night, but that is a strategy that often backfires because it makes people feel like they’re torturing themselves.

Instead, focus on the long term view and make only small weekly/monthly changes.

This strategy is typically successful because as you make small changes and begin to realize positive results from them, you’re start to gain natural motivation to make other changes that may yield great dividends as well.

As shared from the beginning of this article, this thought process is more about the long term view of a lifestyle change rather than a quick “summer body” sprint.

And the good thing about this is if you do it the right way, you can make that short term summer body of your dreams the every day, all season body of your reality.