Mental Gains (#20)

Man pointing at head

As physical beings, we’re naturally inclined to focus on the physical whenever we get tired during a workout. However, the reality is that mental fatigue almost always precedes physical fatigue. Today’s professional athletes are well aware of how the mind effects bodily response. In Power of Imagination, we discussed one mental approach in helping to enhance our workouts. Today we’ll go over two more ways we can enhance our workouts mentally.


1) Perceived Strength

We have the ability to alter our minds into thinking the weight we’re lifting isn’t as physically strenuous as it really is!


‘Mental’ gains starts with (*wait for it*) the MIND!


Our perception of a task has a direct impact on our mental gains. For example, instead of looking at 35-pound dumb bells as 35 pounds, envision them as weighing only 25-pounds and watch how your body responds accordingly! Sometimes I’ll even go as far as talking to the weights out loud to reinforce things mentally:


“C’mon, c’mon! Squeeze! Light weight! Light weight! Too easy!”


Thankfully, this mental strategy works ideal for when we’re already fatigued and working through a set. Obviously, the best part is that we actually are lifting heavier than what we’re projecting. This works out great because now we’re building strength from our mental gains.


2) The Mental Process of Staying in the Moment

While recently working out I decided to switch things up by lifting lighter weights with higher repetitions (about 20). However, I was struggling to complete the full set of 20 reps as I became fatigued towards the end. At this point I decided not to worry about end results, and instead, focus on each individual moment.


In other words, instead of focusing on the entire set, I refocused my attention on completing just “one rep”, 20-consecutive times.


Slowing down and concentrating on each individual rep helps build mental endurance.


This type of process strategy allowed me to stay in the moment and mentally reset after each rep. Perhaps one the greatest benefits is that it allows you to refocus all your energy on the now. The next time you’re struggling through a set just remind yourself to slow things down and refocus on what you’re trying to accomplish. The results will speak for themselves!


Things to Keep in…Mind


Developing mental gains is a skill that requires practice. Ultimately, both strength and mental gains compliment each other due to the synergizing efforts of our mind and body (ie. picture your brain as your entire body). So even if you’re a beginner weightlifter, it’s paramount that you begin looking at your exercises as mental-workouts because the more you stimulate the mind the stronger you become!


Key Takeaways:

  • Mental fatigue precedes physical fatigue
  • Our perception of a task has a direct impact on our mental gains
  • Refocus all your mental energy on the now
  • Developing mental gains is a skill that requires practice

Non-weight Exercises (calisthenics) (#19)

Man doing abdominal workout

When designing this blog, I wanted to keep in mind those of us who don’t always have the time and money for a monthly gym membership. In this case, body weight exercises are the next best thing.


One of the more obvious benefits to body weight exercises is that you can do them anywhere without the need for any equipment. This particularly comes in handy when you find yourself traveling a lot with unpredictable schedules.



The following are a list of benefits for body weight exercises:


  • Helps maintain and establish lean muscle mass
  • Convenient and easy to modify
  • Safer on joints and ligaments
  • Smaller muscles get worked, along with larger groups of muscles simultaneously
  • Emphasizes core stabilization and balance
  • Use your own body for cardio



Personally, I like to use body weight exercises as a building block for other gym exercises. For instance, at one point I was doing hundreds of push-ups each day. Doing all of these push-ups didn’t necessarily make me look or feel much stronger right away. However, once I went back to lifting heavy weights at the gym again I noticed that my chest was able to handle a lot more strain than before!


The same thing started happening with my legs. I started practicing dozens of body weight squats at home and before I knew it I had established a firm foundation for squatting with heavy weights.


Building a strong fundamental keeps you process-minded and is essential for any task you take on in life.


Therefore, I encourage you to practice the following body weight exercises on your own!:


Lunges (legs):




Squats (legs/gluts):




Jumping Jacks (cardio exercise):




Bicycle crunches (abs/core strength):




Push-ups (chest):




Push-ups alternatives (beginner/easier):




Shoulder taps (chest/core stability):




Bridges (gluts/hip stability):



Planks (abs/core stability):



Scissor-kicks (abs):




Box Jumps (legs/cardio):




Superman holds! (back):





BONUS: Learn how to turn these workouts into a High Intensity Cardio Circuit!:


Key Takeaways:

  • Implementing body weight exercise routines are a great alternative to going to the gym
  • One of the main benefits to body weight exercises is that it is convenient and schedule-friendly
  • Body weight exercises are great for building a foundation for weight machines and heavier lifting

The Power of Your Imagination (#18)

Man Sitting and Thinking

As kids, we often imagine ourselves as our favorite comic book heroes, athletes  and action figures. Boys dream about being “Like Mike” shooting hoops. Girls fantasize about having the “dream guy” from classic Rom-Coms. However, somewhere along the line we stopped using these imaginations as we entered into “the real world” of adulthood.


But what if we can use our imagination to boost our workouts?


Your new image begins upstairs.


Whenever I find myself in a workout “funk” (which is more often than you think), I like to take the focus off my apathetic mood and onto something more invigorating.


Simply put: If my mindset isn’t engaged and focused, why not transform my mind into someone who is? 


For instance, if I’m feeling “tired and disinterested” during my workout, I’d be much more effective envisioning myself in the shoes of an Army Commander preparing his troops for battle. Such a mindset helps keep the focus on the “task at hand” (rather than how we feel at the moment).


Imagine carrying this guy’s mentality the next time you don’t feeling like working out.



I mean think about it. What’s easier: constantly staring at how much time is left on your treadmill, or imagining yourself running on an indefinite, stress-free cross country jog like Forrest Gump?


Getting away in your mind is almost as impactful as actually being “gone”.



Staying motivated is a challenge we all face throughout our workout journeys. Our minds easily get distracted with things like how we feel, who’s watching us at the gym, and how our day went. One key benefit of using our imagination is that it keeps us engaged in our workouts while allowing our minds to drift. This strategy is particularly effective with overcoming self-conscious fear myths.


With consistent exercise you’ll inevitably face mental hurdles from time to time. This is why I try to equip you with as many mental strategies as possible. Learning how to overcome these mental hurdles is another step forward in becoming the strongest version of yourself.



Key Takeaways:

  • Transform an apathetic mindset into an engaged one
  • Tapping into your imagination during exercise is a great way to overcome mental hurdles when you need that extra “boost”
  • Using our imagination keeps us engaged in our workouts while allowing our minds to drift

New Day Resolutions (#17)

New day resolutions calendar

“5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!!!”


Year after year there’s excitement to start off the New Year “fresh” by vowing to break bad habits and gain new skills. After all, we all know the universal New Year’s Day mantra: “This is it! This is my year! Time to take this year by storm and make the changes into a better new me!” 


Unfortunately, statistics show every year how this “new year, new me” phenomena is almost always short-lived. Some statistics even show how most New Year’s resolutions don’t even make it past January. But why? Thus, I present to you…New Day Resolutions!


That’s right: Here at Daily Fit Boost each day is a clean slate!


The ability to hit the ‘reset’ button on your mood and mindset each morning can have a profound impact along your Fitness Journey.


After all, if we really want to implement changes in our lifestyle why wait for a new year, right? By using each day as a new launching pad, not only do you reinforce your personal desires each day, you also begin to appreciate the value of each day.


No other person has expressed this philosophy better than Head Football Coach Chip Kelly who coaches with the mantra “Win the Day”. This mindset to win each day eventually turns into habit. Even if you’ve had a “bad day” and didn’t reach your goals, winning each day enables you to start each day afresh.


Chip Kelly’s players tapping his “Win The Day” motto before the game.


So what would one “win” look like for you today? Is it doing one push-up for the day? Is it arranging your gym clothes the night before?  Perhaps drinking more water than usual?

In my experience, the feeling of 365 daily victories is more satisfying than attaining one victory at the end of your goal.


So challenge yourself to make incremental changes daily instead of yearly. Start today with win #1! Before you know it, you’ll start noticing these daily victories leading to overall motivation and confidence.


Key Takeaways:

  • It’s proven year after year that New Year Resolutions are not ideal for success.
  • It’s much better to reinforce your goals (resolutions) each day to build habit
  • The mindset to “win each day” eventually becomes a habit.
  • Habit formation help build motivation and overall confidence.

Water: Your Exercise Fuel (#16)

Man drinking water

In life we know that certain functions rely on specific resources: cars need wheels, cellphones need batteries, kites need wind, trains need tracks, peanut butter needs jelly – and humans need water.


If our bodies act as complex machines then water is our “exercise fuel”. 


Not only is drinking water essential for daily exercise and personal development, it also makes up about 65-75% of our bodies. Keeping hydrated helps our body with important functions such as:


  • Regulating body temperature
  • Lubricating joints
  • Aiding in digestion
  • Taking stress off your kidney and liver
  • Carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • Protecting your tissues, spinal cord and joints
  • Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue
  • Flushes Out Toxins
  • Increase metabolism


Digestion, stress relief, and alertness are one of the few benefits of drinking water regularly.


If you recall, drinking water is also one of the smarter ways to lose weight. Here are some other drinking tips:


  • Try to consume at least 2 liters each day.
  • Drink a glass before each meal to ensure that you feel more “full” after your meal.
  • Try replacing calorie-filled drinks with water. If it tastes too “boring”, try adding a slice of lemon. The nutrients in lemons also helps to reduce food cravings.
  • Drink it ICE COLD! When we drink cold liquids, our bodies have to work harder to warm these fluids to body temperature. This process burns calories for you!
  • Be sure to remain hydrated when you’re exercising and hitting the gym. This allows you to work out longer and harder, and prevents muscle cramps and fatigue.
  • Use your urine as an intake indicator. It your urine color isn’t close to clear you’re not drinking enough.
  • Herbal teas (decaffeinated) are another beverage to compliment your water intake.


Be sure to remain hydrated when you’re exercising and hitting the gym!


In the realm of health and fitness, our bodies require this “exercise fuel” in order to function efficiently. Therefore, challenge yourself to stay properly hydrated every day of your journey!


Key Takeaways:

  • Water is our “exercise fuel”
  • Try to consume about 2 liters each day
  • Staying hydrated helps prevent cramps and fatigue while working out

Guilt-Free Eating: Weight Loss Hacks! (#15)

Man with healthy food.

How often have you witnessed frustration over weight loss progress?


Most diet plans fail because they’re simply not sustainable, leaving many disappointed. The reason I never promote “dieting” or restriction of any kind is because of the vicious cycle that it creates. Many people feel guilt once they inevitably fail at keeping a strict diet. This guilt, of course, leads to an indulgence on the very food they tried not to eat (ie. comfort eating).


Weight loss isn’t so much about what you eat, it’s about how much you eat.


And the key to knowing how much to eat is by learning when our bodies have become satisfied.



Therefore, in an effort to promote guilt-free eating here are a few “weight loss hacks” on how to eat smarter while still enjoying the foods we all love:


  • Eat slower each meal
  • Drink a glass of water right before each meal
  • Splitting each meal in half (turning 3 meals into 6 smaller meals) helps keep your metabolism going and while keeping you fuller throughout the day
  • Try eating a small bowl of salad with each meal to keep fuller
  • Try drinking at least 2-3 liters of water to help ignite metabolism, proper digestion, and staying full between meals
  • Remember, calories are not just limited to food! To save calories, try substituting soft drinks, juices, and other sugar-filled liquids with water or tea every once in a while
  • There’s a difference between eating to where you’re “full” and eating until you’re satisfied. This can simply be address by listening to your body.
  • Try putting your fork or utensil down after every bite
  • A bag of chips has 1,200 calories and doesn’t fill you up. An apple has 95 calories and fills you up way faster (fiber). Eat the apple, first.
  • BONUS TIP: A friend once recommended eating with your non-dominate hand! Not only is this a fun, quirky challenge but more importantly you’ll feel less inclined to overeat.


Weight loss takes time! Celebrate any and every milestone along your Fitness Journey.


Notice how most of these tips are centered on feeling satisfied after eating. If you currently feel overweight, this means you currently have an opportunity to eat smarter (not stricter!) These eating tips don’t take a ton of effort to keep you feeling satisfied, so why not give it a try?


Commit to eating smarter today and enjoy your food, guilt-free.


Key Takeaways:

  • Many diets fail due to non-sustainable restrictions.
  • Strict diets send people into a vicious cycle of guilt
  • The key to knowing how much to eat is by learning when our bodies have become ‘satisfied’.
  • Focus on stopping when “satisfied” to lose weight

Your Biggest Competition: YOU (#14)

Man starring at himself in mirror.

One summer while working at a gym I became curious about how fast I could sprint 40-yards. I decided to time myself on the indoor track and my first sprint came out to around 4.8 seconds. As a former athlete I didn’t think 4.8 seconds was very fast, and so it turned into a self-competition to reach a “fast enough time”.


Notice, I never gave myself an actual goal of how fast I wanted to run.


The only “goal” I had was to keep beating my best time.


Competing against the yourself provides an intrinsic motivation like nonother.


This went on for months until I finally peaked at around 4.49 seconds.


In “Why Not Me”, we learned to narrow our focus on becoming the best version of ourselves. Moreover, we ultimately become the best version of ourselves by competing against ourselves. Perhaps the best thing about self-competition is that it prevents you from comparing yourself to others. With self-competition the focus is on you. This is why I suggest visual strategies like journaling to help focus you on your daily progress (and not anyone else’s 🙂 )


Self-competition makes it easier to stop comparing yourselves to others.


What are some things you did yesterday that you can do even better today?


  • Can you exercise for 5 more minutes today?
  • Raise the intensity?
  • Increase your sets and reps?


Even if you’re new to the gym start by recognizing where you’re currently at and take baby steps from there. If you only go to the gym once a  week, try going twice a week for a month. If you only know how to use one cardio machine, try learning a new one next time. Regardless of skill level, the key is to continuously have something to work towards.


Soon enough you’ll notice that you’re not just your greatest competitor, but your greatest ally as well.


Key Takeaways:

  • Self-competition requires practice
  • We ultimately become the best version of ourselves through self-competition
  • Self-competition prevents you from comparing yourself to others

What’s Next? (Unfamiliar Opportunities) (#13)

Man busy at gym

While I’m a huge advocate of mastering what you already know, there comes a time where we internally ask ourselves, “what now?” As human beings, we’re naturally wired for goal achievement (this is why most of us don’t enjoy being bored). Psychologist Abraham Maslow takes this a step forward by referencing self-actualization as our deepest human need (ie. “fulfillment of our potential”).


Taking gradual steps in ‘unfamiliar territory’ gives us a chance to grow!


Take myself for instance.


For most of my life I was very timid around people I didn’t know. I showed traits of low self-esteem like avoiding eye contact, being stuck in my head, not giving honest opinions, and questioning myself. However, one day I decided it would be cool to share my fitness passions with others. I (very slowly) began journaling different health and fitness topics each day. Eventually I gained the confidence to share my ideas with friends, and today (years later) I’m here sharing these same ideas with YOU!


I went from being shy to sharing fitness tips in front of hundreds of employees!


So where are the unfamiliar opportunities in your life: Is it longer workouts? Consistent gym attendance  Public speaking? Trying a new machine?


Whatever it is, the best way to grow is by taking small, realistic steps at a time. For instance, it might be more beneficial to warm up with an unfamiliar cardio machine for 2-minutes instead of 15-minutes. When we view growth as a never-ending process it keeps us from the unnecessary temptation of doing “too much, too soon”.  As a friend used to tell me,


“The way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time”


Trying something new requires the risk of being “bad” the first couple of times – but no worries! Just remember: we ultimately become good at what we practice over and over again! 🙂


Reference Link:


Key Takeaways:

  • We long for fulfilled potential
  • Take small, gradual steps towards something unfamiliar
  • View growth as a “never-ending process”
  • We get good at what we practice

New Routine (#12)

Man bored at gym.

When I first started out at the gym my main focus was figuring out where to start. However, it wasn’t long before I noticed myself doing the same routine exercises. I needed a new routine to not only grow, but to also make my exercise more enjoyable. As it turns out:


Being stuck in an old routine prevents you from trying anything new.


If you’ve been looking or feeling like this lately, it’s probably time to switch up your routine.


Our brains function off habits which is why we have no problem adapting to routines. The downside to this, however, is that doing the same exercises ultimately decrease the effectiveness of our workouts.


Therefore, the more you switch things up, the more effective your workout becomes

Not only is switching up routine more fun, it also helps our body move in many new ways!


For instance, performing multiple styles of biceps curls will develop your arms better than any one exercise. In the same way, using different cardio equipment forces your body to work in various ways to effectively burn calories.


FIT BOOST CHALLENGE: Developing a diverse “Exercise Library” is a great way to keep your new routine effective and fun! Each week try to incorporate one new exercise or machine that you’re not familiar with. The goal is to build confidence by trying whatever is new to you. BONUS: This is also a great opportunity for you to journal your progress along the way.


As you become “comfortable with the unknown” you’ll soon notice how much fun your gym experience can be!


Key Takeaways:

  • Being stuck in an old routine prevents you from trying anything new
  • Switch up from your normal exercises for a more effective workout
  • Learning new exercises increases confidence

The Great Value of Journaling (#11)

Man writing in his journal.

When it comes to daily health and fitness, journaling your progress is essential to your success. Often times we get so caught up in our daily routines that we easily forget where we started. Reflection on our progress provides us with the encouragement we need to move forward.


Journal reflection becomes particularly important at times when we become frustrated from not seeing immediate results.


Journaling is a great for assessing daily moods, challenges, victories, and much more. Furthermore, this Journal encourages us when reflecting on how far we’ve come.

For instance, it’s much easier to appreciate that you stuck to your exercise routine 5 days in a row, than it is to complain about not losing any weight in the last 5 days.


Thankfully, writing down our progress helps keep us process-minded rather than goal-oriented.


Furthermore, the great thing about journaling is that it can be useful in a variety of ways in our everyday lives. Sometimes I’ll find a random journal topic that helps me learn more about myself. Other times I’ll journal just to vent and rant on personal things.


Journaling has proven to be one the few stress-relievers that I can practice just about anywhere. Other benefits include:


  • Increased creativity
  • Self-confidence
  • Mindfulness
  • Goal attainment
  • Improved communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Increased self-discipline


So whether you’re keeping track of progress or writing about an interesting topic, use journaling as an excellent tool to keep you mindful about your personal growth!


FIT BOOST CHALLENGE: For one week, write down how you feel after each workout. What was your experience in the gym like? How did you feel before compared to after? Did you reach a new goal? Take note of any daily progress and see what changes along the way!


Key Takeaways:

  • Writing down your progress helps prevent frustrations
  • Tracking our progress helps keep us process-minded rather than goal-oriented.
  • Journaling can be useful in a variety of ways in our lives