“I don’t care about the weight on the bar. I only care about how I look in the mirror.”
I hear this a lot from the men and women I train. And I get it. I’d say that 97% of people that walk into a gym – any gym – do so in an effort to look more lean, jacked, tone or whatever adjective you’d like to use for improving their body composition.
And the other 3% are probably just lying to themselves.
Well, I’m here to tell you the one little trick that will actually help you get the physique you want (hint: it’s not that bullshit supplement or energy drink you see advertised on the side of your Facebook page).
No, the key to a killer body is this: focus on performance.
Seems counterintuitive, right? We just established that you probably don’t really care how much weight your lifting or your mile time as long as you see those results when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the bathroom mirror as you step out of the shower.
Sure, you wouldn’t mind getting a little stronger. And it would definitely feel pretty good to beat your boss at the next company 5k.
But you’d trade that in a second for looking better in a little black dress or turning heads the next time you head to the beach. So why am I telling you to pay attention to the thing that you don’t really care about?
If you’ve ever followed a training program in order to get the body of your dreams you probably already know the answer: focusing on body composition doesn’t work. As much as we want to feel as if we are the masters of our own bodies the truth is that you actually have very little control of how your body will react to training or a specific diet. Need an example?
We all have that cousin who goes to the gym twice per year but looks completely lean and jacked as if he’s the offspring of David Beckham and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or that co-worker with the killer arms who “eats whatever she wants but still can’t seem to put on a pound”. It doesn’t matter how those people train or what fad diets they follow. They look great not because of what they do, but in spite of what they do. But that’s not you.
How do I know? If this were you, you probably would not have landed on this page looking for help from a guy like me.
No, most normal people actually have to work for the body they want. So they follow the latest body building routine or fad exercise program that People magazine claims is the key to getting a body like your favorite celebrity. And all this is a recipe for failure. I know, because I spent years following those same routines and diets without getting the results I was after.
Even if you are the most determined and most stubborn person (and I was!) you can only bang your head against the wall so many times before you stop and look for a different approach. And through a long, winding road or trial and error, endless research and experimentation I landed on the one thing that I never thought I’d care about – how much weight is on bar.
You may be wondering why this works. I can answer that for you in one word (I even hinted at it earlier): control. When you focus on performance you are actually in control of your training. You have no control of how your body will actually respond to training so there is absolutely no benefit on making that your focus.
However – and maybe this is the ultimate paradox – if you focus on progressing your training with measures you can control and progress (a little more weight on the bar, a few more reps in a set, a 5 second faster 500 meter time) you’ll end up with the body you want. The key to the physique you are looking for is forcing adaptation. In fact this is the number one scientific principle of improving body composition.
If you keep doing the same thing over and over, your body will not be prompted into making any kind of change. Changing takes energy and using those precious resources so you can have six pack abs is not your body’s priority. So you have to stimulate change by making targeted improvements every time you are in the gym – not just lifting or running or rowing for the sake of doing them. And making these objective improvements, improvements that you can actually control, will force your body to change as well.
How do I know? Well, not only have I done it for myself, I’ve done it for hundreds of clients as well. In fact, I own a gym in New York City and our methodology is based solely on this principle. I put people through this exact process every day and the results truly speak for themselves. And these are not former collegiate athletes or genetic freaks that I’m talking about here (though I’d recommend the same thing for them).
These are lawyers and stay at home Moms and singers and entrepeneurs and people from all walks of life who, probably like you, have tried a bunch of different classes or programs, who have ordered in-home equipment and signed up for long term gym memberships. They come to and stick with me not because I’m the most charming or the most affordable but because I’m the most efficient. I get them the best results possible in a systematic, effective way.
Don’t get me wrong. Like I said before, I lost a bunch of weight and put together a pretty decent physique for myself just following the tried and true approach. So have tons of bodybuilders and other general gym-goers. That stuff can work. Particularly in the beginning (actually almost anything works in the beginning). But what I’m describing is truly what took me to the next level.
And if I had to go back to that out-of-shape, overweight guy I was when I first walked into the gym, I’d tell him to place his energy into chasing performance. I just would have ended up where I wanted to be much faster. And – if you’ve been training for a while you’ll know where I’m coming from – I’d have been a lot less bored.
Is there any great secret to this type of training? Absolutely not. I honestly think that anyone can spend a little bit of time learning the basic principles of programming, spend a few training cycles experimenting and land themselves a great plan that would work well.
But I’ve also realized that most people don’t have the desire to study exercise science and programming, even at the most basic level. They also don’t want to waste time with experimenting. They want results and they want them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Things like timed sets, escalating density, paced intervals and other important-sounding programming terms do take some time to master and program effectively.
I spent a lot of time using myself, friends and clients as human guinea pigs in an effort to figure this all out. And, truth be told, it’s why I took a long break from taking on any online clients at all. I wanted to build a better mouse trap and provide something that very few have been able to do – an engaging, results-driven training program that frees you from solely basing your progress by staring in the mirror and wondering if you are getting any better.
You need to turn the process upside down. Put the training first, focus on performance and the process and you will quickly see the body you always wanted when you look in the mirror.
I’m currently taking on a very limited number of clients. Because this type of training can be a real departure for people it takes a bit more effort on my end to make sure everything is being done correctly and effectively. Therefore I can only really handle a small roster of trainees. But I do have a few spots available and if you find this intriguing and would like to take the next steps click the button to apply. If I feel like you are someone who would benefit from this we’ll get started. And if you are not, maybe I can point you in the direction of someone who would be good for you to work with. I know a lot of coaches out there doing amazing things.
Hopefully at this point you are intrigued and you are asking yourself, “Is Dan the right coach for me and am I even cut out for all this?” Both great questions! I don’t want to waste your time jumping through hoops and filling out applications if we’re not a good fit.
So here is who I am comfortable working with:
- Men and women who want to improve body composition, strength and health. I’m also happy to train people who have general performance goals. I love working with people who want to squat 300 pounds for the first time, hit their first unassisted chin up or get back to their high school bench press numbers.
- People who have access to well-equipped gyms. Commercial gyms, Crossfit boxes, even sweet garage gyms are good with me. But if you are training at home and all you have is a light kettlebell, a yoga mat and a Thigh Master, I’m probably not going to create the most effective program possible for you. I’ll customize your program to the equipment you have available but, again, you have to have the basics.
- People who want to train hard. This seems like a no-brainer and I’m all about meeting you where you are. The concept of “training hard” is going to be different to different people. But if I have to spend most of our interactions convincing you to attempt the program and trying to overcome your hatred of the gym we’ll be wasting each others time.
Here’s who I’m not suited for:
- I actually have a good history working with athletes but I believe if you are aiming to make the Olympics in the downhill slalom or you have a college scholarship on the line you will reap a much greater benefit from working with an in-person coach.
- While your physique will certainly improve on this program I have no expertise in working with competitive physique athletes like bodybuilders or figure models. If you are looking for show prep I highly recommend you find a coach who has that experience.
- If you have serious health issues and need medical dietary interventions please seek a qualified dietician or nutritionist. Medical issues should be handled by those trained to best deal with them.
One final note: price. I’m not going to pretend that my coaching is cheap. Again, I don’t take on a lot of clients because I want to make sure I give the one’s I do work with the attention they need to get the results they want. However, compared to what it would cost to work with me on an in-person, one-on-one basis, this program is a great value. Plus, if you value your time, I will provide the most efficient way for you to achieve your goals. I’m not promising miracles here. The results you want take effort and they also take time. But my goal is to, in a matter of months, get you further than you would in years on your own. If you are hungry for results, this is actually a bargain.
I will leave you with this. If you want a different result. If you’ve already gone as far as your current approach can take you then it’s worth trying something a little different. I wished I’d figured that out long before I ultimately did.
Ready to get started?
The first step is to fill out my application form below. This is my way of making sure we’re a good fit.
If so, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. And if we’re not a good fit, I’ll let you know as well.