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Friday, 17 April 2009

Le Tocq's Fitness Credo

***Please print this and keep it with you - read it every day***

If you’ve ever read Kekich’s Credo, you’ll know it’s a set of life principles which should be on anyone’s daily reading list if they want to reach their potential in life.

These principles are generic in nature, created from the life experiences of Dave Kekich.

As I read through them I looked at each one and realised that they could be directly applied to any attempts at improving your physical fitness whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder or Joe Average looking to shed some fat.

If you can live your life by these principles, your results will amaze both yourself and those around you.

Keep them in the forefront of your mind by reading them regularly and trust in them when it seems even willpower can’t get you through.

This is Le Tocq’s Fitness Credo (adapted from Kekich’s Credo)

1. People will do almost anything to stay in their comfort zones. If you want to see physical change you must force your body well beyond the limits you perceive. Strive to discipline all areas which effect your results – training, nutrition and recovery. This will involve applying yourself in the face of fierce opposition from both your social environment and yourself. To develop discipline 1) set clear experience based goals with challenging deadlines – in other words, visualise the event you will be able to experience once that goal is achieved, 2) find what’s really important to you by breaking goals down further and further until you have clear emotional reasons to achieve them – get to the root cause no matter how much thought and effort it takes. You may find that goals isn’t actually as important as you first thought and 3) steadily but surely replace all bad habits with positive thought and action.

2. Time is your most valuable resource. Don’t waste time messing with minor details. The best results are usually achieved by those who understand that intensity of training trumps length of workout every time. Choose full body exercises, choose intervals, choose heavy. Forget isolation exercises for burning fat, and forget drinking ice cold water, walking an extra flight of stairs and chewing gum to burn more calories. Life has far more to offer than the inside of a gym so get outside. The most important choices we make in life are how we use our time.

3. Think carefully before telling yourself that you will achieve a certain goal. Often we think we want to lose weight, run a certain distance or look a certain way because of outside influences. Promises to ourselves are the easiest ones to break but the most damaging as well. Choose your goals carefully and find the emotional reason for them. Once you have qualified yourself for that goal see it as a contract which cannot and will not be broken.

4. Real regrets come only from knowing you could have given more. The scoreboard, race times and scales will show only a number – your result. All you can do is give 100%. The lower this percentage drops, the more your results will deteriorate. If you have given 100% don’t berate yourself – it wasn’t meant to be.

5. Always be thankful for the results you have achieved and the physical abilities you have to at give it your all. Some people will never have these gifts.

6. Always re-invest your results. Do not sit back and admire yourself too much but invest your new found strength, power or lean, athletic body into a new activity which provides yet another fresh challenge.

7. You’ll be successful and see great results when you like what you are becoming but also when you have a passion for the journey. Love what you do because one day the results will fade but the memories of the journey will live on.

8. Learn from those who have gone before you with success. If someone has got what you want, ask them how they got it. They may not be willing to help you, but you’ll be no worse off.

9. Train for the best results but prepare for the worst. Pay attention to recovery and preventative measures like foam rolling, stretching and sleep. Repair is much harder than cure and the worst feeling is one of ‘I wish I had….’ when an injury happens which you saw coming a few weeks ago.

10. In competition, never show weakness. Work on these weaknesses in training but when you step on the field of play leave doubt behind – there is nothing more you can do now. Assume the opposition is better than you but also know you can beat anyone – this will make you raise your game every time.

11. Never start chasing a goal without a solid, well-researched written plan. You may let someone else do the research for you but ensure they have the credentials to do so and the evidence to prove they did it.

12. Success comes quickly to those who can engage a high level of concentration for a sustained period of time. Quick fix diets, 5 minute workouts and anything else which does not require a degree of commitment, sacrifice and dedication will reap little reward.

13. If you put in the effort the upside of training will take care of itself – results will flow. However, protect against the downside where things can turn nasty. Work on mobility, stretch, sleep, avoid alcohol and cigarettes and do anything else required to prevent you slipping up. If it’s not working, stop doing it. If it is working, let it loose!

14. The primary purpose of fitness is to feel great about yourself. Looking great helps this. Keep reading and learning so that you can increase the value of each training session.

15. Reward yourself only for results. Treat yourself only when it is deserved. Whatever you reward you get more of. Reward a ‘bad week’ and you will get more bad weeks.

16. Training competence requires knowledge. If you would not feel confident teaching another, then you do not believe enough in your training and need to go and learn more for yourself.

17. Your body does not like effective training – accept that. Intense training is the only way to force results but your body does not like the stress and will let you know. It will get defensive, forcing you to paddle upstream if you want to see results.

18. If it works, do more of it, but only until it no longer works. This will happen with every single program you ever use without exception.

19. Leverage your fitness lifestyle. Use it for more than one purpose. Get outdoors, have a great session, enjoy it, save money on gym fees and get better results all in one go. It is possible if you take the time to learn how.

20. Rationalizations for why you stopped one rep short or slowed down 20m from the end are nearly always convenient evasions of the truth. The truth is you mistakenly listened to the sensors telling you to stop, you got lazy today or you lacked mental strength.

21. Always have seemingly impossible goals which you make a life or death situation! Visualise them intensely by creating clear, focussed pictures or scenes in your mind about what life would be like if you achieved them. This will force you to use your time effectively and direct every action towards these goals. You will find new ways to achieve them because you have to.

22. The value of every fitness program diminishes past a certain point – usually sooner than you think. Measure everything so you can spot the warning signs and move on. Don’t flog a dead horse.

23. Everything you experience or think is the result of the momentum and ideas created by those who have gone before you. Surround yourself with the right people whose shoulders are worth standing on, then appreciate how far you can see when you’re up there.

24. Enthusiasm often trumps knowledge. 100% commitment to a mediocre program will often reap more results than half-hearted efforts with the most complicated, detailed super-program. Your enthusiasm will be infectious and draw others into your training circle, pushing you all further.

25. Buying cookie-cutter programs will only get you so far. Your training and life in general will be much more fulfilling if you take time to learn why certain methods work. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish…..

26. Religiously nourish your body with proper nutrition, exercise, recreation, sleep and relaxation techniques. Do not underestimate any of these factors nor lose focus on any of them for any length of time.

27. The choice to exert effort in everything you do or become lazy but hide it well, is what determines how far you can go in life. You must make this choice every minute or every day. You will see that those who excel in training are usually those who excel in everything life has to offer. Not reaching your true potential is a waste of life and training time.

28. An active body is essential but so is an active mind. Stimulate it from all angles or you will regress.

29. Learn to communicate with yourself and those around you. Explain why you must go to the gym when they want to go the pub but learn to do it in such as way as to encourage them into your circle rather than just push yourself away from theirs. Listen to their rationalisations then talk them round based on what you know is fact from your experience of intense exercise and healthy eating.

30. Identify and replace all external authorities. You must be in control of every aspect of your life. Learn how to train anywhere, free from the constraints of commercial gyms which control how you can train. Prepare your own food rather than relying on what the local sandwich bar can provide. Be the ruler of your own timetable and take control of everything. Don’t expect others to set meaningful goals for you even if you pay them to do so.

31. Consciously make every effort to be 100% honest with yourself at all times. The higher the likely cost or reward, the more this strength will be tested.

32. Never compromise when you know you are right and have the evidence to prove it. Similarly, do not assume knowledge until you have done your research. If you know your training method works do not be talked around. If you cannot prove it will work for the person asking you questions, do not pretend.

33. If the long-term future of a program or goal is no longer viable, suitable or rewarding, walk away. Every minute you delay is a minute longer it will take to reach the next goal you set which really is right for you. Qualify yourself for every goal in the first instance then keep reassessing. You won’t want the same things forever.

34. Invest in a personal trainer, online program or fitness tool only when you have thoroughly researched it. Do not fall for deadline deals or limited offers. If your instinct rather than your quick fix radar says yes, buy it immediately. When you o make sure you read it as soon as possible and implement it without excuses about time, kids, birthdays, Christmas or any other rationalisation for the fear of hard work.

35. Stress will kill you. Learn the difference between eustress and distress. Sore muscles and lactic acid build up will benefit you eventually, injuries will not. Remove all sources of physical and mental stress and never play through a serious or potentially serious injury. Your goals will seem trivial when you cannot walk for a few months or your back hurts every time you sneeze.

36. Money isn’t as important as you think. Invest it in your health and wellbeing before any material goods. The greatest reward is longevity, and the greatest cost is not having it.

37. Mental and physical fitness are the most important elements in life. Optimising these will lead to improvements in all other areas – business, social and family. It will teach you hard work, honesty, goal setting and planning, enjoying the journey, respect, discipline, control and how to remove yourself from the trivial and place yourself in ‘the zone’ for the time you are training. This can be your escape.

38. If it doesn’t require hard work and toil it’s probably not worth much.

39. Develop a philosophy around your health and fitness lifestyle which guides every action. Don’t be reactive – this nearly always leads to negative action. Have principles and stick by them. This applies to alcohol, cigarettes, processed sugars, late night clubbing and cream cakes. This way you will never have reason not to love yourself or feel guilty.

40. That goal is not impossible. The bigger the goal the bigger the reward but the time and energy required doesn’t increase at nearly the same rate.

41. Do not try. Do or don’t.

42. Lead by example. If you want to convince people that they need to live a fitness lifestyle, show them, don’t tell them.

43. Take full responsibility for actions and mistakes. Similarly, remember to take credit for successes.

44. If you always take the path of least resistance you will walk the journey of least reward. Choose a heavier weight, put your trainers on when it’s raining and miss that fourth Christmas party.

45. Vividly visualise victory at all times whether it is over your inner demons that try to drag you back or if it is over an adversary on the sports field. Let your animal instincts rule in competition.

46. First impressions last. If you walk on to the gym floor or sports field with doubts in your mind, they will linger until you go home. Always put your best foot forward and teach yourself how you want to act. Teach people how you want them to talk to you and treat you. If you need encouragement to achieve your goals, teach them what to say and do.

47. The right thing is usually the hardest option. Self-esteem is more important than short-term losses in popularity so do the right thing and go to the gym.

48. If you let yourself get away with laziness or lack of control with your nutrition once, you’ll do it again and again and again. Set rules and live by them.

49. Respect other peoples’ goals. They may not train like you or have the same goals but don’t disrespect them. By all means explain why you prefer your methods, but if they still disagree, let them be.

50. Your own results are the ultimate form of proof.

51. Build relationships with people who help you to improve mentally and physically. Surround yourself with what you want to become. Associate with people who share your values and leave behind the naysayers. They’ll come knocking one day. Never close your door.

52. If you have no control over something, leave it be. Don’t take it personally.

53. Spend time learning about health and fitness but don’t forget to actually implement what you learn. Unapplied knowledge is useless.

54. Choose your training partner and training environment very carefully. It could be the difference between a special achievement and a wasted part of your life.

55. Enjoy your training. Treat is as an adventure. There is so much variety available that it is criminal to just focus on thing. Care about results but also love the process. Lighten up and you will live longer. Even if you don’t you’ll have enjoyed much more of it!

56. Identifying exactly what you want from training hard is a difficult process. Once you know, get your head down and charge.

57. Sheer will power, integrity and competence are the most potent force in fitness and sport.

58. Who you are, what you achieve in and out of training and sport, and where you currently stand in life is solely down to you. The reaction to any of these is what matters, not the situation itself. Every minute is another chance to change direction.

59. Desire must be a fire that burns constantly. Accept that permanent dissatisfaction is part of being a high-achiever, but learnt to manage it.

60. Your mind, body and spirit must work as one so pay attention to relaxation techniques which bring everything back into alignment. Do this on a daily basis. Do not place too much focus on just weightlifting, just cardio or just yoga. They all have their place and must be part of a holistic approach. You must take time to see how they all link up.

61. Deceive others and you will suffer yourself. Don’t lie about what you can lift, the times you can run or how good you are. It will slap you in the face eventually – the truth is always exposed.

62. If you constantly hunt for security in how you feel you will fail. Set goals well beyond ‘losing some weight to feel better’ because being secure in yourself is the lowest form of happiness and the easiest one to slip out of. Aim to shock yourself and your peers.

63. Ensure every step you take in your fitness lifestyle benefits everyone around you but accept that at times you will have to work harder than others to bring change about. Your family and friends will often be unaware of the good it will do them – keep the faith.

64. Review the philosophy behind your training and nutrition beliefs at least once a year. New research, new goals, and new experiences can all change the way you think. You don’t have to hold the same views all your life – it’s okay to develop a new perspective.

65. Don’t envy others’ results. Learn lessons from them then apply your new knowledge with vigour and excitement. Thank them for the lesson.

66. Spend nearly all of your time on what you love doing rather than seeing the brief time you get to do it at weekends as a bonus. Delegate what you don’t like and free up time for the sports and activities you love. You may earn less money but who cares it doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t give you more time to do what you love, there is no point to what you are doing.

67. The euphoric feelings of an intense workout develop self-esteem and will set you up for the rest of the day. Do the most important things early in the day before the day takes over.

68. If you ever get bored of your training or nutrition you have your eyes shut. If nothing excites you, create something. Every new sport or game was started by someone, somewhere – they were bored too.

69. There is no such thing as a great training program until it is taken from the page into the training area. E-books are useless until printed out and used.

70. For maximum training results identify what is needed to make your life exciting. Knowing what every exercise will do for your performance is the essence of inspiring your training time.

71. Seek and master the complicated aspects of fitness. The truth is that fat loss and most other fitness problems have been made unnecessarily complicated in the pursuit for greater profits. Once you find a simple solution for your greatest fitness concerns and confusions you will see all resistance you created in the past disappear.

72. Always leave your options open. Don’t tie yourself down to a particular gym, training regime or nutrition system. Options give you power and power enables you to see the truth without being blinded by marketing ploys and quick fixes disguised as solutions.

73. Preparation wins the day every time.

74. Cultivate a degree of patience. Drive is necessary for success, but so is taking time to see where best to create your next foot print.

75. Persistence wins the race in the end. No wall is too strong to be knocked down and no door will remain locked forever. Keep knocking.

76. Thinking about things for too long, trying to do things without solid action and considering every detail of every option will get you nowhere. Paralysis by analysis is a ball and chain. If you’re 80% sure a training program will work, try it. If it works really well, tell everybody else.

77. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for everything and do all you can to help everybody gain, not just yourself. There is more than enough to go around. Givers will gain. This goes for helping beginners get into exercise and nutrition when they may at first frustrate you. Remember you once wore those shoes.

78. Risks are necessary but don’t be a fool. Go for one rep max testing occasionally but way up the reward of achieving that final lift. An extra 5kg is not worth a long-term injury.

79. Don’t trample on people to achieve your goals. Succeed in sport and competition with honour.

80. Write down everything that happens in training and nutrition. Problems are impossible to correct if you have nothing to ponder over.

81. Just get started. Don’t deliberate too long. Take the first steps, then adjust along the way. It is much easier to say sorry for messing up or having to make changes, than to forgive yourself for not trying. Join whatever club you need to join, phone whoever you need to speak to. Do what it takes to start on your fitness goals immediately.

82. Ask question after question after question. Just because someone says it’s right doesn’t mean it is. Some of the top experts in every field disagree on certain things.

83. Enjoy your training and enjoy the results. If you can’t enjoy either of these, question why you are doing it. Every crisis is a chance to prove your strengths. If you need to make changes fast to achieve your goals, see it as a challenge to thrive on. You will grow.

84. You will get older. Enjoy youth, movement and activity whilst you can.

85. When it’s a matter of produce or starve, people never starve. Apply this principle to your training. Give the results such great importance that you have to find the solution.

86. Fill your every thought with positive expectation and demand the best on all fronts. Attitude and desire are worth far more than knowledge in many cases. You can learn skills any time.

87. Help others achieve their own goals and add value to their own health and fitness plans. You will see fast improvements in your own.

88. Lasting happiness comes only by creating values on which you build you principles. These principles will guide your life. Give more than you take and you will be happy. You will see many, many different ways to lose weight, shed body fat and build muscle. Look closer and you will see that the methods which work are built on a small number of matching principles. Concern yourself more with the foundations than the pretty décor. This is what will save you when times are tough.

89. Problems never go away. Sort out injuries and sort out dodgy equipment which is stopping you from giving 100%. If you’re scared of something commit to doing it regularly until the fear subsides.

90. Laugh at yourself whenever you can. Take training seriously but don’t let it control you.

91. When someone shouts too much about how great their programs or methods are, realise that they feel a need to do this due to a lack of quality in other areas. You will hear about the best from others.

92. Snowball your results. Build on success and never, ever regress to where you started.

93. The best investment in health and fitness is the one that gives you the knowledge to understand why you are doing certain things. Only then can you hope to get through the tough times when it hurts and certain things don’t quite make sense. Having faith in the principles based on the research you have gathered will see you through.

94. For every exercise you do, every weight you put down too early, every extra bite you would take, ask yourself how you would feel if the world had seen you do it. If it would embarrass you, make a promise there and then never to do it again.

95. Whatever you tell yourself you are and whatever you think about all day, you will become. Remember that moments of weakness when the fridge door is open can undo hours and hours of hard work.

96. Be sceptical of your own beliefs. Don’t just read books which confirm what you think you already know. At the same time, don’t jump from one bandwagon to the next.

97. Anxiety about your physical and mental state is usually down to feeling out of control. Take steps to learn what you need to learn to be in complete control of your results.

98. Always be alert. Watch others who are getting great results. Never assume anything is fact until you have proof in front of your eyes. Don’t let emotions rule reason in making a big decision. Don’t buy a fitness product based on the emotions the marketer stirs up in the two minutes you are reading the sales letter. Take time to check if it matches your principles and gut instincts. Observe – Study further – Test on yourself – Test on others. If all the results match up, accept it as fact and add it to your principles.

99. It takes a wise person to learn from his mistakes. If a program or diet didn’t work the last time, ask yourself why. If you really did follow it to the letter, disregard it from your methodology. It may work for someone else but it doesn’t for you. Learn from the mistakes and successes of others. This will save you a lot of time and money.

100. The purpose of a fitness lifestyle is to prolong life as long as possible but also to enjoy playing the game at the same time!

Thank you to Dave Kekich for providing the foundations of this Fitness Credo. I hope it helps guide as many people in their fitness journeys as the original.

Please forward this to everyone you think it will help!


April's Fitness Journey said...

Ohhhhhhhhh I am hooked! Sheesh did you have to make 100 of them :) My boss just caught me reading it!!! Seriously I LOVE THEM though!!! Now I am wondering what else I missed :) If I hadn't just been caught I would go skimming back through right now...........there's always later though right :)

Anonymous said...


Cool list to share -- thanks for doing it! Did you re-write this to fit 'fitness' or is this 'as it was written'?

Great work Jon!

Jon Le Tocq, Storm Force Fitness said...

April, there is always later so long as you make later happen!

I like your name - fitness JOURNEY!

Chris - this is very similar to the original but I re-wrote the principles with my fitness flavour!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is awesome, Jon.
Something to pour over this weekend...also keeping a copy on my desk at work!


Owen said...

Thanks Jon and kudos for typing all that up. Seems a bit like the oblique strategies:
Keep up the good work