A note from Coach Moose: When Coach Isaac Payne submitted this piece to me I was somewhat taken aback. I read the “11 ways” and thought to myself there's a lot of generalizations in this post. Some people have taken offense to some of these statements, which Isaac has shared (see below mentioned Tweet).

However, the more I thought on it I realized that a number of the observations, as pointed and direct (and unflattering)… this is personally HOW I THOUGHT when I was overweight and “unfit”.

My mind fixated on all the things outside of me which prevented me from being more active, healthier and “fitter”. There was always an excuse ‘why I couldn't' do this or that. But at the core, I was unhappy and needed to accept that I needed to make some changes and those changes all started with a shift in my mindset and taking full ownership of my current health.

In shifting my mindset, I found myself saying “yes, I can” and “yes, I will” . Of course I've had periods in my life where I've fallen back out of health, but I never blamed anyone for my situation – it was all me. And thankfully, knowing that everyday is an opportunity to make a choice to live life differently fuels me and gives me the confidence to get back to ‘health'.

Interested in learning more about how I help other people and communities make this shift, please join our Whole Life Fitness Manifesto community.

Mindset is the established set of attitudes held by someone.

The look I give when people tell me, "I will start going to the gym when I'm fitter"

The look I give when people tell me, “I will start going to the gym when I'm fitter”

It should come as no surprise that once someone falls into a state of ‘un-health' there's a certain shift in mindsets that need to happen to get out of it.

When we find ourselves unmotivated, not feeling well and in many instances in pain and discomfort on some level – finding the energy to change our habits is daunting. But, it doesn't have to be. Anyone at anytime has the ability to CHOOSE what they do in a day and the foods they consume.

It saddens me that living a healthy, active lifestyle requires a “mindset” period. Shouldn't it just be automatic? Is it not common sense to want to lead a life where you wake without the aches and pains associated with an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle?

Our daily choices and actions (or simply put our non-action) show in our health and beyond. Without health as a foundation upon which you build your life, you're only delaying the inevitable. When you don't have your health, your family, relationships, career and most everything else in your life suffers to some degree. So if you are honest with yourself, and find yourself doing things each day which brings you further away from optimizing your health and well-being, it might be time for a mindset intervention.

This article, be it somewhat tongue in cheek, and for the most part a sweeping generalization, however these 11 different observations have presented themselves to me at some point or another throughout my coaching and training career. My apologies if any of these 11 points hit a nerve and cause some pain or discomfort – ask yourself why you feel that way before you comment negatively about the post.

Besides their healthy physiques and active lifestyles, fit people think (and act) a heck of a lot differently than their sluggish and overeating counterparts. Here are…

11 Ways of How Fit People Think Differently Than Unfit People

#1. Fit people see exercise as a way of life while unfit people see it as a chore

Fit people wake up in the morning excited to hit their next workout and can’t imagine what a day would be like without it. It’s a behavior that’s as automatic as brushing your teeth in the morning. Unfit people dread the thought of exercise and see it as another chore like vacuuming or cutting the grass. Fit people see exercise as a way of life while unfit people see it as a chore

#2. Fit people workout to get better while unfit people workout to get it over

Fit people are always looking for ways to improve upon themselves; they don’t mind taking some extra time to work on their mobility or perfect their technique.

This is NOT how to use a treadmill...

This is NOT how to use a treadmill…

Unfit people always have one eye on the weights and one eye on the exit.  The workout can’t end soon enough for them.  They’ll rush through their sets with reckless abandonment just to get that shit over with.

#3. Fit people aren’t afraid to fail while unfit people will never give 100% to avoid disappointment

Fit people know that to succeed you need to fail now and then. It’s the only way to know what your limits truly are.  Unfit people will never give 100% effort because the fear of “not making it” is holding them back.  If they set the bar low enough, they’ll never have to experience defeat.

"Hey, want to go for a walk in the park with me?"

“Hey, want to go for a walk in the park with me?”


#4. Fit people look for opportunities while unfit people look for excuses

Fit people will always look for new ways to push themselves to get better results. A new training split or strength cycle will always intrigue them. Unfit people look for excuses to stay in their comfort zone or not train at all.  Too busy, too tired, too lazy, you name it and they have an excuse for everything.

#5. Fit people will do what’s required while unfit people will do what’s easiest

Fit people know that hard word is required if you want to get great results and won’t shy away from it just because they might have to get a little sweaty in the process. Unfit people always seek the path of least resistance which, when it comes to strength training, is pretty much a useless path.  Unfit people are always looking for short cuts or “quick fixes” that never pan out in the long run.

just do nothing

There's not much glory on the path of least resistance…


#6. Fit people persevere and unfit people will quit at the first sign of trouble.

Fit people have to overcome many training obstacles like injuries and plateaus to get the results they want. Unfit people will quit as soon as their progress is hindered in any way. Didn’t lose any weight this week? I quit. Bench press didn’t increase? I quit.  I pulled my hamstring doing sprints. I quit.

#7. Fit people see exercise as prevention while unfit people see it as treatment

Fit people use exercise to not only look good but to boost their energy levels and immune system, keep their mind sharp, and keep up a high quality of life. Unfit people wait until shit hits the fan and their doctor has to put them on 7 kinds of medication just so they can function and THEN exercise becomes an option.  This gives a whole new meaning to the “walking dead.”

#8. Fit people see being fit as a privilege unfit people see it as a sacrifice

Fit people feel blessed to have such tremendous health and strength. Unfit people think they have to give up too much to get in shape and it’s not worth it to them. “No booze, no junk food, hours upon hours in the gym everyday, what kind of life is that?”

#9. Fit people focus on what they’re going to do while unfit people focus on what they can’t do.

We can and we will

It's a “CAN do” attitude!

Fit people will aim for small victories in the gym where unfit people will always tell themselves they can’t do something hence never make any progress and just quit. For example, a fit person might set a goal to bench press 300 lbs but they know it’s going to take time so they set smaller goals that move them closer to their goal.  An unfit person will tell themselves that they can’t do something or that it’s impossible and will never get out of the starting blocks.

#10. Fit people take action while unfit people sit around and talk about how they would like to get in shape

Fit people make a decision and then take the necessary action to get shit done. Unfit people tend to complain about their poor state of health but never make any concerted effort to change their lifestyle.

#11. Fit people focus on their own goals and effort while unfit people let the opinions and actions of others discourage them.

Fit people compete against themselves and only themselves to get better each day.  Unfit people are too preoccupied with what others are doing which makes them feel inferior and crushes their motivation. As you can see, it's not just about appearances, the difference between a strong body and weak one is most importantly in the mindset . Change the way you think and you can not only become a physical specimen, but you can also do anything else you want in life.

Keep lifting, Isaac Payne

BTW – check out some of the feedback generated on Facebook from this post… great conversation – want to join in?

When Coach Isaac Payne submitted this guest post to me I was somewhat taken aback. I read the "11 ways Fit People Think…

Posted by Dai Manuel on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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Isaac Payne Head shotAuthor Bio: Isaac Payne

Isaac has over 15 years experience as a strength and conditioning.  He has helped hundreds of his clients get stronger, leaner, and more conditioned.  For more great tips from Isaac, download his free report – The 7 Best Exercises to Get Strong, Lean and Healthy at –> www.isaac-payne.com – as well connect with him on Facebook, or Twitter at @mrisaacpayne.

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