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There will be give and take.

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It’s a fact of life. You WILL have to find some compromise, everywhere. But for now we’re going to stick to fitness.

We can’t all train like Games athletes, and that is in part because we are human and have lives to live. Your lifestyle, rest and recovery all come into play on both how much you can train and – especially – what kind of results you will see and how quickly you will see them. This post should help you set goals and expectations that are in tune with your lifestyle and if you have goals that aren’t coming as quickly as you’d like, there might be a few nuggets in here that will help you make that crucial change.

Would you rather stay up late and catch up on Game of Thrones and sacrifice an hour or more of sleep? I probably would too! But when your 1 rep max test the next day doesn’t go as planned, you’re not allowed to get down on yourself and say you’re getting weak and nothing is working. Your body is low on sleep and heavy weights require a well rested nervous system.

Don’t want to weigh and measure your food? That’s fine! You will get by for a long time just paying attention to quality intake. Heck depending on your fitness goals, you may never need to start weighing and measuring. But I can promise you that at some point everyone needs to start paying attention to their intake in some way shape or form.

Do you sit at work all day and neglect mobility except for when you’re inside the gym walls? This is one where I think there should be less compromise and more mobility work where you need it. Your whole day will be more comfortable, and better positions in your movement will lead to better fitness and a better overall life. BUT if you are convinced you don’t have 10-20 minutes to do ROMWOD or even just stretch on your own, don’t expect your snatch positions to magically improve overnight.

If you enjoy a beer or glass of wine or other cocktail of choice every night, that is awesome! But do so with the knowledge that your recovery and sleep will be hampered and your body fueled less than optimally. Want to have a crazy night out on the weekend? Great! Sounds like a blast! But you’re not then allowed to be angry because you’re not hitting certain numbers on lifts and struggling through the WOD on Monday. Alcohol hampers fitness, plain and simple.

You are in the gym 60 minutes per day. There are 1,380 other minutes that you need to optimize if you want to be in the absolute best shape possible. Fitness is a lifestyle, not an hour in the gym.

Nobody is asking you to live like a robot. This is not me trying to tell you how to live, only trying to educate everyone on how lifestyle will have an effect on your level of fitness, and we all need to walk a line where we are comfortable. Throwing away a social life for a higher level fitness doesn’t make sense for us recreational fitness aficionados, trust me I’ve tried. But on the flip side, there are some smart decisions that can be made to help dampen the effects of a healthy social life. ¬†You are your own person and should live the life you enjoy the most. If that means that you spend 60 minutes in the gym and then spend the free time of the other 1,380 sitting on the couch eating ice cream or drinking beer that is your call and I’m happy that you’re happy.