Most people are struggling…

Here’s what I’ve learned in 24 years of being in the fitness industry:

  • Most people are struggling with exercise and nutrition
  • Most people think everyone else has it wired and there’s something wrong with them (and only them)
  • They think there’s something deficient in them that is resulting in their lack of progress
  • They believe that discipline, willpower and self-control are the keys to success and they don’t have any of it
  • They feel like failures

We’ve been offering Personal Training in Encino for 14 years and Personal Training in Northridge since 2012. Prior to that I was a self-employed personal trainer in Encino and prior to that I managed health clubs for several years.

I have had THOUSANDS of conversations with people who beat themselves up for the struggles they experience in their fitness program.

These are the realities:

  • Most people struggle because they don’t have the proper foundation established for success
  • Discipline, willpower and self-control are secondary to the foundation and WON’T help if you don’t have the right plan in place
  • YOU are NOT a failure, but your PLAN might be
  • There are 3 keys to success that must be in place for you to succeed, and they are KNOWLEDGE, SYSTEM AND SUPPORT

The 3 Pillars of Success….

Prior to the start of your exercise and nutrition program, you must have:


  • If you don’t know what you’re doing, how are you going to do it?
  • I don’t care if you’re an architect, a schoolteacher or a musician, if you want to be successful, you have to have the necessary knowledge to know how to produce results
  • Exercise and human nutrition are sciences. Educating yourself using popular media sources is a great start, but it’s only a start. You must deepen and broaden your knowledge to become successful.


  • You must have a system, a curriculum, a game plan in order to apply your knowledge in an effective way to produce results
  • The system must be tested, proven to be effective and based upon scientific principles
  • You can’t ad lib your way to success


  • You need to surround yourself with coaches, mentors and supporters
  • Nothing of value is ever accomplished alone
  • Who will help you when you stumble or get off-track?

If you don’t have these foundational principles in place, your plan is terminally flawed. In the absence of knowledge, system and support, all the discipline in the world won’t help. How much good is “willpower” if you’re on the wrong track?

You’ll be like Sisyphus, pushing the rock up the wrong hill.

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Discipline, willpower and self-control will help you only when you have the right foundation in place!

When you have knowledge you will know what approach to take to produce the outcome you want.

When you have a system in place you will have a proven, scientific method for progressing along the path.

When you have support you will have the people around you that you will need to stay the course.

All of these together will make sure you are pushing the rock up the right hill.

You are not doomed to failure….

If you don’t have these pieces in place, you can change that. It’s not a terminal condition.

But the first step is to use this as an opportunity to assess where you and and WHY you are where you are.

So, before you do anything, ask yourself:

  • Do I have the necessary knowledge to be successful in exercise and nutrition?
  • Do I have a proven system in place, based upon that knowledge?
  • Do I have the right people around me to support me in success?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s time to let yourself off the hook! There’s nothing wrong with you, your approach is fundamentally flawed.

It’s not your fault. You didn’t know which pieces needed to be in place for success. You’ve been lied to by an industry of trainers who keep telling you it’s all about willpower, discipline and self-control (it’s an ego thing; they do that so that you will be impressed with how much willpower, discipline and self-control THEY have!).

We can begin to look at how to acquire these pieces in the future. But, for now, forgive yourself.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

Jonathan Aluzas is the Membership Director for Arena Fitness, a fitness center that offers personal training in Northridge as well as group training in Encino.

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