Pillar 3: Movement

If you missed the intro and Parts 1 or 2, you can read them here:

To review if you’re in the right place:

If  you’re ready to say a big FU to aging and the Dad Bod, you’re in the right spot.

If you want to look at yourself in the mirror and say “damn, I feel and look better than I have in a decade,” you’re in the right spot.

If you want to wake up fully energized, ready to crush your client calls or have a fun adventure with your kids, you’re in the right spot.

Ready? Time to hit Pillar 3 then. Let’s rock.

Pillar 3: Movement

“When it comes to health and well-being, regular exercise is about as close to a magic potion as you can get.” ~Tich Nhat Hanh

We’re designed to move. Our brains work better with exercise, and our bodies are stronger with it. Our immune systems become more robust, our moods are elevated, our resiliency improves, our energy levels go up, our bones get stronger, and we’re less likely to develop disease. It is as close to a silver bullet as we can get.

BUT, you need to know what we mean by the word “exercise,” and then figure out what type of exercise makes sense for you right now.

Not what you had success with 20 years ago, and certainly not what the cover model on Men’s Health tells you.

Different forms of exercise will produce different results. What is the “right” type of exercise? And how much do you need? Getting the correct exercise dosage is both extremely important and extremely difficult in our “more is better” culture.

More is not better. Smarter is better.

One of the first things I tell busy guys is that if they’re not sleeping well, don’t have any stress management practice in place (yoga, breathing, walking,) then I’d argue more exercise could be doing more harm than good.

Why push your body past its limits and then not give it ample time to recover? I mean, I get it. Adrenaline feels good. Endorphins get you high. You want more of that. I totally get it. But if you’re not recovering from these hard workouts AND your life is chock full of other stressors, you could be asking for trouble down the road.

Assessing your OVERALL STRESS level will determine the right type of exercise, the right frequency, and the right intensity for you.

That’s what I mean by smarter being better. And it’s why I like to think about exercise more in terms of daily movement. It’s about moving your body daily and strengthening in a way that makes sense for you.

In order to figure this out for yourself, you need to have these three vital pieces in place:

1) Getting Clarity on What You Want

What specifically do you want to achieve? Losing 20 pounds will require a different a different course of action than gaining 10 pounds of muscle.

Relieving pain and improving flexibility to play on the ground with your kids will require different actions than training to win a triathlon.

The clearer you are about what you want, the easier it is to put together a physical practice to get you where you want to go.

You also have to be aware of your physical limitations. Past injuries limit range of motion. Sitting at a desk all day or spending multiple hours in a car each week impact how well you move your body. If you have old injuries or struggle with chronic tightness, you need to work on these issues daily before they become bigger problems.

Be honest with yourself: how much time can you allocate to a physical practice? The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours at the gym every week. In fact, as we’ll discuss later, for busy guys with full-time jobs and family responsibilities, less is oftentimes more.

Once you have more clarity around what you want physically, AND you consider other stressors in your life, you’ll start to build a clear plan of what you need to do daily.

2) Finding Your Active Passion

In order for daily physical movement to become a reality, you need to focus on activities you enjoy. Movement can be play. It should be play. My wife and I created Saltwater Fit and use ACTIVE PASSION as a core principle to help people move and feel better. We move because we WANT to.

For me, surfing and tennis check those boxes for me. Nobody forces me to get up at 4:30 AM to surf, just like nobody forces me to battle on the tennis court for hours at a time. I do so because I love it.

Typical “exercise” certainly has its place, but only to compliment my active passions. I lift weights, do yoga, and stretch every day so my body can do what I actively love.

I want to be able to play for decades. I want to get better and improve. Tennis and surfing are my active passions, and I highly suggest you find yours.

Some of you might be thinking, “Nick, I’d love to play tennis or surf every day, but there’s no way I have the time for that.” I get it. These activities take time and sometimes require sacrifices to other areas of your life.

But this isn’t about trying to do your active passion every day. It’s more about having a purpose and focus to your training.

Instead of aimlessly wandering around the gym doing this, that, and the other thing, you’ll know exactly WHY you are doing what you are doing. Deep squats might suck, but when you’re bombing down the mountain on your skis, that leg strength will keep you safe, in control, and injury-free.

Even if you only get to do your active passion once a week, or even just once or twice a month, you’re prepared in the best possible way.

You’re doing the right exercises every day to ensure that when you hit the court, the field, the mountains, or the ocean, you can give it your all.

3) Having Accountability in Place

The best workout program is one you’re consistently able to do. And that comes down to having someone hold you to it.

We’re going to have days when working out is the last thing you want to do. You’re tired and would much rather hit the couch with a beer then hit the weights. I get it. I’ve had plenty of those days myself. Still do.

That’s why having accountability is the crucial missing piece. Having a coach in your corner, one who pushes you through tough times and holds your feet to the fire, will dramatically increase the likelihood of you executing on workouts.

But it doesn’t have to be an actual coach or trainer. A workout buddy, a fit neighbor or co-worker, or even a dedicated family member can be enough to hold you accountable.

What To Do Next

So here’s what to do today: Spend a few minutes figuring out what you want.

I know this isn’t as fun as learning about the 10 best exercises for ripped arms, but trust me: getting clear about what you want will save you SO much time, energy, and frustration in the long run.

We’ve now covered the three pillars of the Trifecta of Transformation.

And today we looked at the MOVEMENT pillar.

Again, here’s the big picture.

  • Introduction to the Trifecta of Transformation: Why All This Matters

  • Trifecta of Transformation Part 1: MINDSET.

  • Trifecta of Transformation Part 2: NUTRITION

  • (YOU ARE HERE) Trifecta of Transformation Part 3: MOVEMENT.

  • Putting It All Together: How to Set Up the Trifecta of Transformation for YOUR LIFESTYLE, So You Know Exactly What To Do Every Day

Next up, for the final post in the series, we’re going to look at how we can put it all together and set up a complete system of success.

See you next time, when we put everything together!