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11 Weight-Loss Secrets Most Experts Won't Tell You, From a Leading Personal Trainer

Real truths from a certified personal trainer.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Committing to daily physical fitness requires hard work and an unwavering dedication to health habits. I've prioritized staying in shape since I was a child, and over the years, I've recognized a few key secrets behind all successful fitness stories. And now, as a Certified Personal Trainer who founded GYMGUYZ in 2008, building it into the world's largest personal training company with over 150 locations across 30 states and 3 countries, I want to share these secrets with you.

 11. The majority of cardio is a waste of time.

Woman exercising in a gym with an elliptical cross trainer

People should be doing more HIIT. A lot of people burning themselves out running and using an elliptical have a goal of losing weight. The truth is, high-intensity bursts of strength training will be a much more effective way to lose weight and look your best.

10. You don't have to eliminate foods you love.

Unhappy Woman refusing to Eat her Pizza Dish in a Restaurant. Disgruntled customer not liking the meal sending it back

People think that if they want to be fit, they'll never get to eat cookies, brownies and cake ever again. Really, if you eat well 80% of the time, you are doing great. Balance in your diet is essential for overall bodily fitness.

RELATED: The 5-Minute Stretch Routine That Can Improve Your Posture

9. The best way to get abs isn't by doing crunches.

Man doing core exercise with medicine ball

People think that endless crunches will help them build abdominal muscles, and to some extent they will, but it's not the best way to achieve better core strength. You are better off doing a rope crunch or using a medicine ball to create a stretch in abdominal wall and using dynamic movements to build muscle.

8. There is such a thing as too much training.

Blonde young woman give up workout in gym, fail.

Training too often and not taking a break can be detrimental to your fitness. It's essential that you take two days off of training every week to let your muscles and ligaments recover. Every 10 to 12 weeks, take a full week off if you are exercising at maximum effort most of the time.

7. Establish a consistent routine before worrying about your form.


Sometimes, people think you need to have the most amazing form to get stronger, but strength comes about by consistent shocks to your body to feel tension. Focus on building a routine and making exercise a part of your day-to-day. The more adjusted your body becomes to being uncomfortable, the easier it will be for you to go to the next level. Once you have the discipline, the form will come over time.

Related: Lucy Haldon Reveals Her New Workout Routine For Perfect Abs

6. Patience will help you achieve maximal results.

Slim, bodybuilder girl, lifts heavy dumbbell standing in front of the mirror while training in the gym. Sports concept, fat burning and a healthy lifestyle.

You should not be training a body part more than 14 to 16 reps at a time. You will not get maximal results by draining your energy and overworking certain muscle groups. Don't expect overnight results with your fitness, and as long as you stay consistent, I promise you will be pleased with your results in the long run.

5. The most important time to show up is when it's the last thing you want to do.

Tired man in car. Sleepy drowsy driver, fatigue. Driving and sleeping in vehicle. Exhausted, bored or drunk person. Serious upset man with stress, despair, anxiety or melancholy. Problem in traffic.

I am a fitness advocate, but there are some days when even I don't want to get out of bed and workout. When you wake up in one of those moods and don't feel like trying, recognize that as a test of your mental fitness. Power through the feelings telling you something might be hard or uncomfortable. Once you finish your workout, you'll get something more out of it because you pushed yourself a little extra.

4. Don't discount your diet.

Young woman eating healthy food sitting in the beautiful interior with green flowers on the background

Eating healthy accounts for about 60-70% of your fitness. Your body's composition is based on the fuel you put into it and how your strain your muscles to burn that energy. Be thoughtful with the types of calories you consume.

Related: Which Pasta is Best for Weight Loss?

3. Working with a personal trainer can revolutionize your fitness.

Tired Beautiful Athletic Woman Looking Down after Intensive Fitness Exercise.

Getting in shape is ultimately a personal journey, but getting someone else involved who can help you design workouts, create nutrition plans and stay accountable is invaluable. It can be nerve-wrecking to invite someone else to be a part of something so personal, but it will help you realize that you are not alone in wanting to do something good for your health and wellbeing.

2. Don't hide the scale.


Contrary to a lot of fitness influencers, I suggest you step on the scale every morning to give yourself some quantitative metrics to help you track your progress. If you choose to ignore this, I think you should stop, look at yourself in the mirror, and take a moment to reflect on how you feel about yourself. Fitness can be a tool to boost yourself esteem, so give yourself opportunities to reflect on your progress in a way that is personal to you.

Related: 5 Key Benefits of Ozempic for Weight Management Explained

1. Never lie to yourself.


A lot of gyms are filled with people lying to themselves or putting in only a portion of the effort needed to see results. Be honest with yourself about your goals, your lifestyle and your progress. Your journey is not going to be easy, and I can guarantee you there will be moments of awesome achievement and setbacks that will discourage you. Remember, honesty will get you results and keep you on track for your long-term goals.

💪🔥Body Booster: Limit workouts to 14-16 reps per body part. Avoid overexertion for best results. Patience is key in fitness.

Josh York, Certified Personal Trainer; Founder & CEO of GYMGUYZ, the largest at-home and on-site personal training company serving 1,000 cities worldwide.

Josh York
Josh York is a Certified Personal Trainer, Founder & CEO of GYMGUYZ. Read more