Fitness, Health & Wellness
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(photo: Estudio Polaroid)

I had an interesting conversation with a member of our gym the other week. 

He approached me after a particularly difficult workout and asked, “Hey, Eddie, how long will it take me to look like that?” I responded, “Like what?” He pointed to the 6’3”, 220-pound man standing across the gym with his shirt off, six-pack abs, pecs, huge biceps, and glistening sweat all over his body. 

I chuckled a bit, knowing the man he was inquiring about quite well. I said, “That guy started his workout journey about 30 years ago.” He looked distraught and defeated. Most people feel like that when they walk into a gym and see the fittest people inside, with the abs, the shoulders, and bulging biceps. They think, “I will never look like them.” 

I told him, “If you continue lifting weights, eating your body weight in grams of protein daily, and avoiding eating too much sugar, then it should only take about two years.” He laughed. I was serious, though. This man is three weeks into his new workout regime and is looking up at the top of the mountain. The trip becomes daunting and almost impossible when you look up at the top.

So many people make the mistake of looking at the end result and thinking, “This is too hard.” You know what? It is hard. It is extremely hard to work as long and as hard as the people you aspire to look like. 

I have always been of the mindset that “if he can do it, so can I.” The next time you see a gal or gentleman in the gym that you think is amazing in some way, shape, or form, just remind yourself that they, too, put their pants on one leg at a time. 

Instead of looking up at the top of the mountain, you can look down, and when you look down, all you can see is your feet taking one step at a time. Those small steps are much more manageable than looking at the top of the daunting path ahead. 

It takes a lot of time, sweat, and effort to achieve the body we all strive for. If I think back to when I started to exercise, I had a purpose. Purpose one: not get beat up by other guys. Purpose two: get a girl’s attention. Simple and sweet. 

Today, when people come to me struggling to get into shape, I tell them to stop trying to get into shape and start becoming the person who goes to the gym every week. The part about getting in shape will come, and body composition and weight loss will all become by-products of an individual who goes to the gym. 

So, for all of you reading this and struggling to get started, here’s a little exercise of implementation intention for you. Write down the following: I will partake in 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on this “day” at this “time” in this “place.” Now, you fill the day, time, and place and start becoming the person who goes to the gym. spt

Eddie McKenna

Eddie McKenna is co-owner of Heyday Elite Fitness. For more info, visit