Getting Fit and Strong: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

My name is Tom Ewer and I am healthy enough.

At least, that’s how I see it. I’m 6’1″ and a notch or two under 200lbs. Consult a BMI chart and I’m technically overweight, but I feel pretty healthy, and I’d rather trust my own subjective measure than one so simplistic as BMI.

Tom Ewer
Judge for yourself!

But here’s what I’m not: what most guys want to be. You know – toned, lean, buff, head-turning. And I wish I was, as many of us do.

So what’s holding me back?

For most of us, I think it comes down to one simple thing: faith. To be more specific, faith that making the sacrifices and putting the hard work in will yield the kind of results that will make it all worthwhile (or at least give us the understanding that an awesome body simply isn’t worth the personal sacrifice).

If I had a better understanding of what I needed to do in order to be fitter, stronger and look awesome naked, I would either feel:

  1. Motivated to do what was necessary
  2. Comfortable in the knowledge that I’m not prepared to that the necessary work for the end result I desire

I’m not looking for an absolute answer here. I’m not expecting to point to a picture of Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Hugh Jackman in Wolverine and have someone tell me exactly what I would need to do and how long it would take to get the necessary end result. But I do feel that if I had someone suitably experienced and trustworthy giving me a greater understanding of and confidence in what was necessary to experience genuine, tangible results, I would be in a far better position to take action (or not).

But I don’t know how to go about getting that information or who to get it from.

I saw an entertaining talk earlier today at the Alive conference in Berlin by a guy called Carl Paoli, an ex-gymnast turned personal trainer.

Carl said something that in his talk that stuck in my mind and inspired this article.

He said that at one point, he was ranked (by some undefined means) as the top personal trainer in the United States. But at the same time, he came to realise that his clients weren’t actually getting any fitter. While he moved onto say that he changed his training methods and got great results, there’s no avoiding that at a time, he was incredibly successful in getting paid as a personal trainer, but not so successful at actually delivering the goods.

So, if Carl was number one and an all-round badass buff dude but couldn’t get his clients fit, how can I trust anyone in the health and fitness industry? Who do I look for to provide me with the information I feel I need to make a pivotal decision about my body, and ultimately, my life?

Perhaps it’s an issue with my mindset. I’m not good with leaps of faith; I like evidence. I don’t like someone to tell me to “do more exercise” because I’ll “get fitter” – I want to know what I can expect from my endeavors.

I don’t need all the answers. But to be anything more than just healthy enough, I feel like I need to know more than I do right now. I need to have a greater understanding of what is necessary to become a fitter, stronger version of myself, and believe someone who tells me how I should do it.

Otherwise, I don’t think anything will change, and I might look back one day and ask myself, “what if?” And what ifs suck.