7 Reasons I’m Done Living The “Fitness Lifestyle”

January 12, 2016 | 42 Comments

fitness lifestyle

Fitness is something I rarely think about anymore.

Which is pretty weird to say since I make my living writing about fitness and selling workout programs but the days of thinking about my workout and diet are gone.

Don’t get me wrong.

I still enjoy training and lifting heavy weights.

I still watch my diet and eat well for both my health and body composition.

But my days of spending 5x per week in the gym, labeling myself as the “paleo” or “if it fits your macros” guy, and just constantly thinking about fitness are over.

Here’s why I’m done with the “fitness lifestyle:”

1) Talking and reading about fitness online is exhausting and makes me feel stupid

Obviously I’m not talking all fitness content.

I’m talking about reading Facebook comments about why The Food Babe is an ignorant pile of crap (which in truth, she is ,but I don’t feel the need to type out a 500 word essay on Facebook to a bunch of people I don’t know just so I can feel better about myself).

I’m talking about watching fitness Youtube videos and feeling like I’m losing 10 IQ points every time because the comment sections are filled with racist 14 year olds.

I don’t need that crap in my life.

These days I just read what I need and take action.

2) I don’t obsess about my looks anymore

“Ugh my shoulders aren’t wide enough.”

“All I need is one more inch on my biceps and my body will be perfect.”

“Maybe…just maybe if I’m 8% body fat instead of 10% I’ll be happy.”

Believe me, no one that’s worth knowing gives a shit if you’re 8% body fat vs. 10% body fat.

And once you hit a certain muscular threshold (typically your first 20-25 pounds), the only people you’re going to impress is more dudes.

This is how I look like these days at 6 ft tall and about 190 and training 3-4x per week:


Am I the most muscular guy in the room? No.

Am I the leanest? No.

Do I give a fuck anymore? Hell no.

I used to give a fuck but then I became a big boy and realized that basing your self-worth on how you physically look just shows how little of a man you are.

If you ever do want to go from 10% body fat to 8% or gain an extra inch in your arms, do it for yourself, not because you think it’ll attract hotter women or more respect and power.

3) I get more time to do other stuff

I never quite understand how some guys spend close to 2 hours in the gym and just “hang out.”If I wanted to hang out with friends I would do it outside the gym where everyone doesn’t smell like sweat and bodily fluids.

I just want to get in, do my shit and get out. #thatswhatshesaid

What I’ve found is that you get so much more free time to do literally anything you want when you’re not obsessed about planning your next workout or diet and doing “meal prep.”

I get more time to:

  • Build my business
  • Read books
  • Think about the future
  • Hang out with family and friends
  • Play sports (I actually don’t play sports, but if I wanted to, I could)

Ask yourself, what would you do if you stopped obsessing over fitness?

4) I get to enjoy eating again

doughnut fitmole

You know the saying, “Eat to live, don’t eat to live.”

Yeah…screw that.

If I just ate to live, I’d live off Soylent.

But there’s too much damn good food in this world to simply “eat to live.”

While I like to eat for my health and mental and physical performance, I also like to eat for fun.

Nothing wrong with that in my book.

5) Dieting becomes effortless

I view food as simply food.

Don’t get me wrong, I love eating and trying new foods but I don’t obsess over “clean” or “dirty” foods and I definitely don’t put a label on the way I eat (e.g. Oh I’m paleo, bro).

I keep a rough count of calories in my head and loosely track protein, carbs, and fats. In fact, getting enough protein has become pretty effortless due to the “whey chug” trick.

While I recommend beginners to closely track their food intake at the start with a notebook or app, you should be able to get to a point (within a few months) where you’re able to ‘eyeball’ and track your intake in your head.

Knowing your numbers is essential but I don’t recommend stressing over them.

For example, if I know I ate a ton of fats one day, I”ll simply go lower on fats the next day, but I won’t obsess over the exact gram amount.

6) My body hurts less

Every single time I went on a 6-7 day workout split, my body would hate me.

My elbows would start creaking, my knees make this weird snapping sound every time walked, and worst of all, I just felt really really tired.

Hammering my body with heavy weights almost every day would just fry my CNS and I would never feel motivated to lift for the long run.

Now, realize I’m just talking about heavy lifting here. I have no problem lifting 3-4x per week and doing some extra cardio/conditioning work or even play sports on off days.

7) I actually look forward to my workouts again

I had a 3 month period where I did a 6 day per week bodybuilder split.

The first week went well since it was still a new routine.

But after that everything went to hell.

Just knowing that I had to lift 5 days in a row made me want to kill myself.

These past few months, I’ve been training 3-4 days per week using a super simple upper/lower split.

This makes everything much easier to manage and with the extra rest days I’m actually excited to workout and have enough energy to go to the gym.

Calm the fuck down, it’s not that big a deal

The point of this article isn’t to discourage you from being enthusiastic about fitness.

If you love to daydream about your next session to the gym, then more power to ya.

If you love spending your nights tweaking your carb and fat ratios, then that’s awesome. Whatever makes you happy…

But personally, I am so done with the “fitness lifestyle” and the hardcore, “balls to the walls” attitude that so many guys have with fitness.

Do you live the “fitness lifestyle?”

42 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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      1. Well said man, always against the grain from other fitness online junk and your advice works. It’s all about getting out there and doing it. I have a gym at home and I’m done in less than an hour. Now I can worry about my wife, teenage kid, March Madness or whatever I want to do. I dig all your blogs. Keep it up!

        1. Great post and reply from the reader… After reading this I feel like I need to calm the fuck down on the “fitness life style”. I Count way to many macros a day and my fifitnesspal streak is like over 400 days! I think im going crazy. My shoulders and knees are killing me. I think ima do calisthenics for a while. They’re always creaking and cracking. I also have a home gym and done within 45 min a day.

          1. I think “lifting” has become way too mainstream haha.

            90% of guys who lift take it so fucking seriously, it’s getting weird.

            People just need to calm the fuck down a bit and realize there’s more to life than lifting and macros.

  1. I do have kids.

    Two of them.

    And I agree with Keith.

    I’m not competing on stage, so I don’t need to be insane about my fitness.

    I do track macros. I do HIIT. 2-3 times a week. I do lift heavy.

    I have a plan and I stick to it.

    At the same time, I do get invited to kids’ birthday parties, I do have days when I can’t hit the gym because of a soccer game, or school play, or to take my kids bike riding.

  2. I thought this was what you and your “system” has always been about, Keith. You know, simplicity. Not worrying a ton and being able to have your way while keeping it (and yourself) sexy. Which is why I found it weird that’d you write this. You’ll probably just get even better with this sort of approach to life (because it isn’t just fitness anymore…has ever been just that?).

    Anyhow, you should that this whole site has been the most useful guidance to this subject I’ve ever seen. It’s been a whole game-changer, and it has allowed me to get looking good without having to sacrifice my life for it….and keep, in the long run.


  3. Great article! You can have fitness goals and follow a plan to get there but don’t let it run your life. You can also take pride in your appearance without it running your life.The other day our CEO took everyone out to dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in Denver. I could have declined but hell no I’m going to enjoy life!

  4. Loved this article, its refreshing to read something by someone who clearly knows what their talking about when it comes to fitness but hasn’t disappeared up their own asshole and keeps things real.

    Kieth always manages to keep things simple and puts everything across un understandable terms which in my opinion is something of a rarity in the online swamp of fitness bullshit.

    Great stuff.

  5. Great article, Keith!

    Yup, this has been me lately. Training 5-6 days a week and tracking everything, I got down to 205 standing at 6’3 thinking I would need to get to 190 to truly be happy with myself. I learned leaner wasn’t better for my body type and even with a super lean mid-section, I would still have to wear a Large shirt because of my wide shoulders. I finally got out of thinking I was going to look a certain way once I reached a certain weight and have chosen to just focus on better not more.

    I’m back to strictly counting calories and IF and although I’m at the gym 6 days a week still, 2 of those days are super low impact (swimming/walking/jazzercise 😉 and making them more of mobility days.

    Thanks for this!

    1. Thanks Mark.

      Sports or mobility type days are awesome, I’m just not a huge fan of lifting super heavy 5-7x per week.

  6. This is the absolute best fitness post ever written. Seriously.

    The thing is, it’s much more than a fitness post — it’s also a life/living post, but most people won’t see it as that.

    +1 for using twss

  7. I’ve been following your blog for sometime now. This article came at a perfect time for me. I appreciate your perspective. Continue doing what you do. I will continue checking in and reading. Thank you!

  8. Hey Keith! First-time reader, first-time poster! I’ve been following the outlines on another certain ‘Nerdy’ fitness blog for the last 2 years, but really enjoy the content you have on your site as well; this post in particular.

    “Be fit to live, don’t live to be fit”. Good motto to adopt 🙂 I’ve personally gone from 295lbs to under 225 over an 8-month period through diet and working out either 5-6x/week, but am now content to begin focusing more on building muscle than weight loss and lowering my heavy workouts to 3-4x/week with 1-2 sport/mobility days a week.

    Kudos to you for realizing and EMBRACING the fact that there’s more to living life than constantly improving your physical looks, and for finding a niche that you can maintain a healthy body and still focus more time on life as well 🙂

    1. Hey Scott, thanks man.

      Yeah I really don’t understand why so many guys are so damn hardcore about fitness. If your job involves fitness, i get it. But the majority of guys are just recreational lifters but treat it like a religion.

  9. I needed to read this because I usually end up on the “crazy” train if I’m not careful. I’ve been consistently working out and watching my diet for the past 12 years now and sometimes (just sometime) I want to eat a damn “bad” food without the food guilt!! But then if I do indulge even just a little I’m thinking I’ve gained 5 pounds overnight. Ugh. the dilemma.

    1. Yup I’ve been there. It’s just food, there’s no way indulging every now and then can cause a 5 pound spike in weight.

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