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Breakthrough Fitness

There Is No Substitute For Effort


  • A vigorous or determined attempt.
  • The results from an attempt.
  • Strenuous physical and mental exertion.

Back in 2010, I attended a strength and conditioning clinic at the University of Florida.

Head strength coach, Mick Marotti (now Ohio State;s head strength coach), was describing the culture of the weight room. He points at a banner on the wall that says, “there is no substitute for effort”. Coach then provides us with the knowledge he has learned from 30 years on the job, trying to make athletes better. In 30 years he has seen and tried everything.This was the lesson learned.

The exercise programs and nutrition plans are only as good as the effort being put forth.

Effort is not a talent, it’s a mindset

I thank Jim Wendler, world class powerlifter and strength coach, for this quote. A positive environment will definitely encourage effort. A good coach can get you to reach new potential. Training with others will make you work harder, but it all starts with you.

Wrap whatever it is you want to put effort towards with positive thoughts. Believe in yourself or find a coach, friend, or spouse who believes in you until your confidence builds.

There is no substitute for effort

This quote is hanging in our facility for a reason. I think it’s important that we are reminded daily about the efforts we put forth. When you think of your efforts, think about words like:

  • Achievement
  • Attainment
  • Accomplishment
  • Endeavor
  • Exertion
  • Energy
  • Power

There is probably something you are whining and moaning about in your life at this very moment. I was getting really good at whining about not having time to get certain business projects done or started. Over the last month, I stopped whining and focused on my effort.

  • I put effort into “making” blocks of time, whether it’s one hour or five hours.
  • I put effort into planning ahead for what I want to get done in that time frame.
  • I put effort into eliminating distractions.
  • I put effort into keeping my mindset positive.
  • I put effort into getting one thing done before moving onto the next.

Even though I’ve put forth new effort, things haven’t always gone as planned.

  • I still doubt myself at times.
  • I allow myself to get distracted.
  • I have to really fight the urge to focus on one thing.
  • Things out of my control sometimes take away the time allotted for a project.

All roads lead back to mindset.

  • You can erase doubt quickly with recent accomplishments.
  • When you are making progress, distractions don’t last as long. You’ll be determined to finish because you can visualize the end result.
  • When you are getting things done, obstacles don’t derail your efforts. You simply handle the situation and move on.

Does your current approach to nutrition need a little more effort?

Does your marriage need a little more effort?

Does your time management need a little more effort?

Start with posting “there is no substitute for effort” in a place you see daily. Put a post-it note on your bathroom mirror. Tape a small banner in your work cubicle or office. Hang these words on the refrigerator or pantry door. Let the daily reminder create butterflies and a bit of anxiety. Let it drive thoughts of change and improvement. Let it develop into action.

Keep moving,

Coach Dom