Posted by on Jan 10, 2015

Eric Johnson is one of the Sons of Strength with his brother Ryan. Based in New York City, the Sons of Strength, prepare their clientele of A-List celebrities and champion fighters for feature films, photoshoots, and title matches. Work with Eric and Ryan through their 1:1 coaching program, Sons of Strength Elite.

Every story has a hero.

This story is about the journey back to the body of your youth or your dreams. The days where you had endless amounts of energy, the resiliency to bounce back from an injury, illness, or adversity, and a body free of any aches, pains, or limitations.

Let’s call it your very own Odyssey.

The year is 2015.

You are a warrior. The Fito Hero of this quest.

fito hero badgeFueled by New Year’s resolutions, you embark on this transformative journey.

Your actions are motivated by the “New Year, New You” mentality. You use that newly found willpower to take action and finally make these resolutions, fixtures in your daily life.

Maybe you found a coach to help guide you. Maybe it was just the support of a friend or two. Maybe it was just a sticky note in the mirror staring back at you with your own reflection.

You start.

You begin to execute that game plan.

You experience some success.

You lose a few pounds. You take a few inches off your waist. You hit a PR on your deadlift. You go to the gym all 3 scheduled days. You prepare meals and get within 5 to 10 grams of your targeted macros.

But then…

It happens like it ALWAYS does.

Life gets busy. You get injured. You get sick. You binge yourself into a coma.


Just like when home of Ithaca was in sight for Odysseus’ return. He became comfortable that his homecoming was a success and he laid down to sleep.

Bad move, Odysseus.

Bad move, Odysseus. Epic eye roll.

The greed of his men extended the journey and delayed his homecoming. As they tried to steal what they thought was gold, they unleashed the adverse Winds that had been bottled by King Aeolus for Odysseus. In return, the winds blew the ships back across every ocean they had already traveled.

Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art, calls this self-sabotage, Resistance. He defines it as what stands between the life we live, and the unlived life within us.

Resistance: the unlived life within us

If you have ever…

  • Quit a diet.
  • Bailed on a training partner.
  • Let your gym membership go unused.
  • Hired a coach but disputed everything he or she recommended.
  • Found an excuse for why you haven’t succeeded.

…You know what resistance is.

We experience it as fear. Fear of sacrifice. Fear of failure. Fear of change. Fear of success. Fear of reaching our potential.

As coaches, we have seen it numerous times in our coaching groups, private clients, and even family and friends. In all honesty, we personally are victims to the resistance.

It’s like clockwork. They start to finally experience some success to a certain degree.

Then BOOM!

An injury to their toe.

A family member gets sick.

Work demands more time at the office.

The gym is closed.

Case Study

In one of our coaching groups, a client dropped 7 pounds In 7 days.

She was motivated and excited for her fast progress. But… then self sabotage came rolling in.

Sick with a cold she couldn’t kick. A “busy week with life.” An injured back from sit ups that weren’t in her training plan. Her cat biting someone and taking it into animal control. (Yes, resistance works in weird ways!) Depression taking over.

Every time she experienced a little success, she fell off the wagon a few days later.

See, the “excuses” are all different but every single one comes right after some progress.

This just doesn’t apply to your fitness journey. The resistance does not discriminate. It does not know the difference between your diet, finances, career, or personal relationships.

All the resistance knows is that it must stop you. It must hit the panic button when you start to achieve your goals. It will call in back up via your support system. It will crawl, scratch, and bite its way into your head.

But this journey is different

This time, the hero comes out on top. You can overcome your self doubt. You can defeat this arch-nemesis of Resistance. And you will.

The hero in you will need a few strategies and a sidekick or two to beat the enemy and transform physically and mentally.

I am the hero of this story

Action Over Fear

Along their journey, the hero learns that fear cannot be overcome. He or she recognized that you cannot eliminate fear.

In fact, the more we fear something, the more that we must complete the task. If it doesn’t make you nervous or increase your heart rate, it probably doesn’t mean much to you.

However, fear is lessened through action.

So do not accept any excuse. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Surround yourself with people who motivate, inspire, and bring the best out in you.

You must act in the face of fear.

"Ares Ludovisi Altemps Inv8602 n2" by Marie-Lan Nguyen - Marie-Lan Nguyen (September 2009). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

Ares is the god of fear… and courage.

Success and Failure

On your journey, you will experience numerous ups and downs.

For every moment where you want to flex a double biceps pose in the gym’s mirrors, there will be a moment where you want to declare your failure with a tub of Haggen Dazs.

Instead of viewing these moments as highs and lows, we challenge you to view them solely as learning experiences.

Do not take them personally. Detach your obsession with the outcome, but focus on the journey. There are no successes or failures.

What you are not:

You are not your mistakes.

By recognizing that there are no failures or successes, then we can agree that mistakes are OK. You shouldn’t beat yourself up over a little mishap. So what if you had a glass of wine or eat a piece of bread when you were on an insulin reset? Move on and get back on track. A few grams of carbohydrates will not throw off your entire plan.

You are not a failure. You are human just like the rest of us.

See, we are all going to have mishaps and setbacks. Now that we got that out of the way, you should pick and choose your battles.

Don’t think you’re invincible come Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house and that you will resist all of the temptation of fresh pasta and sauce. (Yes, I admit to my big weakness for Italian food.)

Instead of beating yourself up mentally that you fell off track, declare it a cheat day. It may set you back a few days in your goals but you will not fall completely off the wagon.

Or maybe you could get a workout in before and fast up until you add a little more cheese to your dish. Try hitting your macros the best you can or don’t exceed your calorie intake.

You can learn more about planning to fail from Dick Talens, Fitocracy co-founder, here.

The End of the Beginning

Even though Odysseus had to endure more hardship and suffering, he did finally reach home.

And so will you.

Your willpower might run out and the Resistance will strengthen (and it will, especially at the finish line), but you will know it is possible to beat.

This enemy always has the same bag of tricks. Be aware and recognize when the Resistance hides itself in other ways.

The go out there and defeat it through a foundation of strong habits, a plan of action, and a heavy heart.

We will see you at the finish line of 2015. We expect a jaw dropping transformation, more wisdom from your adventure, and some kick ass stories to tell.

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