The Playbook For The Modern Man

Fitness Expert Reveals Common Gym Sin Killing Men’s Gains

No pain, no gain – right? Wrong.

Have you ever ended up finishing an entire bar of chocolate when you only intended to have one piece? Or have you come out of a relationship and told yourself you’re going to change how you look so you can hold on to the next partner that comes along?

If you have, and you’ve gone to the gym soon after to try and right the wrongs, ex-military commander and The Biggest Loser tough guy Steve Willis says you need to rethink your training regime.

Why? Because training out of guilt will only result in a one-way ticket to failure-town. Population, you.


Commando Steve, as he’s better known, says training because of guilt is an unsustainable approach to achieving fitness goals. Speaking to he said, “there’s no space in it to experience happiness, joy, peace, and gratitude.”

“It is debilitating and it will wear you out in a short time.”

It’s something the majority of us can likely relate to; feeling like we should push harder next time we’re on the gym floor because we think we overate the night before, or because we had a fight with a friend and have to find a space to vent our anger.

It will only have damaging effects, says Steve: “People push themselves so hard that they end up sick and magnify the stress and anxiety in what they’re already having to deal with even more.”

He stresses that in order to make any changes to your outside, you need to start taking better care of your inside. Your personal wellbeing. #GoodVibesOnly.

“When my four-year-old is upset or needs some reassurance, I am gentle, but as adults, we don’t do that for ourselves; we don’t go to that four-year-old within us and nurture ourselves and say ‘it’s all right’.”

“Guilt gets things done in the moment, but has it really done anything that has a sound basis, that is promoting wellbeing long-term?”

Steve speaks from experience, he says when he was younger he never used to like himself, and turned to exercise as a way to escape the pain, but he used it to hurt himself, not to get himself ripped. It wasn’t really until he discovered Buddhism some seven years ago that he really started to enjoy life and improve his relationships with other people.


That’s not to say you need to go and find a new religion to practice your life by, but we can certainly all benefit from taking some ‘me’ time.

Since obtaining his newfound wisdom, Steve is keen to preach that we can all be “mindful” when we train and that we need to realise that we won’t reach our goals overnight, or “yesterday” as he puts it. He explains that for him, there are just three rules to abide by if you want to reach your fitness goals: commitment, consistency, and awareness.

“Committing to things is easy at the start. It’s maintaining the commitment when things get challenging. It’s about showing up even when we don’t feel like it.”

“It’s one thing to commit to something and rely on a coach or trainer to encourage and motivate you, or you can choose to do that yourself.”

Read Next:

  • Dave Strothers

    Great message Steve.I was one of those people who would commit but couldn’t maintain..It cost me a lot of promising things in my life.

  • I’msurrounded

    He looks he’s following his own wrong advice and looks almost less than the average gym rat. How old is he? 45? how about discipline? That’s the point – discipline; decide to do things and remember why you do them when you feel tempted to fault. It’s not hard; you just have to honest with yourself which will translate really easily for those hoping to follow. Amateurs reiterating professional advice and hoping to get… anything? This is nothing new. Unsubbed as this rhetoric seems to be the business model; repeating yourself and hoping new people join as fast as the old ones leave. How about inspiring something new by collaborating content??? or is your next article about how anything less than nutrition in your body is bad?

  • John Rock

    He is right, the greatest long term benefits come when my life choices are based on happiness, love and joy. I should only use fear and guilt for initial corrective purposes, they should be used as sparingly as possible.

    I chose to work out because I feel better when I do, and when I feel better I have more fun, and when I have more fun I move my body more.


Show More



The playbook for the modern man

Get the very best of men's style, health, travel & culture delivered to your inbox.

Dont show me this again