The fitness industry is broken. That’s what Adam Bornstein says though he says it does not mean there are no good fitness trainers around. What he means is that the focus of the industry is wrong. It should not be focused on a particular regime, rather it should be on getting results through whatever works.

Health Units sat down with Adam Bornstein and asked him some questions. Here is what he had to say about fitness regimes, training, trying hard, failing and then trying some more.

Tell Us About Yourself?

Well, I’m an award-winning fitness and nutrition journalist, author, and editor. Named “one of the most influential people in health”, I was the former editorial director for LIVESTRONG.COM, and the former fitness editor of Men’s Health magazine. I’m the author of five books, including most recently The Men’s Health Big Book: Getting Abs. I have published in The New York Times and ESPN the magazine. I also consult with some of the largest health and fitness influencers in the world, and have appeared on Good Morning America, The Early Show, and E! News.

 

Adam Bornstein

 

What Motivated You To Become A Fitness Trainer?

The fitness industry is broken. Not in the “we have no good people” type of way. There are lots of good trainers, nutritionists, researchers, and writers. But the best messages are being muted and lost. We’re losing the battle to magic pills, quick supplements, and faulty science. And the results are there for all of us to see by the number of people who struggle with their weight – and those who don’t. Too many people are frustrated.

My journey has created a simple goal. To help identify the best diets, types of exercises and workouts, and various strategies that you can apply to your life to be more fit, feel better, and live stronger.

How Do You See Yourself Different From Other Trainers?

I encourage you to explore the numerous options that exist. Exercise the way you want, whether it’s in the gym, on the field, or in your home. Eat healthier foods most of the time, and—if you want—indulge in some not so healthy foods.

If my journey has shown me anything, it’s that the signs are there every day. I’ve seen some amazing changes from some incredible people. And most of the time, the individuals thank me for showing them the way.

My Response: Don’t thank me. Thank you.

Thank you for having the courage to pursue what lives deep within your soul. To answer the call that can be so intimidating and scary. And to open your eyes and see that you can have the life you want.

 

Adam Bornstein

 

You say you have tried almost every routine, even without instructors. Do you think it was a good idea? What did you learn from that experience?

It was not a good idea. I’ve tried ab machines, tested crazy cleanses, and had a shake or two of the Shake Weight. I even used pink dumbbells one time to impress a girl. To no one’s surprise, it didn’t work.

But I never stopped working at it.

And then one day I tried to do something different and learn from other areas where I was actually successful. I didn’t worry about how much weight I lost or strength I gained; instead, I focused on learning what techniques worked. And I spent my time learning how to exercise correctly and improve movements. By shifting my focus to different goals and removing the stress of the minor, I discovered a philosophy that changed my life, shaped my career, and allowed me to transform my body.

What kind of training most people ask your guidance on?

I’m asked all the time about my favorite piece of advice. So here it is. Your health isn’t limited to a gym, a diet, or the image you see in the mirror.

Your health is what you make of it. The real distinction between healthy and unhealthy is giving a damn about your body, and making sure you do something ‐ heck, anything ‐ consistently so that you can live a long, active life, take care of yourself, and take care of others in this world.

I’m a big believer in goals, good behaviors, and in sharing options that are sustainable. What frustrates me more than anything is that we’ve gotten away from the real goal; we must find smarter ways to make exercise and healthier eating a seamless part of everyone’s life.

 

Adam Bornstein

There is a perception that a well sculpted body is a healthy body – aside from the media repercussions of unachievable beauty standards – what do you think is a perfect body?

I discovered every life is worth living the way you want. But no life can be lived without a concentrated effort to include healthy behaviors as part of your lifestyle.

Do I have opinions on my favorites strategies? Of course I do. But I refuse to be dogmatic and insist there’s only one right way. That approach is a recipe for failure.

Only a very small group of people inherently loves all healthy behaviors. And I’ll be honest—I’ve become one of those people. Feed me Brussels sprouts and chicken all day, and I’ll walk around with a bigger grin than the Enzyte guy. But that’s not normal. We need to do a better job of redefining all the different faces of health. 

What we understand from your books and website is that for you fitness isn’t just limited to body only, it is a lot more than that: it is a life changing philosophy and encompasses every aspect of one’s life. Could you please explain that for us?

There is too much information, too many conflicting ideas, and enough empty promises to fill all the bookshelves in your home. My journey has created a simple goal. To help identify the best diets, types of exercises and workouts, and various strategies that you can apply to your life to be more fit, feel better, and live stronger.

And if those options also help you build more muscle, lose your belly, deadlift 400 pounds, or shed the baby weight, then great. Those are extra bonuses.

Your job is to find out what options exist. Healthy living is a buffet. And while there’s definitely some bad Szechuan chicken lurking (yeah, that’s my metaphor for bad info), there are too many good options to walk away without easily being satisfied and living a healthy life.

Therein lies the bigger message: There’s no reason for you to be stressed or feel that a better body, a better mindset, or a better life isn’t for you.

I encourage you to explore the numerous options that exist. Exercise the way you want, whether it’s in the gym, on the field, or in your home. Eat healthier foods most of the time, and—if you want—indulge in some not so healthy foods.

 

Adam Bornstein

 

Any New Projects You Currently Are Working On, And What Are Your Future Plans?

Currently, I’m focusing on improving the way information on health and fitness is presented and making sure that the message gets across in a way that makes sense.

What would you say is the best piece of advice to our readers who want to bring a change in their lives?

Don’t fit your square life into a circle hole of someone else’s definition of fitness.

I believe that dessert can be part of a healthy eating plan. Or that walking can be a perfectly suitable form of exercise. If these are the behaviors that you enjoy, then you can—and should—find a way to make them part of your life.