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How to Break Free

accountability mindset Feb 26, 2024
How to Break Free | Arangio

A young boy was at the circus when he saw a massive elephant tied to a stake by a thin rope.

Really, it was more like a shoelace because that's how thin it was.

He asked his dad how such a flimsy little rope could possibly hold this powerful animal.

The animal trainer was nearby so they asked her.

She said: "In brute strength, elephants are the strongest mammals and the strongest land animals. They can push down trees and lift a whopping 700,000 pounds."

"So why aren't you using a heavy chain to keep the elephant from running away," asked the boy.

The trainer explained that, when the elephant was first born, they tied him to a stake with the exact same rope.

The baby elephant pulled and pulled but wasn't yet strong enough to break free. Over time the elephant simply stopped trying... because he couldn't get free.

The animal trainer continued: "As an adult the elephant still believes that the thin rope can hold him to the stake, even though he could easily break free with a little extra effort."

The teaching point here is that the elephant was demonstrating something called "learned helplessness."

Humans do the same thing. It's a mindset that creates the belief that makes it SEEM impossible to have success...

...this is exactly why the powerful adult elephant didn't bother trying to break free from the weak-and-tattered rope.

How to Break Free

In what areas of your life do self-limiting beliefs have a hold on you?

You may feel that you can't lose weight because you have a slow metabolism or a thyroid issue.

You may believe that it's unrealistic to think you could be lean and strong (like an athlete) because you've been alive for over 40 years... and may be going through the "change of life."

Or some nagging injury is pulling you down.

Perhaps you think a 40-plus-year-old cannot get fit again.

You may have tried and failed a number of programs over the years so you now believe that there's something wrong with you.

These are all learned beliefs.

It's like having a flimsy rope holding you back... although you could easily break free with SMARTER effort.

(Note I said "smarter" and not "harder" effort.)

Here are THREE tips on how to overcome these limiting beliefs.

1. Find proof that it is indeed possible to do what you want to do

After 25+ years of coaching, our walls and website and social-media pages are filled with happy testimonials of men and women from all walks of life.

If there is one person that has done what you want to do, even with your limitations, it's proof positive that you can do it too.

2. Find a coach or a supportive group of people that are doing what you want to do

We tend to become who we surround ourselves with.

Why? Because it's comfortable.

Change is uncomfortable. So is breaking free from the proverbial rope that's holding you back.

3. Take action and build instant confidence with a few simple wins

What's a simple win?

It could be getting up at 5:00AM and taking a brisk 10-minute walk in your neighborhood. Maybe it's taking a hot shower, but turning the water icy cold, and enduring this discomfort, for 10 seconds.

Once you gain more confidence you take a little more action. This perpetuates to the point where you have overcome the limiting belief and you've broken free.

This is why it's called a breakthrough.

My main goal in sharing this with you is that there's hope.

I don't care what you have or haven't done in the past. Life doesn't happen to you, it happens for you.

I've been doing this for over 25 years and I haven't met a person that I didn't think I couldn't help.

Really, it all comes down to whether or not YOU believe change is possible.

There's an old quote that says:

"Whether you believe you can or you can't, you're right."

Think about that.

If you're stuck, let me help you.

That's what I'm here for.

A few more things worth sharing.

I receive emails with very common questions. Maybe you have the same questions too.

Q: "If I'm in a hurry, can I perform less reps of a particular exercise? Like eight repetitions instead of the recommended 12 reps?"

Full disclosure: This question is from a Virtual Fitness-and-Nutrition coaching client.

She also asked if she could replace some of the exercises with moves that she saw in a popular fitness magazine.

These are excellent questions that I hear often.

In short, my recommendation is to perform the training plan the way it was designed for optimal results. You see, exercise programming is a research-based science.

Randomly choosing sets, reps, exercises and other key variables is like going to the doctor when you're sick, getting a prescription for antibiotics, and then randomly taking the medicine whenever you feel like it.

Just like your doctor knows the effective dose of a particular medicine, science determines the right amount of sets, reps, exercises, and many other variables to help you achieve your goals.

For example, three reps of a particular exercise builds power and 12 reps increases muscle size.

Of course there are other variables associated with increasing power or strength.

What's my point? Well, there's a method to the madness.

I do my best to stay on top of the latest research, so you can feel confident that the information you receive is not only up-to-date, but cutting-edge too.

Moving on to more questions from our Virtual Fitness-and-Nutrition Coaching clients.

Q: "Hey Coach Joe. My workout seems easy right now. What's up?"

My response is that "easy" is a relative term.

Let me explain.

Your training program is designed to be completed in a progressive fashion.

In other words, new exercise routines are the foundation on which all future workouts are built upon. This is why some people get hurt when they start an intense training plan without the proper introductory workouts... or when they do "random" workouts.

You've got to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

However, you may feel like your workout is "easy" if:

1) You are at the "Beginner" experience level and just getting started (I purposefully prescribe low volume in order to avoid crippling soreness).

2) You have multiple injuries, which would limit the type of exercises I can safely recommend until you heal.

3) Your limited equipment options allows me to recommend bodyweight-only exercises.

Believe me, bodyweight-only moves are challenging if you do them correctly (e.g. 1.5 pullups, hanging knees-to-chest w/ pelvic tilt, elevator squats, etc.)

4) Any combination of the previous three reasons.

Not to worry, because you will have an opportunity to update your personal information every time you get a new workout.

And you can always drop me an email whenever you like.

One last question from a client that trains at home, but receives 24/7/365 accountability and support through our Virtual Coaching Program:

Q: "Do I need to cut out carbs to lose weight?"

When it comes to nutrition, so many over-40 folks are overcomplicating things.

If you are overweight or obese, and you want to shed unwanted bodyfat:

  • You don't have to cut out every food group.
  • You don't have to add heaps of butter to your coffee.
  • You don't have to fast all day long.
  • Carbs are not evil.
  • No need to avoid things like bread, pasta, eggs yolks or whatever else is on the do-not-eat list this week.

You can actually eat normal foods like almond butter, bananas, and oatmeal to get lean and healthy.

As long as you hit your daily protein count, have just enough fat to keep your hormones optimized, and eat the optimal amount of carbs to fuel your workouts, you'll be fine without needing any magical formulas or having to do anything extreme.

Where training is concerned, the same principles apply.

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

You need to do some very basic movement patterns and compound exercises that fit your ability level and don't cause pain.

You need to learn how to execute these fundamental moves with perfect technique.

Then you need to practice progressive overload, which is a fancy way of saying you must get stronger on your exercises week after week.

That doesn't require long workouts or seven days a week in the gym.

No need for any confusing physics formulas or organic chemistry equations.

It's actually super simple math.

And it works like a charm every time.

If you're ready to make massive changes and need some help doing so, I'd love to set up a fitness-and-nutrition plan for you. 

I'll even guarantee your results when you follow the plan.

Unlike the majority of "gurus" out there, I've actually delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to men and women, over 40 years, over the last two decades and continue to coach on a daily basis.

I'd love to help you hit your goals...

Apply now and let's get to work.

That's all for now.

Talk soon,

Coach Joe

P.S. I'll guarantee your results from anywhere in the world. If you follow my plan, yet don't hit your goals,

I'll refund your tuition. That's my iron-clad promise to you. All you need is an Internet connection and a good attitude.

If you'd like become the leanest and strongest version of yourself, get started here.



Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online longevity personal trainer, or you want to visit the best age-management personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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