Why Some Succeed and Others Don't

I remember when I first got into fitness and nutrition. I read articles out the wazoo and watched videos on YouTube like there was no tomorrow. Over time, I gained a lot of inspiration and I was ready to begin my fitness journey.

But there was one problem.

All of these videos I was watching were created by guys on drugs (nothing against steroids) who were jacked bodybuilders and nothing more.

Hear me out.

I don't mean to say that they are stupid, but they know their body, their biology, and what works from them. It would be difficult for them to relate to a 175-pound male who was just looking to improve his health and physique on a natural level. Not to mention the differences in lifestyle. I didn't want to each chicken and broccoli 7x/day nor did I want to spend three hours in the gym every day and completely cut out my social life.

My guess is you don't either. Don't you like pizza? Don't you like the occasional bowl of ice cream?

Duh. Of course you do. You're not weird. Don't you enjoy the ability to go out with friends and not feel like you have to be the odd ball out because you "can't" have a beer? What the heck is that? If you're not competing or reaching for an extremely challenging goal, there's no sense in taking it to the extreme and making your life miserable, am I right?

"Yes, you are right, Adam! But what are you getting at here?"

Well thank you for asking. Here's what I'm saying:

If fitness, you'll fail sometimes. But, you need to make sure you breed success from your failures. And it's a lot easier to believe you can succeed when you know that the other busy people in the world are crushing their goals, rather than idolizing and reaching for the results of some fitness model on instagram that lives a completely different life.

So, what I've decided to do is compile a list of items that successful clients of mine (and others) share in common. All these people do extremely well, and it's because they put in the work. But don't jump to conclusions here and assume they have all the time in the world. These people are mothers, fathers, business owners, employees with multiple jobs, volunteers, etc.

In fact, most of my clients that have a ton of success are all of those things (except being a mother and father, of course).

So the question is, how the heck do they do it?

I'm going to share the top FIVE things that have enabled my clients and other successful people to do well with an extremely busy and demanding life. These are not MY five reasons they're successful. These are the exact reason why THEY believe they do so well. These keys come straight from the sources.


Here's the thing. We get sick and tired of things. I know I do. I get sick and tired of commercials, and get sick and tired of "we" couples. I get sick and tired of my seemingly weak will power when it comes to binge-watching "The Office" on Netflix.

Well, not so much the last one.


What's interesting is that at some point, they got sick and tired of being sick and tired! They were sick and tired of countless hours on the treadmill, elliptical, spin bike, and stairmaster. They were sick and tired of turning cardio into some sort of mathematical equation in order to optimize fat loss.

Being truly sick and tired is one thing. We're all sick and tired of something on some level. It's finding the spark to make change that really matters. I have some good news and bad news for y'all on this one. The bad news: the spark that ignites the fire of intrinsic motivation can't be easily found. It's something that is different for all of us. We all think differently, and we're all moved on an emotional level in different ways. For some, it's knowing they'll be around to spoil their grandkids. For others, it's being able to spend hours tracking an animal in the middle of the woods. The good news: once you find that spark and the fire is lit, oh my gosh... the world better get the heck out of your way.

Once you reach a point of seriously being sick and tired of being sick and tired, find your spark and ignite a fire.


Shooting in the dark is dangerous, stupid, and pointless. Unless you're in a horror/thriller movie and it's your only option for survival. That's a bit different. Thankfully, you're in a real life scenario and shooting in the dark isn't your only option. You have the ability to look almost anywhere for a plan. And when I say anywhere, I mean the internet. Have you met the internet? It's nuts.

Fitness plans, coaches, trainers, nutritionists, workout videos, e-books, and more are available with one single internet search. If you're willing to find a plan to stick to, it's too easy to find any plan out of hundreds of thousands. Clients that opt for coaching realize that finding a custom-tailored plan with accountability was something that would get them to their goal and off their plateau.

I know what you're thinking. This is NOT a shameless plug for my coaching services. Their desire to seek a coach was theirs in the first place. I have never persuaded someone to work with me. That's a big no-no in my book. If I had to do that, it would be a pretty big red flag telling me that they might not do so well. All of the successful people I've worked with are people that understood they needed help and accountability, and they went out of their way to find it.

My most successful clients realized this, and sought out help. I've found that the most successful individuals are those that understand they can learn from anyone and everyone. They believe in themselves to do the work and understand that guidance and accountability will get them to a level they may not have been able to do on their own.


My only job is to impact people's lives through fitness. Because of this, it is an absolute necessity that I'm great at what I do. This means that I will always be looking, always seeking clarity. There are aspects of fitness and nutrition that I don't know about yet, and it will always be that way. Because of that, I'm constantly taking in information and constantly asking questions. For those who succeed in their fitness, it's the exact same.

Although my coaching is custom-tailored, there are still obstacles that come up for my clients.


Well, that's life. Sh*t happens.

My clients know that a lot of their success comes from the ability to reach out to me for clarity when needed. Not only do they understand that, but they utilize it tirelessly. The individuals that do well are the ones that reach out and say:

"____ happened, what do I do?"

"You said we're doing ____ this week. Why?".

It's simple. Those who do best are those who are most open to learn.


This ties in with the previous statement, but we need to shine some more light on it. Ladies and gents, we all need flexibility. Whether it comes to fitness, or finding a daycare for your kids that works with your schedule, your mental, physical, and emotional health are at their best when flexibility is an option.

Here's why:

It's pretty simple, really. Life doesn't give a crap about your schedule or whatever it is you want to do in the day. Things can change at the snap of a finger. Traffic can jam up in an instant. Your family member could run out of gas on the side of  the road. Crap will ALWAYS be thrown at you. One of the games of life is not controlling everything in order to have less crap thrown at you, it's how well you manage the crap that is thrown at you.

Thankfully, the plans that I give my clients allow them to assign their own workout days. If their schedule only allows training on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, then they move their workouts to those days on their profile. I also adjust their food intake accordingly. They have freedom to eat with flexibility which makes adherence easier.

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They also make adjustments in different ways, too. You know, I shouldn't really use the word "adjustments" for this scenario. "Sacrifices" is a more appropriate word.

Sure, having the ability to reach goals with flexibility is a huge help. But what I've noticed is that when push comes to shove, those that succeed and achieve their goals are the ones that are willing to make sacrifices (adjustments) to get there.

If life throws them a busy week, they prep meals the Sunday before in order to combat it. If their kid runs into an emergency in the morning, they cut time out of their afternoon to get their workout it. If they feel coaching is a little out of their budget, they cut other areas of their spending down because they understand their health is most important.

It's simple. They make sacrifices.

Be willing to make sacrifices, or be prepared for life to run you over.


Along with K.I.S.S., we're all about celebrating victories at Poehlmann Fitness. It's not just me, though. My clients are all about celebrating victories, too.

It is far too easy to let the negatives of life weigh you down. This is one big differentiator between those that reach their goals and those that don't.

Those that reach their goals are those that solely focus on wins. Whether they're massive wins like setting a new squat record, or small wins like eating a serving of greens, successful individuals focus on wins.

Those that don't do well are the those that dwell on the negatives over and over, eventually convincing themselves that they're just not cut out to do well.

Focus on your wins, and build off them. Dwelling on failure is a waste of your time. Do yourself a favor and focus on your wins.


The successes that we've discussed may not look the exact same for every individual, but the truth is that we can all benefit from the topics discussed in today's article. Great health and an amazing body is waiting for you, right in front of your face. All you need to do is be willing to reach out and grab it. The reach may not be easy, but it's always worth it.


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Adam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life. If you’re interested in hiring Adam as your coach, fill out an application here.