Have you tried Keto? Pesca Vegan? Gluten Free? Remember Oprah's Acai Berry diet Book? or The Three Hour Diet? Joel Marion's Cheat to Lose Diet? Remember South Beach or Fit for Life? Intermittent Fasting - So Hot Right Now. Atkins of course...There's one simple problem that all the gurus out there in the world, all the gurus out here on the internet or in the bookstores have...

They can’t do it for you.

You have to take the best that everyone can offer and you have to take the best that he or she can offer, all those other gurus out there and you’ve got to put it all together in your own particular format and determine for yourself whether or not it works for you.

You know, the best possible solution I can come up with is for you to get this stuff written down in a notebook and start asking the questions: Well, how did this work? How did that work? If you make a record of your diet and exercise routine and you notice that you’re not getting leaner, losing fat weight, or gaining the strength you want... well, then you have some investigating to do.

Go to the dollar store, go to the drug store, go to Staples, go anywhere, spend one dollar and get a notebook. One of those, you know, seventy page school notebooks. Spiral bound. Get one of those and write down every day what you ate, what time and what kind of exercise you did and then specifically how much of that exercise you did. How far you ran at what speed for example. Do you have a heart rate monitor? Could you measure your heart rate? Write down your resting heart rate in the morning. Write down your goals and objectives. Make little notes. Talk about how you feel. I got stacks of those things at home.

That’s how I’ve managed my fitness for the last 20 years. That’s how I have ridden a steady wave of progress even as I approach 50 years old. I just set two personal best records in strength: at 140lbs I bench pressed 200lbs for 1 repetition and I performed a weighted dip with 75lbs chained to my waist for 3 repetitions.

About 25 Years ago now when I first moved to New York City, the first thing I did was go and find a gym I could afford. I think it was $400 for the year. It was called Serge's gym and it was about as big as a 1 car garage (which is what I think it used to be) over on Greenwich St. just above Christopher. I loved that little gym and that is where I continued the investigation I had started in 1991 in my college weight room. I was working out one day and this guy rolled up on me. He happened to be a little bit overweight, although he was working out. He’s like, ‘you know, pretty soon you won’t have to write it all down.’ I looked at him and I said, ‘what do you mean?’ He’s like, ‘well, you know, as you get more experienced.’ ‘Like, what makes you think I’m not experienced? Because I’m writing it down? I’ve been writing it down for years. That’s why I’m in good shape.’

That ended that conversation.

You can do that too (write it down I mean, not throw attitude at a stranger). And guess what? By the end of several of those notebooks, you’ll have collected a couple hundred pages and you will have written your very own best selling diet book that will tell you, better than any diet book, better than any guru, better than myself in fact, about how what you’re eating and what you’re doing for exercise is producing the kind of results that you want or don’t want. It’ll tell you right there!

You can look back in a couple of months and look at your body and say, ‘did it work?’ If the answer’s no, then you have the evidence in front of you. Whatever is in that book, you can’t do it like that anymore. You’ve got to change it. You’ve got to start doing something different. Doesn’t that make sense?

And I’ll tell you what, if you can’t figure it out for yourself you can easily hire a personal trainer to review your notebook with you and help you troubleshoot where you’re going wrong. And for those of you who think you’ve got to be some kind of billionaire to hire a personal trainer it’s absolutely not true. I’ve worked with many people very successfully and they see me infrequently, maybe a couple of times a month.

You know why? Because they’re highly motivated, they’re curious and they are their own scientists. They are asking their own questions and they’re investigating their own fitness and they come to me and they say okay, well this is what I’ve done. And they show me notebooks and they show me records and they show me designs and they say well I tried this and I tried that and I tried this, why doesn’t this work? And so I’m able to use my expertise to help them troubleshoot.

The same is true for any nutritionist or life coach you want to go see. They are going to do the same thing. Well, show me a diet log, or the records you have kept and I will be able to help you. Oh well, you know, if we look back over the last two weeks it’s obvious, this is where you’re going wrong. Here’s what you want to change in order to go right. All right?

As human beings we want it easy. Everybody wants it easy. It’s always going to be: Find the easy road. Which is why so few people have the body they truly desire. So, few of us are getting fitter as we seek ways to make things easier. There are very few of us who seek ways to put ourselves through the pain and anguish of effort. It’s difficult. And I think that the real pain of it is, is that there isn’t a diet that works for everybody. Otherwise, we’d all be on it.

I think that’s the reason why there’s such a tremendous turnover in the amount of diet books and exercise guru's out there. If you write a big diet book and put a bunch of exercises down and get recipes and some testimonials and some case studies in a way that makes it seem easy… you can have a best seller. I’m surprised that the Three Hour Diet didn’t do any better. Or Volumetrics, or Oprah's magic acai berry diet didn’t do better than it has. I would’ve expected those things to be best sellers for years and years and years, no problem.

The issue is that as individuals each of us is a little bit different. A little bit different enough that one diet from another diet from another diet doesn’t work for everybody. Even if one did it would also depend on what you’re doing. It depends on what your goals are, what your objectives are, your cultural background and bloodline, your blood type, your genetic type, your metabolic type and so on.

All these things come into play to account for bio-individuality. And as we’re trying to account for bio-individuality, there are very few people who are actually capable and willing to sit down and do the investigative work in a systematic manner:

Does this work for me?

Is this something that could work for me but needs fine tuning?

Is this something that helps me to get closer to my goal?

Is this something that helps me get a better understanding of myself and how my body operates?

And that’s the work that I’ve been doing for years and years. You know, I’ve read diet books and I’ve read exercise manuals and you know, I’ve taken it as far as I could. I’m taking it even further. I continue to study. I continue to go to courses and continue to get updated on the best fitness information.

And at the end of the day, what I think it really comes down to is, the people who are successful at losing weight, building muscle, getting in good shape, creating healthy fat loss, are the people who are willing to sacrifice. And the sacrifice that needs to be made is taking the time to build an understanding of how your body works. It’s an investigation. It’s the ability to seek out the answer to your questions:

Why am I gaining weight?

How come I’m not in the best shape of my life?

How come get tired when I run up stairs?

How do I create the ideal fat loss solution for myself?

And that has to be a never ending line of thought. That has to be a line of thinking that continues no matter what. Because as soon as you get to one level, you’re going to get to the next. As soon as you get to that level, you’re going to get to the next. Your body is an infinitely, adaptable mechanism. It will adapt to the circumstance that it is presented with provided there’s adequate rest and adequate nutrition, enough water and so forth.

So, if those things aren’t present then obviously you can’t create your ideal healthy, low fat, lean and muscular body …it’ll just end up in a state of stress. So that’s what the Rhythm System I wrote was about. Years ago I wrote my first book. It is an exercise program and philosophy that has at its heart a method of investigating and a method of managing the stress of exercise and its fraternal twin the recovery. Stress, recover, stress, recover. Creating a rhythm. It’s no good in isolation. It’s no good one off.

How many people do you know who got up and went jogging one day in the first week of January because they realized all of a sudden they were out of shape and they haven’t been running since? Or they bought a gym membership and then they went a couple of times in a year?

It doesn’t work unless it’s rhythmic. It doesn’t work unless it’s integrated into the rhythm of your life. It doesn’t work unless it’s a rhythm in and of itself. Once you can mange that rhythm, once you can establish that rhythm, then you can establish the kind of experience that fosters steps towards reaching your goal.

And I think that if you’re reading this, if you have read this far, then that’s the kind of person that you are. The kind of person who’s willing to take those steps. And that has to be honored. That’s – that’s incredibly valuable. You are one of the people who are creating a stronger nation. You’re not gong to listen to the garbage on TV. You’re going to do what it takes. You want to know as much about how your body works as best as you possibly can.

That notebook costs only 1 dollar.