Fat Loss – Strong Motivation is More Important than Details

November 19, 2008

If you want to get lean badly enough, you will. I know this is a simple statement, but it is completely true. If you are not as lean as you would like to be, it is NOT due to lack of knowledge. If you don’t have six pack abs or are not lean, but want to be…my answer to you is that you just don’t “want to” reach that goal as much as someone who has. You will reach almost every goal you set in life if your motivation is strong enough.

Guy and girl making out in the surf

[Tropical vacations…a good motivation to get in great shape…right? You want to look good while “makin’ out” in the surf!]

Getting Paid 5 Million Dollars to Get in Shape

What if I offered you 5 million dollars to get in the best shape of your life? Does that sound like too “out there”? Well…this is exactly what the top sex symbols of Hollywood wind up doing. Obviously an actor or actress has to be able to act, but a fine line separates a regular actor or actress from a mega-superstar in Hollywood. Did you see Ironman? Robert Downey Jr. came back on the scene in outstanding shape. He looked better than ever and it certainly helped him put his name back into the top of Hollywood’s leading men.

What if Over One Million People Were Going to See You Nude?

Many of Hollywood’s actors and actresses wind up doing a nude scene or they are partially naked in a scene. If you knew your butt was going to be on a big screen in front of millions, I bet it would be really easy to say “no” to junk food! Even if you had a swimsuit scene in a movie, I’m betting you would have no trouble at all looking incredible in 3-4 months.

Discipline is Directly Proportionate to Motivation

If you had to lose 30 pounds or lose your house, you have serious motivation to lose that weight. If you were paid  10 million dollars to lose 40 pounds in 2 months, it would be hard but you would find a way…because you would have crazy amounts of motivation. You would be very “disciplined” to reach your goal.

The Stronger Your Motivation, The Easier it Feels

When your motivation is strong enough, it doesn’t even feel like you have to exercise a strong sense of self-discipline. Dieting and exercising become effortless when the motivation is strong. I always find it is extremely easy to stick to a strict diet a month or two before a vacation. I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like, so I want to make sure that I look and feel my best for the trip. Exercising during this time is very easy as well…even tough HIIT training becomes a breeze.

I Can Help You With the Details…

…but you have to find your motivation. There are a lot of ways to get lean that work. I happen to think the methods I teach here will give you rapid results, especially if you want to lose body fat and slim down, but you have to come up with a reason to be motivated. If I was a betting man…I would take a motivated person who knows very little about training over an unmotivated fitness expert.

So What is Your Motivation?

I’ll tell you what mine is, to help you brainstorm. My goal is to travel the world with my girlfriend, one beach at at a time. I want to look good for her and I want to be able to have the energy to play in the water, swim, go out dancing in places with a raging night-life, etc. I’m almost 40, but want to look great in a swimsuit well into my senior years. I also don’t want to spend the last 30 years of my life in and out of a doctor’s office.   Bottom line…I have only one shot at this life, so I want to look and feel my best.

Note: This mindset doesn’t just apply to getting in great shape, it will help you achieve anything you desire. I’m not trying to be “spacey” or anything…just decide on what you want and work on “wanting it badly enough”…then do what it takes to get it.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew R November 19, 2008 at 4:09 am


Love it! I can’t get enough of posts that tell people exactly what they don’t WANT to hear, but what they NEED to hear. It’s so true.

My motivation was this (I’ve never shared this online until just now):
In 2001, I was a frequent shopper at a hip-hop style clothing shop (obviously, baggy clothes hide big bellys). One day, I went in and the owner, who I knew very well, said to me “Sorry Andrew, we’re all out of Triple Five Soul in XXL”

That one sentence lit a fire under my ass! This man’s goal was to be my friend so that I would buy his clothes, and he unconsciously let a fat comment slip. To this day, I will never forget that sentence and I love the guy for it!

Let’s hope that more people realize their inner potential and start leading a healthier, more fit lifestyle really soon!

Thanks for the post!

All the Best,

Andrew R

Chris November 19, 2008 at 5:01 am

A very well written piece – really challenges your mindset!

Yavor November 19, 2008 at 5:02 am

Very timely post, Rusty.

You know, everything changed for me, motivation-wise, when I took some before pics and set out a deadline – December 31, for my after shots. Everything I do is either moving me closer or farther from my goal to look great on these pics.

Listen guys, it is going to be Thanksgiving soon. From then on you’ve got one month until New Years Eve.

Make that a challenge. Get in amazing shape for the New Years’ Party.


katarina November 19, 2008 at 5:33 am

I’m 37 / F, and I want to prove that my best shape and results in sports are still waiting for me!
CrossFit helps me a lot, it suits me perfectly.

Adam Steer, Momentum Wellness November 19, 2008 at 7:02 am

Hey Rusty,

Too true! It may not be 5 million bucks, or a million people, but I find that what keeps my head in the game is the fact that I am putting myself out there in front of people on a regular basis. Giving workshops to other fitness professionals is particularly motivating. You can’t show up with a few extra pounds. You just won’t have the same credibility.

I did a Biosignature course with Charles Poliquin last week (my second) and he said something pretty funny, but very true. Most dieticians and many trainers aren’t credible because the “video does not match the audio.”

So my motivation is to make sure the video matches the audio… 😉

My approach is more inside out. Meaning that I am attacking the problem from the perspective of health and good movement patterns first. But the ultimate aesthetic result is the same if you do it right!


Son of Grok November 19, 2008 at 9:16 am

Without motivation, there is no will to succeed. It seems common sense but a lot of people lose sight of that.

The SoG

Mike OD - IF Life November 19, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Great article Rusty. I truly believe way too many people get caught up in the details…hence why people keep reading diet books, keep reading magazines, keep on the internet all day for more and more info…when they actually just need to apply the simple things that will get them results. More info is not the answer….and people’s weight loss failures might just be a simple case of “paralysis by analysis”. Eat less, workout intensely 3x a week, eat real foods, sleep and enjoy life.

Ron November 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm

My motivation used to be my ex. Well, she’s long gone and replaced (though it’d still be nice to look AMAZING in the unlikely event that we ever ran into one another).

Now my motivation is acting. I have to look good for that camera and I have to get the gigs. I have to be the best.

The movie Fight Club is also pretty good motivation. Not the movie itself, just how Brad Pitt looks in it. I watched it last night and realized that I still have a LOOOOOONG way to go.

Caleb - Double Your Gains November 19, 2008 at 1:19 pm


You’re so right buddy!

It reminds me of Sylvester Stalone, he was so convinced he was going to be a big star that he was dead broke (even had to sell his dog for money)… and he turned down like two offers of $300 grand or something!

Hard to do? It would be if Stalone wasn’t so MOTIVATED to become the movie star he is now…. and the rest is history.

Motivation is key.


SupplementPricing.com November 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Motivation is something that I think way too many people don’t take into consideration. And it has to be more than “I want to be healthy!” The more the burning desire to achieve the goal, the better. But you have to actually have a goal! Great article.

Wazzup November 19, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Every time I see someone in a razor sharp shape I get jealous. And since jealousy is a precursor for wanting.. I know I wants it, and damn it I shall have it.

All I need is to see people who made it. A picture might do it, or even this blog 🙂

DR November 19, 2008 at 3:28 pm

The best story I ever heard about self-motivation was about a guy who wanted to lose a whole bunch of body-fat.

Like most people, he had TRIED to lose weight before, with little success.

So, he wrote a check for $10,000 to some American nazi or white supremacist group and instructed his lawyer to deliver the check to them if he didn’t lose a certain amount of weigh in a specific amount of time.

Needless to say, he lost the weight and held onto his dough.

That was motivation

Rachel November 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Wow!!!! Great post!!!! I dont have alot of fancy fitness knowledge or money, but I’m as motivated as heck! I fear some people give up cause they worry they have the ‘perfect’ program. I say just go and give it your all and don’t let anything hold you back!

I like mini short range goals. Such as right now, I am looking forward to taking my little one to an indoor water park for his 5th birthday in December. I’ve been trying on all my bikinis and deciding which one to wear. That’s helping me stay motivated for now and stick to my clean diet.

Alot of people tend to get started with getting that bikini body ready in late winter/early spring. Those who are doing it right now, are getting a fantastic head start!

Some people seem to think it’s just about impossible for a 34 yr old woman with children to be in great shape. I love proving that wrong! =)


Diana November 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Very True, Before my wedding the last 15 lbs I had been trying to lose for 3 years “magically” fell off!! And they magically found their way back on afterwards…….. 🙂

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips November 19, 2008 at 6:10 pm

So true Rusty. I find with running in particular when I am motivated I can just keep on going. I don’t feel fatigued at all until after the run has finished. However, if I start the run with a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude I’m pretty much done before I finish. I start feeling tired 1 or 2 minutes in and usually have to stop.

Attitude and mindset definitely make all the difference. It’s just a pity that some days it is extrememly hard to get motivated for a workout.

Rambodoc November 19, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Excellent post: very motivating for a person who loves his desserts!
I read another great piece yesterday where the bottom-line is echoing constantly in my mind: “You can’t out-train a bad diet”. This alone is strong enough to give me true (mental and dental) resistance training!

Jason November 19, 2008 at 11:03 pm


I stumbled unto your site looking for answers on how to get ripped. BodyBuilding.com has way too much building your body like a freak. First and foremost your are right on, because I was real ripped about 10 years ago and got all sorts of attention. I tried to change direction and body build and I used pills in which resulted in going to the hospital and almost having a heart attack. I had to sit out for a few years, because my heart took a little beating. I got back into building my body up without anything but the 6 meals a day. Okay so this way is not working, because my confidence is not as high as when I was ripped before. I have been single for a while and my taste of women is 9 and above with a great personality. I had great success with women when my face was ripped, because I have those jaw features, but if there is fat there, it’s tough to hold on to them and the 6-7 are attracted to me, which not to sound materialistic, but if I get bored easly and I love a women in terrific shape. BTW the competition is very high in regards to meeting somebody attractive.

My goal is to get into the best shape of my life for three reason. One being the health and living a long time. Two being I want to get back my confidence level above 100 percent and meet somebody that will blow my mind away. Third I own two businesses and I think being in the best shape of your life can help you close accounts. Anyway this site right here is my new home. I was wondering if you have a email I can contact you out?

Last thing is I am in the gym and after my weight training I do cardio for 60 mins. I am also eating not as much and the motivation to me is, is that I have been single way too long and missing out on being with somebody great. I believe you have to be in the best shape of your life and ones people start looking at you all the time, your confidence explodes and you have choices.

Jon November 19, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Thanks so much Rusty – this post has definitely motivated me, and I’m not just saying that…thank you!!

BurritoKid November 20, 2008 at 1:57 am

nice post rust, good to hit the journey to fit from all angles.

i’ve been reading your stuff on resistance training. so it’s the hard contractions that builds dense muscles, or getting up to heavy weights? I know understand that hard contractions can help get to heavier weights, but you also talked about using only light weights.

so, is it the proper form and strong contraction that builds dense muscles? (regardless of weight) or the ability for a muscle to lift heavy weights according to it’s size?

is this low volume training enough to tell the body to retain muscle mass and burn fat?

Mocha November 20, 2008 at 4:54 am

WOW! Great post (again),
My motivation is my daughter! eventhough im not realy big or fat or lets just say “not the way i was before;) “, i still want to look good for me, for Ebony (my daughter) and my hubby! So the fat has to go!!

I just began to do the workout, finding some workouts on the net and just try them out at home. Since i cant stand gyms..

And @ wassupp..i realy feel you!!! hahahahaha..when i see ladies passing by like last summer…or on the beach…im like damnnnnnnn…that used to be me…:( i hate her..LOL
But motivation is very very very important. Ebony allways brags about me at her school…asking her friends : “does your mom work out too” NO? well thats not healthy 😉 And my mom looks really good… and if that isnt a BIG motivation…??

Thank you again Rusty!


Grounded Fitness November 20, 2008 at 6:03 pm

So true! I have people all the time that say “I could look like a celebrity if had a trainer/nutritionist, etc” to which I say, hello-Im a trainer and none of my clients are celebs. You know the real difference- they have to look good or they wont get jobs. Thats the real motivation. You just have to find something that motivates you as much as them.

Kelly Turner

admin November 20, 2008 at 6:54 pm


I prefer the fitted “James Bond Style” clothing over baggy stuff, but you can’t look good in that stuff unless you are pretty lean. It keeps you honest, that is for sure.


I hope people go to your site and follow your progress. I love before and after type posts…it shows that you are just a regular person like them that got into outstanding shape.


I’m just a bit older than you. You certainly can get in the best shape of your life in your 30’s and 40’s…look at Demi Moore. Even though she had a lot of work done, you can’t buy a lean body like she had in Charlie’s Angels.


You worked with Charles Poliquin? That is outstanding…he is very well respected in this industry. If someone is a trainer, they HAVE to stay in shape. I wouldn’t take a course in college from an illiterate person…same principle.


Love this…”Eat less, workout intensely 3x a week, eat real foods, sleep and enjoy life”…I am in complete agreement with you. Getting in great shape, should be just one part of your life that shouldn’t consume all your time. There needs to be plenty of time left over to live life to the fullest (on tropical beaches if possible).


That movie is outstanding. I just watched it again with my girlfriend. Getting that lean makes people look better in and out of clothes. It is a great look…Daniel Craig has the same thing going in the new Bond movie.


People may or may not like Stallone movies, but no doubt his story is an inspiration.


Yeah…just as long as you know that you can achieve that look…that is a great source of motivation.


Crazy story…I heard of another person who said they would eat a can of cat food, if they didn’t achieve their weight loss goals.


My sister is 40 and has 4 kids and stays in great shape. I keep bothering her to start her own website, but she is just too busy right now. You are right about starting too late. People wait for spring to get in shape for summer and it wonder why they aren’t really toned for summer. It takes a bit of time to look your best.


Weddings are a HUGE motivator…you want to look great in pictures, in your wedding dress or tux, look great for your honeymoon…especially if it is going to be in a tropical place, etc. The great thing is that you know you can get in great shape if you want it bad enough. You have done it before, so you are a decision away from doing it again.


Great point about finding it hard to get started. I think starting is half the battle. Once you begin to exercise it isn’t tough to put in 30-40 minutes…it is the “starting” that is the tough part for a lot of people.


Diet play the biggest role in getting the lean look. You can actually look pretty lean with diet alone, without exercise. You will not look good being an exercise maniac who eats poorly. The ideal situation is to have a clean diet along with consistent exercise, but diet is the key to looking outstanding.


What I’ve realized over the years is that confidence and “being comfortable in your own skin” makes you attractive. Obviously being in good shape and paying attention to style is going to give you many more chances to meet great women, but being comfortable with yourself is going to make the women stick around. It sounds like you set high standards for yourself, which is a great thing. Get in great shape and kick butt in your business. Create a great life and the women will show up. You sound like you are extremely motivated, so it sounds like a done deal to me.


Nice to hear from you. I still think you were one of the first people to link to my blog…I appreciate it buddy. I owe ya one!


It is the strong contractions that will build dense muscles. Heavier weights just allow the muscles to contract harder. I recommend switching between heavy and light lifting days…keeping the focus on strong contractions. Do those cardio intervals and keep the diet clean to be able to see that muscle density.


Your daughter sounds great. It feels great to get compliments from people who really matter in your life. I like the new trend of mom’s getting in outstanding shape. It used to be that women would have kids and use that as an excuse to let themselves go. Now they get back into amazing shape and look as sexy as ever. I’m a big fan of that trend!

Good stuff everyone!


Jason November 20, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for the advise! this site alone is a big motivator. Please keep these great articles coming and your 100% right about the face article you wrote back in February. People don’t touch up on that topic much. I know I have a attractive face and with body building my face got puffy and when I stopped for a while that double chin affect took place. After that, you look different from where you can’t see your ripped face and having that tool of a lean face will make your confidence explode!

BTW Just doing what you preach about will give you a longer life span to try and accomplish as many different tasks as you choose.

Julian November 21, 2008 at 1:09 am

Hi Rusty
How are you.
You know it’s so true.
I always say to people that we did not create ourself to be on this planet earth, But we created our own lives and future to where we are in live 2day
And that’s why i say with no doubt in my heart that ( WE ARE IN LIVE EXACTLY WHERE WE “WANT” TO BE.
If people are fat there is a why to change that fat to be lean, But only if they “WANT” change. Genes is just a BIG excuse for don’t “WANT” TO CHANGE.
Enjoy your day and thanks 4 all your continues writing and suport.

The Spaniard November 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Hi Rusty, it’s me again. I have to write because I was shocked when you mentioned Demi Moore. It’s not that she has had a lot done..she is practically made of plastic. I don’t think she is an example of anything, specially when it comes to bodies. In the movie you mentioned, when she is running out of the water, her thighs hardly move, her legs hardly move…and that is because of all the silicon implants she has in her body. We can also add to that lipo and more stuff that she has probably done to herself.
I really think that real women should be praised for looking good, not actresses and models. We all know they all have done something to their bodies and faces to look the way they look (don’t forget Photoshop Airbrushing).

Bonny Guang November 21, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I think if I were offered 10 million dollars to drop 40 lbs in 2 months, I would just allow myself to starve. But that aside, I don’t know. When you go about it the entirely wrong way (no fat, low protein, etc) it becomes very hard to stay on track. Maybe if you seriously have THAT much motivation, but you’ll ruin so many things along the way. If you have enough motivation, AND you go about losing weight intelligently, then yes, you will be fine, and motivation is the biggest factor in not eating that slice of cake.

Fatima November 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm

Hey Rusty –

Wow, this post couldn’t have come on a better day. Your site has been monumental to my efforts over the past two months to get the lean body I’ve been wanting the past several years. However, people do have their good days and their bad. Yesterday was a BAD day in terms of diet and exercise! I was so dissapointed in myself when I woke up this morning, but I told myself not to dwell over past failures because I know from personal experience that’s the point when people give up.

Honestly, the only thing that gets me now and then is fear of failure that I’ll eventually succumb back into my old bad habits. I don’t want to give up though; I want to reach my goals SO badly, I can’t even explain. Reading your post was JUST what I needed to let go of that last shred of negativity I woke up feeling. Thanks for writing up this great material, and also for taking the time to write thoughtful and personalized responses to everyone! If there’s such a thing is karma, I hope it comes around in life and rewards you ten-fold! (=

Helder November 21, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Our mind is the most powerfull tool we have, when we really want something we have an incredible energy, we never seem to get tried while pursuiting our goal, really wanting is the key to anything, very good post Rusty, not only for training goals, but for Life itself.

Helder November 22, 2008 at 8:29 pm

In my other comment i meant “we never seem to get tired” not tried 🙂

Yavor November 23, 2008 at 4:36 am

By the way Rusty, just wanted to add that you always manage to choose amazing and inspiring picture.


Trygve November 23, 2008 at 10:13 am

great post
some videoes i recommend watching when your facing the wall, even with your diet or other things.

enyoj 🙂

Also im a big fan of Brad pitts body in fight club. I was just browsing the web and came across some sites with the “fight club program”. Here is the site:

im 22 years old, around 12% fat i guess, goal is 6-8%. Im following the IF+Rapid Fat loss diet atm. Should i use this program or the 3×5/5×5 wich u recommend Rusty? or someone else that have any advice/experience ? 🙂
Im also doing the fasting before every workout and wait 1 hour before eating after.

Al November 23, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Hi Rusty,

Long time lurker first time poster. It’s taken me a while to find a site like this. It’s refreshing to know that there are people out there who want to be healthy and ripped not big and freakish.

Anyways I’ve basically lived this post. I was planning a vacation to Croatia with my friend and it was 9 months away. I’m naturally a skinny guy but I had a bit of fat on my stomach and basically no stomach definition at all. Then when I learned of this vacation I hit the gym and worked out like I’ve never had. I’ve worked out before but it was mostly on and off for several years with no results. As the day of the vacation approached I was confident everything was going to be okay. Turned out my abs were ripped enough to convince some foreign ladies that all north americans must have ripped abs!

So yes motivation can go a long way!

Eric Komans November 25, 2008 at 1:10 pm

I love this site. And this article is great, if only because I’m an actor who wants to pursue modeling in the coming years.

Thank you.

Trygve November 25, 2008 at 6:31 pm

I have one question. Im on the Rapid Fat Loss Diet together with IF. But i have a huge problem. My breath smells like total ass, i know it comes from ketose,right? is this nesessary to loose all the fat?

KAshif December 9, 2008 at 3:01 am

HI, i am a silent member of your site i was doing body buiding since 11 month but i have having no results mean i have no such muscles difination i was very warried about it coz my friend start body building inspired by me and now his is my partner and me have goood defination plz help me i am very warried Plz plz plz i am from paksitan karachi plz i need your help

Abril December 23, 2008 at 5:58 pm

I’ve always stayed pretty active and to lose the baby weight 3 yrs ago I ran a marathon. But although in clothes I look like a good weight…I know I could be tighter and I want to look better naked.

I’m 32 and started dating a 23 yr old in Aug. Good motivation to get my ass back in gear. I looked good for a 32 yr old but I wanted to look better than a 23 yr old!

So i ramped up my running and although the relationship with this particular 23 y old fizzled out am loving how my body is looking. When I go out with my girlfriends for drinks I love younger men asking me out!

Plus a good friend of mine and I pick a race a month to keep us motivated, a 5k or 10k here, a half marathon during spring for the challenge.

I’m competitive by nature which works out good for me. That keeps me motivated.My friend and I also have friendly competition and are currently in a pushup and pullup challenge.

Another thing….I can’t wait to take my son to the beach and flaunt my figure. If I, a woman who had a C-section can get a great body, then anyone can. I am looking forward to being a sexy mom. It gives me motivation to run in the snow in chilly temps here in Chicago. Everyone thinks I’m crazy. I have a headstart and know I’ll look smashing come summer.

My abs are now almost there and it’s only Dec. I can only imagine what I’ll look like come June.

myra February 19, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hi, my mistake has always been starting the gym, being dedicated 4-5 x a wk, working really hard and getting results , then completely stopping!!!! then of course eating too irregularly, and the weight piles on, i feel crap about myself and the cycle starts all over again.
Now i have been at the gym more than a year and feel good and lost all the weight, i am determined NOT to follow the same pattern ever again. None of my clothes in my wardrobe fitted me last year, i felt so low and depressed, fat and frumpy, my determination and motivation comes from wanting to be healthy and fit and not feel like that anymore ive learnt to strike a balance of healthy eating and regular varied exercise so i dont get bored so easily, and its working.

steph43 October 25, 2009 at 9:16 pm

I am on the warrior diet right now.It has not been going very well lately, but I know I need to adapt myself to that way of life.
I will get there slowly but surely!
I don’t want to gain any weight back as i have done in the past.I wish to adapt to this way of life forever.
Right now I am doing cardio 5 times a week. Hopefully, it will make me loose 2lbs of fat every week. Plus the warrior diet. I need to cut juices, I know they are load with sugar, but i love juice so much.

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