How Gabe changed his life (in 4 steps)

Side by side before and after photos of a Caucasian man, shirtless, front view from waist up. In before photo, he looks nervous, with significant fat on chest and belly, and minimal muscular development. In after photo he is smiling, moderately lean with very little belly fat, and more muscle on chest and shoulders.
Meet Gabe, a proud member of Nerd Fitness Coaching.

He has a story I think might help you.

You see, Gabe had a stark realization many of us eventually have: we aren’t getting any younger!

Sorry Gramma, but I need to use a bad swear in this gif (yes, my 91-year-old gramma reads Nerd Fitness):

Lethal Weapon gif. "I'm too old for this shit."

As his birthday approached, Gabe decided it was time to finally get in shape. He’d been stagnating for years, and this wasn’t going to get any easier.

So he decided to ask for some help.

Today, Gabe is crushing life:

  • Pull-ups? Check.
  • Training with gymnastic rings? Check.
  • Running a 5k? Double-check!

These accomplishments have given Gabe TONS of confidence, which is now expanding into areas outside of the gym.

Gabe explains, “For the first time in my life I actually feel good about myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I wouldn’t be here without my coach.”

However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Stagnating with a goal can be mentally taxing and might affect our confidence levels.

It’s something most of us have felt from time to time, including Gabe.

So let’s find out what changed for Gabe and how he was able to achieve his amazing success.

How Gabe Leveled Up His Life: 4 Keys

Gabe, before and after photo. Side view, showing significantly less belly fat.

#1) Without a Roadmap, It’s Easy to Get Lost.

Gabe had tried to get in shape before NF Coaching.

The thing is, he didn’t really know what to do at the gym. So Gabe did what many of us do in such situations: he winged it.

But without a plan, Gabe didn’t see any real progress. He would eventually lose motivation and abandon his gym membership.

Arrested Development gif. "I don't know what I expected."

“It never stuck because I was doing it by myself. I’d wander aimlessly around the gym, not really sure what the best path forward was.

I’d jump on a machine or two and hope for the best, because I was just too intimidated to use any free weights.

This would continue for about a month or so, then I’d quit out of frustration.”

Such a “start and stop” pattern continued for years, until one fateful day, Gabe decided he would try something different.

He would hire a coach – at least for a month – to see if this could help him stay consistent.

It was a successful experiment.

Gabe returned to Planet Fitness confident. He quickly did his assigned workout, marked it complete in his coaching app, then went home.

He came back two days later and did it again. It wasn’t long before he started seeing results.

That’s when things took off.

Takeaway: every good goal needs a plan behind it. Without it, it’s so easy to get lost and quit.

When you head to the gym, come prepared with a plan! Otherwise, you might stare at the floor the whole time.

Here’s how a beginner should get started in the gym.

#2) Accountability Can Be Everything

Gabe, before and after photo, 1 year. More muscular in chest and shoulders, and short beard.

“I knew I needed someone in my corner to help me stay motivated. My earlier attempts suffered without it.

Coach Justin is constantly checking in with me, making sure I’m comfortable with all the exercises I’m doing. If ever I get bored or maybe I don’t like a particular activity (cough…planks…cough), he never pushes back. Instead, we simply switch gears.

Having someone guide me every step of the way has helped me finally stay consistent.

Speaking of accountability, I also need to mention the NF private community. I have found inspiration and drive from other Rebels on a similar journey.

Screenshot from Nerd Fitness private community. Text reads: Gabe (last name removed). May 2. Well, I was very nervous on the way there, but just finished my first outdoor (co-ed rec) soccer game in 12+ years! It was great to get back out on the field! Turns out I have 0 endurance, even though I've been running on the treadmill, prepping for 5ks I want to do this year. Also, I wore brand new cleats, so that was less-than ideal. Emoji, grinning face with sweat. My calves and feet shall be sore this week, but absolutely worth it. We lost 6+ to 2 I think. But it was great. 10/10. Would recommend. Emoji: grinning face. Thank you everyone for your stories. I do a lot of lurking and it really helps seeing other people trying things that bring them out of their comfort zones. It helped me jump in and commit to doing this, and I couldn't be more grateful. One Comment. Heidi. Large pink gif text, Yay you!

Between the community and Coach Justin, I feel totally supported.”

Takeaway: as Zelda taught us, “It’s dangerous to go alone!”

Legend of Zelda screenshot. "It's Dangerous to go Alone! Take This"

If you can, find someone to come with you (or at least someone to hand you a sword).

Your accountability partner could be from a coach, or maybe even someone from an online community.

When times get tough (and they will), having someone in your corner rooting for you can make all the difference.

#3) Cooking Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated.

Gabe, before and after photo, back. Before photo shows thick waist and hips, short hair. After photo shows very narrow waist, broader shoulders, ponytail.

“I absolutely hate cooking. My motto is, ‘If it takes longer to cook than to eat, I’m not interested.’

I realize that includes basically everything.

While that’s still my motto, Coach Justin has helped me work around that with frozen veggies, simple meals, and batch cooking.

Here’s my go-to:

  • 2 lbs of ground meat (could be beef, turkey, chicken, or a combination of the three).
  • 1 jar of red sauce, like a marinara.
  • 4-5 steam bags of frozen veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, corn, beans, onions, peppers, etc).
  • Herbs and spiced to taste.

Simply brown the meat and simmer the veggies until they’re a consistency you like.

I’ll put cheese on it if I’m home.

That makes 5 larger portions, or 7-8 smaller portions, typically.

It allows for some variation week to week without having to think too much.”

Takeaway: cooking can be a real pain. But it doesn’t have to be.

With a few simple steps, you can have lunches ready to go for the week!

Gabe does his batch cooking on Sundays, alongside many others in the Rebellion.

Here’s my personal strategy for simple meals: How to Batch Cook Chicken (for Lazy People).

#4) Physical Confidence Can Impact All Areas of Your Life.

Gabe, before and after photo. Side view, showing significantly less belly fat and better posture.

“For the first time in my life I actually feel good about myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Growing strong gave me confidence. Confidence helped my self-esteem.

I’m now ok with my faults and shortcomings because I’ve also learned to recognize and celebrate my accomplishments and strengths.

Nerd Fitness Coaching has been life-changing, to say the least.”

Takeaway: there is such a thing as an “upward spiral,” with one new accomplishment springboarding to another.

We see this all the time here in the Rebellion.

Someone starts working out and seeing progress, which gives them confidence. They then take this new confidence and try something new, like soccer (Gabe recently joined a league!).

Crushing this new activity gives them even MORE confidence, and they again try something new.

Rinse and repeat.

Yes, it can indeed take time. But Gabe has only been in Coaching a little over a year. And today he feels (and looks) like a new person:

Gabe, before and after photo, same as at top of article. After photo is smiling and confident.

You just have to get that first win under your belt so you can start to build some momentum.

Here’s how we often advise beginners to take their first step.

Is It Time to Try Something Different?

Gabe, before and after. Side view showing considerably more belly fat before.

I’m super proud of what Gabe and Coach Justin accomplished over the last year.

And I want you to know I’m proud of you too.

You’re still here. You’re still reading.

That means you’re still trying, which is a big part of making progress.

However, I also want you to ask yourself: is it time you tried something different?

Maybe you related to Gabe’s story. Maybe you’ve gone through your own “start and stop” pattern.

If so, then let’s take a minute to consider what made Gabe successful:

Gabe was able to achieve amazing progress over the last year because he decided not to return to the gym the same way he had before. Instead, he decided to ask for help.

This decision changed everything.

When Gabe entered Planet Fitness last year, he stopped wandering around aimlessly. Instead, he had a plan right there on his phone.

It gave him the confidence to stick with the routine. By sticking with the routine, he started seeing results.

The results gave him the confidence to keep going.

Now, one year later, he feels like a new person.

We see this all the time here at Nerd Fitness, with one small improvement leading to another.

You’d be amazed where the mindset of “1% better every day” can lead.

If you’re interested in creating your own “upward spiral,” I’d love to see if a NF Coach can help you.

You can think of your new coach like your own personal Yoda.

Yoda on Dagobah, using the force, animated gif

Someone who can show you the ways of the force, one day at a time, so you can unlock your hidden Jedi.

With Nerd Fitness Coaching, you’ll gain:

  • Confidence on exactly what to do. No guesswork needed, you’ll simply log into our coaching app and follow the plan laid out for you.
  • A program tailored to your needs. We won’t just say “do this workout” or “eat broccoli.” You can get that for free on the internet. We’ll find out what works best for you as an individual. Plus, if it’s not working for whatever reason, NBD. We’ll absorb that information like a non-judgemental scientist would, and together we’ll create a new path forward.
  • A partner to help you make your goals. Many people can set goals and hit them by themselves. But some of us can’t (I personally needed a coach to hit my fitness goals too). If you’ve been struggling by yourself, know that it’s okay to seek help from an expert who knows the way.

Sound good?

IF you are ready to jump into battle with your own Yoda in your pocket (through the NF Coaching App, not literally)…

Let’s make a plan for you to be the next Nerd Fitness success story:

For the Rebellion!


PS: Seriously, Gabe is amazing. Holy moly.

PPS: Props to Coach Justin for being Gabe’s personal Yoda.


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