Why Physical Fitness Is The Ultimate Discipline

Fitness is the best discipline training method on earth. If you want to build more discipline into your life, try becoming more fit. If you struggle with being disorganized or unfocused, try working out more, training for a triathlon or doing something physical that has to do with your fitness. You’ll find those experiences are the best discipline training methods on earth.

When I’m not working out and in a routine – I find other things are disorganized and messy and unfocused. But when I’m in a solid workout routine – everything falls into place.

The beauty of fitness is the simplicity of it. In contrast to all the stuff out there trying to complicate things and telling you all the stuff you need to have to get fit, there’s only two main components to fitness: Diet & Exercise

Diet = What You Put In Your Body

Exercise = What You Do With Your Body

What’s so amazing is that you have complete control over each of those components. Also, you don’t need a gym membership, a new machine or special classes in order to get in shape or do the things you want to do. You can get in incredible shape with a jump rope and a pull up bar and bodyweight exercises.

When it comes to things like running your business, getting organized or simply getting over mental barriers, it’s easy to have other things come in the way and blame them. Beauacracy, other people, regulations, imagined problems, timelines, and other things you can’t always control. But, when it comes to those two things: what you put in your body and what you do with it – those two things you absolutely control. With a near 100% accuracy, you’re able to control what you put in your body and what you do with it – no matter what. In every other aspect of life, there might be variables, but if discipline is defined as training to improve a skill, then fitness is the one thing you have complete control of if you want to. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

Why Fitness Is The Ultimate Discipline

Fitness is Measurable

Fitness is measurable. There are metrics. You know whether you’re getting better, faster, stronger or if you’re going in the other direction. The iron never lies. Fitness is measurable. 

Fitness Is Physical

Fitness is a physical activity. It moves you from thinking to doing. It’s a physical activity that forces you to push your physical limits, so you can push your mental ones too. Fitness is physical.

Fitness Is Daily

Fitness is a choice every day. It can take 8 weeks to get into shape and only 2 to lose it all. Every day, you choose to either get more or less fit by the choices you make. There is no pause, coast or cruise control. Fitness is a daily discipline.

Fitness Is Constant Improvement

The default state for everything is stagnation. If you’re not working to improve your fitness daily, it will automatically start deteriorating. Fitness is constant improvement.

Fitness Reflects Your Life

Fitness often reflects how you live the rest of your life. If you’re waking up at 5am, getting your workout in, going for a run and taking a cold shower to start the day, it’s hard to want to slack off the rest of the day. Even if you do – you have a head start on everybody else because you’ve been working for 2 hours by the time everyone else gets up. If you find your fitness regimen disortanized, you’ll tend to find other aspects of life – your business, your social and even your physical stuff  – disorganized. It’s such a big part that Richard Branson calls exercise his #1 productivity hack. Fitness reflects your life.

This quote sums it up nicely:

Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. – Bruce Lee

Being ruthless with your physical limits – and your fitness specifically – opens up windows into other parts of your life where you can improve, change things and get better. If you want to add more discipline into your life – start with fitness – it’s the one area of life where you have 100% control. Here’s a few good resources to help get you started:

While I was finishing up the road trip back from WDS, I missed my annual trip to the valpo triathlon – yes that one. So while I wasn’t able to do it, my brother, cousin, brother-in-law, and Dad decided to make it their first triathlon ever and represent Impossible for me. Well done guys!
Impossible Family
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  1. runwritelivelife says

    Making fitness a part of my life and not just treating is as something “I should do, when I have the time” was one of the best decisions of my life.

    It is the best way to get in touch with yourself, and get yourself and your life back in shape.

    I chose running. I went from zero (literally) to a few half marathons. No more baby weight, no more tired all the time, no more “I should”.

    I just do. And do some more.

    There’s no turning back. :)


  2. says

    For a while I was biking twice a day but wound up letting it go – as you could expect: my energy plummeted.

    Fast forward to now and I’m back into my riding routine.

    Not only do I feel great but it’s also made me far more focused on my other projects because there’s a huge boost of energy after a ride and it feels like I’ve overcome a major hurdle so the smaller things shouldn’t discourage me.

  3. Sandy says

    “Fitness often reflects how you live the rest of your life. If you’re waking up at 5am, getting your workout in, going for a run and taking a cold shower to start the day, it’s hard to want to slack off the rest of the day.”

    This is true. When I workout first thing, I have more confidence, more energy and am ready to take on the world. I just feel better and have greater productivity on days I work out. Simple as that.

  4. Sandy says

    And here’s a perfect example of what you’re talking about: Beyond the obvious safety benefit, learning the physical skills of self-defense gave these girls back their voice and an increased confidence that will carry over into other parts of their lives. Priceless.

  5. says

    I wake up everyday at 5 am to do 2 things: 1) write and 2) Exercise.

    It is a cycle that perpetuates itself. Part of my reason for doing it, is exactly as you state. I am doing it to practice my discipline. I know that when I do this, my whole day is more productive. As soon as I break the routine then everything else goes with it.

    I want to become a better writer and be in top physical condition so these two things are critical for me to practice. So not only am I improving my discipline, but also I am improving in the two areas that I mentioned.

    Exercise in particular is so darn straight forward. If I want a good workout I am going to have to push myself to a limit that feels uncomfortable. I will want to quit, but by not quitting I am increasing my fitness but also increasing my discipline.

  6. says

    It’s funny. One of my clients has lost 60 pounds and people always ask her how she did it.

    Her answer: “Diet and exercise.”

    People always want to find a shortcut around working hard, but those results tend to be fleeting. If you truly want to change your life for good, you gotta put in the work.

    Fitness is a great place to start with this: it helped me overcome some major setbacks, mental and physical.

    Thanks for this awesome post, Joel!

  7. says

    I agree! The process of making a physical transformation totally changed my life. I went from “I suck,” to “I Rock!” and was left wondering…what else is possible for me? It left me feeling unstoppable!

    Here is a blog post I wrote about what it meant for me to enter a figure competition at age 42 (and win two trophies!) It was NOT just about transforming my outsides!

    I love your stuff, Joel!


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