The Fitness Mindset: Eat for Energy, Train for Tension, Manage Your Mindset, Reap the Benefits is a book by former fitness model and personal trainer Brian Keane.
With lessons distilled from nearly two decades in the fitness game, Keane provides a friendly and approachable intro to working out for men and women. His tone is warm, he keeps things simple, and provides a very actionable blueprint for better nutrition,
Here’s a more detailed breakdown and summary of why I love Brian Keane’s The Fitness Mindset.
Where to Buy – The Fitness Mindset by Brian Keane
The biggest struggle we have in the gym is rarely having the physical strength to complete the workouts. It’s getting our butts through the doors in the first place.
The mental hang-ups we have with working out come from a bunch of different angles.
- We set inflated expectations of how fast progress should take.
- We get frustrated when we have a bad workout. We beat ourselves up when we slip on our diet and throw out the whole plan.
- We struggle to make working out habitual, trying to overhaul our lifestyle habits in an unsustainable manner.
Brian Keane’s The Fitness Mindset is a step-above most fitness books, in that while Keane covers the usual stuff, from nutrition to different exercise protocols, he also addresses those pesky mental setbacks that derail our best intentions.
Although The Fitness Mindset is a shortish read, at about 170 pages, it packs a motivational punch.
Motivation is the silent killer of the gains and health you want from your body and your efforts in the gym, and Keane interweaves diet advice and workouts with tips and tactics to also help you mentally get in shape. This is one of the few books that understand that you can’t have one at the expense of the other, and that you don’t need to.
The Fitness Mindset: Workout Basics
Like with typical fitness books, Keane drops nutrition and training advice over the first half of the book.
He covers supplements (“Using supplements without a good diet is like using amazing motor oil for your car, but forgetting to put the fuel in.”), sleep, alcohol consumption, and training.
The first 100 pages contain sample meal plans, recommended supplements (not many!), and training plans and cardio protocols. (He is a big fan of HIIT.)
The Fitness Mindset: Motivation Unleashed
In terms of motivational content, that comes fast and furious in the second half of the book.
Some of the things he covers in this section include:
How to make working out a habit.
This is the dream for all of us—to make our workouts, healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits automatic. The mental back-and-forth that comes with trying to do the right thing day after day is exhausting.
- “Becoming self-aware of your negative behavior, patterns and habits isn’t always that easy to recognize.”
- “With enough practice and repetition, any behaviour, good or bad, becomes automatic over time.”
- “Reflect on how deeply your habits are rooted and then put the place in place to create new positive ones in their place. Sometimes, it’s as easy as making the decision and then using your ‘why’ to get you there.”
Finding your why
Finding some surface reasons to work out more and eat better is easy. I want to look better. I want to feel better. I want to be more attractive to the opposite sex.
These surface reasons might get us started, but we need something a little more powerful to keep us going, pushing through the plateaus and uncertainty and days where we are tired and grumpy.
- “All the ‘hows’ mean nothing until you find your ‘why.’”
- “If your why power (or desire) isn’t great enough, it’s likely that any goal will end up like most new-year resolutions—you will pursue the goal for two, three maybe even four weeks and then life will get in the way and you will slowly or gradually stop or quit.”
- “Pain and negativity can be powerful motivational tools and as long as they don’t consume you, I think they’re vital for achieving great things in life.”
Keeping things simple.
The internet has brought us a wealth of awesome—especially Office memes and funny cat videos. But with all that information comes a sense of paralysis. Am I doing the truly “best” workout for me? How do I know? There must be a better workout somewhere out there!
This paralysis is common when we are presented with countless options. Keane strives to keep things simple in The Fitness Mindset.
- “I nearly quit fitness several times during my early twenties from information overload. There was so much conflicting material out there that I didn’t know what to believe, what to try or what worked… I effectively wrote all this for the 22-year old me who nearly quit a hundred times.”
The Fitness Mindset is definitely recommended for the gym-goer who repeatedly does the go-stop dance with their workouts, who gets overly frustrated when results aren’t happening fast enough, and for anyone who wants find their why in the gym so that motivational struggles become a thing of the past.
Where to Buy – The Fitness Mindset by Brian Keane
More Stuff Like This
How to Become the Best: 10 Things That Made Georges St-Pierre One of the Best Fighters of All Time. The devotion to routine, staying present in the midst of chaos, and a relentless work ethic are the same things all athletes and gymgoers need right now.
I also have an essential reading list for athletes. You can check out this list of my favorite mental toughness books for athletes.