The Big X Factor In Every Successful Workout Routine

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years looking at the similarities and differences between the most effective workout routines.

Why? Well, besides the fact that I just have a nerdy obsession with this sort of thing, it’s because when you start to notice what they all have in common, you start to realize that it’s not the workout routines themselves that are effective… it’s the handful of fundamental principles that they all employ.

You know, like a certain ideal frequency, volume and intensity. A certain exercise selection. A certain schedule and way of putting things together. And above all else… a focus on progression.

As long as your workout routine gets all of these fundamental principles聽right (and your diet plan supports it), then it’s pretty much guaranteed to work. Well… pretty much.

The Success Of Your Routine Comes Down To This

You see, all of the stuff I just mentioned is what makes your workout routine actually work. Those are the fundamental principles that MUST be in place in order for positive results to come. The problem is, I’ve realized that there is still one lingering X factor at play that can prevent even the greatest routine from working like it should.

In fact, I’d be willing to call this X factor the final requirement that must always be in place in every workout routine in order for it to produce the intended results.

What is it, you ask? Well, simply put… the confidence that what you’re doing WILL work.

If you don’t believe in your workout routine or diet, then it will almost always fail to work. Yes, even if it’s all set up perfectly and working amazingly well for everyone who’s doing it the exact same way. If you aren’t 100% confident that it will work for you, then you will somehow end up not allowing it to work.

This lack of confidence will lead to you questioning certain aspects of it.

  • “Maybe I should do this like this instead?”
  • “Maybe I should add a little more of this?”
  • “Maybe I should replace this with that?”
  • “Maybe this other workout routine would be better?”

These are the types of thoughts that prove that you don’t believe in what you’re doing, and without that belief being fully present at all times, it’s going to be damn near impossible to consistently give it your all and stick with it long enough for it to actually work.

And without that… no workout routine can work.

Just having the possibility in the back of your mind that you could work hard and execute everything correctly and STILL not get the results you want from your workout routine is ironically what prevents you from working hard and executing everything correctly in the first place.

The truth is, a workout routine that’s just “okay” executed by someone with 100% confidence in it will always work better than the absolute BEST workout routine executed by someone who isn’t completely sure it’s right for them or will work like they want it to.

The sole difference maker is just the belief that what you’re doing IS right and WILL work. That belief is what allows you to remove all doubts and the possibility of failure from your mind and just work your ass off doing what needs to be done to get the results you want.

Do You Believe In Your Workout Routine?

So here’s the question you need to ask yourself. Do you fully believe in your workout routine? Do you trust it completely? Are you 100% confident that it’s going to work for you?

If so… then it probably will. But if not… then it probably won’t.

And it’s not because your belief is actually right. That’s irrelevant. It’s just the presence (or lack of presence) of the belief itself that could single handedly make or break your workout’s success. Even with all else being equal and the fundamental principles set up just right.

If you’re not fully confident in what you’re doing, you will somehow (consciously or not) find a way to prevent it from working.

What’s the solution then? It’s pretty simple. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, stop wasting your time doing it. No matter how “right” it might be, it’s not going to work for you because you’ve already decided not to let it.

Instead, find a workout routine that gets the fundamental principles right AND makes you feel comfortable putting your complete trust in it. Something that you believe without a shadow of a doubt WILL work for you as long as you execute it.

Having that type of confidence in your program is the key to adherence, consistency and just allowing yourself to work hard enough to actually let the program and its fundamental principles work for you.

On second thought, that confidence IS one of the fundamental principles. It’s always present in every effective workout routine. Make sure it’s present in yours.

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About Jay
Jay is the science-based writer and researcher behind everything you've seen here. He has 15+ years of experience helping thousands of men and women lose fat, gain muscle, and build their "goal body." His work has been featured by the likes of Time, The Huffington Post, CNET, Business Week and more, referenced in studies, used in textbooks, quoted in publications, and adapted by coaches, trainers, and diet professionals at every level.

7 thoughts on “The Big X Factor In Every Successful Workout Routine”


  1. This article sums up just about everything about why most people can’t commit to an exercise program. If you have absolute faith in why you are doing it, and find it enjoyable, chances are that you will stick with it.

  2. Interesting. I’m a skeptic. I can’t get close to a system of any kind without wanting to pick it to pieces. It never occurred to me that this tendency could be holding me back . . . but what you say rings true.

    I’m not sure I can just decide to have absolute faith in any one diet plan or workout routine. But maybe if I *pretend* I do long enough to get results . . . then I’ll build up enough faith to be useful over the long haul.

    • Yup, I’d say that would definitely be holding you back. It’s virtually impossible to fully commit to something you have doubts about. And while just pretending you don’t seems like a good idea, I honestly don’t think it would work like that either. The belief needs to be real and organic.

  3. Thanks for your words!
    Confidence is the root of success, followed by action, getting educated to do things right and succeed. Confidence feeds our strength to keep us constant on doing it.
    This is true not only for workouts but also for all things in life.

  4. your so right man and sadly im that type of person ive been doing a program for 2 and a half months now and i just dont feel like its right even thou it probly is. I feel like ur workout routine u have posted is the one that i will do and stick too i just love all the exercises in it and feel like that would meet my goals.

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