Is there a world record for broken promises made to self? I’d probably win it.
It’s Saturday night and I sat down to do my usual read fitness magazines, journal, make a motivation chart ritual. As I made my chair comfy in preparation for two hours of motivational highs, I realized something: how easy is it to be motivated and pumped for the week ahead after my belly is full with dessert and immediate action isn’t required?
I think I have found the source of my self sabotage.
How many promises have you made yourself when you didn’t have to act on it immediately? Maybe as you were pulling away from the drive thru, you were telling yourself you’ll start again tomorrow. Or you hit the snooze button, opting to workout after work instead of before.
Saying it is easy. It’s the doing part that is hard. (“That’s what she said.” -Michael Scott)
My eyes have been opened. This is probably my most significant bad habit; I have time and time again made goals and promises when I didn’t have to act on the process right away. The act of doing was always in the future, and I gave my future self too much credit. I wish I had realized this about myself sooner.
The remedy is this: don’t make promises to yourself unless it requires immediate action. I won’t say “I’ll train for a half marathon” unless I’m heading out the door for a run. I won’t promise to be bikini ready by summer unless I’m in the act of turning down sweets or headed to the gym at 4am.
The best part? This remedy can flow into all areas of life, not just health and fitness. Career, finances, education… never make yourself a promise unless you’re ready to go now. I bet you’ll find this small discipline change everything.
The lightbulb went off when I realized one thing: I will be the same exact person on New Years Day that I am on New Years Eve.
A tick of the clock won’t replace bad habits with sudden enthusiasm for green smoothies and 1hr+ gym sessions.
We’re playing games with ourselves if we think it’ll be different this time.
Be honest: the new year isn’t going to change a thing if we’re not ready to change now. I know because I’ve broken too many of my own promises and ended up disappointed 11 months later. I thought I would become the Cinderella in a beautiful gown, but I’m still the housemaid dressed in rags.
Quote by @mygirlishwhims
I don’t want that to happen again. I especially don’t want that happening to you. So let’s make a deal: let’s choose right now instead of tomorrow, or next week, or next year.
I don’t care if it’s the middle of the week and you’ve already had a large bowl of ice cream today. You can choose in this moment to start again.
Let’s choose vegetables and exercise so we earn those treats on Christmas and New Years. Let’s see how hard we can work while everyone else is drinking and eating. Let’s separate ourselves from the crowd.
Are you having the inner debate of how serious you want to take health and fitness during the last six weeks of 2016?
Chill for the rest of the year and enjoy the holiday parties or amp up the fitness routine and vegetable intake?
There is no wrong decision. But is one choice better than the other?
Last December I said 2016 was going to be my year. I wanted my 25th year of life to be the year of reinvention. It was going to be different this time. But it’s now November and I am no different than I was eleven months ago. That’s a hard pill to swallow.
I spent most of 2016 making broken promises and living through disappoints that only I was to blame for.
Something’s gotta give.
Sometimes the fear of failure or not meeting our standards is bigger than our optimism for the future. We must substitute that fear and replace it with massive enthusiasm for the process.
Change only happens when something clicks. When you have that I can’t take this anymore moment. When it’s more painful to stay exactly as you are than it is to do something about it. I believe I’ve reached this point.
That’s why I will be making the better choice.
I don’t deserve six weeks of chill and munching on holiday desserts. Maybe if I had put in the work year round, it would be some much deserved time off, but I can’t coddle myself any longer.
I have signed up for Ashley Horner’s Transform You challenge that begins this Black Friday. I’ll be doing her Breaking Boundaries program. I made a poster board to track my progress:
I also enjoy motivational journaling. Sometimes you gotta write down a couple of F-words to get yourself motivated.
If you are doing the Transform You challenge, leave your Instagram in the comments below–I’d love to follow. Also, tell me how you’re going to make 2017 better than 2016. I want to see your goals for the future so I can reach out and keep your accountable.I’m excited for you to reach all of your potential.
Bring effort every day, that’s all I’m asking of you. Be prepared. Be intentional and cut out the bullshit.” Ashley Horner
Having followed Ashley Horner since 2012, and accumulating an extensive collection of her programs, I want to provide thorough reviews to help you decide which program will best suit your goals.
Ashley has cemented herself as an inspiration and hard-to-beat athlete in the industry, and is represented by big companies such as Bodybuilding.com, Reebok, and RockTape. Not only is Ashley a well-rounded athlete, competing in ultra runs, iron mans, and powerlifting competitions, she is a multi-passionate entrepreneur: owning a gym in Virginia Beach called American Sled Dogs, a coffee and wine brewery called American Brew, and a for purpose foundation called Unbroken Movement. Because of her success, Ashley has incorporated into her business model the important task of giving back.
And that is why the Becoming Extraordinary series was created — to give back by coaching thousands through her downloadable programs so men and women can become their best selves, to becoming extra–ordinary.
Below are my detailed program reviews. I own 11 out of her 13 program because I fully believe in her work and mission.
Note: These images are copyrighted to Ashley Horner and I have express permission to use them. The sharing or selling of these programs is prohibited.
Who it is for: Anyone who wants to become a well-rounded athlete; if you want to work up your heavy back squat while also increasing your speed and endurance. You’ll be doing everything from running and rowing to isolation movements, compound exercises, circuits, and stretching. Five days per week for twelve weeks. Estimated Time: Varies. 40 minutes to 1.5hrs Goal Type: Increased fitness and strength Meal Plan: No Home or Gym: Gym or fully equipped home gym (barbell, wall ball, dumbbells, kettlebells, pull up bar, treadmill/outside running space, rower, box, bench) Want to buy?: Click here.
Who it is for: If you are new to Ashley’s trainers or to weightlifting, this is a good place to start. Workload will increase gradually as you transition from full body workouts to muscle group-specific training to workouts with supersets and trisets. Cardio is minimal in the beginning and increases as the program progresses. Estimated Time: 1.5 hours average, five days a week for twelve weeks Goal Type: Fat loss Meal Plan: Included Home or Gym: Gym Want to buy?: Click here.
Who it is for: Very similar to Becoming Extraordinary, except with an emphasis on muscle building using different reps and sets. Perfect for people trying to bulk or alter their skinny fat body type. Has less cardio than BE. Estimated Time: 1.5 average, five days a week for twelve weeks Goal Type: Build muscle Meal Plan: Included Home or Gym: Gym Want to buy?: Click here.
Who it is for: If you need a home workout program or coming back from an extended fitness break (child birth, injury, or just out of shape), this program is perfect. Requires minimal equipment. Estimated Time: 1 hour in the early phase, 1.5 to 2 hours in the later phases; five days a week for twelve weeks Goal Type: Fat loss Meal Plan: Included Home or Gym: Both Want to buy?: Click here.
Push yourself, believe in yourself, mold yourself. When you step into the gym put all your fucking problems on that bar and push that shit.” Ashley Horner
Who it is for: Athletes looking to increase their fitness and strength quickly. Although mostly performance based, you will see fat reduction and muscle gains. Pipehitter 2.0 is an extension of the original PH, with slightly more emphasis on upper body strength. Estimated Time: 1.5 to 2 hours average, five days a week for eight weeks Goal Type: Increase fitness, fat loss, muscle building Meal Plan: Included, but very simple. Home or Gym: Gym Want to buy?: Click here for Pipehitter and here for Pipehitter 2.0.
Who it is for: Athletes looking for a home program with a workout intensity comparable to Pipehitter. Also considered the sequel to Recreating You. Estimated Time: 1.5 hours, five days a week for twelve weeks Goal Type: Increase fitness, fat loss Meal Plan: Included Home or Gym: Both Want to buy?: Click here.
Who it is for: Considered the sequel to Becoming Extraordinary and Magnify You, AP follows a similar training philosophy by training specific muscle groups each day. Also includes some long distance running. Not for beginners. Estimated Time: Varies 1 to 2 hours, depending if cardio is included. A 100 day program. Goal Type: Fat loss, increased fitness Meal Plan: Included, but very simple Home or Gym: Gym Want to buy?: Click here.
Who it is for: Can be done solo or in combo with another program, Momentum is a high intensity interval training program perfect for those who have limited time to exercise or need a program that can be completed at home. Estimated Time: 20 to 45 minutes, five days a week for eight weeks Goal Type: Fat loss, increased fitness Meal Plan: Not included Home or Gym: Both Want to buy?: Click here.
This is to the women who lift, who train and take care of themselves and do it although the people who are supposed to love them and support them scrutinizes them.” Ashley Horner
Who it is for: Anyone who is in a physically demanding profession (ex. law enforcement, military, first responders) looking to increase and maintain fitness. Training similar to that found in the Pipehitter trainers. Estimated Time: 1.5 hours, five days a week for eight weeks. Goal Type: Increased fitness, fat loss Meal Plan: Included Home or Gym: Gym Want to buy?: Click here.
Who it is for: If you’re looking to build a derriere that’ll have others doing a double take, this supplemental trainer is perfect. Can be combined with another program. Estimated Time: 45 minutes or less, three times a week for six weeks Goal Type: Muscle building Meal Plan: Not included Home or Gym: Both Want to buy?: Click here.
Who it is for: A supplemental trainer that builds core strength and teaches you how to eat to reveal your hard work. Estimated Time: 30 minutes or less, five times a week for six weeks Goal Type: Build and strengthen core Meal Plan: Not included, but recommendations given Home or Gym: Both Want to buy?: Click here.
Who it is for: Running lovers looking to increase endurance and speed. Estimated Time: 45 minutes to an 1.5 hours, three times a week for eight weeks. Goal Type: Increase endurance and speed Meal Plan: Not included Home or Gym: Access to a track, measured running area, or treadmill Want to buy?: Click here.
Frequently Asking Questions
Q: How do I pick a program? A: I have found that what makes the decision process difficult is often over thinking which program will give the most results. The short answer: all of them will do what Ashley says they will do. Once you accept that to be true, comb through the examples I have provided and decide which training style appeals to you most. After that, it is up to you to see the whole program through.
Q: How soon will I see results? A: Every body is different, but I always caution to stay with a program for at least eight weeks before evaluating if it’s working or not. Most likely if results aren’t as obvious as you hoped, it’s a dietary issue, in which case I recommend keeping a written journal or using an app to track your food intake.
Q: What type of diet is Ashley Horner on? A: Ashley does not count calories or macros, and has said in Facebook Live videos that she eats relatively high fat, low carb, moderate protein. She does indulge in dessert on occasion.
Q: Her programs are expensive. Are they worth it? A: Absolutely. Her programs are detailed and extensive, incorporating the highest intensity to guarantee results (or your money back!). But if price is an issue, check out her free program on Bodybuilding.com called Charlie Mike.
Q: I have tried Charlie Mike. What program should I do next? A: If you’re looking for similar style training, I recommend Pipehitter or Valor (Breaking Boundaries if you workout at home).
Q: I need something more extensive in the nutrition department. Any recommendations? A: As a matter of fact, yes. After reading The Obesity Code and Why We Get Fat, I have become a big fan of high fat, low carb diets. If low carb isn’t your thing, then I recommend checking out nutritionist Keri Glassman’s books (I especially recommend The O2 Diet) and her slimdown programs.
Q: Is this a cookie cutter program? A: These programs are great options for people who don’t want to pay for the customization from a personal trainer. Although they are predesigned, you customize them according to your goals and current fitness level by adjusting weights and scaling if needed. These programs are perfect for those who don’t know how to create their own training or who work better following a specific workout routine.
Q: Does Ashley have any discount codes for repeat customers? A: As a matter of fact, she [sort of] does! If you’ve purchased one of her trainers (excluding Crux and Sweet Cakes or any new trainers 30 days old or less), you can buy your second (or third or fourth…) program at a discounted rate of $60.00. To take advantage of this, you need to send $60 via PayPal, and in the message box include your receipt/product number from your previous purchase (this can be found at the bottom of every page of your program if you’ve misplaced the email). Her team will respond within a few business days with your program.
Q: Where does Ashley Horner get her clothes? A: In 2016 Ashley began a sponsorship with Reebok. You can click here to head to the Reebok website. I personally love the quality and look of Reebok apparel and shoes and highly recommend them.