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I Failed At My Fitness Goals

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A Personal Story On Overcoming My “Failed” Attempt

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing a personal story of why I failed at my fitness goals and how I’m going to overcome my fear of achieving them.

All right, let me be real with you, like I always am.

A few months ago, I came home pretty down on myself.

Now I usually write these personal experiences in my journal, but I feel you could learn from this, and apply it to any of your current fitness goals.

So that’s why I wanted to share my personal experiences with you.

Being Open, Honest, And Vulnerable Is Important To Me

I’ve been creating YouTube videos for over 10 years.

Throughout my journey, most of the video topics I share on Live Lean TV, are taken directly from the questions you ask me about transforming your health and body.

However, I also like to share my personal stories and things that I’m struggling with.

The Truth About My Divorce Story

I do this because I often feel creators try to be too perfect, rather than being open, honest, and vulnerable with their community.

That’s why I prefer to take the opposite approach where I share my failures in both my fitness journey and personal life.

So hopefully you’ll appreciate my openness and honesty with this post, and can apply the learnings to your current situation.

If you do find this helpful, please leave a comment below to let me know, so I can continue to bring you value.

Why Was I So Down On Myself?

Well, you know I always coach you to do the things that take you outside of your comfort zone every day.

But I don’t always live up to my own words.

And that’s not typical of me, as I take a lot of pride in living true to my own message.

I’m telling you this story because it’s my way of holding myself accountable to you, by practicing what I preach.

Here’s what went down.

I first achieved my ideal physique back in 2012, when I was 31 years old.

Burn Belly Fat And Build Muscle At The Same Time

It’s now 10 years later, and even though I’m 41 years old now, I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job at maintaining my muscle and body fat levels.

I do this by following a healthy balanced lifestyle, while still enjoying life.

Since these healthy behaviors have now turned into healthy habits, when it comes to fitness, I don’t really struggle with my physique anymore.

However, as a 41 year old, my main focus is on maintaining my youthfulness and athleticism.

If you’ve been a long-term YouTube subscriber, you may remember the videos from 2013 where I set 30 day athletic goals to learn how to do a:

Well, I’m happy to say I successfully learned how to complete a front lever and kip up, but I honestly never really mastered the handstand.

Fitness Goal #1: I Will Hold A Handstand

Even years after posting my handstand challenge video, I remember seeing comments asking where the progress video was.

Well, I didn’t have one, because I didn’t really work towards achieving my goal of holding a handstand.

To be honest, even after all of these years, this failure still eats away at me.

So here’s my first declaration.

I will successfully hold a handstand.

Please do me a favor and keep me accountable by checking in with me on my socials.

Fitness Goal #2: I Will Safely Complete A Back Flip

The other athletic movement I’ve always wanted to do was the back flip.

Back in 2014, I used to live by a beautiful outdoor field in downtown Toronto.

I was so determined to attempt my first back flip there.

As I walked to the field, I still remember feeling so hyped and energized, that I could mentally see myself doing a back flip.

Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting my first attempt to be a flawless, Olympic worthy back flip.

But I did expect to at least take the first step of overcoming my fear and attempting it.

I set up my video camera, since you know I would be filming this stuff, I planted my two feet on the field, I visualized landing on my two feet, and repeated out loud, “Just commit to it Brad”.

Then I went through the step-by-step physical movements to complete a back flip, and then I physically froze.

I couldn’t get my body to do what my brain was telling me to do.

Maybe I was distracted by all the dogs running around the field, or maybe I was just scared.

Ok, Stop Making Excuses Brad, You Were Scared

Yeah, you’re right, I was too scared to attempt a back flip, so I stayed inside my comfort zone.

I still remember walking home with such a sense of defeat.

But to my credit, 2 days later, I was in New York City and I decided to take action on my goal by taking a gymnastics lesson.

During that lesson, I at least made my first back flip attempt, with the coach spotting me.

I Failed At My Fitness Goals

However, fast forward to today, and I have still never attempted to do a back flip on my own.

So since I’m now 41 years old, do I just move on now and give up on my back flip goal?

Well, I’ll be 100% honest.

I’m even more scared and doubtful as a 41 year old.

But, I’m going to use that fear to drive me even more.

This leads me to my second declaration.

I will learn how to safely complete a back flip.

Fitness Goal #3: I Will Re-Learn How To Do A Kip

Okay, let’s talk about my kip up.

I first shared a YouTube video on how I learned how to kip up 8 years ago, when I was 34 years old.

kip up

A few months ago, I decided to film an updated tutorial video for Instagram.

However, once I turned on the camera to film it, I quickly realized my body forgot how to do it.

I failed rep after rep and was getting super frustrated with myself.

It was also starting getting into my head that since I’m now 41 years old, maybe I lost all my explosiveness.

Just like that defeated feeling I felt in 2014 after leaving the field in Toronto, I felt the same defeated feeling leaving the field in California.

Fitness Goal #4: I Will Learn How To Do The Splits

Lastly, I’ve always wanted to do the splits.

front splits

Back in 2019, I got pretty close to doing the front splits, but for some reason I lost focus and stopped practicing it.

3 Key Learnings From My Experiences

So after a little reflection today, I decided to search for what the key learning was from all of these experiences.

Here are the 3 key learnings that I came up with.

#1. Acknowledge Your Fears, But Don’t Accept Them

Even though I didn’t accomplish my handstand or back flip goal yet, I at least had the discipline to show up.

#2. Make Consistent Deposits

Even though the action of showing up was a small win, I also look at it as another deposit into my courage bank.

Consistent deposits, no matter how small, will eventually lead to bigger gains.

#3. Never Give Up

This one is self-explanatory.

One of my favorite mentors, Robin Sharma, said it best:

“Discipline is built by consistently performing small acts of courage.”

So keep moving forward towards your goals, no matter how small the steps.

Always search to learn from your experiences, and try to pull something positive from them.

And lastly, never give up.

Which Of These 4 Fitness Goals Should I Achieve First?

After reflecting on these experiences, I feel much better about it now, and I’m really looking forward to stepping back on the field again, to make another courage deposit towards my fitness goals.

Let’s see how big of a deposit I’ll make in the coming weeks.

But I need your help in deciding which fitness goal to go after first.

In the comments below, let me know if you want me to master the kip up again, the handstand, the back flip, or the splits?

I plan on documenting my journey over on my other YouTube vlog channel, BradGouthroTV.

So if you’re interested in helping me stay accountable to my fitness goals, go subscribe to my BradGouthroTV YouTube channel here.

Thank you for hearing me out and allowing me to share my wins and losses with you.

Much love, and keep Living Lean.


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Question Of The Day:

  • Which fitness goal do you want to see me achieve first: handstand, back flip, kip up, or splits?
  • Can you do any of these moves?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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17 responses to “I Failed At My Fitness Goals

  1. Hey brad,
    I know where your coming from. 3 1/2 years ago I was 465 pounds. I got down to 190 then back up to 230. I’m now 220 and on my 3rd week of your live lean afterburn program. Sometimes it good to be hard on yourself to make sure you get up, get back out, and try again. Thanks fir everything you do.

  2. Hey Brad,
    Thank you for sharing. This is one of the reasons why you inspire me, you are transparent and that’s very unique of you. I have experienced this before as well, not only with fitness but also through life. I have learned that by overcoming our fears and failures we become stronger. Yes, you are right, we need to focus on our achievements no matter how big or small they might be. We need to move forward and never give up!
    Here is a video that always reminds me to keep moving forward, hope you and all live leaners like it.

    Short version:

  3. You wrote that you were “determined to attempt my first back flip.”
    A couple of things. First, this is a mental thing you must overcome. You wrote “your failed attempt.” Actually, according to your story you never attempted a back flip.

    As a former Special Operator who knows about mental conditioning, my advice is to start practice at home on a mattress. Practice backflips, don’t attempt them. Get use to the require movements of your body to conduct a backflip. Have your finance’ help flip you over as you practice, kinda like a gymnast coach would his students. You do enough on the mattress to develop a feel of what is needed and then move onto grass. Then you’ll be doing backflips on pavement and floors. You must conquer the required movements.
    YOu have the physical strength them, now you must develop the mental strength. So, practice in a way that you are safe from sever injury to your neck or spine.
    Then don’t go out and attempt – you must go out and do.

  4. Thank you for sharing and keeping us motivated Brad. I’ve just turned 41 in June and after finally making up my mind that I’m going to finally commit to regular daily exercise, I broke my wrist while rollerskating with my children. I know, it sucks:-(
    I still continue doing what I can though, which is still taking the stairs at work daily in lieu of the elevator, squats, lunges, walking, and watching my diet.
    I’ve been a one-armed bandit for about 3 weeks now, and I’ll be that way for another 3-4, but I’m letting everyone know now that when my cast comes off, “Watch Out!!”
    Thanks again & keep the menus/workouts coming. 🙂

  5. This was so helpful for me. I even printed out some of your encouraging words and I am going to post them through out my house to keep me moving forward. Thanks

  6. Thanks for your honesty and just what I needed to hear after over protein -ing at dinner and then feeling intimidated at the gym I half assed my biceps and shoulders workout. I was ready to quit after ten minutes but managed to pull through 45 mins and then I left. After walking out the door the ho hum attitude was starting but reading this sot reminds me that something is better than nothing and be proud that got stuff done. Now to move on to a fresh start tomorrow and back to killing the workout.
    Keep up the great work it’s much appreciated on this side of the he world.

  7. You ALWAYS reach your goals with your persistence and “go for it ” attitude. This is yet another set goal that you will achieve…sometimes you can’t just eat the whole brownie…you gotta conquer it one bite at a time!!

  8. Thanks for sharing Brad. We’re only human and sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Human nature I guess. I’m sure you WILL achieve that feat in the near future.

    Keep up the good work man. We all appreciate what you do for us Live Leaners.

    Take Care Bro!

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