Solid Inspiration

J Keith Hall

Alex Carneiro is constantly challenging himself to improve and inspiring others through his own journey

Alex Carneiro wears a lot of hats.  Trainer, kinesiologist, nutritionist, international cover model, fitness coach, blogger and television host.  So how is it that he defines what he does?

“I like to influence people to make positive changes in their lives through fitness and a healthy, active lifestyle,” Alex says “I’m always trying to help others push themselves beyond what they believed they could do.  Most people don’t initially realize that in order to change their bodies they need to first change their perspective of how they think and see life.  Once a person’s mindset is shifted then their habits can be modified to help them achieve their lifestyle goals.”

“So, if I was to summarize what I do in a word, I’d have to describe myself as an influencer.”

Motivation

Alex’s journey toward a life that now revolves around fitness and health started around the age of 17 years old.  “Growing up, I spent too much time on the computer playing online games. My older brother decided to take me to his local gym and get out of the house a bit.  I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing all those bigger guys training, that’s what motivated me to want to start this journey.  That’s when my passion for working out really started.”  

Alex says he originally didn’t know if he was working out because he wanted to look good for girls.  “I’m pretty sure my motivation was bigger than that.  I kept doing it (working out) for 11 more years and onward.  I think once the results started showing and people around me starting noticing,  I felt like I got hooked.” 

The motivations of that young teen has matured over the years.  The force that pushed Alex when he first began and the force that keeps him going today are totally different.   “I think that anything in life that wants to keep moving forward needs motivation.  That motivation needs to evolve over time in order to be sustainable.   The energy that drives me today is even different than the one from last year.

“Today my motivation for doing what I do comes 100% from within.  I’m constantly challenging myself and improvement is what I seek.   But it’s not all about me, the force that drives me to want to be better is the same force I want others to learn so they can apply it to their lifestlye and circumstances. Currently my goal is to be able to influence more and more people.  

Process

“Most people focus only on how they look.” Alex says  “Not a healthy or functional body.  Most would rather gain muscle, lose body fat, and compromise other aspects of their health without thinking how it could affect negatively affect them later.”

Alex wants his trainees to understand that they must have a healthy mentality first.  He wants his clients and trainees to understand that achieving healthy sustainable results will take time and that rushing things with unhealthy practices will not benefit them in the long run.   Only after adopting a healthy mindset and vision, he has his trainees focus their time in learning about nutrition.

If I could go back in time and learn more about nutrition, I would spend more time on that than anything else.  You cannot change your body in any appreciable positive manner if you don’t feed it properly.  People tend to under eat or overeat and don’t understand why their bodies aren’t changing.”

I’ll hear things like: “ Dude, I’m doing everything and my body isn’t changing, what’s wrong?”

When Alex replies to these questions with a simple “Do you know what you are eating and how much of it daily?”  He says the most common answer is usually that they ‘have an idea’.  “Having an idea of what you eat is not knowing what you eat.  There lies a huge problem.  In addition, most people read too many articles that shouldn’t apply to them. Reading what your favorite athlete in a sport does doesn’t mean one should just right on their protocol. That protocol works great for them, yet that doesn’t mean it will work for you.”

That’s the beauty of fitness training and working to achieve your goals, there are so many roads one can take to get there.

Who do you follow for inspiration?

I believe that the most powerful and effective motivation will always come from oneself.  I never aspire to be anyone else but the best version of myself. However, two names I can use as reference as people whom I listen too carefully and what they have to say are Greg Plitt and Tony Robbins.

What’s the next frontier? 

The next step in my life is to discover new ways to help others with their wellness and fitness goals. It’s challenging because everyone on this planet sees and thinks differently.  A few things  are universal, but fitness has so many beliefs that it will be a goal of mine to unite those with my philosophies.  However, what a lot people need to understand is that there isn’t a lot of right or wrong philosophy in fitness.  In fitness as long as the basic principle is movement and balanced eating, it most likely will be effective.

What’s your training regimen?

A lot of fitness models, athletes, and enthusiasts follow a training strict regimen.  I think it’s a phenomenal way to get started and not get overwhelmed.  However after a decade of doing this I got bored one day.  I didn’t want Tuesday to be leg day, Wednesdays to be shoulder day etc.  I didn’t want to do the same exercises that in all due honesty weren’t making me a better athlete or functionally fit athlete.

Working out like that was all for looks. I got over it. I had lost my passion for training.

After that I decided that I would mix things up, change my style of training.  I started to focus on things I had never done before such as deadlifts, snatches, body weight movements, plyometrics, and so on.  My workouts these days are so much more passionate because I don’t always know what I will do.  

Don’t get me wrong, I have a clear idea of what muscle group I will train.  But not the reps and sets etc.  I will keep pushing in that specific workout until I feel satisfied.  I don’t have a strict regimen anymore and I am open to several other styles of training; not just hypertrophy and strength training.  

The two things I am still strict about are cardio and core training.  I enjoy these two in the AM when I’m fasted and I will do them at least 4 times a week on the dot.   These days my workouts always consist of a powerlifting movement in which I won’t go higher than 4-6 reps. I’ll do some hypertrophy (size) focus training were the reps are around 8-12 and then I will either finish with some METCON circuits or HIIT style movements on the sled, battle ropes, or farmers walk.

Anything to keep me challenged.

Diet

Nutrition is everything.  Without the proper nutrition for your individual goals…. than forget about it.   Spend hours in the gym and you still won’t see the results you want. That’s what people don’t think about.  

I personally used to be a very one dimensional person when it came to nutrition.  It was the hardcore old school bodybuilder talapia, chicken and low glycemic carbs or nothing.  Over time I started changing that mindset and approached a more sustainable and realistic nutritional practice. That’s flexible dieting.

I don’t like the word “diet” in any vocabulary so I call it “real life eating”.

I do keep track of my macros 95% of the week. Using my fitbit watch and my smartphone app I have a decent idea of the macros I am eating and my energy expenditure for that day.  That being said, I believe everyone needs to find what works for them.  Some athletes I know preach Paleo, others preach something else.  At the end you need to see what works best for you by attempting different nutritional lifestyles.  

In the end it’s not a diet that’s going to make you happy.  It will be a lifestlye.

Misconceptions & Mistakes

People sometimes think results will happen fast and easy.  Look, it’s not easy to get in shape, but it is easy to remain there once you’ve created the needed habits to get there.  It’s important that people re-wire how they think.  You can’t be only worried about your looks and do anything they can to get to that goal as quickly as possible.   First and foremost, you should worry about your health.  How is your cardiovascular health?  Are you developing the habit of exercise and being active?  Then, you’ll start feeling good both physically and mentally – that will take you through to whatever goal you desire. 

The Alex Carneiro personal transformation was years in the making

Alex Carneiro

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Love thyself.  Don’t’ compare yourself to others that have been on their own journey for years already. Appreciate the path and learn new ways to keep it enjoyable.