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“Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day…”

“…and neither was your body”. If there was an official list of Top 10 P90X quotes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day…” easily clinches a spot and face-palms all comers. This simple/insightful line puts your fitness journey in perspective.

So here’s a double-dose– a quick history lesson AND a post on the perspective of patience (a topic you’re overly familiar with by now but one that’s so important and frequently asked about it just keeps coming up!). First, the history:

The whole “Rome Wasn’t Built in a day” idiom is the English translation of a reeeeeally old French term referring to the power and world influence of ancient Rome. The Ancient Rome many historians admire as a place of enlightenment, culture and at times brutal influence didn’t start awesome– it began as a small cluster of humble farms. Rome’s power and modern influence grew as it marched across the world and built out its empire over hours, days, weeks, months and years… 1500+ years if you’re asking.

In the same spirit (not 1500 years, luckily) your new body won’t be ripped, toned and ready to leap small children and household pets in single bounds over night, over the course of a few short weeks or even a month. After all, the “90” in P90X comes from “90 Days”– 90 consecutive days of eating clean nutrition and following the workouts. And P90X isn’t alone– Turbofire requires 90 days as well. Insanity is 60 days. Asylum is 30– but only after you’ve completed P90X or Insanity.

Obviously, there’s a trend here… these programs aren’t “jump around, lift some weights and in a week you’re magically transformed” from “Soft You” to “Greek God You”. These programs require dedication and patience and if you’re not ready to buckle down on that, you won’t see the change you’re after. So as you dig in… remember these critical sanity-savers:

Patience (The whole “…built in a day” thing):

This is a frequent topic around here because it’s the number one thing I’m asked (“How do I get results FAST) and hey…I understand–we all want things FAST. You came to P90X, Insanity or any other Beachbody Program for a relatively quick fix– the commercials promise 90 days. While 90 days isn’t short (it’s 1/4 of a year, after all)– you shouldn’t expect eye-popping results any sooner. In fact, I didn’t really see (notice) visible change until day 60+. Don’t’ get me wrong, you’ll notice changes– loose clothing, more energy, feeling good– but expecting them immediately will only get you frustrated. Keep things in perspective and know that as you keep at it, things WILL start happening.

Your Starting Line Matters

We’re all different and come into the game at different starting lines. Some people’s starting lines will get them visible results in 30 days. Others, 90. Still others, 120 or more.  Don’t’ get discouraged– this is about you, not about the dude on the TV who’s rocking a six-pack and more veins than gold mine mother lode. Some dudes in the P90X commercials went FOUR ROUNDS of P90X before looking like they stepped off a magazine cover. Some went two. Others went one but made crazy sacrifice (super limited calories) to do it. You can achieve the same results– but be realistic with where you’re starting from. The person wearing 16% body fat will see end results faster than the person with 32%. But both will reach the same goal if both are consistent.

Consistency & The End Goal

Nothing kills momentum like looking for your changes day by day. Look at changes (visual and internal) in relation to your starting point and final goals. IE–if you’re at day 30, you’re not at day 90 and shouldn’t expect to see Day 90 results. Just remember your end goal and keep your head down, doing what it takes every day, to get there. Take your workouts day by day and don’t take detours. Stay dedicated, kick excuses in the pants and DO. Houses aren’t built over night. Foundation is laid, framing goes up and all kinds of internal things happen- plumbing, dry-walling, ventilation— not all visible if you were looking at the house form the street. But sure enough– as every day that house is a worked on a new piece comes together until suddenly you’re looking at a finished house ready for move-in… kind of like Rome.

Kind of like your body.

To plug in, keep the patience, stay the course and stay accountable for awesome results, email me at or make me your free coach right here


3 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Jim says:

    It’s great to have you separate the marketing from the reality. A lot of people think 90 days=six pack abs no matter what kind of shape they are in when they start. Like you said, it takes some longer than others, but if you want it bad enough you’ll do it no matter where you are when you start and focus on the end result. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.

  2. Sean says:

    Great Post Dan!

  3. Karen says:

    awesome read and very well put! I will definitely share this post!

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