Reality Check With Steve and Beck

July 4, 2012 | By | 13 Replies More

The reality of getting in shape for most is that the effort and drive don’t last but a few weeks–sometimes less. Over-enthusiasm can take a toll and burn people out out quickly. You must make it a gradual, manageable push forward. Two hours a day six days a week is NOT a successful strategy.

Becky is a good example. She’s learned from her past “fast-and-furious false starts”: Motivation has to be controlled, especially in the beginning. That helped her recently when she incurred a serious knee injury while walking our dogs. As she mentioned on our F4X video, she stepped in a hole and did some serious damage. She had to have surgery and go through rehab–and during those four months of down time, she gained weight and lost muscle.

Once she got the okay from her doctor, it was hard for her to hold back. She did not like the way she looked and wanted her in-shape body back fast; however, lessons had been learned…

She started easy–with the four-exercise Lean program for a month, two to three workouts a week, not pushing too hard at first but gradually ramping up her effort on those key movements. She trained at home with our 50-pound PowerBlock set and an adjustable bench, sometimes adding some abdominal work to the end of her Lean workouts.


After a month, she re-instated her gym membership and started the Shape program, once again breaking into the new exercises in that more extensive program easily at first. Her results have been spectacular. She has been on the Shape program for about two months now. Yes, she still has some pounds to lose, but as you can see from her photo, muscle shape and tone are coming back fast! And her knee is stronger than ever thanks to moderate-weight squats using F4X.

Her workouts are on hold for the moment, as she is visiting relatives in Texas (her twin sister took this photo with her phone, so no spray tan, no ideal studio lighting, no stylist–just reality and her hair blowing in the wind). When she return, she will get back into it–with a brief break-in week…

One thing that made it even more difficult to keep her enthusiasm under control over the past few months was that she knew she was taking a trip to see her relatives over the summer. We just kept reminding each other to train hard but don’t overtrain and burn out. You must make your workouts challenging–but enjoy the ride.

Of course, you don’t want to just go through the motions either. As we said, challenge yourself. A specific event can help you push yourself–like Becky’s trip to Texas to visit folks she hadn’t seen in years. She wanted to be in good shape. No, she’s not at her tip-top best, but she is definitely much better than she was only a few months ago after rehabbing her knee injury.


As for Steve, he has a birthday coming up: number 53. The fact that it always happens in the middle of summer gets him motivated even more. Birthdays are milestones, and they can help fuel your motivation; however, eating and exercising to get very lean can snowball into overtraining if you’re not careful. Even with his extensive experience, he has to temper it and not slip over the edge.

As ¬†you can see from his in-the-gym photo–once again, no ideal lighting or spray tan–he is almost there with about three weeks to go.

We hope our experiences help motivate you. Just always remember to keep it under control and enjoy the journey. That’s how you continue to progress–gradually. And also how you stay built for life.

Steve & Becky Holman


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  1. Denyse Turcot says:

    well, I sure would like to make changes like I have seen on your site…and targeted to more the same age…I know I can do it…but what will keep me doing it…

    • Steve Holman says:

      Consistent weight training with F4X is the key. The way to stay consistent is to continue to remind yourself that it is about your well-being, not just looking good. It’s for your current health and your future health. Once you stick with a plan for a month, you should be addicted. It makes you feel that good.

  2. Regina Schmidt says:

    I’m a road warrior and am hoping I can incorporate the weight training the majority of the time. There are times I’m in a location where there’s no access to gyms (i.e very small towns). Do you have any suggestions for possibly alternate exercises when gyms aren’t available?

    • Steve Holman says:

      Gina, resistance bands can work for many exercises, such as upright rows, lateral raises and arm work.

      For legs you may want to try step-back lunges. Have a chair at your side for balance, put all your bodyweight on one leg and step back with the other, essentially doing a one-legged squat. Touch your trailing knee to the floor, then drive back up to the starting position, keeping your bodyweight on your working leg. Do that for 10 reps, then switch legs. Go back and forth for as many sets as you need. Because you are not resting, you will get breathless, so it’s good cardio as well.

      For chest you can do pushups in F4X style, and for back you can try towel rows. Open a door halfway, loop a towel around both sides of the doorknob and put a foot on each side of the door. Squat down slightly and lean your torso back as you extend your arms. From the arm’s-extended position, pull yourself up toward the door and contract your back muscles. Vary the angle of your torso for more or less resistance.

      We will try to get some video or photos of these exercises up here on the site soon.

  3. Regina Schmidt says:

    Do you have any suggestions for possibly alternate exercises when gyms aren’t available?

  4. Krishna says:

    Looks like I am the “odd-woman-out” here, but I am enthusiastic anyway! I was NEVER interested in anything like this before, but out of desperation, I have been searching for help- for three years now, but found nothing that would do what I really need. Chi exercises help with flexibility, but I need more. Yoga creates more pain and everything else wears me out and leaves me flat in bed. I am a retired nurse living in India. I had to retire due to Knee injuries and Fibromyalgia. I control the FIbro with natural means, but I do get flare-ups often, and live with constant pain. It restricts my movements and I cannot lift anything over one kilo, and I am sore to the touch EVERYWHERE. I tended to be “chunky” all my life, but after I hit 63, I just BALOONED out- especially on the belly. ( I had an emergency C-section 30 years ago and always had a “sack of potatoes” there after) It looks TERRIBLE and makes even more stress on my bones. ! I gave up grains myself on my own and did more raw , and that helped, but I was still a BLOB! I had to find something I could do and that I knew would actually make a difference in my musculature as my spine is collapsing. I got your program and began the very same hour. I was doubtful that I could even do it at all, but I started lifting 32oz plastic cylinder shaped bottles filled with water. ( one side at a time) I did the reps with the breathing exactly like you said. WOW! I could do the lifts and I warmed up and got a good sweat. I used the wall to push on and if I couldn;t keep standing while doing lifts, I sat. I felt GREAT. No spasms or cramps and I just felt ALIVE. Let’s see how I am tomorrow am, but I am very hopeful. You cannot imagine how many of us there are out here suffering and thinking we cannot MOVE or we will shatter. But when you don’t move it , you loose it, and then slowly die. If this works for me, you could have a whole new market for rehab of the terrible affliction. I also just found out that microcurrent technology can help Fibro, but even if you are “cured”, then you are still left with a useless flaccid body. I will keep you informed of progress. I will take photos ( YUCK!) Thank you for sharing this program. wish me luck! your friend, Krishna

    • Steve Holman says:


      So glad you gave the program a chance. It will do great things for you if you are consistent with it.

      Yes, good luck–and if you ever have questions, we are here for you.

      Steve & Becky

  5. Robin says:

    So is everything sent “online” even all the extra books and cds? do you log into a website? How long is my access allowed for? After the trial $27 is there more money I will owe? I am a 40something mom and want to try this but need to know everything up front.

    • Steve Holman says:

      Robin, yes, you download all of the products. They are digital e-books and audio files. We keep ours in a folder on our computer for easy access. Some people print out the OSNB e-book for reference. You can print it all or parts–like the workout programs.

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