How strength training can improve your life — and make you a better leader

A business can only ascend to the level of its leader — and if you are not leading from a position of maximum health, your company will fail to rise to a higher level of success.

It’s critical to lead by example in every level of your business, says Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer at MaxStrength Fitness. And that means taking the time to focus not just on your business but on yourself. Doing so is not a luxury; it is a fundamental responsibility to take care of your physical and mental health.

“If I’m not leading by example, if I’m not taking my health seriously, if I’m not creating balance in my life, if I’m not consistent and outperforming, then how can I expect my team to do so?” says Tomaszewski. “If I, as the leader, am not going to invest in my health to create the opportunity for maximum fitness and performance, why should my team? And what opportunities am I missing?”

Smart Business spoke with Tomaszewski about how investing just 20 minutes twice a week in strength training can improve every aspect of your life, both in and out of the board room.

How can strength training help business leaders build their companies?

You can’t build your wealth without health. Your health is the most valuable thing you have — your physical stamina, self-discipline, those things transcend the board room. 

High-level achievers build fitness into their routine and make it a priority; if you don’t, it will suffer. There is a false belief that you have to spend hours in the gym to see a result, but with high-intensity strength training, you can get a profound improvement in your health and fitness in much less time. When you have your health, you can lead at a higher level.

If your energy is down, if you’re not sleeping well, if you’re constantly stressed, which leaders tend to be, your production and output suffer. Leadership suffers. The best achievers take care of their health first and foremost, which makes taking care of everything else easier. It’s not that people don’t have time to take care of themselves but that they don’t make it a priority.

How can business leaders prioritize strength training and better health?

Too often, it doesn’t become a priority until there is a heart attack, or severe joint pain. Then they appreciate the value of fitness. When you take care of your health, you see a level of productivity you want to maintain.

Many younger leaders have parents they are becoming caregivers for and see the impact of aging. They are realizing strength training can relieve stress and improve mental health.

After age 30, people experience the loss of muscle mass at a rate of 3 to 5 percent per decade, creating detriments to health and fitness. To combat that, you need to move. Exercise. Get enough sleep. Focus on the mental through meditation or prayer. Focus on nutrition and avoid over-processed foods.

How can strength training make you a more effective leader?

Strength training offers a holistic approach that creates energy, mental clarity and better wellness. People feel significant changes in four to six weeks and experience changes in six to eight weeks.

Overall, you feel better, productivity improves, and there is a compound effect. Once you begin investing in yourself, you are more apt to eat better because you want to continue what you’ve done at the gym. By investing in your physical health, you are clearer in the boardroom and clearer on expectations. Once you knock down that one pillar and improve your strength and functional ability, it becomes a domino effect.

Especially in a sales role, and as a CEO, you need to take care of yourself. You can’t be wheezing, you can’t be overweight. Perception matters. You are selling not just your business and your product; you are selling yourself. It is critical take care of your physical and mental health, and doing so has influence in all areas of your life. It’s the quality of the exercise that produces change, not the frequency. You can see a profound result very quickly.

Strength training and lifestyle changes allow you to enjoy what you’ve built into retirement. Too many people spend 30 years building a business and then can’t enjoy it because they haven’t focused on their health. Maintaining your health has an impact in all areas of business and life. People come because it’s 20 minutes twice a week and stay because of the results they see in 20 minutes twice a week. The rewards are life-changing and can give leaders a new lease on life.

Jeff Tomaszewski

Chief Life Transformer


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