Tuesday, January 9th, 2018: Lessons from 2017

January 8, 2018

There will be an Olympic Lifting Class at 7:30pm today!

10 good mornings
10 situps
5 deadlifts
5 front squats

Deadlifts –
3×8 @65-75%

“The High Jump”
3min AMRAP x 5 Rounds

10 Front squat 185/135
10 box jumps 30/24
Max Cal Row
Rest 3 min

L1: 75/55
L2: 95/65,
L3: 115/80,
L4: 135/95,
L5: 155/105

** track cals rowed for all 5 rounds separately then total for one final score



As we begin 2018, I wanted to share some things I learned last year.

None of these will be about fitness, not directly anyway. This is more of a personal piece on things that I learned, or at the least, were reaffirmed to me in 2017. I hope you enjoy this email and find some value from it.


1. You eventually have to start trusting again.

In 2017, I got into a relationship with a girl who shows me so much love that at times I suspect she has ulterior motives. Of course, she doesn’t. But, as someone who’s been cheated on by girls he loved twice; and whose mum left his dad when he was 4 because she, too, was cheating – left me jaded and resentful toward the idea of relationships and, as bad as this sounds, women.
I spent years not letting people in and being an asshole to people who genuinely cared.
And it’s no way to live. Honestly.
This was the biggest lesson I learned this year: You have to, eventually, start fresh and give people a chance. Not everyone is out to hurt you or get you.
Will you be hurt again? I dunno, probably. But what’s the alternative? Spending your entire life alone and stand-offish because of something that happened years ago? You can’t blame people who haven’t done anything to you for the actions of assholes in your past.
(Ladies: This goes without saying, but obviously I’m going to point it out – same goes for you. Not every guy is an asshole. Don’t let the few who are genuine dicks ruin it for the decent guys out there.)

2. Sleep.

This year I put a heavy emphasis on my sleep. The result? I have been infinitely more productive. While the “Sleep when I’m dead” soundbites make for good Instagram motivational memes, in reality, it seldom pans out and sleep is super important.

3. The best productivity hack: Get a whiteboard.

No, but seriously. Planning out my weeks/months and scheduling things in on a whiteboard that you can see everyday will make you so much more productive. There’s also a strong sense of achievement as you cross things off.

I’m annoyed I didn’t do this sooner.

4. Don’t do it for the money.

2017 was the first year that Physiqonomics became a ‘business’. But here’s the thing: Even if I wasn’t making money from it, I’d still send out these weekly emails; I’d still write the articles you guys enjoy; and I’d still create Instagram content. (You know, like I have been doing since 2015.)

Why? Because I genuinely like doing all these things.

I was offered plenty of opportunities last year to make more money but I’d have to greatly reduce doing the things that I derive pleasure from – so I kindly declined.

My point is: Money is awesome, but don’t let it take the joy away from the things you enjoy.

But, at the same time: Passion isn’t enough. Sure, I enjoy the creative and coaching aspects of my job. But there are also all the parts you guys don’t see – the admin, the editing, keeping the website maintained, and a host of other things. If I only did the things I enjoy doing, everything else would fall apart. You can’t only do what you’re passionate about because even your ‘passion’ comes packed with things that suck. In fact, when people say something is ‘their passion’, what they’re really saying is they love it so much they don’t mind doing the things that suck, too.

5. Aggressively prioritise your life.

It’s common financial advice that you should cut out your £5 Starbucks latte every morning so you can save money. I think this advice is dumb.

I love coffee. If I want to go to Starbucks and spend £5 everyday, you best believe I’ll be up in dat bishhh makin’ it rain like I’m a rap star because it makes me happy and I enjoy it. But, there are things that I don’t really care for. I don’t drink alcohol, or even go out much (loud noises and people drain me) so I simply don’t do it.

I don’t care for TV – so I don’t have one. Instead I spend upwards of £600/mo buying new books.

Find the things you love and direct your energy towards doing more of those while not bothering with things you’re either ambivalent toward or don’t care for.

(I learned this from Ramit Sethi. Also, Ramit’s book, “I Will Teach You to Be Rich“, is awesome and I highly recommend it to everyone.)

6. “Put down the phone and pick up a pencil.”

I realised at the start of 2017 that I was heavily distracted. Spending hours on social media in the guise of work. It wasn’t work. It was me fucking around.

I committed to remedying this issue by setting my phone’s screensaver to this:

A small reminder that every time I picked up my phone, if it wasn’t important – go do something creative. Resultantly, I spent WAY less time on social media. It’s the best decision I’ve made. I’m way more productive and find myself more engaged in whatever task I’m doing.

7. “Virtue is inseparable from courage. Like the courage to do something unpopular. Take risks for the benefit of others.” – Nicholas Nassim Taleb.

We’re constantly bombarded with the idea of putting ourselves first. And look, I get that, and fully understand the importance of doing it. But, inadvertently, we’re becoming so egocentric that we’re forgetting how important it is to look out for others. And one thing I learned this year was how important it is to do that. My goal for the new year is to try and help people as much as I can FOR FREE – through these emails and the other forms of content I create.

And look. I know you guys aren’t stupid. Of course I’m going to sell to you from time to time (there’s a pitch at the end of this email). But my hope is that you buy the things I create, or want to hire me as your coach because you like me and trust me and find my content of value.

8. You don’t “have all the time in the world.”

This is the biggest lie I see perpetuated constantly. “Oh, don’t worry, you’re young – chill, enjoy life. You have all the time in the world.”

Truth is, you don’t have all the time in the world; don’t listen to these people. Time will pass. And it will pass REALLY quickly. Work your face off – rest, too – but be super focused on your goals and where you want to be.

As a corollary to this: You also don’t have all the time in the world to change your body and health. There will come a time when it might be too late to change things. So start as soon as you can and keep going.

9. Don’t listen to anyone who hasn’t got skin in the game.

Another guiding principle in my life that helps me sniff out bullshit artists. If someone is selling you fat loss “coaching” but doesn’t have proof their methods work on people besides them – like, you know, the majority of Instagram ‘models’ – they’re full of shit.

Same goes for anything: Does your business lecturer at University have a successful business? No? Why are you listening to them? Does the “business guru” who’s charging you $/£1000/mo for business coaching have proof his methods have helped others create a successful business, no? Why are you listening to them?

I’ve lost fat myself, and these methods have helped hundreds of people transform their bodies – men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Here’s my proof.

10. Help people JUST BECAUSE.

Not because you expect something back in the future.

11. If you enjoyed a book, blog post, podcast, video, etc., share it with everyone.

And email the creator to let them know. This makes others aware of good content, but more importantly, it keeps the creator motivated to create more great content. People don’t do this enough and the world needs more of it.

Oh, and..,

12. Fuck kale.


If you enjoyed this:

Someone recently asked me, “What advice would you give to a 22-year old just starting to get his life together?”

In response, I ended up writing 3000+ words on the advice I’d give my 22-year old self if I could go back in time. It ended up as a collection of things I’ve learned up till now and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

It’s for members only, so if you’re a member you can login here and read it. (You can find it under the non-fitness articles tab.)

If you’re not a member, you might as well become one. It’s only £5/mo ($6.70/mo) and you get access to dozens more articles, videos, audio content (and loads more) that will totally pay back your investment ten-fold.

Get more details and become a member here

I’m curious

What did you learn in 2017? Hit reply and let me know. I look forward to reading your responses.

– Your boy, Aadam