Adam Bornstein is the man behind Born Fitness, a fitness brand “designed to help you believe that your limitations are just a perception and not a reality.” Having written books on fitness, worked as the fitness editor at Men’s Health magazine, and as the Editorial Director for LIVESTRONG.COM, Bornstein has earned the title of Fitness Expert ten times over.
When Adam decided to start Born Fitness, the idea was to help bridge the gap between health education and action, in effect helping everyone become a fitness expert in their own right, and in their own life.
The Born Fitness Way
A big component of success in your wellness journey, according to Adam, is looking at the process of achieving your goals as opposed to focusing your attention only on the ultimate end result you hope to reach. Born Fitness doesn’t break health and fitness news––it helps make sense of it.
“We live in a 24-hour news cycle where hundreds of thousands of articles about health are being published everyday. On one hand, it’s great to have all of this information; on the other, it’s confusing! You have one study on this side telling you not to eat fat, fat is bad. Then on the other, you have one telling you to eat fat. You’re standing in the middle, thinking, ‘What am I supposed to believe?’”
What Adam tries to do with Born Fitness is drown out the noise and simplify the approach to wellness. “For most people, health and fitness is overwhelming,” he says. “It’s a burden to think about what to eat, what not to eat, and what exercises to do at the gym.” Born Fitness tries to help with that by being a single voice on both sides of the fence, and translating information into something that makes sense and is actionable for people. “Let us be the ones to read everything and be your filter for what’s important and applicable to your life,” says Adam.
While exercise should be stress-relieving, it can also be stress-inducing when you’re trying to figure out which fitness regimen works for you. Born Fitness’s approach to online health coaching focuses on personalized solutions for clients as opposed to standardizing one singular method. Adam is a strong believer in meeting clients where they are in life to create a solution based on their unique goals, abilities, and lifestyles in order to ensure successful health journeys.
“What makes our coaching different is that we are a concierge service,” Adam says. “Many other companies have cookie-cutter formulas for their clients, whereas we cater to the individual. The worst thing we could do is recommend for you to work out five times a week when your job only lets you work out twice.”
“I’ve made every fitness mistake possible,” laughs Adam, as he goes on to explain how knowing what works for you fitness-wise is a byproduct of knowing what doesn’t work. He adds that the secret to a great workout is picking one that you can do consistently for the longest amount of time while pushing yourself hard. Workout results are a combination of not only focus and intensity, but consistency, as well. That means that it’s crucial to ask yourself whether your chosen workout routine is doable and sustainable for you.
On the nutrition side of things, Adam explains that one of the biggest mistakes we tend to make is constantly looking for that one pesky culprit that may be causing weight gain, or hindering weight loss.
“Everyone wants to say that carbs or gluten or dessert or dairy is the reason we’re fat, and that if we just get rid of that part of our diet, everything will get better,” says Adam. The main reason that most people’s diet plans fail, though, is because they burn out. They spend a few weeks following a restrictive diet and feeling incredible, but eventually they begin missing the foods that they cut out and regress. “The next thing you know, two weeks have gone by and they’re in worse shape than they were when they started dieting.”
The other major issue when it comes to nutrition is setting unrealistic expectations and quitting when we don’t see immediate results, when instead we should be patient, make allowances for ourselves, and create dietary flexibility.
According to Adam, proper nutrition isn’t about being perfect. There’s no reason for people to think that they can’t eat cereal or that a hamburger is the worst thing in the world. When it comes to creating a realistic diet plan, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s room for error and room to just be human.
As for implementing solutions like supplements into your diet plan, Adam says the key is to recognize that pills and powders are not a magic solution to help you achieve your wellness goals. What they provide is essentially a good way to outsource nutrients that you know you may not be getting a lot of through the food that you’re eating, such as protein. “It’s not going to make everything better, but you can take the willpower you have left to overcome what you can realistically change,” he says.
Journey vs. End Game
“In school, when you stop focusing on the grade you want and you start thinking about what you have to do to get that grade, you’re going to look up one day and have that grade––and it’s the same in health and diet.”
Born Fitness refers to its community of clients as the Born “family,” and it’s easy to see that the trust, responsibility, and relationships that the business is built on support that word choice.
“I know all my clients by name,” says Adam. “When you enter someone’s nutrition, fitness, and health, it becomes very personal.” Adam believes it’s important above all to treat his clients first and foremost as people, because someone’s belief that their fitness program is going to work for them comes from their confidence and trust in him. Sometimes, what keeps clients from throwing in the towel is knowing that they’re part of a family and that not just Adam, but the entire Born community has their back and is committed to their success.
That level of personalized attention and trust that is embodied in the Born approach is also evident when it comes to Adam’s respect for individuals’ motivations for getting healthy. Whether it’s wanting to be healthy enough to play with their kids or wanting to be fit so that they can eat cheesecake every week, everybody has a different goal, and all of them are entirely valid. No matter what their background is or what fitness goals they have, Adam is happy to help.
As for his own goals? Adam wants to continue doing whatever he can, no matter how small, to help people live happier, healthier lives.
“My biggest weakness is that I think I can help the world,” he says. “Until someone proves me wrong, I’m going to keep trying.”