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Resistance Quest is my fitness brand. I am Mark Ludas, a NASM-certified personal trainer with six years of experience in the fitness industry.

My philosophy is fairly simple. I am not your average trainer. You do not have to go on a meal plan, do cardio five days a week outside of training, and eat a pound of chicken per day, “or else I can’t train you.” Those who readily do these things are “easy” clients whose results come easy. That type of client is great, but I also like a challenge.

You see, nothing worth doing ever happened without effort. If you put in 10% effort, you can’t expect 100% results. But if your life is all over the place—obligations, needs, bills, et cetera—and all you can put in, right now, today, is that 10%, you will get 100% more results than the person who does nothing.

Sometimes people are only willing to give 10% because they are afraid of what more effort would look like: struggle, discomfort, huffing and puffing, soreness, shaking, and the prospect of failure.

And for many trainers, as soon as they see the client can’t or won’t give more than 10%, it’s over. That client is “lazy” and a lost cause.

I don’t see fitness that way, though. I say it’s fine to only give 10%, as long as you can accept and be happy with 10% results. But if all you want out of life is 100% results—whether to have low bodyfat, lift heavy weights, obtain incredible endurance, or achieve maximal longevity and general health—then you’ll never be happy. Never move forward. Never reach your goal.

Many trainers give up on “difficult” clients because these trainers don’t possess the ability—patience, root-cause analysis, and actual knowledge—to know how to help them. These trainers only want clients who are ALREADY motivated, ALREADY focused, ALREADY disciplined, and ALREADY fit, for that matter.

That’s not me. As a trainer, I help people identify what percentage of effort they can give and I HOLD THEM TO IT. If they are unhappy with the results, I keep them realistic and clearminded: that if they want more results, it’s going to require more effort. And then, when they are ready to work harder, I give them the tools and encouragement to execute on that effort.

It is this approach that has kept me in business as a self-employed personal trainer for over three years with clients ranging in age from 15 to 72. That’s how I work, and that’s how I view the idea of “fitness”: it is not a static, narrow concept. It is the act of identifying what “your best” is and executing it to the fullest, improving and building and expanding on it, getting as much out of that 10% as possible, until the inevitable time comes when, suddenly and as if out of nowhere, you want to do more.