Former Team USA Olympic gymnast Josh Dixon shares his tips for creating healthy habits.
Josh Dixon is a former Team USA Gymnast and Olympic athlete. He uses Tonal to help him stay strong and fit as he conquers new arenas, one of them, as a business professional. In this Tonal Talk, with Kate Telge, our Community Manager, Josh shares his pro-tips for creating healthy habits and living a “level ten” life. Spoiler alert: all you need to do is start today and take baby steps.
Pro Tip: Living a level ten life is an approach developed by Hal Elrod in his bestselling book The Miracle Morning. As part of Tonal’s Official Book Club — Read Between the Reps — the community read The Miracle Morning. In this book, living a level ten life is described as one where you enjoy fullness and balance with health, relationships, finances, career, and more.
Tip 1: Stay active
One way Josh implements a level ten life is by staying strong with movement. Before his connected fitness journey with Tonal, he would stay active by going to the gym, playing tennis, and running. “I’m lucky enough to live in Southern California, where we have good weather and can explore the great outdoors, but Tonal is my mainstay for fitness.”
Josh explains that in gymnastics, there are some areas where lifting weight came in handy during injury rehabilitation, but it’s very different from the kind of strength training he does now with Tonal. Even as a professional athlete, he is still learning about his body.
“[Strength training] very quickly identifies weakness. I can be good at that, but have no idea what this deadlift business is. In gymnastics, movements need to look pretty, and everything is extended, but you’re not trying to do a deadlift with straight legs or pointed toe or make it look aesthetically pleasing. You’re there to do it with good form.” Josh likes how Tonal’s data can help with this thanks to features like Form Feedback.
Pro Tip: Tonal’s Form Feedback feature provides you with detailed notes in real-time on your strength training and movement, similar to how a personal trainer would guide you.
Tip 2: Try a morning routine
Josh is a creature of habit and loves his routine. “Structure works, it can be a little bit overbearing, but it’s produced results in a few different areas of my life.” As an early riser, one of the go-to pillars of his morning routine is breaking a sweat first thing.
Josh typically starts his day out with Tonal by doing a Quick Fit — a workout under 25 minutes — to wake up his body and get going and moving in the morning. “In the evening or my lunch hour, I’ll do a [workout from] a program.”
“With Tonal, there’s an opportunity to submit to a program and have it be my accountability measure. If I can’t find it in myself, with programs, [you think okay] it’s four workouts a week, let’s go! You have the convenience, the data, and programs set up and laid out for you.”
“The programs are great. I’m not a fan of long workouts and like the efficiency of Tonal’s movements and workouts.”
(Learn about a morning routine called 20 / 20 / 20 here.)
Tip 3: Don’t wait until tomorrow
When it comes to building sustainable healthy habits, Josh says that we should just start instead of waiting for tomorrow. “The body and mind are marvelous and can adapt if you have the will and discipline to come back even when it’s hard. Take it in digestible pieces, but to approach anything, just start.”
Tip 4: Deal with setbacks by taking baby steps
We all have setbacks, and in those instances, Josh believes in baby steps. “You’re not going to go from zero to 100 and sustain that type of trajectory. [Whether it’s a recovery or some achievement], just chip away at it with a methodical disciplined approach. Baby step it and know that’s okay, and you don’t need to get crazy with it.”
“Some of the posts in the Tonal Community — I’m like wow! Good job. It’s very inspiring to see people take ownership of their fitness and goals through workouts and programming. I’m grateful to be part of this community.”
Tip 5: Be your strongest by exploring your own potential
“Sometimes we don’t even know what a level ten life looks like until we’re down that road of just maximizing who we are, what we’re doing, and how. The first step towards that is goal setting, which sounds very remedial and obvious and then maximizing your output towards that goal. It’s human nature to compare, but the most rewarding and coolest competition at times is [the one with yourself]. Are you giving it your best effort, and have you defined what that is?
“At the end of each day, ask if you did everything to maximize the tasks at hand? What was your purpose, and did you give it your all? Whether it was to unplug and do nothing, to reset and breathe, or [something at work] — did I do it to the max? That would be my level ten definition of maximizing potential and being my strongest.”
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Tonal Talk is a weekly Facebook Live interview series highlighting stories of real strength from within the Tonal community.