Paying your dues is to earn something through hard work, experience, or suffering.

For example, they worked countless hours at the gym and faced numerous setbacks before finally achieving their marathon goal. Earning what they’re striving for requires time and effort.

Paying your dues has been rattling around in my big noggin because I’m getting old and have the benefit of hindsight and perspective. When you and I were younger, so much younger than today, we probably lacked the patience and awareness to work hard. Just give me what I want and give it to me now.

For most, it doesn’t happen like that.

For example, many of the greatest bands of our generation paid their dues by playing at dive bars to small crowds before they became great. They didn’t form the band and became instantly famous; they had to work hard for it.

So, what does paying your dues do with health and fitness and all things biceps curls? Well, I’m getting to that.

A Short Paying Your Dues Story

I could talk and write about myself all day, so I’ll keep it short.

Growing up, I wasn’t good at many things and lacked the natural talent to pursue many of my sporting aspirations. That’s okay because that wasn’t meant to happen to me.

I started to write after my high school and college days because I wanted more exposure to get personal training clients; I sucked terribly. Being a more successful personal trainer was my goal, not a writer because I had no passion for it. It was a means to an end. The more credible I was, the more likely I was to get more clients.

Somewhere along the way, writing became a passion, and I started this blog, providing quotes for fitness websites, writing guest posts for other websites, and getting noticed by some big names in the fitness industry.

Before earning a cent from writing and writing for some of the biggest fitness websites on the planet, I toiled away for six years, sucking less at the written word. In other words, (pun intended) I was paying my dues. Because with most things worth having, it’s earned through a combination sucking, hard work, experience, and suffering.

Like most of you, I have my fair share of all these.

Are You Paying Your Dues

There’s that old cliched saying if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

No matter what you go after in life or what you want to be when you grow up, you will most likely battle for it. In pursuing what you wish, many factors will be within your control (time, effort, mindset) and out of your control ( life circumstances and God-given talent). Let’s bring it back to health and fitness because I’m starting to sound like Dr. Phil.

These are the things almost everyone who touches a weight wants a combination of.

Fat Loss

Muscle Gain

Improved Performance

For simplicity’s sake, let’s narrow it down to these three primary categories. Aside from the genetic anomalies, those who have to look at a dumbbell to add muscle or give up bread to drop fat, here’s a combination of what’s needed for the above to happen.

Calorie deficit for fat loss

Calorie surplus for muscle

Lifting heavy weight for low reps    

Lifting light to moderate weight for higher reps


Good programming




Well, you get the picture by now. For some, it will come easier than others, and for others, it will be more difficult. It is like building a house from the foundation up; it will take a lot of time and repeating similar things. This will take hard work, consistency, sacrifice, suffering, and repeatedly doing the things your goal requires.

So, if your results differ from where you want them to be or are on the verge of quitting, ask yourself two questions.

Are you doing all the things required for your goal?

Have you or are you paying your dues?

Because if you answered no, it’s back to the drawing board.

Wrapping Up

Achieving your health and fitness goals requires doing the right things, consistent hard work, and some time. Sometimes, lots of time. And when you are paying your dues, you’re more likely to make it happen.

If you’re finding it difficult to stay on the path, I have a free guide that can help.

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