Focus, diligence, perseverance and commitment are all essential components to the successful achievement of your goals. But, according to Branch Warren, professional bodybuilder and winner of the 2011 Arnold Classic, the most important part of his training is structure.

Branch won the 2011 Arnold Classic in Columbus Ohio this year for the first time after placing no lower than seventh for the past five years. In fact, he received the Most Muscular title four times before he landed the top prize. After he won I had the opportunity to ask him for a training tip for my readers. “Structure,” Branch replied,   “Every aspect of my life is structured. My workouts, my diet, my business, everything is structured.” 

Structure can also be synonymous with focus and the adage of planning your work and working your plan.  It begins with goals, succinct and written down. Next, a timeline needs to be placed on those goals. After that come the action steps. At this stage there may be short and long term goals and action steps leading to the final prize. Naturally, along the way the path may take detours and changes may be necessary; however, as long as you continue working your plan and keeping your life structured, as Branch would say,  then you will know how Branch Warren feels after winning the Arnold Classic. Here is how Branch looked during the pre-judging for the finals:

Sign Up for E-News

Branch Warren Arnold Classic 2011

While this is the answer he gave me, his response was different when Arnold Schwarzenegger presented his trophy, asked Branch how it felt and what did it take to finally win. Branch responded, “First, I would like to thank Jesus Christ, my savior for this opportunity. As the Strongman know,” (the Arnold Strongman Competition just ended), “you need God to be with you get us through what we do.”  Then Branch really but it all into perspective, “Of course I need to thank my wife for her support and all of the people who helped me get here along the way.” 

Interesting. Training his adult life to perfect the physical frame of his body as a glory to God. This viewpoint reminds us that spiritual health and wellbeing are essential to being healthy and fit. In fact, this is the understated part of the mission of Fit is the New Thin. Spiritual fitness. 

Take time every day to pray, meditate; reflect on the higher consciousness of life. There you will find power, strength, perseverance, peace, humility and yes, structure. Eating healthy foods at regular intervals during the day is important to keeping us fit. Likewise, you also need to feed your spirit daily, if not three times daily, too. In fact, bodybuilders eat 7 or more times per day to increase their metabolism. Consider that for your spiritual health. Pray seven times per day to strengthen you mind, your will your spirit to help you stay structured in life. 

Branch Warren, is a real man with real priorities. God, family, friends, work. It makes a lot of sense. Even though professional bodybuilding may not be your goal in life, the same process can benefit all of us. Thanks for the insight Branch! 

Fit is the New Thin is a comprehensive lifestyle program designed to promote fitness through physical, emotional and spiritual health. Developed by Dr. Donald DeFabio,  a doctor of chiropractic in private practice in Berkeley Heights, NJ, the goal of Fit is the New Thin is to empower you to become healthy and look great with proper nutrition, positive imaging and targeted exercise rather than watching the scale.

Dr. DeFabio is dual board certified in chiropractic orthopedics and sports injury management as well as a certified personal trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  He may be reached at  or via his website at