It’s GOOD to have a philosophy, right? Here’s Mine:

1) We’re all athletes. Maybe we’re not all great athletes, or even good ones, but we’re all athletes. Or, well, at least we all wanna be athletes. Which is the same thing really. The point is, we’re goal-seeking creatures, trying to improve our physical ability to interact with the World, and with life, whether that means being more successful in a tennis match, or having more energy at work, fighting cancer, or just trying to look, feel, and perform better. We all need bodies that can get us through the day, at a high level of success. And a big part of our mission is to help people do just that.

2) Training (if you wanna call it exercise, be my guest) is an essential part of a healthy, balanced, productive life. It’s much like a spoke in your “wheel of life:” if your wheel is missing a spoke, it might still roll, but not very efficiently, and it’ll probably break down prematurely.

3) Performance, not pain, is the goal of smart training sessions. Numbers don’t lie: when your numbers go up, so does the training effect. And maybe you’ll hurt too, but pain is a by-product, not a goal.

4) Great behavior (in this case, intensity of effort) will trump great programming each and every time. In other words, a mediocre program that you carry out with intensity, will produce better results than a mediocre effort on a great program.

5) Training occupies, at most, an hour or two of your day. It’s good to execute that hour or two with intensity and intelligence, but what about the other 23 hours? Effective training exists against the backdrop of yourlifestyle. Is your lifestyle supporting your training?

6) Perfection is often the enemy of production. First, do a thing, then later, worry about doing a better thing, and/or doing it better. It’s easier to go from something to something better, than it is to go from nothing to something. So get started, and worry about the details later. You’re not launching a space shuttle after all!

7) Knowing stuff is no gaurantee of success. DOING stuff is.

8.) Enjoy the process, as well as the results. If you don’t enjoy it, just fake it for the time being.

9) If possible, get involved in an organized sport rather than hiring a trainer. With trainers, everything is always a critique…it’s all about what you shouldn’t be doing, eating, thinking, etc. In sport, it’s almost always a more positive constructive experience…it’s all about what you can do to improve.

10) This statement subject to constant revision. Philosophies are a means to an and, not an ends in themselves…

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“One of the signs of a great teacher is the ability to make the subject matter seem simple. Charles Staley is one of these rare teachers. After listening and talking to him, you suddenly achieve a new awareness of training. You go to the gym and, suddenly, everything makes sense, and you wonder why you haven’t been doing it his way since day one.” – Muscle Media 2000 magazine August, 1999


Prominent both the United States and across the globe, Charles is recognized as an insightful coach and innovator in the field of human performance. His knowledge, skills and reputation have lead to appearances on NBC's The TODAY Show and The CBS Early Show, along with numerous radio appearances.


He has authored more than a thousand articles for leading fitness publications and websites, and has lectured to eager audiences around the World.


Charles is not only a thinker, but also a doer: At age 54, he competes in the sport of raw powerlifting, and is a 2-time World Champion (220 and 198-pound weight classes). Find Charles online at www.TargetFocusFitness.com.