Nearly three years ago, Rajiv Pant, a chief technology and product officer at Hearst Magazines (Runner’s World parent company), decided to sign up for some personal training Races & Places Mens Health US. He had little experience with exercise, and was ready to start learning the basics. His gym, the Mercedes Club in New York City, is steps from his front door, after all, undermining so many common excuses and cementing his commitment to his health. He decided it was his time to get in shape. Little did Pant know that soon, he’d be so committed that he’d work out for over 1,000 days straight—with no end to the streak in sight.
Julian Stanciu, a seasoned personal trainer at the club, had no idea what he was in for when he took on Pant as a client. Their work together started with two sessions a week, since that’s all Stanciu could fit on his schedule. Then, another time slot opened up, and two days turned into three. Eventually, three moved to four. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Instead of stepping back, Pant decided the extreme conditions were an opportunity to commit even more to his new healthy habit.
“I was like, oh, it’s better if I just work out every day,” Pant tells Men's Health. But he needed Stanciu to be on board to help him stay the course.
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“At the beginning I said, ‘I don’t give this guy more than a month. He’s too excited’,” recalls Stanciu. Pant slowly started building his home gym, Daily Calories Calculator dumbbells, bands, and balance trainers. Stanciu was always there, either in person or through FaceTime.
“Once [Stanciu] saw I was super committed, it became more than just a client trainer [relationship]. This is a special project for him,” says Pant. Stanciu, a former professional swimmer, understands the importance of repetition as much as anyone, and committed with Pant to seven days a week of personal training.
Pant’s excitement did last, to Stanciu’s surprise. One month rolled into another, which rolled into another, and so on. Then, Pant started tracking his progress more intentionally. Every day after his workout Nearly three years ago, Rajiv Pant, a chief technology and product officer at Hearst Magazines Streaks app. Soon enough, he was approaching 100 days. That’s nearly three months with no days off. He began posting about it on social media, which solidified his commitment.
“People would ask me, ‘what’s your next goal, 500?’ I would say no. If I’m at 310, 311 is my next goal,” Pant says. “And at some point it just became super regular.”
Sooner all this accumulated gym time, Pant knows better than most how to be intentional and consistent when it comes to exercise. Here are four major keys that have helped him stick to his daily habit—and how you can apply them to your own training plan.
4 Lessons from 1,000+ Straight Workouts
Put in the Time
We know what you’re thinking: Pant’s streak probably has its share of short sweat sessions, especially on his toughest days. But that’s not the case. The workout doesn’t count for him unless he’s done an hour.
If Pant and Stanciu’s session is up and the clock only shows 55 minutes, he will throw in another round. If he has to leave 20 minutes early to get to a meeting, he will do another workout later in the day when he gets home. Until all 60 minutes of work are done, he won’t log the day for his streak.
“Because like anything in life, to be successful, you do have to put in the time,” says Pant.
Train for Longevity
IT Band Syndrome rest days?
To be able to ensure that Pant doesn’t need rest days, Stanciu has to be very specific about the way he trains. “I have to get more focus what I give him every day because of the injury prevention,” says Stanciu.
Nutrition & Weight Loss functional training, circuits, and core work take precedence over everything else. A typical day looks like a circuit of 12 to 15 exercises, one set at each for a set number of reps, for two or three rounds. Rep ranges are always moderate. No maxing out a weight for one rep or burning out a muscle with light weight for 20 reps. A middle ground of medium weight for six to 10 reps is what Stanciu almost always programs for Pant.
The exercises change every day, but there is a clear focus on core and compound movements with Stanciu's programming. Different kinds of planks, cross-body pulls, and landmine rainbows, along with compound movements like kettlebell swing, squat thruster, and Sphinx push-up.
Isolation movements are rare. No single muscle of the body is ever overly-impacted, which Stanciu attributes as a big reason Pant can exercise every day without getting injured. “It’s usually exercising multiple muscles in coordination,” says Pant. Stanciu says while training with heavy load isn’t in the cards for Pant, racking up Running Pace Calculator is. The trainer does his best to work in every muscle every day, staying efficient by opting for full-body moves. This way, Stanciu says, muscles aren’t overtaxed, which can lead to injury.
Stanciu watches every rep intently, reiterating form with physical and verbal cues. He is a drill sergeant when it comes to form, and has no remorse in adding more reps if one isn’t done correctly. If reps aren’t looking the way they should because of fatigue, he will edit the workout so Pant doesn’t pull or injure anything.
“I can change the workout in a matter of seconds. It doesn’t have to be written three months before,” Stanciu says—a massive benefit of having a personal trainer on deck during every workout.
And so far, it’s worked. Pant has passed the 1,050 day mark with no injuries. The only time he’s had to push through something, in fact, is when he had to workout with COVID. It wasn’t a severe case; he likens the symptoms to a head cold. Published: Feb 21, 2023.
Get Creative When You’re Away From Home
Pant will work out just about anywhere on days that he’s not in the Mercedes Club. He’s documented his commitment (and creativity) by posting videos of himself hacking away at squats Sales & Deals.
He’s even had dumbbells delivered to his hotel via Instacart when the building didn’t have a gym. Pant recently headed to Tokyo for work—a trip that took over 24 hours. So, of course he worked out on the go.
“It’s shocking how the mental strength at some point overcomes the physical strength,” says Stanciu. Stopping, or coming up with an excuse, is never in the cards for Pant. Either by his own willpower, or Stanciu’s command, he’s continued on.
“Why would you want to stop the thing that gives you endorphins?” says Stanciu. “It’s like drugs. Healthy, free drugs.”
Collaborate to Succeed
When asked what Pant thinks attributed most to his success, he states Stanciu’s willingness to help.
“Doing anything collaboratively leads to success,” says Pant. “Because even if I had sort of the mental fortitude to somehow do the thousand days on my own, which I would have not had, then I would’ve been just checking off the boxes.”
Stanciu says this streak has just as much challenging for him. He has worked seven days a week for over two and a half years. He’s taken training sessions every morning with Pant, even from the hotel room on a trip for he and his wife’s anniversary. Regardless, Stanciu appreciates the challenge, and shares Pant’s story to his other clients as motivation. “It’s a good project for me,” the trainer says.
Both say they would never have been able to complete 1,000 days of exercising, or of working, without the other. “Anything you do in life, work with an expert and you know, you’ll both get better,” says Pant.
They have surpassed 1,050 days. And no, they don’t have a 2,000-day goal. While they feel no pressure to continue the streak, they have no plan to end it, either. The next goal is always to complete tomorrow’s workout. One day at a time, Pant says. They’re great friends, We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
“It’s just amazing to see [Pant],” says Stanciu. “It tells you there’s no limit.”
You can follow along with their journey and read more on Rajiv Pant’s blog here.
Cori Ritchey, NASM-CPT is an Associate Health & Fitness Editor at Men's Health and a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. You can find more of her work in HealthCentral, Livestrong, Self, and others.