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Jay Cardiello talks about Mental Fitness

Jay Cardiello

By Nathalie Davis, New York
Instagram: @jaycardiello Site:

Along time ago, I realised life was infinitely easier and better when I adopted a positive mental attitude. It’s not always easy; it’s a full-time job! Most of us are bombarded on a daily basis by a lot of negative chatter in our heads. It’s the back-seat driver that you just want to be quiet. Positive psychology studies show that success is not born of will power alone, but rather resilience and the ability to stay positive in the face of failure. When you are resilient, falling off the wagon you’re on is a momentary lapse on the way to future goals. Thankfully, there has been a huge positive thinking movement in the health and wellness industry. Envisioning success is the first step to blueprinting it and then building it.

One of my favorite books is Who Says You Can’t? You Do by Daniel Chidiac. The title is a sentiment that is also shared by my friend Jay Cardiello, author, fitness professional, TEDx speaker, public figure actively inspiring the uninspired and genuine health US ambassador. When I asked Jay what it means to him, he said, “self- worth.” I couldn’t agree more. If you have confidence and believe in yourself, you are less likely to be thinking you can’t achieve your dreams and goals.

We caught up over dinner one night for this interview. He was carrying Unshakable by Tony Robbins, his book for the day. We joked about how staying positive isn’t always easy; we all have those days, but we are still trying, still learning and most of the time, we are thankfully succeeding.

Jay has coached pro athletes in the NFL and MLB. He has also worked with celebrities including Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Seacrest and 50 Cent (who lived with him for four years and trained with him for 12). Whilst in college studying to become a lawyer, he competed as a track and field athlete. During a routine practise one day doing a jump, he cracked his coccyx. He needed 13 surgeries, 2 major spinal fusions and a body brace for 6 months. The injury was life-changing. During his rehabilitation, he realized he wanted to be a coach. He wanted to inspire. He has spent the past 22 years doing exactly that.

“Forget physical fitness; this is mental fitness because mental fitness is what creates sustainable outcomes.” says Jay Cardiello The secret to happiness and living a full life is “getting out of your own way.” Everyone you meet in your life is a teacher. Never stop learning. His father told him, “Never give yourself the opportunity to ask what if.” Jay’s morning routine? It’s a “little” different from mine. He usually wakes up around 4 or 5am and does an incantation of positive statements to achieve a future goal. Then, he thinks of five things he is grateful for in his life. He meditates. His workouts are 15 to 30 minutes and are based on whatever he feels like doing that day, such as shadowboxing, stretching, lifting weights, etc.

While he is working out, he listens to Tony Robbins, Jim Rohns, Joel Osteen, and other motivational speakers. Lastly, he takes an extremely cold shower. He likes it. (I know it’s good for muscle recovery, but I just can’t! I usually take the hottest shower possible; the more steam the better!) This routine gets him mentally ready. What does he do during the day in-between clients? He reads. He learns. He absorbs. He is getting closer to “that” goal, and one day, he will beat the world record for chin-ups in 60 seconds!

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