Top 40 Things I Learned In 2020


Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer
and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle

Did you know I’ve been doing a “Top 40” since 2008?

Many of my followers have told me the list gets better and better and I hope this one does not disappoint as we close out another decade.
Can you believe I’ve been doing this summary for 12 years?

I started this ritual in 2009 and this was a year of unexpected lessons.

These lessons are rooted in experience and not Twitter quotes I read.

In traditional fashion I’ll share lessons in the realms of Muscle, Mindset, Money, Mission and Marriage.

I’ve seen more fruit in my life than any other year in the past decade.

I’m excited to hear which lessons resonate with you the most!

Lets dig in.

Top Things I Learned About Muscle…

1. Rotating between Heavy, Medium & Light Workouts for each body part was my most productive training cycle.     

I had coach Ryan Faehnle set me up a killer routine that I really loved and was built around the following split:

Monday: Upper Body Pull
Tuesday: Upper Body Push
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Legs
Friday: Arms and Shoulders
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off 

2. I love Wave Loading to get stronger.

6 sets of 8,6,4,8,6,4 with full 3 minute rest periods is one of the simplest ways for a guy (who doesn’t like lifting super heavy) to get stronger.   

3. I love 3+3+3 Cluster training.  

This is a killer technique where you take your 8 RM (rep max) load and do sets of 3 with 10 second rest between until you can’t get 3 reps anymore. Beat this # of sets each week. I included this at the end of my heavy days.

4. EMOM Ladders are brutal and efficient!

EMOM means Every Minute On The Minute. Start with 1 rep and add 1 rep with each minute until you can’t complete the reps, go back down the ladder. I did this to build up my shoulders and lats.

5. 15 Minute Endurance Circuits will eliminate the need for cardio! 

I’d do these on my Light Days and I’ll give you an example. The goal is to set a timer for 15 minutes. Get as many rounds of A1-A3 as possible in that time. Beat your performance each week.

Biceps Endurance Circuits:
A1. Standing Mid Reverse Grip EZ Curl *Reps of 6
A2. Standing Supinated EZ Curl *Reps of 6
A3. Low Pulley Drag Curl (elbows behind body) *Reps of 6

6. The 10+8+20 Method Is EXCRUCIATING!!!

So, visualize this… Lying Leg Curl. 3 sets | 10+8+20 | 90 second rest

Hold an ISO for 10 seconds in a contracted position, then perform 8 full range of motion reps to failure, followed by 20 stretched position partials.

This also works great with Lateral Raises, Seated Rows, Incline Bench Press with Bands around elbows. 

7. I’m still not a big fan of utilizing apps to track my workouts.

This is to no fault of the app. It’s because I’m easily distracted and my best workouts are simply following a Printable PDF and writing my loads and reps on paper. I guess I’m old school.

8. Waking up at 4am is an absolute game changer.  

This single habit is by far the best best productivity hack of all time. Nothing else comes even remotely close. Thank you to Alex Hormozi for sharing this hack with me. I took it to heart. And waking past 4:30am now feels like sleeping in. I get the bulk of Money Later Tasks complete by 7am. 


Top Things I Learned About Mindset…

9.  No one needs a ‘mindset coach’.

Your mindset is rooted in your belief sets. If you’re having “mindset issues”, you need to get clear on what you actually believe because your beliefs dedicate your thoughts. 

10.  I’m getting used to saying, “This isn’t what I pictured.” 

I realize I still watch too much Emotional Porn (aka Instagram) and it makes me feel like I’m missing puzzle pieces from my picture.

When in reality, I’ve got my picture of what life should be like from the world, not the Word.

I have learned that I don’t need to know what God’s picture of my future entails, I just need to believe that I’m being used to build His purpose. 

11. When I put my significance in stuff that I’m more worried about losing it. 

This year I’ve learned that the more I attach my significance to status or security to stuff… it’s never enough.

This year has been a reminder to embrace that I’m not who others say I am but who God says I am.

“For we are God’s masterpiece, He has created anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10

12. Peace isn’t found in the absence of problems. 

True peace is found in the presence of God.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

13. The devil cannot defeat you but he can distract and discourage you to quit.

So many incidents I’ve viewed as the devil trying to break me down was really God building me up and preparing me for the next battle. This has helped me see challenges as blessing versus being bitter. 

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” – Isaiah 54:17

14. Indecisiveness is not where great memories are formed.  

“A life that never decides is a life that forgets.” – Pastor Matt Roden

This prompted quite a few big decisions this year. One month escape to Vancouver when Toronto lockdowns hit. Putting kids into Christian school. Making key hires that have jacked my payroll. Investing into 86 acres of land.

15. “In order for God to bring something NEW He needs to disrupt something normal.” – Pastor Steven Furtick

The first thing I discovered when Covid-19 hit the airwaves in March was that God was positioning us for the miracle of empathy.

A miracle of recognizing “we are NOT all in the same boat.” My business is exploding while others are suffering.

In order to have a bigger testimony we need a bigger test and I’m seeing all this craziness with a new lens.

16. The 72 Hour Rule

There is nothing in our organization that requires “immediate attention”.

We’re adopting a new rule called 0% Reactivity that I learned from Austin Netzley and it’s based on living a life of responsiveness, not reaction.

17. I always find what I am looking for.

If you look for what’s bad, you will find the bad. If you look for what’s negative, you will find the negative. If you look for things to be critical of, there is always going to be something to criticize.

Here’s the good news: If you look for God’s goodness, you will see it. As you pay attention to how God is working, you will also find yourself seeing the good in people.

This practice can change your relationships. Your attitude can be transformed, and the right attitude always precedes the right actions.” – Pastor Craig Groeschel

Top Things I Learned About Money…

18. Cash is NOT King, Christ is King! 

This past year I caught myself worrying about a lot of stuff that hasn’t happened.

It’s so easy to blame circumstances for problems instead of blaming our own heart. And it’s easy to look to our own possessions to ‘protect us’ rather than the character of God. 

19. Money is not disappearing, it’s only shifting hands. 

If you didn’t watch the news you’d think someone just dumped gazillions of dollars into the economy. I’ve never seen so many of our members grow their businesses faster than this past year.

It seems like everything they say is happening on the news is actually the opposite of reality… at least in my world of coaching online fitness coaches one how to start, grow and scale.

Schedule a call if your business isn’t thriving. 

20. Relationships are everything in business.    

Thank the Lord for the relationships I have with incredible guys in the industry like Bedros Keuilian, Craig Ballantyne, Dan Lok, Zander Fryer, Joel Marion, Los Hustle, Mike Roddy, Rudy Mawer, Yuri Elkaim, Robby Blanchard and so many more who I can text and connect with.

I’ll be honest, I don’t talk a ton to these guys but when we do it’s always high value and high impact sharing and “Big Ideas” that help you think and act bigger.

21. The fastest way to scale your business is a sales force.   

This year we’ve built a legitimate sales team of four incredible team members to date. If you’d like to hear my Top 10 Sales Lessons from 2020 with the head of my sales team, check it out on The Vince Del Monte Podcast. The episode just dropped. 

22. The next fastest way to grow your business is a full time Operations Engineer (if you’re over a mil a year)

A few months ago I got very lucky 

23. Establish “Profit First” by Michael Michalowicz ASAP

We upgraded my account and wife to CFO in my company and properly set up Profit First and it’s been a game changer. 

I was aware of the concepts but we did not have full application and functioning of the system to the point where I can make all my decisions based on data.    

24. Money loves data. 

After more than a year of getting error free data we finally have sufficient attribution inside our business to make data based decisions.

I can only thank my team for committing to this painful process that stresses me out just thinking about. But they did it.

You can’t build a business on drama, so knowing your numbers is the fastest way to position yourself for growth.   

25. Money loves people who are proactive.   

What happened to all the trainers who didn’t pivot when covid hit? They ended up having their paycheck governed by the government.

Back in March I had no clue how long this ‘pandemic’ was going to last so we shifted our members to building a full blown 21 day challenge funnel to nurture a bucket of leads.

It went against our primary methodology of high ticket but we got proactive and built an asset in case people could no longer afford a high ticket offer.

We didn’t wait and see how the economy would react, we responded immediately. 

26. Outbound messaging is NOT below your pay grade. 

If you’re not sending at least 100 messages a day your business is not going to grow. 

One of our methods of booking calls (in my business and a method we teach our students) is sending A LOT of messages.

A new trend from “fitness business coaches” is claiming, “I’ll help you build a brand without messaging people…” Oh really, how?

Messaging prospects on Instagram DM and FB messenger is the BEST organic strategy to book calls because that is where people’s attention is.

Schedule a call at if you’d like us to show you how to do it the smarter way.

Some of the top coaches and consultants in the industry are sending over 500 organic messages a day. If the big guys are doing it, maybe you should reconsider too?

27. If the opportunity was riskless, everyone would do it!

A few weeks ago I made a 4 million dollar purchase into 80 acres of land.

26 of those acres are zoned for commercial use in 3-5 years and an acre of land sells for $250K – $1 million dollar so you can do the math.

The rest of the land can be zoned for residential, lots and estates.

I will also have the option of building “shells” on the commercial property to sell to big box corporations like Walmart, Costco etc who would do 15-20 rental terms.

I asked my business partner, “Why hasn’t anyone bought this yet?”

“Because of the risks.” I’ll save the details but I also stand to lose money and not see any profits but that’s how life goes.

When a good opportunity comes along, don’t think too long, you may lose it.

28. “Address the “lion” in people’s homes.” – Billy Gene

Early on I wasn’t sure how vocal I should be about my thoughts on masks, vaccines, and this plandemic I mean pandemic.

His advice was in context to cutting through the noise during your paid advertising but it made a lot of sense.

People are ALREADY having these thoughts so why not enter the conversation going on in their minds all day long.

This helped me maintain a lot of attention through my social media and even make it onto The Rebel News. LOL

I stand by my actions to protest that day against government overreach.

29. Build A Dream Team of Coaches!! 

We have the best coaching team in the industry. Without Korby, Shari, Tom, David, Tim, Brandon, Mike, Erik, Suzan and Big Frank, I’d have nothing.

Our students love our coaches… I love our coaches and if you want to build a movement that impacts hundreds of lives you will need to stop being a “one man show” and expand your team.

Top Things I Learned About Mission…

By the way, to join our Free Facebook group, invite yourself in here:

30. “Control is a story we tell ourselves.” – Navy Seal Larry Yatch  

This would take awhile to impact so I’ll just let this one sit here. 

31. In order to hit the next level I need my team to become EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED to my personal goals.  

My therapist Annie Yatch helped me have some big breakthroughs this year. 

One being that I haven’t learned how to connect MY goals to my team members personal interests, motivations and ambitions. Since working on this in the summertime our business has exploded.

This is still a BIG work in progress but emotionally investing into my team is the #1 thing I look forward to doing more of in 2021.  

32. I’ve been a VICTIM and didn’t even know it.   

This all started by feeling there has been too much burden on leading my team. I felt like I was still “doing everything”.

This has been fed by my program of “what you put in is what you get out.”

This led back to me constantly pushing and feeling more weight.

It’s a program that served me to get to 6 and 7 figures but has held me back from 8 figures. 

So I’ve operated as a victim, claiming I need to hang onto control, which has kept me stuck working in my business for far too long.

I’ve been afraid to step into my full power because if I OWN it then it’s FULLY MINE!

Instead of stepping up I’ll compare myself to others and find excuses for why they are further ahead.

Annie taught me four things…

1. Own who I am.
2. Own what my role is.
3. Own what you are creating.
4. Own how you are leading. 

33. The definition of trust. 

This was a game changer in how I’ve worked with 20+ team members this past year.

“Trust is living in the inherent goodness of another, and not in defense.” – Larry Yatch

Taking this posture to pursue connection rather than accusation, assumptions and defense has built the strongest team I’ve ever had. 

34. The definition of responsibility.   

Another game changing definition of handing off and holding responsibility. If your team is not coordinating action effectively I strongly recommend you watch this video, it’ll blow you away.

Larry shared the four part of handing off and holding a responsibility:

a) Awareness of the purpose
b) Standard of performance
c) Power to act
d) Commitment to getting it done.

Please watch this video and share it with your entire team.

35.  I need to place a higher currency on rest.

Maybe my biggest lesson from the year which explained the struggle in my marriage to grow in intimacy.

I’m always friggin exhausted because I built a program around “rest is for lazy” people and it served me in many ways but holding back the ability to be a better husband and parent.

And the big kicker — it’s NOT my wife’s responsibility for me to be rested.

That’s ALL ON ME and rest is something to be celebrated, not laughed at.

Top Things I Learned About Marriage…

36. There needs to be intentionality around individual rest.

Naps need to be coordinated. The kids need to tell Mommy, “Good job” when she takes a nap. We need 3rd party solutions to ensure we are resting so we can be present for each other.

Our marriage suffered from disconnection because we failed to be vulnerable with each other when, “Babe, I’m exhausted.”

37. I need to stop being “Therapist Vince” to my wife.

My therapist taught me, “Women experience emotions externally.” Instead of diving into a 3-step plan to solve the problem I ask, “Ok, tell me more babe” “Awe wow, is there anything?” “Oh my goodness, how are you feeling?”

Ten years later I’m finally learning how to be that willow tree 🙂

38. “Over giving” has been a coping mechanism for our disconnection.

Flavia will give more to the family to say, “Look how much I’m doing.”

I’ll work longer hours to say, “Look how much I’m doing.”

And we don’t create a safe place to say, “I’m tired. I need a break.”

We have been competing with each other for YEARS on who does more and it’s driven us to exhaustion.

Our therapist helped us see that each of us needs to take FULL OWNERSHIP of our own rest and value our vulnerability. 

39. Date night every Tuesday night is so good!

Interestingly, date night was something our therapist revealed to us as being a false sense of connection.

While it’s an excellent habit we shifted our schedules so that we are BOTH rested up before we go on date night so that we actually are in a state of rest and calm and not stress and tension.

Even with the lockdowns we’ve been traveling to different cities to eat and maintain this habit.

I hope you enjoy our Instagram Tuesday Date night stories. LOL

If you don’t follow me on Instagram:

40. The only person you can change is YOU! So go get some help.

Investing into outside eyes to work through our own personal issues was so helpful. A lot of stuff Flavia has told me and I’ve told Flavia was not registering because no one listens to their spouse LOL

But when a therapist helps you see your issues you get “A-Ha Moments”.

Flavia and I have really taken some great steps to growing closer this past year and I’m discovering that the most important factor in marriage is being present. That’s the #1 way to move the needle.

Listen, getting a beard trim will get you more “kissing sessions”, anticipating needs is very good; knowing that she wants to be ‘touched’, not ‘fondled’ is crucial too. LOL

And scheduling 2 day getaways every 3 months will inject fuel into your relationship, the most important thing is being PRESENT!

And one more bonus tip… shutting up is the BEST way to end a fight. Ha

And maybe a frisky one… Time + Attention = More sex. I think it’s only taken me 10 years to get the hang of this.

It may actually be that simple fellas!



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