One thing I tell people when they start a physical fitness training program is about the importance of drinking more water.

There was a time — I guess it was back in my 30s (a long damn time ago) — when I had been working out for a while. Four mornings a week at the gym, couple hours a session, training with a small, experienced group of guys, learning a lot. One of these guys was a semi-pro bodybuilder, coach, and nutritionist. I was in pretty good shape but one day I decided to hire Greg to create a nutrition program for me, so I went and saw him and he lined out a very strict program.

One thing I still remember about that is when he was going down the list of things I would eat and when I would eat them, he said, “I want you to eat six olives.” I thought, damn, not a handful of olives, or a few olives, or some olives, but SIX olives. OK, man … but I followed his advice to the letter and I wound up cutting my bodyfat in half, in fairly short order.

Along with the strict eating guidelines, Greg also said I was to drink a gallon to a gallon-and-a-half of water every day. He said if people would drink that much water every day, they could lose one to two pounds of fat a week without doing anything else. I’ll never forget that.

Now, when I’m helping someone get started with an exercise routine, I always encourage them to start drinking more water. I don’t push too hard — probably should stress it a little harder than I do — but I ask about it nearly every time we get together. Most of the time, they say they’re “trying” to drink more, but it’s really hard.

Yes, it is hard. And, yes, drinking a bunch of water during the day makes you pee all the damn time — for a while. Your body starts to get used to it after a while and it becomes not as big an issue, by the way. So, yeah, it’s hard, but it can certainly be done.

One woman I’ve been working with for a couple of weeks now told me just the other day that she got up several times the night before to go to the bathroom, and wasn’t thrilled at her sleep being interrupted. “I was so mad,” she said, smiling.

I told her to try and drink most of her water early in the day and not drink any after 6 p.m. I have that same issue sometimes, and a friend recommended to me the 6 o’clock deadline idea.

One thing I do to get the ol’ water drinking ball started is, while my coffee is brewing in the morning, I chug a bottle of water. And then when I have my morning workout, I always take a large bottle (33.8 ounces, to be exact) with me to the gym, and I usually re-fill that sucker at least two or three times while I’m there.

Combined with my morning chug, let’s say that’s about 118 ounces of water. A gallon is 128 ounces, so by the time I leave the gym at noon or 1 o’clock or so (depending on when I get there), I’ve nearly had a gallon already. Couple more bottles in the afternoon, and I’m good to go.

I know it sounds like a lot, but think about it — a gallon is 128 ounces right?

A bottle of Ozarka or whatever is 16.9 ounces. Do the math and you come up with 7.5 bottles of water.

Drink one bottle as soon as you get up. I’ve been doing that for a while and my body likes it. Yours will, too.

That’s one bottle down, six more to go.

Do the best you can. Maybe the first day you only make it to four bottles. You’re peeing all day long and getting tired of it. Settle down; it gets better, I promise. It won’t take long.

After a week or two, go for five bottles, Bump it up to six, then seven.


There ya go.

You made it.

Now, go have some water …

Me with two of my Masters pole vault friends, Bubba and Jennifer