What are Health Habits?

Health Habits (helTH habəts/)

Regular practices or tendencies which lead to to a person being…

  • Free from illness or injury,
  • Stronger, faster & more powerful than “normal” people,
  • Happy, calm & content with life,
  • A role model for their friends & family,
  • Amazing to look at naked.

YOUR Health Habits  (helTH habəts/)

Regular practices or tendencies which lead to to YOU being…

  • As healthy as YOU can possibly be
  • As fit, strong & powerful as YOU can possibly be
  • As happy, calm & content as YOU have ever been
  • A role model for YOUR friends & family
  • Amazing to look at naked

Q:  And what the difference between these two definitions?

A:  YOU.

  • You are a unique person with unique strengths & weaknesses.
  • You deserve better than a one-size-fits-all fitness program or diet.
  • You deserve the latest scientific research mashed together with the “real-world” experience of the best health & fitness pros.
  • You deserve an approach that doesn’t blame you for not being able to stick with an all-kale diet.
  • You deserve some help finding out exactly what you need…not someone trying sell you what they want you to believe

Q:  How are we going to help you find your Health Habits?

A1:  Education – There are over 1500 articles here at Health Habits. Most of them are based on solid scientific research. Some of them are based on “real world” techniques that have never been properly studied. Either way, I hope you have the good sense to read these articles with a critical eye. If the article makes sense to you…put it to the test.

  • Try a new diet plan for a month or two…see how your body responds
  • Try out a new workout for a few weeks…see how your body responds
  • Try out some of that crazy self-help mental/emotional advice…and see how your body, mood & mind responds

A2:  Advice – I am always available to contact via social media – Twitter, Facebook & Google+

A3:  Community – With over 900,000 @healthhabits followers, it’s pretty easy to find a peer willing to discuss

Who is the giant brain behind Health Habits.?

@healthhabits is the online home of:

  • Douglas Robb
  • 49 years old
  • Husband
  • Father
  • Torontonian
  • Personal Trainer
  • Blogger
  • Social Media junkie
  • Raptors fan
  • Etc, etc, etc…

A Very Brief Bio

For the past 30 years, I have helped hundreds of “real world” people transform their bodies.

Unfortunately, during these 30 years, I have also seen my share of clients who spend a lot of money, skip a lot of workouts, sabotage a lot of healthy meal plans and end up no better off than when they started. Luckily for me, I never thought of these experiences as failures. Each client taught me something new about the “real world” physiology and psychology of body transformation.

And, thanks to their input, I have arrived at some simple truths about successful body transformation.

Truth #1

Transformation is possible.

Truth #2

Transformation is simple….but not easy

  • For every problem, there is a solution. When it comes to body transformation, we need to identify your specific problems and apply the best possible solution(s)…..simple
  • Unfortunately, this transformation isn’t always easy. Your bad habits have been messing up your life for years and they will not go down without a fight.

Truth #3

There is no “best” diet or supplement or food or training plan.

  • Your personal situation is different than mine.
  • Your challenges are different than mine.
  • Your solutions are going to be different than mine.
  • People selling niche diets or training methods care more about branding & money than finding solutions to problems

With that being said, I believe that for most people, some version of a Paleo Diet is the best way to lose weight and get healthy. I also believe that high intensity training is superior to most other training methods for creating lean, strong, ultra-fit bodies.

Truth #4

The health/fitness/weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar business that is based on products /services that are designed to fail. Designed to fail because, if they actually did what they promised, you would never need to buy another book/supplement ever again.

Truth #5

The top-down approach to health/fitness/weight loss doesn’t work.

For decades, “the experts” have been telling the public what to eat & how to move. And yet, obesity, diabetes and heart disease keep getting worse year after year. It’s time for a change.  It’s time to combine all of the “expert” knowledge with the equally important “grassroots” experience of….us. And that’s my goal for @Healthhabits.

Take the best from the scientific community, combine it with the knowledge of the fitness community and then filter it through the experiences of the end user.

Truth #6

Because I believe in Truth #5, Health Habits needs to become fully interactive to be successful.

Using social media, we have the ability to share stories, research, best practices, crazy theories, new recipes, etc…

  • There is no need to suffer through a diet in solitude.
  • There is no reason to be stuck performing the same ineffective training plan month after month after month.
  • There is no need to waste money on ineffective supplements

There is so much good info out there. If we help each other by sharing our knowledge & experience, we all benefit.

Note: I realize that makes me sound like a communist new-age hippie…but it doesn’t make it any less true.


  1. Awesome site . . . I know that’s a much over-used word but it’s the biggest one I know. This is exactly the site I’ve been looking for – and no one paid me to say that (at least not yet).

  2. Love your philosophy and no messing around approach. Especially love your focus on structural balance in personal training AND group fitness environments.
    Very cool stuff.

  3. Love your site. Your “no BS” approach is refreshing. How do you want us to help you? After your “truths”, you asked for help, but did not specify what exactly would help you. 🙂

  4. Hi Marie,

    I need your (and others…lots of others) participation to help me make Health Habits better.

    Right now, the blog (and Facebook group) still functions mainly as a one-way conversation.

    As a trainer, I have become better because my clients don’t respond in a textbook manner.

    Diets that “should” work don’t.
    Training programs that should produce a specific response fail miserably.

    This forces me to think and adapt in order to fix their problem. If I can’t fix their problem, they won’t be happy, and I won’t get referrals for new clients.

    I think of my blog readers just like I do my training clients. I want them to find a solution to their problem here at Health Habits.

    The problem is, in the online world, if people don’t find exactly what they need, they move on.

    So, long story short, what help do I need?

    Referrals – tell your friends
    Your Complaints
    Your Questions
    Your Suggestions
    Your Comments about other comments

  5. Doug I think your site is great. I am really new to this internet stuff. Keep up the good work. I want to create something like this too. Please check out my capture page. I would really appreciate your feedback. Thanks Dr. Dan

  6. Hi Doug,

    I found your website through your twitter page.

    Your truths make perfect sense – I have believed that what works for one person may not work for another in the exact same way.

    I am seaching for the right eating plan to help me reach my goal. My current research has me reading information on the endocrine system and how food effects our hormones. I have tried eating plans and have followed them faithfully and find mixed information on how much protein, carbs, and fat a person should consume. I find that I become overwhelmed with varying information – I lose weight but then things become stagnant.

    I would love to see a participartory forum – I think you are on the right track!!

  7. Hi Kelly – check out the Facebook group – it’s not as participatory as I would like it, but slowly, slowly, I think it’s starting to move in the right direction

    BTW, I love the fact that you are using yourself as a guinea pig to determine which diet(s) work best for you. I am so unimpressed with all the experts online who claim to have the perfect diet or training program.

  8. Great website here. Like Kelly, I found your site through twitter, and am very impressed. I started a health and fitness blog myself a few weeks back and hope that it eventually develops into something as successful as yours!

    I also very much respect the fact that you’ve been helping others with health and fitness for twenty years, Doug. Keep up the good work!

  9. Hi Doug,

    Excellent site! I just found you on twitter (http://twitter.com/TBWoody) and am very supportive of your ideas and the attitude you have towards helping people to achieve their health goals. I recently started my own site and have a similar passion for nutrition and fitness. I hope we can learn from learn from each other and I’ll give you any help I can spreading the word.

    All the best!

  10. I know I’ve said something along these lines before, but it’s certainly worth repeating: Doug, you’re a genius! 🙂

  11. Dear Mr. Doug:
    I’m happy to learned that you are a personal trainer, but after reading your blog and looking at your picture that you have on your website and blog, I’m not very impressed at all! As an inspiring trainer and health enthuiast, I feel dissappointed when I come to learn that when someone who claimed that they are a personal trainer and that they look horribly out of shape and not physically fit as trainer.

    Although I dont know you at all, but base of what I see and read about your so great work “helping hundreds of people transform their bodies…” doesn’t match up. If you talk the talk, then walk the walk. If you are a personal trainer, then at least look like one after all. You can take this as constructive criticism or grains of salt, but I have seen so many proclaimed personal trainer who doesn’t match up.

    On the lighter note, I can definitely beat you at a 7 miles run race, 100 pushups, or chinups.

  12. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the feedback

    I think your confusion about what a personal trainer should look like comes from society’s obsession with appearance over substance. It’s pretty common and was something I noticed often when I managed personal trainers at various health clubs. One of the best trainers I ever knew was a woman who weighed around 160-170 lbs. Mind you she was around 6 ft tall. Solid, muscular.

    What made her a great trainer was:

    1. The fact that she had previously been around 350 lbs and had personal experience with what is required to transform her body on a massive scale
    2. She was well educated on the latest advances in body transformation, athletic science & general health
    3. Her clients saw results…every single time.

    Conversely, I worked with dozens of trainers who looked beautiful. Veritable Greek gods and goddesses. Unfortunately, they were often the worst trainers on the floor. While all of them trained hard and most of them followed a clean diet, they had no first hand experience with a major physical transformation, relied on fitness magazines as their source of info and produced client results equal to their level of dedication.

    My favorite was the male model (last name Myers…we nicknamed him Mirrors…and he loved the nickname) who would stare at himself in the mirror instead of properly spotting his clients. I can’t tell you the number of times clients and other trainers caught him doing this…too funny. And yet, his schedule was always packed…95% female clients, so I will let you guess at their motivations. Nice guy – bad trainer

    Which trainer would you choose?

    In my experience, clients always chose the Greek god/goddess. Appearance over substance.

    Regarding my personal appearance, I believe that when that picture was taken, I was between 13-15% BF and had just finished pushing around 350 lbs over my head.

    Regarding your fitness challenge, I accept…with some conditions.

    1. Each of us has to carry 2 x 50 lb dumbbells throughout the entire 7 mile race.
    2. The pushups are to be performed with 2 x 45 lb plates placed on our backs (you will need a spotter)
    3. The chinups are to be performed for max non-stop reps with 2 x 45 lb plates or 1 x 90 lb DB hanging from a lifting belt

    If you can beat me in this competition, I will gladly recognize you as the better athlete.

    If you can’t, I would ask that you recognize that we all come in different sizes & shapes and that health & fitness is much more than the images sold to us in magazines & television.

    When I work with clients, my goals involve the optimization of numerous markers of health & fitness:

    blood pressure, resting pulse, bodyfat %, distribution of bodyfat, insulin sensitivity, muscular imbalances, pain, joint deformities, posture, energy levels, sleep patterns, diet, stress – work & home, strength, power, speed, endurance (aerobic & anaerobic), flexibility, joint stability & mobility, task performance, lifestyle, goals, etc….

    With all of that being said, I appreciate the time you took to comment and hope you return to keep me on my toes.

    BTW, I had a question about this part of your comment –

    As an inspiring trainer and health enthuiast,

    Did you mean to write “inspiring” or “aspiring”?

    If you meant “aspiring”, I am curious to know which route you are taking to becoming a personal trainer? Certification course/education?

  13. Hi
    I ran across your site yesterday after googling HIIT and like what I found. Seems like you have a down to earth approach to fitness, and I really don’t understand what Michael meant about you looking horribly out of shape. I can see that you probably don’t have the borderline anorectic level of body fat that is in vogue, and this combined with a lean mass way above what most “posers” will ever accomplish makes you a big guy. Judging someones fitness level from a picture can be quite deceiving also..

    I’m just a few babysteps into trying to convert myself from a couch potato with a bad coke(the fluid) habit into a fitness freak who eats healthy. I’m hoping to make this a way of life from here on and this site is contributing to lead me in the right direction!

    Thanks dude! 😉

  14. We’d like to follow up about some messages we sent via Twitter. We respect your writing on health and we know that you care about nutrition. As we continue to draw fresh attention to the 195 million children worldwide who suffer from malnutrition with our Starved For Attention campaign, we’re hoping you can help us mobilize support for a petition that calls on the US government to stop the double standard and rewrite food aid policy.

    To learn more about the campaign and the issue of malnutrition, please visit http://bit.ly/195mill.

    To find out how you can help, visit http://bit.ly/195strvd.

    Your relationship is important to us, and we respect your time and your privacy. If you’d like to keep in touch, please respond to this email and let us know. Otherwise, we’ll remove you from all future mailings.

    Jason Cone
    Communications Director
    Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

  15. Hi

    Could you write more on:

    “blood pressure, resting pulse, bodyfat %, distribution of bodyfat, insulin sensitivity, muscular imbalances, pain, joint deformities, posture, energy levels, sleep patterns, diet, stress – work & home, strength, power, speed, endurance (aerobic & anaerobic), flexibility, joint stability & mobility, task performance, lifestyle, goals, etc….”

    I can see how blood pressure and insulin sensitivity can be improved but distribution of bf? muscular imbalances? posture?energy levels? joint stability?

    In passing, I have lower back pain (osteoarthritis) and pain in sacriolac joints – all advice welcome

    Thank you

  16. This may take more than one post George

    I may start with a link post highlighting applicable articles – stay tuned

  17. Hi Doug,
    I’ve been an avid reader of your articles here and I follow you on twitter too. I just recently learnt you’re based in toronto and I was wondering if you’d be able to take me on for personal training/Coaching.I seem to know the basics of what to do but it just feels overwhelming to take it on all by myself.
    If this is possible, please let me know.

  18. […] fellow health blogger, Dogg Robb, from HealthHabits says it the best in his post: “Isn’t it ironic that during a time of […]

  19. […] I read a blog not too long ago by Health Habits which hit a nerve of mine.  The blogger, Doug Robb, is a personal fitness trainer who poses the following scenario in relation to Web 2.0 […]

  20. Hi! I like the way you think, and…I need help with somerhing, I’ve just began a “healthy lifestyle”….but I’m not sure of what I can or not eat, actually I’m trying so hard to avoid junk food like chocolate, chips and that stuff, I don’t have enough money for a gym because I don’t work yet but my parents pay and don’t have enough, in my city, but I walk, or ride my bike or make excercise at home for at least 30 minutes, is all of this ok? Or I need something more? I would probably get a job soon

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