Anybody in the health and fitness industry can point out the commonalities between the iron game and the business game. The similarities are vast and I find myself constantly connecting the dots between the two. Dave Tate has written and spoken about these similarities many times.

This article will go deeper into this topic. I am going to describe the similarities between three money management strategies—saving, spending, and investing—and their application to how you spend your time in the iron game as well. Read on to learn how saving, spending, and investing can help you in your training.


The idea of saving money is a simple one. You put away a little bit of it at a time for a period of time so that you can spend it on something bigger at a later date. Without saving for whatever the expense may be, you wouldn’t be able to afford it. Training is similar to the idea of saving. You put a little bit in day after day to be used for something at a later date. This could be a contest (strength sports, team sports, bodybuilding, etc), to look good at an event (beach vacation, reunion, wedding) or even just to be able to handle the stress of life and improve health (accumulating health now so that you can “spend” it later when most people’s health deteriorates). Saving is a vital part of money management and the foundation of strength training, but at some point you have to spend.

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What’s the point of saving if you aren’t going to spend it? You don’t get to take your money with you when you die and you don’t get trophies for gym lifts. If you’re going to put in the time and effort at the gym on a regular basis, then put what you have accumulated to good use. Go compete. You don’t have to be world class competitor to step on the platform, the court, the pavement, or whatever surface said competition is taking place on — all you have to do is show up and do your best. It is a great feeling to put your hard work into action. Whether that is going to buy a house, a car, go on vacation, or doing a powerlifting meet, bodybuilding contest, or just a photo shoot, seeing your hard work come to fruition is very rewarding. However, there is only one thing more rewarding than spending and that is investing.



When you put your money away for savings you don’t get any return on it. In other words, you are just holding onto it for a future date at which point you will use it. But what if you could put that money away and it would earn you even more money? Well, what if instead of just training and focusing on your own progress, you invested in someone else’s progress? If saving and spending is very rewarding but investing is even more rewarding, would investing in someone else’s progress also be even more rewarding? The answer is yes!

Whether you help peers on a team or step back from the competition yourself to operate as a coach, helping others experience that same feeling can be as much if not more rewarding than doing it yourself. And what is the return? Well, obviously the emotional and mental reward of helping others can be pretty amazing, but I promise you will see yourself succeed as well. When you pour into others, they will pour into you as well. I have seen this time and time again from opening my own gym, to helping other trainers develop their abilities and businesses, to working with clients, to watching people join the different strength teams at NBS Fitness. I have watched a community rise up unlike anything else I’ve ever seen and the end results is everyone has reached new levels.

You don’t have to be an expert financial planner to use simple money management skills to realize financial success. Likewise, the skills to succeed in the iron game are just as simple. Take the time to put in the work on a daily basis. Save away. When you save, have a plan for those savings. Have a purpose. When you train, train for something. Have a goal to strive for. As you work towards that goal, realize the joy of putting your savings to work. Go compete and enjoy it. Finally, take the time to invest. Put your money to work for you and put yourself to work for others. Put some time and energy into helping someone else and you will see that investment return two fold.

Save, spend, and invest and you’ll not only realize financial success but success in the iron game as well.