Lifestyle coach and fitness professional Clark Bartram has quite the impressive resume: the 58-year-old former Marine is a fitness model, has appeared on the cover of more than 130 fitness publications, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives through fitness over the course of his 30-plus-year career. It’s the latter that he says is his life’s purpose, and today, he dedicates his time to helping men over 50 live in their healthiest body.
His approach aims to make fitness sustainable for men of all skill levels, and he teaches five lifestyle principles — mindset, meals, movement, community, and supplementation — in his fitness app that he believes are key to staying healthy and fit.
Bartram’s goal, he says, is to provide an entry-level way into fitness that is manageable, seamlessly moving fans to the next level. And while his app is currently catered to men, he plans to create content and launch a community for women in the near future.
“My personal mission statement is to positively and powerfully affect everyone I come into contact with,” Bartram says.
Below, Bartram shares some workout wisdom and discusses his five lifestyle principles:
Physical fitness all starts in the mind, according to Bartram, and it’s the single most important factor of success. With the wrong mindset, a fitness routine is just not sustainable.
“[Success is] going to be short lived — you might get some results, but most people do that and then get back out of shape and gain even more weight, and it just becomes this vicious cycle, and it’s harder and harder as we get older and older,” Bartram says. “That’s why I’m very specific about [the fact that] I really want to help older people, and it’s never too late.”
Bartram offers several mindset-focused e-books in his app, including “Where Your Mind Goes, You Go” and “Magical Mornings.”
“Meals are vitally important and you need to find a program that is sustainable,” Bartram says. He notes that it’s important to find a modality of eating that works best for you, your body, and your lifestyle. For some, that might mean choosing to adopt a low-carb, vegetarian, or vegan diet, for example.
He provides nutritional content in his app, including “Cooking with Clark,” a series of cooking videos in which Bartram walks through the preparation of several healthy dishes, including an avocado bowl, chicken stir fry, vegan spaghetti squash, and chicken salad.
Bartram also offers several meal-focused e-books, including “The 7 Step Guide to Healthy Eating,” “High Protein Recipe Pack,” “Plant-Based Recipe Pack,” and more.
The men Bartram works with are oftentimes intimidated by the idea of going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. He says, however, that exercise just means movement. The key is to move more today than you did yesterday, change up your routine regularly, and push yourself a little bit more each day in order to challenge yourself.
“Because [the human body] is so adaptable, if we do the same thing every day, it will adapt and then level off and not be required to have any sort of adaptation to the new movement that is being introduced,” Bartram says.
He advises new users on his app to start with “3 Moves, 3 Minutes,” a series in which he offers three different one-minute exercises.
“Do what you can, the best you can. That’s the advice, that’s the coaching, and that is the freedom I give people because I think too many people enter fitness programs with the expectation that they have to level up and be at a certain ability, when that’s not the truth,” Bartram says. “The reality is, if we move more today than we did yesterday, in ways that we weren’t moving yesterday, our human body will adapt, and it will get stronger, it will get leaner, it will become more efficient, and more highly-functioning.”
Bartram’s “Maximized Man” is an in-app program in which users complete a six-week course focused on chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms, and cardio.
“I don’t care about getting people six-pack abs, that’s not my goal… I want people to be better versions of themselves,” Bartram says, noting that the physical transformation of an exercise program is a byproduct of everything else.
Community is key to Bartram’s training method, where he creates small groups of like-minded individuals who support one another throughout their journeys.
Bartram’s Facebook “huddle” groups help increase accountability, and he has each new member introduce themselves with a video to share their goals, along with any struggles they feel are holding them back.
“That’s a big thing: You are only committed to what you confess,” Bartram says. “ I need to know that you’re here, I need to know what you want, and I need to know how to support you.”
The fifth and final element of Bartram’s five lifestyle principles is all about supplement education.
“I want people to be educated consumers on supplementation,” Bartram says, adding that rather than trying to make a sale, he more often than not convinces people not to buy unnecessary products.
While the right supplements can help you reach your fitness goals, Bartram emphasizes that you should only take supplements if they’re right for you. His coaching style aims to help men become better versions of themselves — both mentally and physically.
In order for men (and women) of any age to create and stick with healthy habits, Bartram says it all starts with self-love.
“You need to be able to go look at yourself in the mirror today right now and be able to say, ‘I love you.’ Love the current version of yourself, because the future version of yourself will have the same issues the current version has,” Bartram says.
He also recommends taking it easy on yourself when — not if — you mess up or fall out of your new routine.
“I understand what it’s like to be a little bit older. I understand what it’s like to fail in life. I understand what it’s like to beat yourself up,” Bartram says, adding that part of his job as a coach is to keep his clients from being too tough on themselves.
He also adds that a fitness program should not require you to change your lifestyle. Rather, a good fitness program will be adaptable to your current lifestyle.
“Just move more today than you did yesterday. Create a program that’s sustainable,” Bartram says. “Love yourself the way you are, and just wake up today with the idea that ‘I’m going to give this my best shot’ and great things will happen.”
About the author
Cara is a passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media. She loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. In her free time, Cara is an avid reader, enjoys meditating, and loves spending time with her husband and their chihuahua pug mix, Callie, streaming the latest horror flick or true crime documentary. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.