Personal trainer advocates faith as part of a successful health and fitness program

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Trainer Alec Penix feels faith can be the key to staying with a fitness program in his new book "Seven Sundays." (KABC)

Jay Schwartz has been training with Alec Penix for three years and has gone from a large to small shirt size.

He wants people to know that along with a good exercise program, the transformation came with a strong mental aspect.

"On the spiritual side, we all go through things in life that knock you down," Schwartz said. "Training is like a therapy session."

That's because along with well-planned exercise, nutrition and even sleep, Penix incorporates another element to his training philosophy.

Penix will tell you that it's great to have a system, a buddy system, maybe a friend or a trainer, but he also feels you'll be the most successful if you have a little faith.

"I dedicated my journey to a higher cause and that was God, but I give people the freedom to choose that for themselves," Penix said.

"What is your 'why?' Why do you want to embark on this journey?" he asks.

If doing it for a higher power is a turn off, he suggests you think about your health for a cause greater than looks. This might help you persevere when times are tough.

"You have this sense of purpose that you're doing it for God, or your doing it for your family or whomever," Penix said.

In his new book "Seven Sundays" he uses the acronym C.H.O.S.E.N. to keep you on your game.

"It's conceding, honoring and offering are the spiritual part and then you have the physical, which is sleep, exercise and nutrition," Penix said.

This six week program starts on a Sunday to get you ready for your week, which might make goals more doable.

He feels the traditional "21 days creates a habit" concept isn't enough time to finally get it right. But stick with "Seven Sundays," he said.

"You really become the best version of you," Penix said.
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