Lesson 5: I can't answer your questions unless I know what your goals are

Keep this in mind as you consider the following questions:

Student athlete:

Hey John, do you think I should bench some more?
Hey John, do you think I should do some more hill sprints?
Hey John, do you think I should take 3 scoops of protein?
Hey John, do you think I should start adding agility to my workouts?

Adult client:

Hey John, do you think I should be doing more cardio?
Hey John, do you think I should be eating less carbs?
Hey John, do you think I should start doing HIIT training?
Hey John, do you think I should drink more water?

To the student-athlete and the adult - you guys are more similar than you may think - at least similar enough to get the same answer from me for all of your questions!

I don’t know.

I don’t know if you should bench more, or take more protein, or eat fewer carbs, or drink more water.

And I don’t know because I don’t know what your goals are.

So what are your goals, Student Athlete

Well, Student Athlete says, I want to get bigger!
Well how big are you currently? How big do you want to get? Where do you want to get bigger? What do you consider “bigger”?

If your goal isn’t specific, this is going to be a challenge. If you tell me where you currently are and can say specifically “Hey, I am currently at 25% lean body mass, 19% body fat, I weigh 205 pounds have 18-inch biceps  and I am 6’1”. I want to increase my lean muscle mass by 3%, drop my body fat  5%, increase my body weight 5 pounds and have 20-inch biceps and grow 2 inches taller.


Now we have a point of reference, which will allow me to see if you are making progress or not and how far we have to go to achieve your goals.

(Disclaimer: we are still experimenting with different exercises to make people taller).


So what are your goals Mr./Ms. Adult?

Well, I want to get smaller!

Well how small are you currently? How small do you want to get? Where do you want to get smaller? What is “smaller” to you?

If you cannot answer these questions, again I can’t be of much value. If instead, you say, “I weigh 175 pounds, my waist is 30 inches, my hips are 44 inches and my body fat is at 25%. I would like to lose 15 pounds, reduce my waist by 4 inches, reduce my hips by 8 inches and decrease my body fat by at least 5 %.”

Much better. That I can work with!

Now I (and you) know where you are and you have clearly identified WHERE YOU WANT TO GO!

I can now be of better assistance.

Of course, to be of BEST assistance, I would need to know about every single factor that might affect you reaching your goals. But this is impossible, I can’t know everything - because even you don’t know everything that’s going to affect you.

Did you miss your weight loss goal because it rained yesterday?

Did things start off on the wrong side of the bed because you slept for 7 hours and 50 minutes rather than the full 8 hours even though your fitbit told you that you had 3.5 hours of REM sleep?

Do you feel winded today because the pollen level is too high?

Are you over-energized because it’s a full moon?

Did you hit a new PR because it was sunny?

Did you max your deadlift because your spouse pissed you off?

Did you run your fastest mile because you were hung over? Maybe? (I’m not making recommendations, but I have seen this done).

Believe it or not EVERYTHING and I mean E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. plays a role in either moving you closer to your goals or moving you further away from them.

And we do not know everything that’s going to happen on the path to where you want to be.

By being clear on your specific goals, we will have the answer to the equation - the equation with an unknown amount of variables.

And as a coach and a determined client, together we can work with the known variables to make progress - and deal with the unknown variables as they come our way.

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