Separating Why from And.

Why are you in this gym? Why did you walk in the front door to meet a stranger that you only know by referral or reputation?

It’s a powerful question that despite being somewhat predictable typically surprises people when I ask it.

“I want to lose weight”, “I want to gain muscle” and “I want to feel and move better” are the top three I usually hear.

I currently train several active athletes (2 Fighters, 1 CrossFitter and 1 Fire Fighting Academy candidate) therefore I have people with direct performance goals.

Even my athletes get asked, and reminded “Why are you here?”

Learning the clients “Why” is paramount. If clients Why is strong enough they can accomplish things beyond their, and sometimes the coaches expectations.

The Why serves as a constant motivator the client brings with them everyday.

The coach must be mindful of
the word “and.”

“I want to lose x number of pounds/kgs, build muscle,prepare for a Triathalon next month and look like a bodybuilder.”

Don’t laugh, I’ve been told this personally.

Starting from the end, bodybuilders look like bodybuilders due to a few reasons, with genetics playing a huge role, a highly specific diet and training plan, an unsustainable Bodyfat level as little as 1-2% (For males) and truthfully there are many that resort to methods not involving barbells to improve their physique.

In bodybuilding, a lower Bodyfat and a baseline amount of strength is required to be successful. Bodybuilders may not be the strongest people in the gym, but they do focus on their why just as hard as anyone else.

A full Triathalon takes upwards of a year to prepare for. Furthermore, Triathletes don’t look or train anything like how bodybuilder trains.

Bodyfat is less critical, but conditioning across three sport disciplines must be high and added strength is an advantage.

Building muscle is comparatively simple. In 6 weeks an untrained beginner on a proper diet and programming can see strength gains. Bodybuilding, Powerlifting, General Weight training,Olympic Lifting and Strongman training have all proven as effective means towards this goal.

Weight Loss is largely diet based. This client needs a meal plan. Strength training can occur simultaneously.

A simple general formula to determine the clients “Why ” if they have too many “ands”

If the waist measurement multiplied by two is greater than their height then they are a weight loss client. That is their Why.

If the client fails a functional movement screen due to pain they are a medical referral.

If the client has difficulty getting down to, and off the floor,lacks functional range of movement or requires multiple pillows to sleep they are a mobility/stability client.”

If the non-weight loss client has poor marks in a Bodyweight push up, sit up or squat performance test they are a strength client.”

“The goal,is to keep the goal, the goal.” Dan John


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