Recently I’ve enrolled in a certification course through Precision Nutrition. And someone was asking me why I had registered for this course? They said I had a pretty good handle on nutrition, stayed current with the primary literature and had some great resources to turn to when we required something specific for our clients.
And I said it had to do with wanting the best for our clients. And believing that this course would help us do our jobs a little bit better.
So as I cracked open the text book and got started with the course I was immediately impressed. The authors had identified five limiting factors to success. And by success I’m referring to body transformation, rehab or athletic performance.
Anyways below are the five limiting factors. Take a read through each and then ask yourself ‘which one is holding you back from success? Or if you’ve already had some success, which one is your weakest link and if addressed would propel you to another level?’
Limiting Factor #1 – Genetics
I’ve just finished Arnold’s autobiography and in it he talks about the movies he has movies and of course ‘Twins’ stands out. This was not only his first comedy but unique in how much money he made due to the unique contract he structured based on the potential success of the movie.
Anyways, the premise of the movie is the Arnold and Danny DeVito are twins separated at birth. Arnold’s character received the preferred complement of the genetic material in terms of brains and brawn whereas his sidekick DeVito gets the short end of the stick genetically speaking.
Now I know there are a number of other movies we could discuss related to our genetic profile (Gataca comes to mind) but the point is there is huge value to choosing the right parents.
Limiting Factor #2 – Physiology
Do you have an intolerance to gluten? Are you allergic to shellfish? How do you react to caffeine? There are lots of examples we can look at where two different individuals have vastly different reactions to some type of molecule or compound. And what makes something a potential poison for one yet completely neutral for another may come down to differences in our physiology.
Sometimes these differences in physiology can be associated with #1 and have a genetic component. And other times they are influenced by our lifestyle choices i.e. Type II Diabetes. Either way we need to be aware of how our bodies function and consider this when making nutritional choices if we are to achieve the best results.
Limiting Factor #3 – Activity
Often times people will simply think of fitness training or sports related activities. But this may be two or three days a week at the gym. Or a rec hockey league game one night per week. And we might convince ourselves that we lead an active life. And relative to our neighbour who does none of the above.
But this ignores what goes on for the rest of the week. Are we sitting at a desk? Or are we on our feet? And if we’re on our feet are we moving? Lifting? Doing something vigorous?
So think of your activity in terms of the whole week and not just what you do for sport or health. Additionally, if you train multiple times per week ask yourself what is the level of intensity and the duration?
Limiting Factor #4 – Nutrition
When we consider the nutrition of one of our clients we examine it in terms of dose, quality and timing. Because it’s very common for someone to do two or three very well and fail at the third aspect all together. This person then sits there scratching their head wondering why eating only chicken breasts and broccoli isn’t helping them achieve their goal?
Further to the three criteria of dose, quality and timing there is also the consideration of what we think we are doing and what we are actually doing. Typically we over report our good habits on nutritional analysis and under-report our poor habits. For example, we think we are eating more fruits and vegetables than we actually are and we are having more cheat meals and snacks than we think.
Limiting Factor #5 – Mindset
For many of us this is number one. This is what holds us back. The self doubt. That lack of commitment to the process. The negative self talk. The excuses for previous failures.
At a certain point we need to be honest with ourselves and think of Thomas Ford’s quote about ‘whether we think we can or not, we’re probably right’. We don’t need to be perfect all the time but also can’t expect to give a 6/10 for effort and expect miraculous transformations.
So what is the limiting factor for you? And it may be more than one thing. But you can’t choose number one. Once you identify what the limiting factor is for you the next step is to throw everything you’ve got at this limit. This is your lowest hanging fruit and where results are going to be the easiest to come by.