We all love the feeling of saying
“I lost X lbs in Y months”
“I lifted xxx kg at the gym today”
“My bodyfat fell by x% over y weeks”
“I ran x miles z minutes faster this week”
“My deadlift increased by x kg and my back squat by y
kg over z weeks”
All these achievements are quantified and verified by
Numbers provide a great measurement for
substantiating what we have achieved.
By using a widely known and accepted form of
measurement, it means we can easily share our
achievement with others and they’ll be suitably
impressed and amazed with our achievements too.
So numbers are great, aren’t they?
Yes, they are…..BUT I do think they need to be taken in
I have added the context time of TIME to ALL of the
examples above – people rarely do this in conversation
or on social media.
They forget to add in the time it’s taken them, working
hard, to achieve what they’re proud of…..because
ultimately as humans we don’t want to be judged on how
long it took us, we just want to enjoy the actual
The context that cannot be added to any of these
statements with words though, is that of QUALITY.
Is losing so many lbs in weight worth as much if you
constantly have a low mood?
Is losing so many % of bodyfat worth as much if you
lack energy throughout each day?
Is losing so many inches around various body-parts
worth as much if you struggling to feel healthy,
constantly succumbing to low grade viruses?
Not so much.
What about the gym trophy statements….and the videos
that go with them.
Is a claim to squatting xx kg, deadlifting yy kg or
pressing zz kg worth as much if actually your legs are
buckling on the squat and your back is compromised on
the deadlift and press?
I don’t think so.
Here those numbers can become quickly substituted for
the number of weeks you had to take off due to injury.
Swiftly followed by the number of lbs you put back on
because you’ve been immobilised with pain through
lifting with poor technique.
Here it really isn’t about the numbers for me.
It is absolutely about quality of movement….whatever
level you are working at.
If you are a competition athlete, numbers are what you
will be measured in during competition. However, if
your form is not on point to get to those numbers, you
are still going to fail somewhere along the way –
either in ranking or through injuring yourself.
If you’re performing these compound lifts as a way of
building strength, confidence and health (as I do) THE
I would much rather my clients lifted 10kg for a
specified number of reps with perfect form, than moved
80kg compromising their knees, hips, back and, of
course, pelvic floor.
Don’t think your pelvic floor is important or a factor
during this….THINK AGAIN.
There used to be a video on t’internet showing a male
powerlifter whose pelvic floor gave way during a
compound lift (back squat) in a competition…..not
pretty and definitely not front row viewing!
Getting these basics right and being confident over the
full range of the movement is ESSENTIAL before working
on the numbers.
We can’t shout about these achievements as much. There
is no score to show by how much your squat has improved
or how far your confidence has grown….but these things
DO SHOW without you having to say anything.
They give you an inner pride and confidence that people
notice in the way you walk, and even in how you conduct
Be proud of every aspect of what you achieve.
There is absolutely no shame in taking a step backwards
to strengthen your strategy for progressing. This may
mean reducing weight or load in the gym, to improve
Be clear about what you’re proud of and why you want to
share it verbally.
And if it’s someone else piling weight on the bar for
you, to video their achievement in getting you
there….question who that’s serving.
If someone is really restricting your approach to
nutrition to achieve an arbitrary numeric goal on
scales or other measures…question how that makes you
feel everyday – in terms of energy, vitality and
There are so many other factors to consider outside
Factors that will change how you FEEL on the inside for
….and isn’t that what it’s all about?
If you’d like help and support to feel good, please get in touch