Why Habits > Intensity

Four of a kind beats a pair of aces.

When a client is consistent with nutrition, sleep, self-management and exercise, they’ll get better results than the most hardcore exerciser.

Abs are made in the kitchen. Muscles grow in the bed.

Performing consistently well across Sleep, Eat, Move and Manage habits gets better results than the best exercise program, the most intense workouts, or the most severe diet. Specializing in any area to the exclusion of the rest might yield short-term progress, but will be unsustainable in the long run.

For example, do you know anyone who’s done the Paleo Diet for more than three years?

Do you know anyone who’s competed at CrossFit for more than a decade—and if they have, I would bet their nutrition, sleep and self-care are as dialed as their workouts.

The most important thing we, as coaches, can have our athletes do? It’s not thrusters or sprints. It’s showing up.

Showing up to the workouts on time, in a ready state.

Showing up to meditation time even when they’re “busy”.

Showing up to bed in a dark, cool room; without cell phones or other distractions.

Showing up to a table laden with good food choices.

And doing that day after day.

Coaching habits is also better for business.

When people show up for their scheduled workouts, they stay in your gym longer. This doesn’t mean that a client who trains 6x per week will remain a member longer than a client who trains 3x per week. It means that the client who is told “Show up 3x per week” and shows up for all of those 3 sessions will do better than the fly-and-die client who burns out after 18 months.

What helped clients through Covid? Accountability–holding people to their daily habits. Regular contact with their coaches. And customization: a simple text or video explaining why “this workout will help you get to your goals today”. Coaches helped the clients maintain their habits, not their intensity or their lifts or their technique. And clients stayed.

Your clients don’t need the most novel workout. They need to show up to exercise; show up in their nutrition; and show up to sleep and meditation. And they need to do it every single day. That’s what creates results, and results are why we’re here.

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