Actions and Outcomes

The spark of this article comes from a friend of mine Bojan Kostevski who wrote an excellent article on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s site called “Why You Need To Stop Setting Goals”. The part of the article that reverberated with me was this: What specific actions can I take to maximize the chances of ever reaching the body of my dream? This week? Today?

This did a great job of linking the action goal to the outcome goal.  The outcome goal is the end result “lose 10 pounds” or “put 100 pounds on my squat.” The action goal is what you need to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis in order to achieve that goal.

So I started thinking about some of my clients, and some of my friends who train religiously.  I started examining the differences and similarities between us all.  I was looking for actions that some of took to reach our goals.  Actions that maybe we weren’t consciously aware of, but helped us achieve our desired outcome anyways.

Consuming this too often probably won't take you anywhere you want to go... I think you know that.
Consuming this too often probably won’t take you anywhere you want to go… I think you know that. 

The way I looked at you always have actions leading to a consequence.  Even if the consequence is unintended, your body will adapt to your actions.  If you are currently goal-less and are stuffing your face with pizza on a daily basis your actions will lead to a undesired outcome (most likely).

Fat gain.

Obviously we don’t have a conscious outcome goal of getting fat, but it can and does happen never the less. So I wanted to have a quick look-see at some of the actions that people take to reach their desired goal as well as look at actions that people do as part of their lifestyle to lead them to undesired goals.

Since I surround myself with people who like looking good while also being strong, and well muscled, I will go over some of these actions first (in no particular order).

1. They take protein supplements.

If you read my stuff, you know I don’t push supplements, I don’t make a dime from suggesting supps to anyone.  However, everyone I know who looks good as a product of hitting the gym uses protein supps.  I don’t really care much about what kind of protein it is, but they all use it. This shows you that protein intake is important.

If you can get your couple of hundred grams of protein in on a daily basis, then maybe you don’t need a protein supplement.  However, I have some friends who are some big-ass eaters, and they still take protein powder because it simplifies things: it’s quick, easy, and highly portable.

2. They aren’t weaklings.

Since I’ve coached clients and influenced many others I have seen how they’ve progressed.  I’m not going to pretend to say that I know how much their lifts have increased, but I will tell you that they have.

Their strength has not gone down, and it hasn’t stayed neutral. Sure, over the years I’ve seen some people who are maybe a little weaker than before (because of injuries) who are as big, if not bigger than when they were before.  This is because they’ve figured out how to push themselves in different ways and already have a good base of muscle to build from. I can guarantee you, at one point, these guys and gals were pushing themselves hard to approach their desired outcome.

3. They don’t eat foods with a low nutrient density on a regular basis.

I didn't eat the whole thing....
I didn’t eat the whole thing….

This is just a fancy way of saying that the bulk of their food, the majority of the time is coming from unprocessed food.  You know what these are, I’m not going to list them.  Check this out to learn more about how food quality can effect the amount of ‘work’ the body has to do to actually digest these foods based on how processed they are.

These people have discipline to stay the course and are able to look straight at their goal and knock that bitch out the park.  They find ways to limit negative situations where they know they will be put in conditions that aren’t conducive to their goal. What might some of these situations be you ask?

– Drinking heavily on a regular basis.

– Eating out on a regular basis.

– Associating with people who do not give a shit about their bodies.

That’s just a few to wet your appetite.

4. They have a dedicated cheat day.

This is simply a day where they eat whatever the hell they damn well please.  This helps in many ways.  It can cause changes in hormones which can kickstart fat loss.  It gives the person immense amount of pleasure to eat delicious foods.  It prevents fucking up nutritional adherence, by allowing you to know that you can eat something you really want rather than food that might be considered boring.

Now let’s take a look at some of the actions that people take that incur unintended consequences.  The consequences we would like to stay away from, such as knowing that Ben Affleck will be playing Batman.

1. They aren’t consistent in the gym.

If you do some other form of exercising, that could be put in there as well.  However, I think most of the people that read this here blog are slagging iron, not running marathons. Anyways, people who have come to for help usually aren’t in the gym consistently.  Sure they try their hand at training hard for a bit, maybe even getting some results, but then something happens in their motivation, or whatever it might be that gives them the right (in their heads) to stop training.

Once you stop, it can be a bitch to get back into it. The trick is not to stop training.  Do not find an excuse not to train.  The minute the thought enters your mind, get your ass to the gym and train anyways. Tweet that

You need to transform yourself into someone who makes the gym a part of your lifestyle.  It will take work, and it won’t happen overnight.  You might never really enjoy going to the gym, but you realize that it’s an integral part of what you want to achieve, and nothing will stop you from getting that goal.

2. They eat out a lot.

There really isn’t anything wrong with eating out on a regular basis… If you’re eating greens and lean meat whenever you do in fact eat out.  Which for the majority of people just doesn’t happen.  I have clients who go out probably 10+ times per week.  Many of those are work related.  So when they go out, they aren’t having the meal mentioned above.  They’re having alcohol, starters, dessert.

It adds up.

Some people who eat out a lot, who are in tune with how much they can eat, can get away with this.  The majority of people can’t.  If you are eating dessert on a daily basis, you probably aren’t very lean.  Sorry to say it, but it’s true.  Perhaps if you fast all day and go warrior style at night, you can afford to have small amounts of dessert on a daily basis.

3. They have poor social networks in relation to their goals.

Cheat day with my best bud, while watching football.  I only eat these kinds of food once a week, but on a regular basis.
Cheat day with my best bud, while watching football. I only eat these kinds of food once a week, but on a regular basis.

Let me ask you a question.  Lets say George is here on Earth.  His 5 best buds drink beer everyday, eat chips, and order pizza a couple times a week.  George wants to get ripped for the summer, so he decides to spend his spring leaning out.  The only thing is, George and his friends are huge hockey fans.  They watch hockey together 3-4 times per week.  When they do, they consume the above beverages and foods.

Now, in a parallel universe, George has the same goals.  His best buds are also huge hockey fans.  They have a tradition though, they go to Georges house and train in his awesome home gym as a group before every game.  Then they cook up ribs, or wings, or other meats using only herbs for flavour, also they only drink water or other kinds of zero calorie beverages.  They’re all into keeping their bodies in good shape.  George just allowed himself to gain a few but he’s trying to get back to Ripped City for the summer.

Which George has the best chance to succeed?  If you guessed the first one, congrats, you probably have an IQ equal to your body fat percentage.  Obviously, if you were  betting man, you’d put your money on George-two to reach his goal over George one. He would succeed because his social network would be much more in tune with his goals.

Your social network isn’t only your friends, it includes your family as well.  If your significant other is healthy as fuck, and you are trying to get into shape, you will have a much higher chance of succeeding than if he/she isn’t living the healthiest lifestyle.


There are obviously many, many actions that one can take that will lead them a positive or negative outcome.  The ones above are just a few of them that I have found are pretty prevalent.

So, what actions are you taking on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to help you reach your goal?  Which actions are you doing that are sabotaging you from reaching your goal?

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