Limiting Factors

What’s your limiting factor?

Most people who walk into our gym know a thing or two about being fit. They already have a lot of good habits, but they hit roadblocks and don’t know what to do next. We use a really simple set of questions to help identify what the limiting factor is for our clients:


  • Do you crave sugar and other unhealthy foods throughout the day?
  • Do you eat 3-5 quality meals with the following ingredients?
    • 1-2 palms of protein
    • 1-2 fists of fruits and veggies
    • 1-2 thumbs of fats
    • 1-2 cupped handfuls of smart carbs 1-2x per day

Stress Management

  • Do you feel overwhelmed and on the edge of a meltdown frequently?
  • Do you have a hard time turning your mind off at the end of the day?
  • Do you need to mindlessly watch tv, drink, or do some other coping mechanism daily to deal with life stress?


  • Does your fitness improve from month to month?
  • Do you have an intelligent training plan that is appropriate for you and your goals? (If you don’t know what that means, that’s a no)
  • Do you do the same thing every week?

Recovery Practices

  • Do you take time to hang out with friends and family every day?
  • Do you get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep?

The ideal answers are self-evident. No one (even super fit people) ever has everything dialed in. The trick is to identify the area that has the most room for improvement and are chronically off.

Small changes lead to big results

Chances are 99% of you don’t have a limiting factor that wouldn’t be solved with basic changes. Luckily, small changes lead to big results.

When you adjust a limiting factor you allow the body to adapt to all the positive things you’re already doing.

For example, a client at Ethos, who we’ll call Rick, recently made a few simple changes to his diet. Rick started eating more veggies and protein with every meal. To do this, he blocked out one hour each weekend to cook some food and prep some veggies.

By having a solid protein source each meal along with some veggies his sugar cravings dropped significantly and his energy levels stabilized. This lead to more energy at nights so better and more consistent workouts which helped with sleep quality and quantity. Rick has seen more progress in the past four months than he did in the last year – all by making a single behavior change.

One small change can lead to a series of small changes the lead to big results.

Your Turn

Read through the questions again and identify your limiting factors. You may have more than one; that’s normal. Chose one that you can address and get after it. If you don’t know what to do, hire a coach. Once you’ve removed your first limiting factor move onto the next one.