The Truth About 'Balance' and Fat-Loss in the Gym


I had a great conversation a few weeks ago with one of our tribe members about ‘balance’ -  which inspired this piece. He had checked-in a week prior and achieved some pretty decent results in terms of fat-loss and muscle-gain.

I asked how he felt about his results, to which he responded:

“I’m happy with my check-in. I could have achieved even more, but I’ve also allowed myself to go out, enjoy some meals and have a few beers with the boys. So unless I wanted to give those sort of things up completely, I’ll stay content with these sort of results.”

I couldn’t have anticipated a better response from him. He had hit the nail on the head and I agreed with his approach completely.

“Balance” is a broad term and it’s definition varies from individual to individual.

But essentially I would encourage you all to look at it this way:

The level of results that you want to achieve, need to coincide with the amount of effort you are willing to put in and the sacrifices you are willing to make.

For example:

Exhibit A:

If you want to lose 12 kg of body-fat in 10-12 weeks; you are going to have to be extremely consistent with your training and 100% compliant with your nutrition plan.

Not 80% compliant...
Nor 90%...
But 100%!

If you are OK with that, then that’s what you need to commit too, while matching your expectations accordingly. Obviously your definition of ‘balance’ will soon change from that of the average ‘weekend warrior’ to achieve the above results. in the gym.


Exhibit B:

If are happy to; lose about 0.5-1 kg of body-fat every month or so, maintain some muscle-mass, while hitting a few cheeky PB’s every now and then in the gym...

Then your definition of balance will certainly be different to the person in Exhibit A. You’ll probably still be able to include the weekend 'blow-out' and beverages with mates, while achieving the results you desire.

But, you need to be comfortable with that level of results, manage your expectations and accept that your choice of ‘balance’ will need to change if you want to achieve more.

The only problem we face as coaches is that;

A lot of people (including you reading this) want the results of the person in Exhibit A, while living the balanced lifestyle of the 'weekend warrior' in Exhibit B.
I have no problem with either example, as long as that person manages their expectations and balances their results with their lifestyle. I completely with agree with your typical ‘balanced’ approach for most of you, as long as it coincides with the outcome you desire.

I have lived both lifestyles from the full ‘weekend warrior’ to the full on ‘extremist’ and am very comfortable with the what I have now found to be my ‘balance’.

Define what 'Balance' means to you:

So my advice to you, will be to sit down tonight and define what balance means to you (based against the outcome you desire in the gym) and begin to manage your expectations accordingly.

Not only will this help you gain clarity on the exact outcome you are chasing in the gym (In terms of strength-gain, fat-loss and muscle-gain); it will also give you an indication of what sort of sacrifice will be required on your end to achieve this outcome, while saving you some disappointment when do you assess your results.

As we have discussed above, this disappointment or frustration comes when you have set unrealistic expectations based against your chosen level of effort or sacrifice. This disappointment can ultimately lead to a 'loss of motivation', which as you may already know will halt your progress in the gym altogether.

So here's some questions to ask yourself to help you reflect:

Are your expectations aligned with your effort?

Are the results you are achieving and the lifestyle you are living aligned?

Or is being heavily tipped in favour of the other?

Johnny Allen-Howes

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