No, this is not a weird come on. In the interests of professionalism it’s best that everything is kept purely platonic between us. It’s a different kind of number we are concerned with.

As we have talked about in the past, most of you train regularly for pretty much the same reasons:

1) Reduce fat and ‘tone up’
2) Improve health and general well-being
3) To become better/stronger/quicker/fitter at/for your chosen pursuit whether it’s running, swimming, basketball…whatever.

All of us who train regularly do so for one of these three reasons. Now one or two people will come up with some random, abstract motivation for exercise but we are not dealing in outlying anomalies. We want honest, accurate, practical and factual information which we can readily apply to our training to improve.

We utilise the Venn diagram to truly show what type of trainee you are in order to understand that you may not need to be as good as the person next to you, whether it’s reformer Pilates, a HIIT class, in the pool or at your gym.

Having determined the reasons why we train and the goals we’d like to achieve based on those reasons we can assign you a number. In respected Strength and Conditioning coach Dan John’s latest book, Can You Go?, he includes a Venn diagram that depicts where potential clients are in their training in a visual format. He assigned them numbers one to seven. You can find what number you are and see where it lies on the chart; you may be a one or a five, occupying one circle relative to your current training and goal. You may be a two or a six, occupying two overlapping circles training for and setting goals in two of the three reasons for training. This will be it for most of us, we may succeed and achieve in one and potentially two circles but it is rare that someone trains and achieves in all three circles. These are your sevens. These are your non-fatiguing Kings and Queens of the lunge, squat and push up.

I was asked the other day how person X can always use the black dumbbells with no springs on or conversely how they cope with all their springs on when loading the carriage. It’s because that person has reached the vaulted status of achieving the all three reasons for training and the goals that come with them. They are healthy and well, free from sickness, they are lean and strong and they excel at their chosen sport or pursuit. Very, very few people anywhere achieve this. These are the elite, the athletes…..and they are probably not you.

Understand and know your limits and do not flog yourself for them. Determine the real reason for your training and focus all out on achieving that goal. Do not necessarily be a clichéd Jack of all trades and master of none.


Can You Go?: Assessments and Program Design for the Active Athlete and Everybody Else Kindle Edition . Dan John (Author), Chad Harbach (Foreword)

Are You a 7 Or a 2? How to Spot the Best Trainer for You, Andrew Read
Contributor – Master RKC, Athletic Adventurer