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December 12, 2023

Your perfect repeatable week for health and fitness

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We all know that consistency is important for improving our health and fitness. On episode 620 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss a strategy for getting that done called Your Perfect Repeatable Week.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:28.930] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:03:31.460] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:33.590] – Coach Allan

I'm doing okay. Tammy went back to the States. We recorded these a few weeks in advance. So Tammy's going to go do a surprise visit for her mother for Thanksgiving, so she's going to see her boys. I'm not sure if summer is going to make it up there or not, but she's definitely going to see her boys and probably her granddaughter and her mother and all that and spend some time with them. Wonderful. Her mother was a little bummed out. It's like, I'm not going to see you this year, and DA DA DA. So we said slow here, and it's slow here because people are afraid of what not to be afraid of, which is there's stuff going on everywhere, and if you let people scare you, then you're scared. But that being said, things are slow here. So we decided, okay, go ahead. Head on up there. So it's just me and the dogs. So it's a boys weekend or boys week. The dogs just hanging out nice and dogs.

[00:04:29.350] – Coach Rachel

That sounds awesome.

[00:04:31.190] – Coach Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:32.780] – Coach Rachel

Good. I'm super excited to share that I just completed the Dr. Stacy Sims Menopause 2.0 class. She has an online class. It was about 20 hours long, although I wasn't timing myself. It just seemed like it was a lot. But it was a really great class, and I needed it for the CEUs that you and I need to get for our NASM certification. So it was a perfect class at the perfect time, and I learned a ton, so I'm pretty excited about it.

[00:05:02.360] – Coach Allan

And you're living it.

[00:05:03.970] – Coach Rachel

I am living it, which made it so much easier to digest. I'm like, yeah, I know exactly how that know how that feels. Exactly. Yeah. It was perfect.

[00:05:15.620] – Coach Allan

Well, good. Congratulations on that.

[00:05:17.320] – Coach Rachel


[00:05:18.310] – Coach Allan

All right. So are you ready to talk about your perfect repeatable week?

[00:05:23.190] – Coach Rachel


Episode – Your Perfect Repeatable Week

Today we're going to talk about your perfect repeatable week. This is a concept I recently heard or heard something similar to a business related style podcast, and I got to thinking about the lesson and what it was about, and it really hit me that this is actually very good for our health and fitness as well as our business. So want to share this concept of the perfect repeatable week with you and see if you can use this to maybe create the thing that's going to help you make the most change this next coming year. So the perfect repeatable week brings about a few different things that are really, really important. The first is about consistency. So we want something that is going to allow us to be consistent. And when you think about consistency, the way I really want you to think about this is realize that the Colorado River and depending on when you read what they say, it could have been 70 million years ago or 6 million years ago. But at any rate, there's still a lot of consistency. That river has formed the Grand Canyon just by being consistent, running, running over all of that time created one of the most amazing spectacles on the planet, the Grand Canyon.

So one of the things that the perfect repeatable week does for us is it creates consistency. The second thing is it creates a level of discomfort. Okay? We humans spend way too much time in our comfort zone. We're never willing to go out of it and for good reason. That's how we've survived as long as we did. The ones that did the things that were stupid, that were outside of the norm, well, they often didn't come back. So the ones that did the comfortable thing, just enough of the comfortable thing and just enough to stay just on the edge, well, they didn't die and they managed to survive. Okay? But when you're looking at change, comfort is the enemy. We have to get a little uncomfortable if we want change. So that's one of the other things that your perfect repeatable week does is it pushes you just outside your comfort zone. Not too far, but just enough that you can get the benefits. And the other thing about your perfect repeatable week is that there's nothing inherently special about a day or even a week. However, we tend to structure our lives around a day and that can make it really, really hard to be successful in the long run because days are different and we'll talk about that in more detail.

So there's three key things that make your perfect repeatable week kind of special. So let's talk about the principles behind your perfect repeatable week. Well, first starts with your. And the thing about your is this is yours. This is not mine. This is not someone else's. This is not an influencer on Instagram or someone you're seeing on YouTube. This is what works for you. This is what you, it's built around you. So what you can make your week do is what you make it do. So you think about what you need to do within a given week to meet your health and fitness goals. Your health and fitness goals. So this is all built around you and your lifestyle. It's not anybody else's. And that's a really cool principle behind this. Your perfect repeatable week. The second is perfect. Now the term perfect is conditional. Someone who is a professional athlete, well their perfect is going to look very, very different from mine and going to look very, very different from yours. Yours is going to look very different from mine. So it's conditional on who you are. So first off, don't think perfect is perfect for everyone.

That we're looking for this perfect model that would fit everybody. That's not we're after here. We're after what would be perfect for you. Again, back to your, because the second thing about perfect is that we want to start where we are now. We don't want to think about, well, gee, if I were perfect, I would be running 100 miles a week and I'd be doing this and I'd be doing that. We're not looking at that. We're looking at starting from where we are now. What would be perfect based on where I am now and what I can do now. So what you have and where you are are key components to defining your perfect. And then the next is, well, I may not always hit this goal, but at least by having a target that's a little bit further than I think I can reach, I'm going to get close. And if I'm getting close, what does that look like? Maybe I'm not running or walking the 40 miles on a perfect week like I would. Maybe I only got 35, but that's still pretty darn good. So this is about trying to set this stretch goal and knowing that if I can occasionally hit perfect and sometimes hit really good, I'm doing pretty awesome job and I'm going to get where I need to be because again, I'm pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.

The next part of your perfect repeatable week is the repeatable part. So the reason I like to break this down this way is what can you do week in and week out? Okay. What this requires you to do is it requires you to be consistent. So I'm not thinking about, well, gee, I'm off work this week, it's this week and I'm off work this week. So of course I can do more than I could last week when I was working all the extra hours to make sure I could be off this week, really off this week. So obviously I can't do this every week. But if I'm doing the things I can do every week, then I'm being consistent. So what's repeatable what makes sense? And that's the second part. What's realistic, I can't say that I'm going to work out twelve times every week if my work schedule doesn't allow that to happen. If in general, I know, okay, I'm working eight to five Monday through Friday, so I know I can work out before I go to work. I know I can do a little bit of moving around during the day, like during my lunch break.

I can do some walking. I know that I can do some things during the week and during the weekend to make this all work. And if I do those repeatable things, I create consistency. So that's the key there is repeatable equals consistency. If I do repeat it, okay, then we talk about week. Of course, week being seven days. And a lot of times the reason I like the week is sometimes the day can be limiting. It is 24 hours, and sometimes I'm working 16 of those. And if I look at it from that perspective. I'll never be successful because a perfect day would not happen all the time. But a week gives us a little bit of flexibility. And the other thing is days are different. So my Saturday often looks very different from my Monday. My Sunday looks considerably different from my Friday. And so as you look at your days now because you're looking at a week you can find ways to make bits and pieces fit in that make sense. So days that I'm off, maybe I can do better. Maybe I can do things to make the days that I'm working or on better.

So batch cooking, things like that, what can I do? And then sometimes you just need a day off. Think about it. If you're trying to train or lift or do anything seven days a week, eventually you're going to burn out. So the advantage of a week is it lets you look at this holistically and you can say, okay, if I know that I need to predominantly eat less than a certain number of calories, if you choose to count calories you may say, well, it's really hard for me on a Saturday, only eat 1800 calories. I can easily do it Monday through Friday, but Saturday is a little bit difficult. So if I look at it and say, well, I really only have to eat 2000 calories a day to make my calories work for what I want, well then I calculate it. Okay, what is 2000 calories times seven? That's 14,000. Okay, how do I distribute those? Well, maybe more of those are distributed on Saturdays and Sundays when I'm more active and a little less on the days when I'm a little busier and not as active because again I'm more distracted and it makes it easier.

So I can fit this stuff in in a way that works. And I can take days off when I need to take days off. And I can really push myself on days that maybe I'm not doing some things so I can get things done that make it easier when I'm doing the other thing. So I know that's a lot, but I want to just back it up because again your perfect repeatable week gives you the tools to be consistent. It gives you the tools to get outside your comfort zone as often as you can and stay out of it as often as you can. And because it's a week it allows you a lot of flexibility in how you apply this. So an example if you will, would be a perfect repeatable week for me might be something like Sunday. I do batch cooking. I put some lunches and dinners in the refrigerator and more and others in the freezer. Okay. So now what I've done is I've made it very easy for me to make sure that my food is set for the week. I can pull it out of the freezer when I need to so I'm not pushed when I come home for work.

I can also do my grocery shopping on Sunday. So I go to the grocery store, I pick up the things I need. The reason that's perfect for me is if that's when they run the sales on the meat to clear it out, because tomorrow Monday, they're going to get a new shipment of meat. Then I can go ahead and I can take advantage of those savings. I go in, I buy early morning, I buy the meat, I go do the grilling. That afternoon, I cook the other things I need, I do that batch cooking, and I'm done. Okay. When I have my work week, well, my day starts around 07:00, so I know if I get up early Monday through Friday, I can schedule time to do my workouts. So I can put in a little bit of time each day to get in my resistance training, my balance training, my mobility training. And then on Saturday and Sunday morning, I can go out and do a little bit longer cardio stuff. So build a little bit of stamina, longer walks, enjoy my day, be a little bit more active so I'm able to take my week and build it out that way.

So I'm not saying, well, gee, today I didn't get stamina work in. Oh, my gosh. Well, no, I got a whole week to build this stuff in and put it in my schedule and put it on my calendar. So I've built this out, and because I want to get better and better, I'm constantly looking for ways to improve so my perfect repeatable week doesn't stay the same over time, it often changes. Okay, so how do we do this? How do we really put it all together? Because all I've really given you with your perfect repeatable week is a standard. You've set a standard for yourself. This is how I want to live my week. This is how I want to do my week. And if I do it well, this is my perfect. Okay, so the way I like to apply it is to basically look and say, okay, on a scale, and you can do a one to ten or one to seven, whatever fits. On a scale of one to seven, how did I do? A perfect week would be a seven. A horrible week would be a one. Well, chances are you're not going to have a lot of ones.

And chances are you might not have all that many sevens either. But as we go into the holidays now, you might find there's some weeks that you can just blow this out of the water. I intended to do this, and I did more great. Okay. On something else, I thought I was going to do better, and then I didn't. Okay, again, we're not totally after perfect, but we do have a target. And if I'm staying on the top end of that scale. Most of the time, I'm going to see change. So each week, I can go through my perfect week, and I can rate myself. How did I do relative to my perfect? Your perfect? How did you do? So you rate yourself, and then you look for what you can learn. What did I learn this week that I can apply and be better in future weeks? And in some cases, you may find, well, you know, I thought my perfect was basically eating whole food five days a week and then letting my Saturdays and Sundays be a little bit more flexible. But what I found is that if I go ahead and push myself outside my comfort zone, I can actually eat predominantly whole food all week long, that I don't need the snacks as much as I thought I did.

And if I do need a snack, it's easy enough for me to get some nuts, have a small salad, or some protein if I'm prepared. So I can actually ratchet up my perfect week as I improve my health and fitness. So I hope that you can see how you can take your perfect repeatable week, build out your model, schedule it, put it into play, and then start rating yourself based on it. And then as you improve, ratchet up that perfect a little bit. Hope this is helpful for you. I hope to hear from you.

What does your perfect repeatable week look like?

Post Show/Recap

[00:19:20.030] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:19:26.030] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. I love the concept of a perfect repeatable week because it really limits your vision to one week to one week. That's all you need to worry about. Not a year from now, but just one week. And especially right now, this is probably the busiest time of my year. Probably everybody else's, it really helps you plan things and still have some sort of a focus on your own personal health and fitness. And that is so important.

[00:19:54.830] – Coach Allan

Yeah, it's just too easy to get too busy. Well, I was busy doing this, I was doing that. This was a priority. That was a priority. Family this, family that, friends this, work that. And some of us, I don't know, me always going into the holidays, I would be working my butt off so that I could actually take a whole day off because there's too much going on. And so it's just that thing of, okay, I'm working so hard, and I got to get all this done and family and friends and all this other stuff around this time of year, and it would just be chaos. So, yeah, this whole idea of kind of looking at your week and saying, okay, what would be the best thing? But not just this week. I mean, this week is different than last week, obviously, and this week is different than a lot of weeks, but we have weeks that are the same as the week before, the week before that. And we still come up with excuses to not do what's necessary to be done. And so this is just a point of saying on a normal week, sometime in the middle of April, when there's nothing else going on, it's like, what does that week look like?

[00:21:07.860] – Coach Allan

And why don't at least probably 40 or so of the other weeks of the year look very similar to that? And so if you can figure out what works, then here's your opportunity to kind of build a blueprint for this. And I just think that's important, for sure.

[00:21:25.610] – Coach Rachel

As a runner, I'm no stranger to consistency and following a training schedule, usually a good training schedule might be ten to 14 weeks, depending on what you're going to run. So you basically have an outline with a training plan. But in terms of just general health and fitness, I think that if you take a class at the gym, like with me, I have run clubs several nights a week. That's my repeatable week that's on the calendar. I don't schedule anything over it, and that's just what I do. And then just because of where my husband and I are in our life, we know what nights that we can cook at home versus what nights we're out with work or doing other things. So I can control what we're cooking at home, what we're eating at home. And that's a pretty basic way to manage our health and fitness. And then with the holidays, things go sideways. And sometimes you just need to put what you can do the best you can when you can.

[00:22:26.350] – Coach Allan

But I'm telling you, if you go into a week like that with no plan right, it will go sideways. It has to. There's no other way for it to go. You didn't plan for it. Yeah. You didn't plan for it to come out better. You didn't do anything besides just say, well, I'm going to wing it. Well, winging it puts you in the ditch. It just does. And so that's the advantage of this, is saying, I know what a great week looks like, and trying to aspire to be as close to that as possible, even when things aren't optimal, is going to put you on the right side of this equation more often than not, for sure.

[00:23:02.560] – Coach Rachel

And you can plan that for us. We recently had Thanksgiving. Christmas is coming up. If you have other holidays, birthday parties, family events, that goes on your calendar, because those are important days in your life and your family's life. And so then you work around that. Well, when can you squeeze in a trip to the gym or a run with friends? Or when can you plan a meal? And you have a whole week, Sunday to Saturday, to plan that out. So put all your important things on there, but certainly put on there the important things that you need to live a healthy lifestyle.

[00:23:38.330] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And some folks might get upset. I use the word perfect. Well, I've even done an episode saying nobody's perfect. And it's true. It isn't perfect. So maybe a better word for you would be ideal. So maybe instead of the word perfect, if you find yourself cringing over the use of that word, maybe the better word for you is ideal. This is your ideal repeatable week. And it follows the same pattern of this has to be something you know works for you, will get you where you want to go. It's something you can repeat. It's your week and it's your time. And it's written in a time where you're not saying, well, okay, Sunday is different than Monday. So therefore, if I can't do it on Monday, there's no sense in me trying to do it on Sunday. Hockey Puck of course you can. Sunday can be different than Monday, but your Sundays generally might be about the same week in and week out. Your Mondays might be about the same week in and week out. And if they are, that's awesome because that gives you the opportunity to create that repetition that gives you the consistency.

[00:24:44.450] – Coach Rachel

Oh, that's perfect. But I also liked your rating system, too, because it makes you look back on your week. And if you didn't hit your marks, like whatever run club or whatever meals you wanted to cook at home or whatever your journey is, look back and say, well, why didn't you hit those marks? If it was because you had a sleepless night with a baby or grandchild or something, then you have to give yourself grace because you can't work out if you're sleep deprived, but it gives you ideas. Well, maybe you made too many excuses because the weather's too cold or it's too rainy or something, or a new.

[00:25:20.630] – Coach Allan

Series dropped on Netflix and you've been.

[00:25:26.390] – Coach Rachel

If only we scheduled our TV habits like we did, our eating and workout.

[00:25:30.890] – Coach Allan

That can be a part of it, too. For a lot of people, the television is time, family time. It can be or it can just be. That's a way that you really enjoy unwinding in the evening. Sure, fine, throw it in there. It's a part of your week. It's a part of unwinding relaxing, and you can just say, okay, I'm going to give myself 90 minutes of television time this many times per week. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that if it's not disturbing your sleep and it's not keeping you from doing the other things that you need to do, but when you're like, okay, well, I spent 15 hours on Saturday and Sunday watching Netflix, so I didn't have time to work out. I didn't have time to batch cook. So McDonald's it is, and so what? Well, no, that week didn't turn out the way you wanted it to. Then it gives you some food for thought.

[00:26:21.770] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, what can you do better next time? Or what can you fix so that you're not stuck with grabbing snacks out of the cabinet or fast food or something. There's always something to be learned, and if it can't be helped, it can't be helped. Things happen, but whatever you can plan and control, the better for you. So I love it. I love the idea of planning your perfect week and seeing how it goes.

[00:26:43.960] – Coach Allan

All right, well, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:26:46.320] – Coach Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:26:47.690] – Coach Allan

You, too. Bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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