Are You An "A" Student?

So many of us are addicted to perfection. We have this idea that in order for us to hit our goals, we need to be perfect, all the time.

Do you want to expose your abs? You need to eat ‘clean’ all the time.

Do you want to be rich? Don’t spend a dollar frivolously…

Do you want to get strong? Never miss a session, ever…

All of these are good things, but in some ways, the search for perfection obscures the fact that pretty good will often get you outstanding results.


This weekend at our ‘Lift Australia 2016’ event, Artemis was discussing the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule. The idea that 20% of our effort accomplishes 80% of our outcomes, or in the setting that Artemis was referring to, we can get incredible results by hitting our target 80% of the time.


With my background in teaching, I’ve always been drawn to asking the following question instead:

"Are you an A student?"


For most people, they are pretty happy with an A. If you’re getting all A’s all the time, you are a serious weapon. What’s the pass mark for an A? In almost every situation, you’ll find that you score the top grade at 85%.


In fitness, if you’re rocking up to 85% of your sessions, following your eating plans 85% of the time and training with about 85% of your potential load, you’re going to be getting incredible results.

The book, The Slight Edge, refers to the idea that every day, we make choices that take us forward, or backward. We don’t just sit still. If 85% of the time we can do things that take us towards our target, we are going to do outstandingly well.


Having a plan, that doesn’t involve perfection but that strives towards a consistent A, will get you brilliant results. It isn’t about focusing on the 15% you miss, it’s about consistently celebrating the A-level behaviours that are going to allow you to crush your goals.