“I now see my health as an asset. During this journey with RNT I’ve developed a critical asset to maintain, nurture and grow further, and it’s one which I know I can rely on separately from financial wealth creation that’s made me more relaxed and fulfilled. If I have a bad day at work, I still have my health. I’ve learned that health is the greatest wealth, and without it, no other area of life can be truly unlocked.” – Adam Goff
If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, executive or anyone wanting to perform at a high level, you can’t neglect the critical pillar of health in your life. Without it, it’s impossible to sustain a level of performance that’s required to start, scale and grow a business, and it’s arguably the biggest missing tool in every high performer’s toolbox.
Once found however, there’s no holding you back. We’ve seen it multiple times when someone transforms from needing regular, excessive pit stops around the track to driving full steam ahead with a bigger, faster and more reliable engine – with extra cylinders to boot!
After coming back from sailing the Atlantic in December 2017, Adam decided it was time to get into incredible shape, unlock his physical A game, and take his health and fitness to the next level. He’d spent years living the London lifestyle while also putting in the long hours and sacrifices for his business, and it was starting to take its toll. His fitness levels were no longer what they were, and his weight was constantly moving up and down.
Needing a change, Adam began his journey towards a fitter version of himself. He had some initial success in the first half of the year through improving basic practices, but after plateauing in July, he decided to seek a tried and tested programme to really hone in on his physique.
That’s when Adam decided to approach RNT.
In this case study, we’re diving deep into Adam’s story, and explore how taking his physique to the next level has cascaded benefits into all domains of his life.
His business continues to thrive.
His mindset is as sharp as it’s ever been.
And he’s in the shape of his life.
The best bit? He’s maintained his condition ever since (7+ months of writing this) despite lengthy trips abroad and the unpredictable grind of business, while developing real lifestyle solutions to ensure he stays on his physical A game for life.
“I have always been a fitness fanatic, with a background in Rugby and the British Army from my younger days. However, the London lifestyle coupled with the long hours and sacrifices required to start and scale a business had their effect on me. As a result, I was constantly fluctuating with my fitness levels and body weight.”
In December 2017 I decided to go on a sailing trip crossing the Atlantic. This resulted in a lot of sitting still and eating Jaffa cakes! When I got back I wanted to get back in shape. After some initial success, I plateaued and in July 2018 I decided to start working with RNT.
There were a few catalysts for choosing to work with RNT:
- Credibility: Two friends of mine Shiv and Akash had amazing results.
- Results: I wanted results. I realised I was just working within the limits of my existing knowledge and therefore would only achieve what I had previously. This time I wanted more.
- Accountability: we all need this, even the most self-motivated amongst us. I know I perform better when a group is watching so I decided to commit to third party accountability. Also, I find when I pay for something I work a lot harder to get my money’s worth!
I also understand that I have mentors in all aspects of my life so why should nutrition and physique building be any different? It’s always best to take the knowledge the experts have gained over the years and use that to propel you to get results!
Just before Adam started RNT, he wanted to give himself a kickstart to the process by spending a week in Thailand eating well, training hard and recovering from the first half of the year.
After this trip, he clocked in at 84kg on the scales.
Up till this point, he was eating 2300-2600 calories, with approximately 50% coming from carbohydrates, and an even split of fats and protein to make up the rest.
The first change we made here was to adjust calories down to the 2200 mark, with macronutrients being set at 220g protein, 70g fats and 170g carbs. While not too dissimilar from before, the real key was that it was now 2200 calories every day with no untracked food and drinks thrown on top of it!
This makes all the difference, and often it’s the fluctuations and under reporting that catches people off guard when trying to adjust their body composition. As soon as we standardised this, the body fat started flying off.
As a busy entrepreneur who hated time spent cooking, Adam leveraged a meal prep service company (Fresh Fitness Foods) to eliminate this aspect of the process, and allow him to focus purely on execution.
Adam was always a fan of CrossFit and classes, but the brutally high intensity nature of them coupled with the lack of a real progression plan meant that he wasn’t getting anywhere.
He was training hard, but his physique wasn’t really reflective of his efforts. To begin with, Adam persisted with the classes out of enjoyment, but when we realised they were actually counterproductive, we made the shift to three weight training sessions a week.
This is a common occurrence, and we find that in highly strung individuals, the intense nature of HIIT type classes like CrossFit or similar can impact recovery tremendously, and cause an overflowing ‘stress cup’.
Remember, your body perceives all stress as stress, from work stress, physical training stress, to relationship problems. It’s all the same to the body, and if you have one part of your stress cup that’s too large, it’ll cause everything to spill over. Managing this can be a real game changer, and for Adam a simple switch from focusing on CrossFit to more traditional strength training made all the difference.
Creating Life-long Assets
Circling back to the starting quote in this case study, a few weeks ago we caught up with Adam to speak about his journey in more depth…
AV: Why is it important to treat your health and fitness as an asset?
AG: Ultimately, you are your number one asset. You’re the driver of the car. The golden goose. Would a race car perform well if it just raced around the track at full speed all the time? Of course not. I’ve learned the hard way, but I know now over the years that treating yourself well and taking good care of yourself is arguably your greatest responsibility in life. Building a business is exciting, and making money and creating financial wealth is great, but that’s only one pillar in your life. It’s hard to continue keeping that pillar standing, let alone build on it further, if your health isn’t prioritised.
AV: I completely agree. What do you say to entrepreneurs, business owners, and high performers overall who may think this doesn’t apply to them, or that they can keep charging on at full speed without worry of breaking down?
AG: It’s a marathon not a sprint. I say this to almost everyone I come across. You’ve got to keep repeating this to yourself. Having work ethic, discipline and determination to achieve your goals is great, but not if you sacrifice your health for long periods of time. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had to go in the red as business owners from time to time, that’s going to happen! The key is to know when you are doing it, and appreciate that it’s not sustainable. By bringing the focus from always being on the business, to now being on yourself, and your physical health, you’ll be amazed how well everything takes off for you. That’s certainly what I’ve experienced!
AV: You’re not alone. Working on your physical, and really pushing yourself to the extreme in it teaches you so much about business and life that it becomes the ultimate playbook. The problem is that not enough entrepreneurs embrace it, and feel they don’t have enough time in the day to work on themselves.
AG: It’s the classic ‘busy syndrome’. The problem is, if you’re too busy to take care of yourself now, your body will force you to take time out later in some form. You can’t fool your body. To make the time, it really boils down to self organisation, and managing your time and priorities. If you can master these skills, your results will go through the roof across the board.
As it relates to my own transformation, I like to blend the two (fitness and business). So I’d make calls when I’m walking, or encourage walking meetings with my team. I also implemented immovable, non-negotiable training times. For me, early in the morning worked because it meant I got it done, and the day couldn’t distract me. If you have a busy business, this has to be the answer.
Another game changing mindset shift is to get your head around the fact that there is always more work to do as an entrepreneur. If you can understand this, which is easier said than done, you’ll find it much easier to completely switch off, take a break, and put yourself first.
AV: Excellent advice, and very applicable to people from all walks of life. Much of what you’ve spoken about is very much mindset related, and creating shifts in your thinking to benefit you.
According to you, how important is mindset in creating success triggers that enable transformation?
AG: I’ve always been a positive person, but being on my A game all the time now means it’s amplified to a new level. People often say success is a state of mind. I’d say so is getting into shape! It’s set my standards across all aspects of my life. When you see the results, and what you’re capable of, the mind adapts and starts to see opportunity and winning as the norm.
There are two periods in my transformation journey so far that I’ve found this applicable. The first was the final few weeks before my shoot, when I was getting into real low levels of body fat. The second, and significantly more insightful experience, was the three months after, and learning how to make it a lifestyle while battling the mind games of your body wanting to reverse back up. The fact I’m still in great shape six months later is a huge win for me, and has triggered a massive success trigger in my head to accomplish anything in life.
You can also break these ‘big win periods’ into day to day ‘easy wins’ as well. I’ve always been a fan of making my bed in the morning; it’s a quick easy win to tell the mind it’s going to be a day of success! Mental success triggers like hitting my step count, water target and/or staying within macros each day positively impacts my mindset to then look for more chances to win like this at work. It’s a cascading domino effect.
AV: As you touched upon, you’ve not only got into the shape of your life, but you’ve maintained great condition ever since. It’s always a rocky period after dieting down, so a well structured Consolidation Phase is essential. Of course, life often gets in the way of routine, and in your case, you went travelling for 8 weeks straight after your shoot! A holiday straight after a dieting phase usually has ‘disaster’ written all over it, but you navigated the challenges of new environments extremely well! Tell us more about how you managed this.
AG: I was determined not to undo all my hard work when I was travelling. You’d warned me on numerous occasions about the dangers I’d face mentally and physically, so I was well prepared. But even then, five countries and four different time zones all over Asia doesn’t make it easy!
My bests tips for anyone travelling would be:
- Reduce your meal frequency in the day, and fast more in the mornings. This allowed me to eat bigger meals, enjoy the local cuisine to the max, and not worry about continuously spilling over my calories.
- Stay active with steps, activities and training. Throughout my time away, I always focused on walking around new cities as much as possible, while also being sure to train in some form, whether it be night-skiing in Japan, Muay Thai in Thailand (where we managed to grab a session together while you were there too!), or surfing in Australia! Sometimes it meant bodyweight workouts, other times it was hotel gyms. I just tried to do something, and make the best of what I had available.
- Maintain accountability. The game changer for me was to continue checking in with RNT with my pictures and body weight. We couldn’t consolidate in the traditional way, so by keeping myself accountable to you all allowed me to know when to push, and when I needed to pull back. This was the real critical point, and I’d encourage anyone in a similar position to do the same.
Combining these three strategies meant I only ended up with an average of 1-2 lbs increase in body weight after, which I was really happy with! It created a platform of success to build on when I was back home in the UK again.
Another bonus motivator for me was that I wanted to set an example. Both to myself, to you, to my team, and the entrepreneurs I mentor. My position as a leader means I’m the one people look to, and by being and staying in good shape, it sets the tone for everything I do.
On introspection my take-aways during the RNT journey were :
1. Trust the process. This stuff works, don’t question it or think you are different. Just give their way a chance.
2. Communicate. Stay in constant contact with RNT, be honest and ask for help. They have seen it all.
3. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and progress will come in waves, some things will work more than others and there is some trial and error. Plus, we are all human so play the long game.
Embracing the Journey with a Lifestyle Solution
AV: On our podcast, you mentioned how the best education and results from the process have come after the photoshoot itself. What have been your biggest takeaways here?
AG: The photoshoot was awesome, and the shape I got into was unbelievable. But what’s really been eye opening is learning how to make it a lifestyle, and understanding what works best for my body.
For example, a few ‘hacks’ I’ve learnt in the past six months of interpreting the biofeedback given to me each week have been:
- I’m more of a protein than a carb guy. I’d rather push protein up a little higher than take carbs up. Not because I don’t like carbs, but I feel best on slightly higher levels of protein.
- HIIT and classes don’t work well for me. It wasn’t until you told me to pull back from all the high intensity cardio and focus only on strength training and steps did I realise how much it was stressing me out.
- I need to learn to slow down when I eat. This was a big revelation when you told me this, as I was the guy who’d wolf down a whole enormous meal in 5 minutes and still feel hungry! Spending 20 minutes chewing my food has allowed me to slow down overall, and improve my digestion in the process.
- If I don’t sleep well I have more cravings and hunger, and I can’t perform at a high level. I’ve now taken all the guilt away from sleeping, and aim to take a nap at least once at the weekends to help recharge from the week. Once I realised that sleep was nature’s medicine, my focus and priority has shifted.
- Keeping my steps up is essential to help me perform, focus and stay lean. I’ve never been a ‘steps’ guy, but it’s now an important part of my day. I make calls when I’m walking, hold meetings, and now realise just how much more I can do on the go – two birds, one stone!
AV: This is life changing. While on the surface some of it may be obvious, being able to understand how many hours you function best on, what sort of intensity you respond well to, and which macronutrients you thrive best off is a real education that few are able to reap the rewards of.
The combination of being self-aware, relaying the correct information, and being open to them experimenting with different strategies are the keys to your success here. You’ve also understood that this doesn’t happen overnight, and that there’s a learning process and journey to go through.
AG: Absolutely. When I look back over the past year, the photoshoot preparation was only the introduction section of the book. After that, each phase we’ve gone through has been a new chapter in the book, and I feel like we’ve not even reached half way! There’s so much to learn about the body and so many strategies to experiment with, that I can’t wait to see how far we can take it.
Transforming my body has put me on my triple A game, and the sky’s the limit with what I can do now!
Key Lesson to Learn
When you’re a busy entrepreneur, it can be far too easy to let your health fall to the wayside, both physically and mentally. Being ‘on the grind’ all the time sounds great, but the reality is it’ll always catch up with you at some point. What Adam’s transformation teaches is that when you focus on yourself and take care of the driver of the car, your results will take off exponentially in everything you do. You wouldn’t want to drive a race track with a banged up Ford KA, so why take that risk when you’re driving through the valleys of business?
Stats & Pictures
Starting Bodyweight: 84kg
Leanest Bodyweight: 73kg
‘Lifestyle’ Bodyweight: 74-76kg
Having successfully consolidated, Adam’s next plans shift to being able to maintain his physique at a ‘lifestyle’ bodyweight of 74-76kg, which is where he feels best both physically and mentally. At the same time, he’d like to slowly build muscle and strength, while also dipping his feet into different challenges such as half marathons and the Turf games! The overall goal now is all about optimisation, continuing to tweak the engine to cope with all the different demands placed on it, and minimising any chance of a breakdown. It’s all about high performance for Adam, and it’s exciting to continue watching his upward trajectory!