Limiting Factors!

​A lot of my clients come to me wanting the body of someone else…in fact I’m sure at some stage we have all thought we’d like the broad muscular shoulders of our friend Mark or the long lean legs of our friend Hannah.  Unfortunately this attitude is merely punishing and unrealistic for most.  All of us are born with a specific body type and makeup, our bodies can certainly be nurtured and sculpted through appropriate training and nutrition but only to create the best version of ourselves…not necessarily the swimsuit model on the front of a fitness magazine!  So does this mean we should give up and accept the inevitable failure to achieve what for years we have been brainwashed to believe we should look like?  NO!!  We need to retrain our brains to understand what our LIMITING FACTORS are and become educated on how we can create the best version of ourselves…and in my opinion that’ll always be pretty good!!

In this article I detail the 5 key limiting factors I feel can prevent people from achieving their fitness goals.  By understanding and starting to overcome these limits you cannot only look amazing but your confidence will soar benefiting all areas of your life.

People have lots of different genotypes, lots of different lifestyles and lots of different ideas about what’s “good for them” (and what’s not).  I could write a book on the number of ‘reasons’ my clients tell me they cannot reach their targets both in fitness and in life.  However, if you look at specific limiting factors in terms of their ability to be healthy, to lose fat, and to gain muscle, there are really only a few genuine types of limits and that’s what we’re going to talk about here:

1. Genetic makeup;

2. Physical activity patterns;

3. Physiology;

4. Mindset;

5. Nutrition


Do your genes limit you?  I seriously doubt it.  I have worked with many clients over the years and I can’t remember a single person that could not improve their fitness levels, agility, flexibility and body shape…despite their so-called and self proclaimed ‘poor genes’.  Of course we must be realistic.  Each of us has certain, very real, genetic limitations; this I am not denying.  For instance, most of us will not be physically designed to play center for Ireland or win the Tour De France!!  In other words we may not have the genetic make up to reach the upper limit of elite human physical performance.  However despite this limiting factor, we can still improve our health, lose fat, and/or gain muscle by getting the right advice and implementing it. 


Is your physical activity pattern your limiting factor?  It’s possible, especially if you are completely sedentary.  If your daily activity involves nothing more than moving from one piece of furniture toanother, your exercise habits (or lack there of) are probably one of your limiting factors.  Getting fitter, leaner and healthier all require both an active lifestyle as well as purposeful,regular exercise.  If you sit at a desk all day and then go home to sit some more, you are probably in METABOLIC decline, fat gain and muscle loss.  Of all the limiting factors this one in my book is the easiest remedied but it is also the factor most commonly linked to other limiting factors like mindset and nutrition that have a negative knock-on effect preventing us from achieving necessary fitness and lifestyle changes.


While exercise and nutrition can make substantial improvements in almost everyone there are certain physiological imbalances that may significantly impede results depending on the severity of the imbalance.  Thyroid hormone imbalance, amongst other imbalances can cause some people difficulties with weight loss and muscle gain.  We should never use these as an excuse not to begin an exercise program however, if you are not getting the desired effect, it’s worth digging deeper into your physiology, see your doctor…


All the knowledge in the world doesn’t mean a thing if that knowledge isn’t translated into action, daily practices and habits you can repeat consistently.  Your mental attitude is critical if you plan to stick with your exercise and nutrition practices.  Research suggests that body composition changes and performance improves when you visualize attaining your goal.  “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”…Winston Churchill


Whether you want to gain muscle, lose fat, pursue a healthy lifestyle or even compete at the highest levels of sport, the most destructive limiting factor is almost always nutrition.  Poor nutrition holds you back.  Good nutrition propels you forward, feeds muscle and helps shed fat.  It improves nearly every measurable health marker.  If you are serious about making a change you should consult a personal trainer or visit a nutritionist.  Don’t assume you don’t need professional advice…if you had all the answers you wouldn’t need to make the change!  Of all the limiting factors we’ve discussed nutrition is the most significant factor determining your outcome in my opinion.

For further information on any of the issues raised in this article or if you would like some help to get started with your transformation feel free to call me at Skye Fitness on  02838 351318 or email  To see other relevant fitness articles visit our website

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