Goal Setting for 2023

We are helping you achieve your New Year's resolutions and goals! In this episode, Angelo dives deep into goal setting and how he helps his clients.

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Crystal O'Keefe: Welcome to the MetPro Method podcast. I'm your host, Crystal O'Keefe, and today I am joined by founder of MetPro Angelo Poli, and we are talking about all things related to goal setting. Hi.

Angelo Poli: Hey Crystal. Thanks for having me back.

Crystal O'Keefe: You know, I love having you here. I want to talk about goals. I feel like, how long have you been doing this, Angelo?

Angelo Poli: My wife and I were actually just, debating over this last night. I think we're on just over 20 years. It depends on when you start counting, you know, there's some garage days in there, but it's between 20 and 21 years.

Crystal O'Keefe: Okay. Well, including the garage days, what kind of variety has been out there for the different kinds of goals people have come to you with?

Angelo Poli: Well, I came prepared Crystal. I knew since we were going to talk about this, so I originally, when you had brought this up, I was just going to tell you about just two or three real unique goals that people have come to us with over the years. But as I started taking, you know, a trip down memory lane, it was really interesting to really think about all the unique, sometimes super random, sometimes touching, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes beautiful, just all these different goals that people have had over the years, and as people think about goal setting early in the year, let me share just a snippet, just a handful of my favorites.

Crystal O'Keefe: Ooh, I love that. Yes, please do. I can't wait to hear these.

Angelo Poli: So I had a gal that came to me and asked if she could hire me to slow her metabolism.

Crystal O'Keefe: What? Who wants to slow their metabolism? Why?

Angelo Poli: Who wants to slow their metabolism? Well, she actually had a very logical reason. So she was going to be going on one of those. Reality survival shows, a fairly famous one. And she was terrified that she was going to be hangry 24/7. So, we actually reverse engineered her diet and meal and training plan to actually cause her to acclimate and slow her metabolism as we decreased frequency of eating and things like that over the course of time and got her used to it and she actually did really good.

Crystal O'Keefe: Yeah.

Angelo Poli: Yep. On the reality show, the team she was on, did quite well.

Crystal O'Keefe: She was happy with her, slowed metabolism.

Angelo Poli: She was happy with her slowed metabolism. Then afterwards we sped it back up.

Crystal O'Keefe: I'm curious, if I can ask a follow up. When we speed up metabolism, we're eating more and we're eating more frequently, so, how little was she eating?

Angelo Poli: Ah, great question. So, this is a unique scenario since we're actually taking her metabolic rate and gradually chilling it out. So, she wasn't as sensitive, to blood sugar swings, etcetera.

So in her case, what we did was we just started with three square meals a day and months out we slowly reduced her to just doing a snack for lunch, a snack in the afternoon, and dinner. And then eventually it was just one afternoon snack and one dinner, and then eventually it was just one bigger meal a day.

And that had the effect of at a certain point, she was able to basically reach homeostasis where she was neither gaining or losing weight eating just the calories and the consumption from one meal. So that was an indication that, although it took her some time, her metabolic rate had come down.

She was one of those individuals that would eat constantly throughout the day, very high intake levels, otherwise she'd get, you know, the low blood sugar headaches. And so it actually worked quite well for her. And when she got back, we kind of reverse engineered that. She did good.

Crystal O'Keefe: Wow. Wow. That's incredible. Okay, well you started off with a bang. Who else you got on that list?

Angelo Poli: Yeah. I'll have to rapid fire some of these: a gentleman, who wanted to push back against diabetes and not go there. But the deal is: he wanted to set power lifting world records along the way. “Angelo, I need to lose weight. But every weight class I come down, I gotta set a record first. You gotta hold me there for each weight class.” That's the thing in the power lifting world. And this is not a spring chicken, this is not a young guy either. But boy, he was a great guy, an inspirational guy, and he motivated me along the way.

It was pretty incredible.

Crystal O'Keefe: Wow. That's good.

Angelo Poli: Had athletes preparing for photo shoots and fitness magazines. Yes, it's true. You see these magazines where these people look like no one looks like that in real life. Yep. They hire professionals to help them look a certain way on a certain day. It's true and IFBB Pro, except for she had a unique scenario where she though she was a pro card holding athletes, she was dealing with some unique health issues, so we were working around those, unique scenarios. Had an entire band going on tour.

Crystal O'Keefe: Like a rock band?

Angelo Poli: Yes. Yes ma'am.

Crystal O'Keefe: Wow.

Angelo Poli: Rock band who all decided to get in shape together, lose a few pounds, put on some muscle.

They wanted more stamina for on stage. More endurance for the tour and more look for the rock.

Crystal O'Keefe: That's awesome. Also, I feel like really strong personalities could be very challenging.

Angelo Poli: They were actually some of the funniest people I've ever worked. Yes, they were awesome.

Pro golfer wanted to drive just a little bit further, and so golfers will tell you, you know, getting in shape can really improve your game.

But how you go about it is kind of critical. If you all of a sudden change your body weight, all of a sudden quickly change how much muscle you have, it can enhance. But you have to get used to your new shape, your new body, and that can impact swing and all those things. So, it's a little bit more nuanced to that than what initially meet the eye.

Crystal O'Keefe: Hm.

Angelo Poli: I had a client who had scenes on, let's see, The Office, Parks and Rec, and a few more, and she was getting in shape for future gigs.

Crystal O'Keefe: Ooh.

Angelo Poli: I had an actor who had to actually lose a large amount of weight for a role that he landed. An actress who needed to transform her look for a new movie she got.

Had a contestant who was on the Biggest Loser after massive weight loss. And he did amazing. He needed help speeding his metabolism because his body was used to, you know, a very restrictive intake. Had a retiree who sold his company and decided he was going to sail around the world.

Crystal O'Keefe: Wow.

Angelo Poli: The only problem is he had to get in shape to do that.

He wasn't healthy enough to yet so I worked with him, helped him get in shape so he could live out quite the dream.

Crystal O'Keefe: That is quite the dream. I assume he was successful.

Angelo Poli: He was successful. I have over and over again clients who their stated reason for the call, “My goal is I'm becoming a grandpa, it's time to get healthy.”

Crystal O'Keefe: Aw.

Angelo Poli: And, “I'm finally a grandma and I wanna be around.” Had a guy order a new sports car as a goal, because you know how we always just, you know, we'll get that pair of pants or that dress that's just one size too small. Yeah. He didn't fit in the sports car, so that was the deal. So, that was his motivation, he said.

Crystal O'Keefe: And that's a good motivation.

Angelo Poli: I have this car coming and I don't fit in it. So that's my motivation. So I thought that was pretty entertaining. Let's see what else. Contestants on the reality show Top Chef. Wanted to get in shape for Top Chef in shape to cook and to-

Crystal O'Keefe: Why do you have to be in shape to cook?

Angelo Poli: Long hours chopping, cutting, cooking, stamina.

Crystal O'Keefe: Okay. Okay. Got it. Got it. Okay.

Angelo Poli: There might have been something in there about wanting to look good on camera. I'm not sure. We're going with the stamina.

Crystal O'Keefe: Okay. As husband Tom says, it doesn't have to be either or.

Angelo Poli: That's it. It doesn't have to be either or. It's all good. Multiple CrossFit game competitors.

I want to compete in the CrossFit games. One, was actually one of the most senior ladies to compete in her age demographic. And actually, that year she came in a second in the world.

Crystal O'Keefe: Whoa.

Angelo Poli: It was, it was pretty incredible. Yeah. Multiple, competitive CrossFit athletes. A lot of fun working with some very unique goal sets there.

“I'm turning 40. I want to do my very first fitness competition.” We've actually done a few like that.

Crystal O'Keefe: Wow. That's bold.

Angelo Poli: Some more life-changing ones. “Cancer made me reevaluate my life. Time to get in shape.” or “I am going to be a silks acrobat.”

Crystal O'Keefe: Wow.

Angelo Poli: And you have to be strong for that. Okay, now how, um, I know there's a name for this, but I don't remember the name.

It's running Precision Shooting, so all I can tell you is this very robust individual was sprinting full out speed, hurling his body behind things, around objects through the air. Ducking, rolling, dodging, all while shooting a pistol at Targets. This is a thing.

Crystal O'Keefe: That's a thing

Angelo Poli: It is a thing. Look it up. He needed to get in the best shape of his life for precision running. Shooting. Oh, look it up. See what it is. There's a name for it, I'm sure.

Crystal O'Keefe: Okay.

Angelo Poli: Someone will leave it in the comments. Extreme survivalist journey across Antarctica, even though he begged and plead not to do it.

Crystal O'Keefe: Wow. He, how long did that take?

Angelo Poli: I don't remember, but it was a few months long, but he trained for it and he spent the better part of a year getting his body and his health in shape for such an aggressive goal. Such an endeavor. And everyone's got to have goals. You never finish. I had the privilege one year I got to work with the Associated Press Athlete of the Year and he said he still has goals.

Even he had goals.

Crystal O'Keefe: Really?

Angelo Poli: Oh yeah. Had a client, she was on the cover of Forbes. Now, she wanted to get in her best physical shape too. She was known for smart business and she was quite, quite a character. Really enjoyed working with her. A gentleman who said that he needed to get in shape because he's starting his own clothing line.

Crystal O'Keefe: Ooh, That's a good reason. Yeah.

Angelo Poli: There's a good reason. Starting his own clothing line. Had a motocross racer who wanted more upper body strength, and that was his reason for getting in shape. And along that line, I had a, two as a matter of fact, because it was a husband and wife deal, professional motorcycle racers at the racetrack. Who were still competing in their late sixties.

Crystal O'Keefe: What?

Angelo Poli: In their late sixties. I've got a picture of them to this day doing it.

Crystal O'Keefe: Wow. I need to tell my parents about this

Angelo Poli: So what do you do for a hobby? Well, how about this guy? He built submarines, apparently built submarines, as the story goes for James Cameron movies and other big events like that. He wanted to be in shape to keep doing what he loved. Building submarines. What do you do in a submarine? Do you sail in a submarine?

You don't sail it. You don't drive it. Leave it in the comments below.

I got to work with a famous play writer who wrote several movies you've seen, but will remain nameless. And you know what he wanted? What he wanted was to start surfing, and good on him. High altitude hunting trips. This is a common thing. Apparently. There's really, there's hunting trips and there's high altitude hunting trips where, yeah, you know, I'm not, I'm not a hunter, but is it-

Crystal O'Keefe: Like rocky Mountain High Altitude or are we talking like like the Alps high altitude.

Angelo Poli: Like training for nine months high altitude.

Crystal O'Keefe: Whoa.

Angelo Poli: To like get in shape to do this stuff. Yeah. This is a thing. Honestly, I learned about it this one more recent. African Safari trip. Yeah, baby. Ooh. Getting in shape for an African safari. That was a family affair.

Crystal O'Keefe: That's so cool. I feel like we're making a bucket list right now.

Angelo Poli: Right. Need to get in shape because I'm competing in the Olympics. That’s a good reason to get shape.

Crystal O'Keefe: Oh wow. How are you not already in shape to make it to the Olympics? You were already in shape.

Angelo Poli: Yeah. but so is your competition.

Crystal O'Keefe: Fair enough.

Angelo Poli: We've actually had the privilege of working with quite a few, Olympic competitors. How about this one? “I need to fit into my body armor to continue my international peace work.” You can't make this stuff up. Wow. Now that gentleman was an interesting character that I learned a lot from.

“I want to be a better role model for health for my kids.” Atta girl. This was a sweetheart that said that to me. “I want to be healthy to walk my daughter down the aisle.” And we'll end on this one. “I am terminally ill, but I want to live my best life every day that I have.”

Crystal O'Keefe: Well, nobody can top that.

Angelo Poli: Yeah, nobody can top that. So, if you're at home thinking, nah, I don't know if I should get started. There it is. There it is. There's some incredible people out there. And you know what I, as I kind of jotted down, this is in no way a comprehensive list. But as just a few of these came to my mind, just the diversity struck me is how you know there is no, it's whatever, finding your why is.

But I tell people that come to me asking, what goals should I set? Go through a little bit of a journey with it. Write out your why, what's really important to you? You know, seldom will you find something that isn't related or made better by improving your health and wellness.

If you take care of your health, you know that spills over into so many other aspects of your life. But if you have your why, what it does is it just gives you that extra little bit of motivation, encouragement to push forward, to start with the goal, to follow through with the goal, to accomplish the goal, and that's what it's all about.

Find your why.

Crystal O'Keefe: Well, if you have no idea though, like what it is, like you just know you want to look better or you just know that you want to get in better shape. It's just really generic. How do you do that?

Angelo Poli: So, we start actually with our very first strategy session with our clients, is about goal setting.

Now I don't want to go on a tangent. There's goals and then there's values. I prefer big term values over goals, but we always use goals as stepping stones along the way to them. And so that's what our very first session is really about, is to determine, okay, what is it you want to accomplish? And that seems almost obvious, like, well, yeah, of course there is, but it's not, it's not always that obvious. It's not always that obvious from the standpoint of understanding. I've had conversations with clients many times that went like this. I hear you, I'm going to repeat back to you what you just told me. You want to have a little bit more energy.

You want to, improve your, uh, athleticism and strength and stamina. You want to be able to run a little bit farther and you want to lose a few pounds. Am I hearing that correct? And he says, yes, that's what I want to do. And I was like, perfect. Which do you want to do first? Which do you want to do most? What's your priorities?

Because the program that's going to give you the most energy and the greatest athletic performance. Can also do the other things, but it's not going to do them as quickly. The program that's going to just take five pounds off of you, you can still improve your energy performance, stamina, strength, but it's not going to do it as quickly.

And if it does, then you're following a generic, canned program that really isn't optimized for anything. That's the opposite of what we want. What we want is to be hyper specific to whatever your goals are. So, are we taking five pounds off first and then focusing on PRing with our run, and then focusing on this goal and that goal?

Or are we doing it in reverse order? Are we focusing on vitality, energy, performance, strength, stamina? And on the side we're also going to improve body composition, tone up, etcetera. When we identify really what comes first, then it's very clear and there's no right or wrong. I've had clients say, “Yeah, well now that you put it that way, what I really want is to lose 10 pounds, take 10 pounds off of me, and then I wanna do this, that and the other.”

Nothing wrong with that. And then other times I'm in these conversations and what it really comes down to is it's all about the performance. The program is going to look different, so we establish that and then we move on to body type. This is something that's probably talked about 10 years ago.

You know, people would look at us like we had a third eye when we talk about ectomorph, mesomorph, what's all that stuff? But nowadays, body type is talked about so often, but it's kind of gotten mingled in with the whole marketing machine these days. And so, it's kind of like, well, what's marketing lingo and what's actual, when you talk about body type, think of it in these terms. It's your genetic predisposition.

Now, we all know somebody like this where just genetically, they are predisposed to muscularity. They walk into the gym, they even glance over at the weights and you know, bam. You know, and they just, these have these glorious muscles.

Then there are some people that are very slender, they have a fast metabolism and they don't have any problem. They seem to be able to eat almost anything they want. They never gain weight. But let me tell you, they go to the gym and they huff and they puff and like, where are the muscles at? Where's the muscles at?

The approach you need to take for those two people is nothing alike. That's two completely different strategies. Now you factor in their genetic predisposition and what their goals are and of those goals, what their priority is, what their secondary, tertiary, etcetera. And now you start having really an equation that we can really optimize around.

And it can be smart, it can be intelligent, it can be purposeful. and then we need to move down the list into lifestyle and really is somebody what we would call a metabolic client or a strategic client. So, here's what that means. If we're being honest, over years and years of working with clients, what we've found is there's two approximate categories that people fall within.

And by the way, everyone falls into both categories at different times. You can bob and weave in and out of both categories, but here's the two basic categories or buckets that we would, we would say that I might fall within. I'm the type of person who, when I eat clean, when I exercise regularly, and when I live my healthy life, I see wonderful progress.

My challenge is in consistently eating clean, exercising, and living that healthy life. That's a pretty big bucket. Like I said, that could really define everyone at different points along the way. But then there's another bucket of people who, while they still may, like I said, bounce in and out of the need to be consistent.

There is another bucket of people who are relatively consistent. Like, “Angelo, I already am eating clean. I already exercise regularly. I've already done.” in fact, and then they have their list. They give me, I've done this program and that, and I've done keto and intermittent fasting and vegan and the smoothies and the weight loss shakes and the this and the that, and the, and they list off all, you know, the last 10 diets out there.

Were you consistent with like, yes, I was consistent with them, but I'm still not where I want to be.. Well, the truth is simply applying some general guidance and overarching strategies of eating less sugar. Getting active is probably going to result in that person being healthy, but it's not going to result in a specific transformation of their physical.

Their body's not going to transform because it's not enough of a change. So, in that case, what you really need is we consider someone more metabolic where we need to. Baseline test, calculate out how their body is responding to the exact activities, nutrition, et cetera, that they're participating in.

And then based on how they respond, we can take them through a periodized cycle of revving their metabolism and stripping body fat, building muscle, if that's the desire, stripping body fat. And in that way we can kind of seesaw someone's body physique, and health to the place they want it to be. And that takes a little bit more specificity.

And so when we first talk with our clients, what we're trying to determine is where's our starting point? Are we going to focus on the highlights, the habits, the techniques, the time saving strategies that are going to enable us to be consistent? Or do we need to start, for lack of a better term, bullying your metabolism to do what we want it to do right out of the gate.

That's a big part of, at least at MetPro when we visit with someone and we have a strategy call centered around goal setting. And then there's one more piece to the equation, and that's the psychology. You can't separate the psyche or the who we are.. Mentally, emotionally from the physical, it's all connected.

Crystal O'Keefe: Yeah.

Angelo Poli: They don't peel apart for good or bad.

Crystal O'Keefe: It's all together.

Angelo Poli: And that kind of dovetails back into original list here of these, you know, unique goals that people have. It's, find your why, also, work with someone that's gonna inspire you. That's where the accountability, the truth is humans, we're sometimes okay with letting ourselves down, but we don't want to let someone else down. And that's why the accountability that is coaching does work so well for so many people. So, when you're working with someone that can both give you the scientific direction, but also that emotional, mental motivation and support, we see some really great things and it's a lot of fun and it's a process that not only the clients enjoy it, but coaches really enjoy it as well. Seeing their clients thrive and do well. I know I do.

Crystal O'Keefe: It's very fulfilling to see people reach their goals. It's incredibly fulfilling and do things they didn't think that they were capable of. It's pretty cool.

Angelo Poli: That's it. Absolutely. So, what I encourage people to do is start at least informed. And so what we do at MetPro is a process called baseline testing. At home though, you can do just a real down, dirty, simple version of it. And really all it is, is track. If you track what you're currently doing, then when it does come time to set, setting some, tangible, time-bound, measurable goals, all the things we've learned about that we know really make a difference. The difference is you'll know where you're starting, so you'll know what my first steps can be, and that can help inform your decisions when you're setting some goals.

I want to lose some weight, or I want to improve performance, or I want to build some muscle, or I want to change body composition, whatever those goals are. If you know what you're currently working with as far as, the levers that you have access to. And just in short, your levers are going to be. Calories in and out, how those calories are dispersed to divided your macronutrient ratios and your exercise training and activities.

That's really the major levers. There are a lot, there's a infinite amount of other little minute things that contribute. But the big anchors are going [00:25:00] to be those three things. Your activity, your overall intake, and what that intake is comprised of. So there is really a finite, amount of large levers.

And when you understand what you're currently doing in each of those categories, then next steps become more apparent. And that's what, we encourage people to do when setting goals January's around the corner. That's usually a time where people are like, okay, I'm ready to go. I'm on the other side of my busy season.

Let's do this. And we love seeing people reach and fulfill those goals.

Crystal O'Keefe: Excellent. Is there anything else people need to know we've got. Find your why. Make sure that you start off with some tracking, some baseline, and then you've got the actual like, dig deep about what it is specifically that you want to do.

Is there anything else people need to know about goals?

Angelo Poli: You don't have to do it alone. You can find courage, tell people you want that extra accountability. Share with people what your goals are. And if you, of course, have ever been curious about working with a coach, reach out to us and we'd be happy to visit about whatever this unique nuance to your goal is.

We love it.

Crystal O'Keefe: Okay. Awesome. Well, Angelo, thank you so much for your time today, listeners, that's all for this week. You can find all the MetPro Method episodes anywhere you get podcasts, or you can go to metpro.co/podcast. Please be sure to follow and rate and review that lets other people know what they can expect.

You can also learn more about MetPro at metpro.co. I'm your host, Crystal O'Keefe, and I'll be back next week. Until then, remember, consistency is key.

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