Now, I am no stranger to the meta of the Internet in terms of creating content. This last year alone, I have helped produce over 50 podcast episodes, 100+ YouTube videos, and more shorts/TikToks than I wish to remember.  

Now, this may sound like a not so humble brag, but I KNOW how typical the title of this article sounds. I mean, it fits the YouTube title algorithm perfectly.

  1. List format/Start with a number
  2. Include word that drives action (essential)
  3. Create a gatekeeper and solution within the title that drives clicks
  4. Bonus points if you can either melt something, throw something in chalk, or hit yourself in the balls with a band

Anyways, if your goal is to either be the strongest or most jacked version of yourself, you need to take the time to truly understand the answers to the following five questions.


These questions will provide you with the roadmap to get strong and jacked while giving you the playbook for when shit hits the fan and you are at a loss of what to do next. If I learned anything through my time working with some of the strongest humans on the planet, there is no such thing as a linear path in the world of strength, especially when it comes to being really, really strong and jacked. You will have good days, bad days, and you will find yourself completely wrecked and not knowing what to do next.  

What is the REAL objective?

If you answer, "To be the strongest and most jacked person you can be," then congratulations, you have a half-assed objective.

This sort of open-ended objective statement is your way of buffering yourself from the pain of failure.  

Unclear and obtuse objectives equal unclear and obtuse conditions of success.

RECENT: 3 Things I Learned From Training YOUR Ass Off

Are you shooting at a specific target? Or do you have "targets of opportunity" that may take your attention away from your current objective and help you feel better if you miss your main shot?

It sounds brutal, but you need to be objective with what objective you want to accomplish. If you want to get an elite total in the 181 weight class, then that is your objective. All decisions should line up in that direction. If your goal is to lift enough weight on your Instagram to get a few discount codes and some IG clout, aim for that. If it's to do a bodybuilding show, then do that. Be specific, be objective, and understand WHY you want to get it done.

Where are you now? 

Assess your situation. Where you are right now, in this very moment, is imperative if you are looking to achieve the strongest and most jacked version of yourself. Without a baseline understanding of where you are, what you can do, and where you are coming from, you will not understand if you are making steps in the right direction.

Take the time to assess your current physical abilities in the gym and what sort of things you do outside the gym. Consider your daily habits, job, stress levels, nutrition, response to when things get hard, your support system around you, your age, your injuries, etc.

You need a clear understanding of who you are, what you're coming to the table with, and how that overlays onto your highest version of yourself.

If I got paid a dollar for everything time I spoke to an athlete who has these grandiose goals for themselves in the gym but can't tell me what they had for breakfast, I would be writing this article in a much warmer and more expensive location.

Be real with yourself, find your objective starting point, and work from there. 

What is your plan of attack?

Now that you understand where you are starting from, you can determine what you need to do and what you are willing to commit to the process to get there. I say this because one of the best things I learned from Dave Tate during the Train Your Ass Off event is that you need to clearly understand your priorities in life. If strength or getting jacked is not your number one priority above family, work, friends, etc., don't be pissed that you got beat by someone who put it as their number one priority.

Now I'm not saying it has to be your number one priority, but you need to know how important it is to you, what you are willing to sacrifice for that pursuit, and what you are willing to risk. Are you ready to sacrifice earning a higher-paying job, relationships, and even your health in the case of performance-enhancing drugs?

Find out how important this objective is for you and compare it to the other important things in your life. See how they all stack up to each other, and a clear hierarchy of needs will develop right before your eyes.

How long are you willing to commit to this process? What are your plans for when setbacks start to happen?

Questions four and five tend to morph into the same conversation when it comes to setting clear objective measures of goal attainment because we tend not to think long-term enough when trying to reach these strength or physique goals.

The adage of "we overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade" rings true as with any skill. The sheer attributes of consistency and effort over a long enough period of time will result in tremendous gains. We need to get out of our way and head to allow ourselves to stay the course.

In terms of setbacks, we will never be able to predict the future when it comes to the happenings of life, how our bodies will react, or what may happen to us. We can put ourselves in the best possible situation for when disaster strikes. Save some money for potential future medical expenses. Find a clinician in or around your area that works on athletes. Find the necessary services and support in your area to help you with the stress of these setbacks. 

It's not a matter of if; it's a matter of when. In the world of strength, your body will begin to show signs of wear and tear, and you will need the physical and mental resources to help get you back on track.

Ask and answer these essential questions to get as strong and jacked as possible. Although these five questions may sound like a common sense list, that is a good thing. People tend to forget the importance of the basics when creating big changes in their lives. So if you are looking to give yourself the best chance for future success, understand where you're starting, what you bring to the table, where you want to go, and bridge the gap to give yourself the clearest and most direct path to reach success.

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Sam Brown is developing the next generation of coaches and athletes as the owner of Practice Movement and Recovery LLC. He consults clients to get out of pain and boost performance—one of the few McGill Method Practitioners in the United States. He’s a strongman and competes in the 198- to 200-pound weight class.