Like many kids I first picked up checkers but I didn't like how simple the game was. I learned how to play chess from my Dad around age 6. I enjoyed the strategy involved with planning and setting up moves down the road. Plus the pieces were more interesting to look at. Only things a six year old thinks of!

Chess pieces each have their own designated set of moves. With each move, your options change. You always needed to be a step ahead, a point my Dad made always reminding me with "every move needs to set something else up". You can't move a piece because you felt like it. Every move gives you more options while also simultaneously taking a few away. 

I've always looked at fitness programming and conducting business as a game of chess.

On the exercise front I think about how each indvidual session feeds into the week, which is part of a larger plan for the month, and each month a part of an even bigger quarterly cycle. If someone performs a lot of lower body strength work, they may need to temper expectations on performance of lower body based cardio. Yes it's possible in a short term vacuum to improve your 10K time and squat numbers but over the course of a year, it may not be feasible to expect linear progression in both endeavors. 

On the business side lets use your Instagram feed as an example. 

I think of two things as it pertains to your profile:

  • What does it look like when someone new clicks on your profile
  • What does your your block look like (Your nine posts which consist of a "block")

When someone clicks on your profile are the 6 top posts enticing enough for someone to want to click on the individual posts? Enough to hold their attention for more than a few seconds until the swipe back to wherever they were on their phone.

Looking at the overview of your 9 post block helps to catch the eye of new people to follow you. I think about what colors are in my photos and/or videos. Have I posted too many fitness related pictures or videos in a row, it may be time to put up a food related post.

I recall learning that your blocks help to bring in new people, but that each individual post is for those who are already following you. So it's a blend of how do you continue to put out content that those who are already following you will enjoy, yet be aesthetic and intriguing enough to catch the eye of someone new going through profiles. Of course there's more to it but that's what I've noticed works for me.  

If only fitness and business were as linear as checkers, it'd be a lot more simple. Unfortunately its more a game of chess, so always be thinking one step ahead. Each exercise needs to have a reason, don't just throw in extra work for the sake of performing more moves. Just as each post needs to be a part of a larger picture for fitness professionals.