Striving for lifelong strength involves adopting health-promoting habits that influence choices about exercise, activity levels, sleep, and diet. These habits, ideally, not only enhance health but also align with personal goals. For those aiming to gain strength and muscle, decision-making may focus on factors like protein intake and specific workout routines. However, life rarely allows unrestricted decision-making. Instead, decisions often involve compromise and maximizing one’s circumstances. It’s important to remember the phrase, “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”. It’s important to develop your “non-negotiables”. These are the essential minimums to aim, regardless of the day, week, or month. Doing so will reduce decision fatigue and make it simpler to stay on track. At Hobart Strength Training we suggest the following non-negotiables:

  • Resistance Training
  • Nutrition
  • Routine


Resistance Training non-negotiables

Resistance Tailored training non-negotiables vary depending on goals like strength improvement, building endurance, sports performance, or muscle growth. Irrespective of goals, we suggest two key non-negotiables: commit to twice weekly resistance training and target major muscle groups with small selection of exercises, like Squats, Bench Press, Deadlifts, Shoulder Press, Rows, and Pulldowns. Even when time is limited, you can still fit quite a lot in over two days, which comports with physical activity guidelines (1). Moreover, research identifies that even a single set can be effective for those looking to build strength (2). It’s important to remember that consistency and effort will always trump picking the most comprehensive or “perfect on paper” program. At Hobart Strength Training, our coaches will ensure your program meets your needs and available resources.


Non-negotiable 1: resistance training



Nutrition non-negotiables

Although nutrition non-negotiables vary based on individual needs, we suggest the following two priorities: Protein and Fibre intake. Protein intake is important not only for recovery and muscle growth, but additionally, ageing healthy and strong (3). Sufficient fibre intake requires a certain number of whole grains, fruits, and veggies to hit, being beneficial in and of itself. Additionally, fibre is thermogenic, helping someone burn more calories and satiating, keeping someone fuller for longer (4). Mastering nutrition might involve meal prepping or exploring ready-made meal options (MyMuscleChef for example). Portable options like fruits, muesli bars, nuts, and seeds are convenient for on-the-go consumption. Finally, when dealing with time constraints, protein powder becomes a reliable backup, allowing 1 to 2 quick shakes amid busy schedules or while on the move. Having minimum targets in mind and options to meet them allows individuals to take control of their intake.


non-negotiable 2: nutrition


Routine non-negotiables

Creating routine non-negotiables echoes Gretchin Rubin’s wisdom: “what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” While an ideal routine might include multiple activities, reality often calls for compromise. It’s crucial to avoid an “all or nothing approach” and prioritize consistency over sporadic efforts. Non-negotiables relating to one’s routine can involve something as simple as bedtime targets, with accommodating stretch and slack goals (e.g., aim for 10 PM, with a stretch goal of 9:45 and slack of 10:15). Other habits to incorporate include post-dinner walks, pre-meal hydration, daily reading, or language app usage. Using a smartphone, it’s incredibly easy to set reminders and tackle goals, aiding routine adherence and building self-confidence in your abilities. When setting routine non-negotiables, consider always identifying stretch and slack goals as they encourage a challenge, yet allow for flexibility without causing feelings of failure.


Non-negotiable 3: sleep



Pursue lifelong consistency

In the pursuit of enduring strength, our journey revolves around health-centric routines impacting exercise, sleep, and diet choices. Emphasizing habits that foster well-being while aligning with personal aspirations, we understand that decision-making often involves compromise and the best use of our resources. It’s important to remember that at any point of someone’s fitness journey, progress will always trump perfection.

Today’s exploration delved into three key pillars:

  1. Essential Training Principles involving tailored routines for strength gains, prioritizing consistency over exhaustive efforts.
  2. Fundamental Nutrition Guidelines stressing daily protein intake and diverse fiber sources, guided by proactive planning and adaptable choices.
  3. Routine Essentials, inspired by Gretchin Rubin’s wisdom, underscore the importance of consistent habits, and utilise stretch and slack goals for sustained growth.

If you’re looking to develop your non-negotiables, we can help! Discovering your non-negotiables will develop self-confidence and a healthy balance between ambition and adaptability.



  1. Physical activity (who.int)
  2. MinimumDose™ – The ™ is ironic (minimumdosetraining.com)
  3. Protein for Life: Review of Optimal Protein Intake, Sustainable Dietary Sources and the Effect on Appetite in Ageing Adults – PMC (nih.gov)
  4. The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre – PMC (nih.gov)