Setting A Fitness Goal Is Vital To Success by Stuart MacEwan

The talk around the gym for the past month has been centered around 2016 and what we’d like to see out of the New Year.  Happily, much discussion has been based on how well we are doing as a gym, and how pleased our clients are with their progress.  That’s a great indicator that we are doing well as a team and as a whole.  Even so, it’s important that we look at our service and profession to find ways be even more valuable in our ability to bring out the best in our clients.

In a similar manner, you will want to look at your own fitness practices to ensure you keep those habits that are giving you solid results while identifying and resolving issues that are holding you back.  Start by asking yourself if you feel engaged by your fitness time.  Are you challenged?  Do you allow yourself to be focused and ‘in the moment’?  Do you visualize your workouts for a few minutes while you make the drive to the gym to see yourself succeeding at difficult lifts?  Do your workouts scare you just a little bit?  If so, you probably have set yourself up with a quality program; one that pushes you and develops you both physically and mentally.  Keep up the good work!  Stay the course. 

If you find that you are drifting through your workouts then there may be some room for change and improvement.  Ask yourself if you stay focused while you move from movement to movement.  Do you feel a lack of fulfillment after your workout is over?  Have you drifted for the past several weeks through your workouts; been on a kind of cruise control?  When you feel detached from your workout, you need a bit of a kick start and a few changes.  I’d like to recommend that you set a few new goals.                   

Setting a new goal (or 2) isn’t supposed to be very daunting.  In fact it’s supposed to be fun!  I’d recommend starting by asking yourself if you get more motivation by achieving a benchmark as a group (for example if the entire boot camp class got ready for a local team event like a race) or if you prefer individual accomplishments like a personal best pullup, squat, or learning a daunting exercise like a Turkish get up.  Once you select the type of group or individual motivation that you like, I’d suggest that you select 1 traditional style achievement, and one fancy type of exercise to improve on. 

For example, most clients know they need to get proficient at grueling exercises like squatting, dead-lifting and pull-ups.  Those exercises just plain old suck and that’s why they are so good for you!  The demand the put on your muscles, bones and nervous system are superior and cannot be replaced.  They are also super hard to do, so what better way to feel like you improved on your program and on yourself than to set one of these dead in your sights and hit it head on until you see marked improvement.  If you don’t do this exercise regularly yet, make it your goal to devote at least 30 minutes each week just to that solitary exercise.  Your first step might be just actually doing it for 30 minutes without hating life.  Maybe you start by focusing on your form.  As your form progresses, you start adding weight or difficulty by doing more reps.  As you find a baseline of maximal performance in both reps and weight, set a goal of improving your max weight effort by 10% over the next month.  At this point a trainer really can tweak your weekly program to give you the exact process to improve your weight (or form if you are just learning), so don’t hesitate to ask for guidance here.  Presto!  You now have a good old fashioned exercise goal that should take you through the next 3 months at least. 

When selecting a fun fancy move, just focus on something that you thought was pretty neat when you saw someone else do it.  I suggest that you select something that you thought was very athletic.  Some ideas would be a Turkish get up, a ‘muscle up’, a pistol squat or a zombie push-up.  Pick something that someone would ask you to do to show you off a bit.  Something flashy.  It’s the flashy that makes it fun.  Depending on your selection, these exercises can be practiced every day or every other day at the end of your workout.  Leave the last 10 minutes of your workout just to dink around with your new exercise.  Be patient.  You will probably fall over or wobble around a lot when you first start.  Don’t become frustrated.  All athletic endeavors take time to learn.  If I wanted to learn to walk on my hands, I’d grab Abi and ask her to show me the basics.  After working with her, I’d make it a point to practice several times a week, just for 10 minutes at the end of my workout.  I’d give myself 3 months to really focus on my exotic exercise to try my best to become at least half way proficient, and most importantly I’d have fun working on it.    Don’t forget to goof around and have fun.  Exercise was meant to be a balance of serious application and goofing around.

I’d recommend setting 3 month goals for measurable achievement and improvement.  Most complicated things take that long just to see progress.  At the end of 90 days, start by choosing another scary grinding movement and another fun exotic exercise and get to work on challenging your body in new ways.  See if this style of goal setting keeps you involved in your exercise program while challenging your body and mind at the same time.  If you have any questions about your goals or exercises, please feel free to pull aside any of the trainers at A2O fitness.  We are always delighted to help you!

Gina Day-PriceComment