Brains and Brawn… Goals are the Key to Success
Published 5:03 pm Friday, March 18, 2022
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BY CHAD SALYER
In most of life’s pursuits, having well thought out goals is a great first step. Often though, people set themselves up for failure by setting goals that are too ambitious, are too difficult to measure, or that do not have a certain timeline.
Vague or unattainable goals can lead to less motivation in the gym and a lesser result in the long run. When setting goals, you should focus on making them attainable, measurable, and time-bound.
The bane of many people starting a workout plan is the mistaken belief that strength and fitness will just happen immediately for them. This is especially the case for people who were very naturally athletic as a young person and are now working out regularly for the first time in a long while. It can be easy to overestimate how much progress is possible.
If you bench pressed 300 pounds in your 20’s but haven’t lifted weight regularly in 20 years, it would be unrealistic to think you would be back to the best ever strength in a few months.
It would be setting yourself up for disappointment to make that your goal.
For weightlifting and strength gain 5-10 pounds increase in the work weight for your sets every 3 months is an equally realistic goal. If you were 50 pounds less than your current weight as a young person and want to get back to that, you might be tempted to set a goal like 3 months to return to that weight.
This is also unrealistic and could be unattainable without major and permanent lifestyle changes. For weight loss and dieting, one pound a week is usually a realistic goal.
That may seem like painfully slow progress for a person anxious to look and feel their best, but remember, the tortoise beat the hare. Slow and steady progress will add up faster than you think. So, always try to make realistic fitness goals.
Goals should also be measurable and time-bound. It is tempting to set goals like, “I just want to look better.” or “I want my clothes to fit better.”, but these are too vague and too subjective to have a definite point where you can say they are done.
These types of goals are too easy to give up on or call them complete before any real change is made. It is better to set goals like, “I will lose 20 pounds in the next 4 months.”,“I want my waist to be down 3 inches before summer.”, or “I want my bench press to go up 20 pounds by six months from now.”
Once your goals are set, having a clear vision of what your goals will look like is very important to keeping motivation and intensity high in your workouts.
As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “Vision serves as a great motivator to keep you going when you’re working toward your goals. The most important thing is to make sure that you use your vision to take action.”
In other words, see it in your mind, then make it happen!