If you don’t have a goal, it’s hard to be motivated to workout for your goals. If your goal isn’t specific (e.g. just general fitness), it will prove to be very difficult to have the motivation or knowledge of how to achieve the goal.
Have you ever struggled achieving your fitness goals, after spending hours, days and weeks at the gym? Have you ever been discouraged or distraught at the thought of slaving away at the gym — and virtually getting nowhere with your results? One main root of the problem of not seeing results in the gym is the actual lack of a tangible, realistic, and specific goal!
My name is Brett Wheeless and I am a professional trainer at Iron Orr Fitness. Unfortunately, I see many clients and gym goers frustrated from the root of a very similar problem: no tangible fitness goal. In this blog I will discuss three components of goal-oriented fitness and how to achieve the results you want to see!
Set Your Goal
The first component is simply setting a real goal. If you don’t have an achievable fitness goal, it will be extremely difficult to be motivated to see results. Going into the gym day after day spending hours on the treadmill and various cardio machines (while very respectable to the effort it requires to get your butt up and going to the gym) isn’t going to ultimately get you those six pack abs you so desire. Doing heavy back squats to get better at playing basketball might help you jump higher, but won’t improve your overall game. Benching 300 lbs might give you a barrel chested look, but won’t make you more explosive. Doing sit ups 5 times a week might help you have a lean stomach but won’t help you hike Mt. San Gorgonio.
Mt. San Gorgonio, October ’17
It’s crucial to first set your goal because the types of workouts you should do will vary greatly depending on your goal! Training for endurance is much different than training for strength, or explosiveness. If you want to look great for your wedding coming up in a few months, that style of training is much different than wanting to be the best volleyball player on the court. Having a plan of attack, and then executing the plan, is a much more effective way of training than wandering in the gym and hoping you get an open bench or some dumbbells to do some curls!
Think for a second now and establish your fitness goal(s).
Got it? Fantastic!! Now that we have established some realistic, achievable goals, the first step is completed. The what is done. Now how do we get there?
Develop the Plan of Attack
The second step to proper fitness goal planning is to develop a plan of attack. This ultimately comes down to programming! The time it will take to achieve your goal, what muscle groups need to be trained, how they need to be trained, and in which way to most effectively achieve your goals safely and efficiently all need to be tailored to your goal.
For example – if you want to become your absolute best in your sport, identifying weaknesses in your game is crucial, and building those strengths from the ground up can give you a whole new level of confidence on the field. If training for sports with a lot of running, e.g. soccer or lacrosse, you will want to build your legs up mainly in the strength/endurance style of training. One of my favorite exercises for strength and endurance is Bulgarian split squats. 4 sets of 12-10-8-6 reps is a super effective way to build leg endurance while building strength and all the while burning more calories with the core stabilization required by the movement as well!
When training for functional fitness, health and wellness, having more energy throughout the day, or strengthening your body in resistance to aging, your programming will require more static and isometric exercises. One of my favorite exercises for postural control and spinal stability is planks – you can do them everyday. I like to do 3 sets of 1min each.
When training for fat loss (beach season) programming would incorporate more HIT training or super-setting. One of my favorite exercises to get ready for the beach is a circuit of burpees, kettlebell swings, jump rope, box jumps, and medicine ball sit-ups. 3 sets of 30 seconds (or reps) each with no rest in between and then one RI (rest interval) after each set for 45 seconds. You’ll feel the fat burning!!!!
Depending on your goal, the exercises you do – and how you do them, can change drastically. The key is to make sure your workout program is aligned with your goal. Only then will you be able to fully achieve your goal!
Have the Confidence to Follow Through
The third component is knowing you can achieve your goal. How can you know? – by getting a professional trainer to teach you training styles and techniques to quickly accomplish your goals and have fun while training! I’ve learned to concentrate on what I do best, and work with other professionals (CPA, doctor, massage therapist, etc.) to help me be my best. At the core of it, this third component is crucial. You have to believe and have the confidence that you can achieve your goal. Knowing why and how are as crucial as having the confidence that you can do it. Working with a professional trainer provides both the HOW and the confidence that it can be done!