Don’t go into a gym just to workout. Have a purpose. Have a goal. It shouldn’t be something you do just because you think you are supposed to do it. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to be leaner? Be stronger? Look better? Just get a good sweat?
You should have two basic types of goals. Long term goals and short term. Or you can look at this as general and specific.
Looking good naked is a long term, broad goal.
Losing 5lbs by the end of the month is a specific goal aimed towards that purpose.
You accomplish the long term goal by accomplishing many small goals. Most of the time people have long term goals and they think they can just show up in the gym and they will happen.
Here is the important stuff…
- Short term goals must be specific and realistic
- Long term goals are general and realistic but can be a reach
- Have a plan
- Tell people what your goal is. Be accountable. Don’t keep it a secret. It is too easy to get out of if you do.
- Find people with similar goals.
- Don’t have too many at once and keep in mind some will work against each other. (Example: Lost weight gain. Gain muscle. But if you lose weight you will lose muscle. Pick one to concentrate on)
- Body goals are accomplished outside the gym as well. Remember it doesn’t end just because your workout did.
- Take action. Be ready to adapt if you plain is failing. Don’t give up or spin your wheels just because you had the wrong approach.
If you have been don’t have a plan or a goal you will fail because you have nothing to accomplish. Write it down. Share it no matter how embarrassing it is for you. The only real reason you don’t want to share it is because it gives you and excuse to give up and fail and no one will know. Don’t be that person. Be brave.
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Let’s say you are a female and you want to have a bigger butt, leaner legs, and a hint of abs. You have decided you are going to workout 3-4x a week to accomplish this goal along with cleaning up your diet. Now you need a way to measure your progress. Is it a tape measure? Mirror? Pictures? What pants you can fit into? If you are like most people you check yourself out way too much so it will be hard for you to notice progress. How clothes fit is good for girls as long as you wear tight enough clothes. The problem with a tape measure is that as you lose fat your butt might shrink along with everything else. The measurement might go down but only because the fat on your butt and hips is going down. As you add muscle and lose fat your butt will look much bigger but the measurement may throw you. You have to consider all of these things so you don’t freak yourself out.
Shorter term I think a good measure is strength. You can notice much smaller changes strength wise than on a tape measure. This is why I encourage women to become familiar with how strong they are. Men usually don’t have this problem. So this long term goal of looking better can be partially accomplished by a short term goal of getting stronger. If you can squat 135lbs for 5 reps then a good short term goal may be to put 20lbs on your squat. This way you can focus on how you can get your squat to improve rather than thinking about how you look all the time. Once you have accomplished this it would be a good time to re-measure, take pictures, ect. Then decide where you want to go from there.
Side Note: If you need a goal, the average female 140 or under in this gym can squat 204lbs or more for a max single. Most are pretty happy with their booty.
Once you feel your strength is at an adequate level AND you have lost the weight you want to you reassess everything. If you still don’t like the way you look you may have to adjust how you are approaching things. You may at them point need to change your diet, frequency of training, type of training, ect. Depending where your problem is. Plus like anything else, as you take this journey you may find sumo style deadlifts help your booty more than squats. You might readjust things based on this. The important thing is that you try and put real effort in. Be adaptable and focused. It is unlikely you will fail if you keep your eyes on the prize and are honest with yourself.
You are an American male so the number 405 is significant to you as it is 4 45lbs plates on each side of the bar. Your goal is to bench press this. However your current max is 315. Your path to 405 should be a series of small goals on the way. 330, 355, 365, 385, ect. Every one of these numbers will be a battle fought in a different way as you learn your strengths and weaknesses. You shouldn’t even be thinking about 405 on a day to day basis. Being realistic, you know that at your current body weight this may not be possible. So you will need to figure out how much weight you are willing to gain. If you are 6 feet tall and weight 170lbs and are proud of your skinny man abs, then most likely you need another goal. To maintain your leanness and pretty boy abs it would take a very long time if ever where you could bench press 405lbs. So you have to be realistic. What matters more to you. Pick one goal and concentrate on it. Maybe get your bench press up and then lose weight. Or accept that it could take years and years for you to get to 405lbs while keeping your abs. It is important to keep in mind too that not everyone is built to bench press. When you pick numbers far outside your abilities you have to be open to adapting your goals. This isn’t because of lack of effort on your part. If you have long arms you are going to have some trouble. It is just physics.
However, none of that matters. Right now the goal is 330. You are going to gain 10lbs of body weight and bench press 330. That is a short term goal. You could do this in a 6-8 week period and not gain too much body fat. Reassess where you are then choose the next goal. It will be a slow climb and it will get harder with every step but just keep your focus on the step in front of you and don’t worry about how high you have to go.