The new year has brought with it a new desire to level up in all aspects of our personal lives. Many of us start the new year off with grand intentions and magnificent fitness goals… and while seeing yourself in your best light is absolutely something you need to keep doing, getting realistic about how to get there is also something you should work on. This isn’t to say you’ll never reach those grand fitness goals, it’s just to shed light on the journey you’ll need to embark on before you reach that first destination.
So, lets’ say you have the vision of yourself performing 10 beautiful chin-ups or hip thrusting 260lbs– I love that for you, and am so excited for you to reach your goal! How do we get started? First, take inventory of your ability now and how you’re training. We need to make sure your goals and your reality align, otherwise your fitness goals will remain dreams. For example, if your primary fitness goal is to run a marathon you won’t be setting and weight lifting records. The training that running so intensely takes on the body will leave you no time to set PRs for hip thrusts or chin-ups due to all the recovery time you need to support your running goal. AND THAT’S TOTALLY FINE! The lesson here is that you cannot have two massive fitness goals to work towards at one time. If running a marathon sits higher on your to-do list than chin-ups, check that marathon off first. Then you can shift your focus to functional movement training and weight lifting to support your chin-up goals.
Now, let’s say chin-ups are your number one fitness goal this year. How do we start? Well, let’s assess your strength? Can you already do a chin-up, or are we starting from “ground zero” so to speak? If your goal is 10 chin-ups you will definitely need to set micro-goals or checkpoints along your journey. What this means is that instead of setting the fitness goal of performing 10 chin-ups in 3 months, you set the fitness goal of performing 1 chin-up by the end of January. By the end of March you want to do three chin-ups, by April you want to do 4, by June you want to do 5, and so on… Keep in mind that not only do you have the ability to reset your goals based on how your progress is going, but you should be reassessing your goals. For example, let’s say you got your first chin-up at the end of February- that’s great! Now you need to readjust your goals to reflect how fast you’re able to progress. It took you two months to perform one perfect chin-up, so by the end of the year, your new goal could be to perform 6 perfect chin-ups. The same goes for other fitness goals, see where you’re at now then grow from there. Reassess your goals monthly or bi-monthly to help you stay motivated and keep your path to success realistic.
Ok, great… so we have an idea of how to set up our roadmap… now how do we train? Finding pre-made programs for a small fee online are a good first step, finding a qualified trainer you trust to create a plan for you is even better. Your training should reinforce proper form over reps and weight, meaning that if your training program is telling you to perform 12 single-sided rows with 45lb dumbbells but you can’t lift that heavy without keeping proper form, you need to notify your trainer and/or make adjustments to lower the weight to something that is comfortable yet challenging in a safe way.
Make sure to track your progress be it with photos, videos, diligent note-taking, or any other way you like to track. Doing so will help you see how far you’ve come in times when you’re doubting that you’re training is leading anywhere. Often times we don’t notice the progress we’ve made. Track, track, track and you’ll always find the motivation to come back!
Celebrate your successes! Do not let yourself get stuck in the “all or nothing” mindset. So what if you fell a little short of making a checkpoint. If you’ve been training hard and feeling good, celebrate that. You’re still making progress and that is what matters: Progress, not perfection.
• Stick with one fitness goal at a time.
• Make sure your fitness goal is your top priority, otherwise, it will eventually fall by the wayside.
• Be realistic and set mini-goals along your journey to the big goal.
• Responsibly create a training routine to fit your goals. Working with a trainer in person or online can really help keep you on your path.
• Track your progress.
• Celebrate your success every step of the way!