Do you know where you're going? Workout Goals

Now we're starting to get to the nitty gritty about working out here. My goal is to get you off to the right start so your foundation is sound so you have something to build on. That being said, one of the most common mistakes I see beginners make, is they get into gym with no solid plan of action and no workout goals.

What would hockey be without a goal? Or basketball without the goal? Or soccer without the goal? You get the picture. It's a meaningless activity without a goal.

If you don't have a goal in mind, what are you there for? "To get bigger" isn't a goal and it's very ambiguous. That could mean gaining 1 lb, or 5o lbs. Contrary to popular belief, weight training, like all major under takings, requires planning. I always say "Ambiguous goals produce ambiguous results."

First, decide to workout consistently for at least 90 days. I say 90 days because it's good for you to work in quarters, and 90 days is also the ideal time frame for you to see a significant difference. I know it can seem like a long time, but it only takes 21 days to create a habit, and only a 2 or 3 days to create a habit if you are serious about it.

Next, decide what you want to accomplish in that 90 days. What goals do you have in mind for each major muscle group? I like to use S.M.A.R.T. goals as a guideline for all my life's goals. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. The definitions vary from source to source, but that works for me.

So an example of a SMART goal would be one of my goals. I want to bench 250 lbs. by the end of my 90 days. It's specific because I didn't just say I want to bench "more" weight. It's measurable because it's an actual number. Again, not just "more" weight. It's achievable, because my max right now (1/16/09) is 230 lbs. So it's also realistic for me to increase my bench press by 20 lbs in 90 days. And it's timely because I put a time frame on.

So you get the picture. Do that for each body part. Next, you have to work out a plan of how to get there, and that's where this blog comes in :-) Next week, I'm going to lay out a workout plan for beginners.

Once you get that 90 day goal, break it down to monthly and weekly goals you want to obtain. It's necessary that you keep weekly progress toward your 90 day goal, or you won't know what you're doing. You have to take this thing in steps. I can't just workout blindly for 90 days and then go into the gym on day 90 and expect to bench 250 lbs. I have to keep track of what I'm doing. What's working and what's not, so I can adjust it to stay on target.

So you have a few mins of work cut out for you on this one. But I know only the serious people will do this, because it requires just that little bit of extra effort that separates the men from the boys. Until next time, Happy Lifting!