A lot of people out there have hundreds of thoughts in their minds when it comes to health and fitness. Whether it’s the 16 year old trying to get “shredded” biceps or the old man just trying to build enough strength to get out of a chair, we all have goals when it comes to our physical health. One goal I have for this article is to help one become familiar with creating a building block for goal setting, and achieving. Let’s begin by describing what having a goal means. By definition a goal basically means: a desired achievement brought on by an effort. It’s simple. Now to finish a goal is the tricky part. Most people just say here’s what I want to do ok let’s start. But they have no idea where to start.
This is a HUGE problem I see with many of my friends who have wanted to achieve. One method I use is creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal This stands for
S = Specific
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
Now let’s take a quick look at each component. When you set a goal and you’re beginning to analyze whether it’s SMART or not you need to make sure it’s 1.) Specific. Here’s the difference. Non-specific = I want big arms Specific = I would like 20 inch arms in two years time by adding into my workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 1 addition bicep and tricep exercise. I will gradually increase this volume once I become adapted to each new lift and will add weight using the 2-for-2 rule of progression. My arms are currently 18 inches. See the difference? By making it specific you lay out a plan for achievement and know exactly what you’re going to do. To make the goal 2.) Measurable you need to be able to keep track of small changes to see if your making progress.
You can keep track of your arm growth by measuring progress every month. This is a measurable goal! 3.) Attainable refers to the ability for it to actually happen. An example of an un-attainable goal would be growing your arms 2 inches in one week. The goal stated above for growing your arms 2 inches in two years time is VERY attainable AND 4.) Realistic. By seeing if a goal is either attainable or realistic you need to ask yourself “Does this even make sense?” or “Can this even happen?” then go from there. Lastly, making sure a goal is 5.) Timely. You need to set up a specific time frame in which you want this goal. When individuals have dead-lines they tend to adhere to the goal or project more clearly. Think about any school project you’ve ever done. If you’ve marked it on your calendar you woke up and looked at it every morning and you probably thought “I need to work on that today”.
This same principle applies for health and fitness goals! Below you will find another example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal. S.M.A.R.T. goal #2. Specific • By March 15th, 2012 I would like to compete in my first bodybuilding show. To do this I will have to increase my lean body mass by 20 pounds and change my workouts to hypertrophy. I will do by this by performing 3-6 sets and aiming for 8-12 reps with each exercise. I will resistance train 3 days per week breaking my days into upper body (day 1), lower body (day 2), and full body (day 3). My upper body day will consist of 10 exercises hitting all the major muscle groups of the upper body. Exercises will include bench press, bent over row, military press, wide grip pull-ups, ab crunch, low back ext. bicep curl, tricep pushdown, and dips. My lower body day will consist of 8 exercises that hit all the major muscle groups of the lower body.