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Be S.M.A.R.T with your Goals

Be S.M.A.R.T with your Goals

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People are driven by emotion. That’s something just about every sales guru will tell you. Well I’m going to tell you they’re 100% right, especially when it comes to my field of working in a gym.

Everyone has different reasons for joining the gym, whether you want to train to excel in your sport, improve your overall health, or to achieve your desired body. Although these goals are very different, however they all have one thing in common, they are all based on emotion.

Personally, I have never met or heard of a person joining a gym just because they could. I speak for the majority in saying most people walk through our doors already with a strong idea of how they want to look or what they want to achieve. Here is where things get tricky. We need to turn this idea into a goal, and the best kind of goal is a S.M.A.R.T goal! This acronym stands for a goal that is specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time.

Do you want to set a S.M.A.R.T goal? Follow this simple guide!

Specific – What exactly are you trying to achieve? Eg: Do you want to get stronger? Do you want to lose weight? Or perhaps you want to get toned?

Measurable – Are you able to take and compare results to see you are heading in the right direction? Eg: lifting more weight? Increasing or decreasing body measurements? Or, able to see physical change? (example – before and after photos)

Achievable – Are you realistically able to achieve this goal?

Relevant – Is this goal relevant to you and feasible with your daily life?

Time – When do you want to achieve this goal by?

You now you have a smart goal! This is where it gets even trickier. Most people know what they want but the hardest part when it comes to fitness goals, is matching the best style of training with your goals. Here are a few common goals people often want to achieve, and ways that may help you succeed.

I want to lose weight:

Before I start, my answer is not spending countless hours on a treadmill whilst always feeling hungry. The best way to lose weight is to lose it in a way that is sustainable and habitual.

My advice: Eat regular well portioned healthy meals and have a combination of weights and cardio in your training. This will help fasten your metabolism and aid in reducing fat, not just weight! The majority of this is done with food, however regular exercise consisting of both weights and cardio is still essential.

I want to get toned:

The common misconception with getting toned is that it involves HOURS of cardio. In reality it’s a combination of decreasing body fat whilst increasing lean muscle mass. Doing this requires weights, but don’t worry you’re not going to get big! Apart from the health benefits Eg: increased bone density and decreased likelihood of developing lifestyle related health conditions, you are also going to burn more fat. The higher percentage of lean muscle mass you have, the more energy you will burn when you’re not exercising.

My Advice: A total body weights program 3 times a week, as well as cardio on 2 of these, combined with a balanced diet, will send you in the right direction towards a toned and healthy body.

I want to build muscle and get stronger

Too frequently I see people lifting TOO heavy TOO often. Lifting heavy will see results in strength however, to get the best of both worlds, you need to train in the hypertrophy range (high volume). This is the range where your muscles are most likely to grow and still gain strength along the way.

My Advice: Train with weights doing 6-12 reps for 3-6 sets rather than slogging it under a heavy bar only doing a few reps at a time.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, get toned or build some muscle, with the assistance of the basic S.M.A.R.T acronym and an accurate guide on training styles for your goals, there is no reason why you won’t achieve! If you need help putting together a plan, seek the advice of a professional personal trainer or exercise physiologist before starting out.

Written by Daniel Kilpatrick

Personal Trainer at Planet Fitness Lambton