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How to Set Fitness Goals You Can Actually Reach

female athlete deadlifting

Deadlift 200 kilos. Rx every WOD. Snatch 90. We all have goals we want to smash in the gym, but all too often, we don't ever get there. Is it because we're not capable? No. The problem, rather, is that we don't know how to set fitness goals that we'll hit. Here are three tips to help you properly establish your fitness goals and position yourself for success. 

3 Tips for Setting Fitness Goals

1. Goals Should Be Split Into Short-Term and Long-Term

Having one big ultimate goal is great, but it's important to set yourself up for having smaller "wins" in the meantime. In fact, it might be in your best interest to chop up that huge, long-term goal into a series of smaller short-term goals

woman thinking about her fitness goals

For instance, if you have a goal to get your first muscle-up — something that can take quite a long time — set short-term goals along the way, such as: 

  • Get five strict pull-ups unbroken.
  • Rehearse transitions once a week on low rings.
  • Get five strict pull-ups on the rings using a false grip.

These are goals you can tackle on your way to achieving your first muscle-up. They help you keep pushing forward, serve as motivation, and keep you in the right mindset. When you feel a sense of accomplishment after checking another short-term goal off your list, you'll have the mental fuel you need to keep going.

2. Goals Should Be Big and Small

On a similar note, you don't want all your goals to be monster-sized. Once again, having tiny victories is key to staying motivated. 

Being a newbie Olympic weightlifter with the goal to snatch bodyweight is terrific. You know what else is terrific? Being consistent and making it to the gym three times a week, no matter what. 

man thinking about fitness goals

Even if a goal doesn't seem like a huge deal, remember: all of the tiny pieces of fitness are what contribute to the bigger picture. Make everything count.

3. Set Fitness Goals You Can Measure

Oftentimes, we give up on our goals because we don't think we've gotten any closer to them, despite many hours of hard work. This is why it's crucial to set goals you can measure. That way, you can know without a doubt if you're improving. 

For example, let's say your goal is to be better at Fran. What does that mean? How will you know you've improved? 

Here are some ways you could measure this goal: 

  • The time it took you to complete it. 
  •  How many reps you did unbroken each round.
  • How many no-reps you got. 

In these cases, you might set a goal to: 

  • Shave at least 10 seconds off your time. 
  • Do the round of 21 in sets of 5 + 5 + 5 + 3 + 3. 
  • Make every rep.

If you accomplish one of these, you know you got better.

Set the right fitness goals using these tips and you'll find you're making steady progress in the gym.

Tags: goals


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