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Training without a specific goal. Training haphazardly and then giving up.
This is a classic first-timer error probably everyone makes. So don’t feel bad if you’ve ever trained without a specific goal. I’ve made this mistake as well.
For me, this is a REALLY bad mistake. Simply because you’re setting yourself up for some seriously mediocre gains. Training without a specific is probably why most people give up the gym.
If you don’t have training goals, you WILL lose interest and you WILL give up. I’ve lost count of how many friends of mine who have given up lifting because they got bored in the gym (can you imagine such a thing?). Now, they lament their dad-bod and talk about how often they USED to go to the gym.
Saying you want ‘to just get stronger’ or ‘just be healthier’ are NOT goals.
Stronger how? Healthier how? Do you want to bench 60kg? Or 140kg? Wanna be healthier? Stop smoking. Get more sleep. Drink more water. You don’t need to train to ‘be healthier’.
The point I’m making is that you NEED to be as specific as possible. The more specific, the better. If you don’t have a specific goal to work towards, you end up just aimlessly f*cking about at the gym.
I’m sure you’ve seen those newbies, who stand in the middle of the gym looking clueless AF, just eyeing up the machines from a distance, doing absolutely nothing. Perhaps, you’ve been this person.
Before you know it, you tell yourself this isn’t for you and you cancel your gym membership. Months go by and you feel guilty about not exercising, so you sign up for the gym again and the cycle repeats itself.
Had you set yourself a solid, clear objective to train towards, who knows what incredible things you could have achieved?
Your training goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely, or SMART.
Let’s take the example of wanting ‘to get stronger’. How can we turn that vague desire into a SOLID, CONCRETE goal that will guarantee you stay motivated and see incredible results.
Specific: I want to increase my bench press
Measurable: I want to increase my bench press by 20kg
Achievable: Increasing my bench press by 20kg is achievable for me because I’m still new to lifting.
Relevant: Yes, this is relevant to my ultimate goal of getting stronger and healthier.
Timely: I want to increase my bench press by 20kg within 3 months.
See, how much more powerful this goal is compared to the vague and meaningless “I just want to get stronger.”
Having SMART goals suddenly means you’ve got a roadmap and prompts telling you exactly what you need to do and what to find out to achieve a goal.
Now you can research and implement the proper methods to achieve your goal- a real, solid structure to follow.
Describing your goals in one sentence without any detail, “I just want to get stronger” tells you NOTHING. You can’t visualise it. It’s meaningless.
If you’re goals are meaningless, you won’t value them, hence, you won’t see them through.
You won’t put in the work. Besides, you wouldn’t even know what work to put in.
The key aspects of being Measurable and Timely creates urgency and metrics to measure your progress against. Without a deadline, you’ll forever say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
You’ve made the effort to get your arse to the gym. Don’t then waste your time because you don’t know what to do.
Set a SMART goal and be a beast at the gym.
That’s all from me.