Setting Goals

Now that we’ve been exposed to a variety of different sources of information, let’s use that information to create some goals. From those goals we’ll work through analyzing your individual body and Transformible will provide some examples to help get you where you want to go.

So start general. We can drill down to what exactly we need to accomplish if we know in general what we want to achieve. This can be whatever you want.

We’ll create four people and their general goals, based off the most common requests we’ve had, to provide you with an example to follow.

Lisa is a 40 year old mom who has gotten a little heavier than she wants to be. She’s heard a lot about different programs to lose belly fat and tone arms and thighs and even tried a few, but none of them seem to work. After the program she is sometimes worse off than when she started. She doesn’t have a ton of time to devout to a workout program.

Her goal is to slim down and feel healthier.

Michael is a 32 year old professional who has an upcoming ski trip with some college buddies. He realizes he’s gotten out of shape and isn’t ready for the trip which happens in three months. He’d like to get back into shape, not only for the trip, but for life in general.

His goal is to build muscle, get leaner, and get prepared for the ski trip.

Jessica is 25 and has always been very thin. She goes to the gym five days a week and spends at least 45 minutes on the elliptical and eats well. She’s tried programs for women to tone up, but never sees any success with them.

Her goal is to become more shapely and develop a little strength.

Christopher is 18 and is ready to get big. He’s read lots of articles on building muscle and getting ripped. So far he hasn’t found any program that works and has jumped around to several different ones in an attempt to find the one that works. He’s tried lots of different workout supplements and hasn’t seen the results he’s been promised.

His goal is to build muscle and strength.

Go ahead and do the same. Come up with some general goals on what you are looking to do.

Now that they have a general idea of their goals it’s important to look at what it means to achieve that goal. Is an increase in strength being able to do a pull up, or squat 500 lbs? Is slimming down dropping 10 pounds of fat or 50? Utilizing the information we can find to make a realistic goal that is tangible is essential for success. Remember when you are using studies to support the creation of your goals that the results of the study may be better than are achievable in the real world.

So Lisa wants to slim down and feel healthier. She thinks she’s about 30 pounds over weight. So if she wants to lose 30 pounds how long will this take? That’s a really difficult question to answer because fat loss isn’t linear and ideally she should just lose fat while building a little bit of muscle which actually might make her gain weight on the scale. Also keep in mind that if this is a diet, or transitory change, the results with be transitory as well. It has to be a life style change if you want it to remain. Shooting to lose a pound a week would put her at thirty weeks. This can be a hard goal to shoot for since it is such a long time period plus Lisa might initially put on more weight in the form of muscle from exercise. What she really wants to do is measure her fat loss which is unfortunately very difficult to do with great accuracy.

So to start she can break up her goal into a more approachable one. She wants to start modifying her lifestyle around nutrition and exercise.

Lisa’s goal is to lose ten pounds in fifteen weeks.

She will be able to measure her progress through the use of a scale, tracking her strength training results, and most importantly, the mirror. This first step can be the hardest as you will need to modify your lifestyle. Once you start tasting success though, it can be far sweeter than what you’ve given up.

Michael wants to get fit for his ski trip and maintain a greater level of fitness in general. His focus on activities can make it easy to setup some goals based off of tangible numbers that can be hit during exercise. He can do a baseline test to see where he is at currently in a variety of exercises, and then through nutrition and exercise increase those baselines. Utilizing that study on testosterone, we can see the control group was able to increase their strength by 21% in squats and 11% in bench press over 10 weeks. If he can squat 200 pounds and bench 150 pounds currently he could expect to get to 240 pounds and 165 pounds in 3 months. That is an increase of 3.33 pounds and 1.25 pounds for squats and chest respectively per week. The constant increase makes it easy to see progress. If he starts doing cardiovascular exercise and increases the length of each session he will see progress there as well.

His goal is to increase the amount of time he can do cardio by one minute per week and increase his strength by the percentages previously discussed over the course of three months.

Jessica wants to develop some strength and become more shapely. Since this goal is heavily reliant on appearances, the mirror will be the best judge of how she is reaching her goal. To provide some tangible advances she could create some benchmarks similar to Michael in different exercises and track her strength gains. A study comparing men to women during strength training found that women outpaced men in relative strength gains.  A scale can also be used to see how her weight is changing.

Jessica could have a similar goal of gaining 20% in squat strength and 10% in bench press strength over the course of three months.

This would provide her numbers to help track her progress and keep her motivated.

Christopher wants to build muscle and strength. He can directly track his progress through muscle measurements and charting strength gains in his exercises. He too can shoot for a short term goal of gaining 20% in squat strength and 10% in bench press strength over the course of three months. He’s going to want to make sure he understands what reasonable expectations are for strength building without the user of chemical enhancement.

Though they all have different reasons for wanting to change their bodies, a huge part of what humans are capable of doing and what many see as beauty (this link has some revealing pictures. Peruse at your own discretion) is dependent on our musculature. By incorporating some form of weight training into your life you can attain great things.

Next step is to determine your nutritional requirements and put together a plan of what to eat.