Those who start a new gym or workout program often say their fitness goals are to “tone up” or “I want to lose weight.” The problem with these fitness goals is that they are too generic. These statements are the recipe for failure because they lack urgency, time restraints so that there is an end, and the open ended-ness allows for lack of long-term motivation.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer Manuel, 5th edition, trainers should encourage clients to have SMART goals.
This includes fitness goals that are clear and measurable to see progress. Goals should be realistic and relevant to interests as well as having a timeline.
For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks.”
This is far more realistic and attainable than the fitness goal of “I want to lose weight.”
You might want to lose more weight or be able to lift heavier or run a further distance. However, setting a goal like this can serve as a stepping stone to more long-term fitness goals. And achieving these SMART goals gives confidence in self to then crush the next goal.
Here are the 5 fitness goals to set that aren’t “lose weight.”
*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting a new workout regimen. While I am currently studying for my personal trainer certification, I am not yet a professional. Consult in a fitness, running, CrossFit, etc. coach to avoid injury and get more advice.
However, as a wellness coach, I can set you up with the right fitness program and be your 1:1 mentor to help you reach your goals! Comment below to inquire more!
Faster Running Pace
Run 1-2 minutes faster per mile in 12 weeks.
By following a training plan that consists of three runs per week for 12-weeks, this is attainable. To achieve this specific fitness goal, runners need to include speed work like tempo and intervals along with a long run to build endurance
Lift More Weight
Be able to increase weight by X when lifting in a month.
Slowly increase the weight by 2-5 pounds each week for a month. This gradual increase will allow the muscles to adapt to the workload without injury. It sets a short-term goal so that you can see results and stay on the plan and then move to another.
Instead of fitness goals like weight loss and getting skinnier, aim to set a fitness goal like lose one pant size in 8 weeks.
This will boost your confidence when you can fit in smaller clothing sizes while taking the pressure off always staring at numbers on the scale
Setting a weekly workout target is a great fitness goal. Just make sure to be specific like I want to attend one spin class a week, run one time a week and strength train twice a week for one month.
Get a calendar and write out the workouts and days to do them. This helps with accountability
Meal prep lunches and snacks for the week for the month.
I want to lose weight is a goal that includes exercising and eating right. So while this is part of this goal, the better fitness goal related to weight loss is better meal planning.
Aim to get lunches ready for the week on Sunday. Also, prep healthy snacks that are ready to take to work and prepared in containers in the fridge when you get back from the gym or in between meals.
Meal prep can be intimidating so break it down to a SMART goal like this to get used to it. Then add in dinner prep and continue longer to make this fitness goal a lifestyle change.