Saturday, November 24, 2012

Part 3 of Design your Perfect Fitness Routine- SMART Goal Setting

We've covered Components of a Successful Workout Plan and Figuring out your Starting Stats. Now it's time for some goal setting! We'll talk in Part 4 about the specific strategies to get to these goals, but I think it's good to go ahead and throw some numbers out to start with.

I find that if you're confused about where to start goal setting, a good place to look for inspiration is some of your fitness stats you've been gathering. In my goal setting process, I started with some of my most alarming measurements (Hello '31% Body Fat percentage' and 'Overweight' on the BMI scale!), and felt like I could do the most improving there.
What stats jump out for you?

Next, you'll be formulating goals around those points for change. This is the time to start looking up BMI calculators, Body Fat % charts, and other indicators if you haven't yet. These are merely starting points or guides- it's definitely a good idea to talk to your doctor, get their opinions and thoughts. But if you're WAY off of the chart, I figure that's a good place to start chipping away at a fitness goal, right?

I've shared some of my goals for the next 3-6 months as examples below. Your goals could look vastly different, depending on your motivation for working out. If your goal is weight loss, you might have more specific goals around that. If your goal is building strength, you might create more goals around specific strength indicators (sit-ups, pull ups, bench press, etc). Since my goals are a balance of strength building and changing my body composition aka less fat & more muscle, you'll see that I have different types of goals.

I've shared some of my broader workout goals for the year, but here are my specific SMART Goals for the next 6 months:

Specific: Hit and Maintain Goal Weight of 115 lbs
Measureable: Will weigh-in each Friday between lunch and dinner
Attainable: This is an average of 1 lb/week weight loss, which is healthy and do-able
Relevant: This would get me to a BMI of 22.5. For my height, 95 -128 lbs is a healthy range, so 115 is right in the middle of that!
Time-bound: by January 15th, 2013

Specific: Reduce Body Fat percentage from 31% to 25%
Measureable: Starting number from 9/7/12 - follow up test on 12/7/12
Attainable: Not sure how quickly this number will change- we'll see!
Relevant: A healthy Body Fat % for my age is between 22.1-25.3%, so 25% is totally do-able and healthy
Time-bound: Will schedule another test 6 months from original date (3/7/13)

Specific: Increase upper body strength
Measureable: Starting/ending weights- started w/ 8lbs dumbell curls, goal= 15 lbs, from 24 to 35 push-ups
Attainable: Not sure how quickly this number will change- we'll see!
Relevant: Push-ups and curls are two good measures of upper body strength
Time-bound: Will do the Grip Test again on 12/5/12 and 3/7/13 to track progress

In Part 4, we'll talk about how to set up your Fitness Routine to meet the goals you've set. In the mean time, start sketching out your goals.

As you're setting goals, remember:

A healthy weight loss goal will be broken down into a loss of .5-2 lbs per week. Less is fine, of course, and more is possible, but if you're loosing weight using drastic, unhealthy methods, it's less likely that you'll be able to maintain that weight loss.

You're just you! It doesn't matter if someone else that is your height and weight and age and gender can do bicep curls with 25 lbs dumbells. If you're starting out using 2 pounders, a) It's ok! and b) you're not going to change over night.

Slow and steady progress is the easiest to implement and maintain.

- Good luck! 

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