|Joan used her tangible goals help her compete at 2013 Strongwoman Nationals|
Goals are an important facet of training: without them, you are just another plebe kicking rocks at the gym without a clear purpose. Goals give you something to work towards, and give your training direction. A problem that I have found during LBEB consultations, however, is setting tangible goals with clients.
One of the first questions I ask new clients to do for me is give me three specific goals that they would like to hit within the next six months. Sometimes I receive goals like “achieve a 2x BW deadlift”, or “squat 275lbs”, although most of the goals end up looking like this:
1. Improve strength
2. Decrease bodyfat
3. Increase conditioning
Now, while these aren’t inherently bad goals, they are a little too esoteric and vague for my taste. After all, you may increase your deadlift by 1kg, and that is technically an improvement of strength, so the client has achieved what they were looking for.
|Steph used tangible goals to take 3rd place at the LWC Weightlifting Championships|
I will use Matt and myself as another example. We consistently failed the stone events at the last couple of our shows. Instead of saying “we want to get better at stones”, we said “we will load the 350lb stone at the next competition.” We have loaded the 350 several times during training, but always missed the event at the end of the show. After our Oregon show in August, we spent the next 6 weeks loading nothing but our 350lb stone to a 53″ bar for max reps every Saturday. The result? Matt loaded an easy two reps before his tacky was covered in dirt, and I loaded three reps to win the stone event in all heavyweight classes.
While this isn’t a spectacular world record by any stretch of the imagination, it is a good example of what setting tangible goals can do for you. I consider a tangible goal to be something that you can grasp, something you can sink your teeth into. It is a number to hang in front of your face every day, something you think about while at work, while driving, while laying in bed. Big goals make for big PR’s, while vague goals make for vague and lethargic training. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get stronger or decrease bodyfat, but giving yourself a tangible number will help give you more drive to reach it.