How to set your fitness goals

Setting fitness goals that you can obtain

In my last few posts I’ve talked a lot about fitness goals, and then I realized that you may not know how to set fitness goals, and if you do, you may be doing in a way that isn’t working out for you. Your fitness goals may not be compatible with bodyweight workouts, and that’s okay. Do what is compatible with you goals, and you should enjoy doing it and have fun. When you are first starting, it may be hard. Many people don’t really start to really enjoy working out until after a few months, usually around the time you start to see all your hard work paying off. It gives you great motivation, and at this point is when you should think about adjusting your goals to something more challenging, but I’ll touch back on this later.

I think that when you are setting your fitness goals, you should break it down into three separate goals. The first goal should be your weekly goal, this goal should be thinks like, the number of times you want to work out in the week, the intensity of those workouts, and small adjustments to your diet. When first starting out, you should be sure to set goals that aren’t going to be too hard, it isn’t likely you’ll be able to jump into working out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. Your first week, you should try for 2 or 3 days in the week, 20 minutes each day. If after the first week you find this too easy, adjust to what you think you could handle, but don’t try and rush into it because you will be far more likely to fail.

The second goal should be your monthly goal. This would be something related to your exercises, something physical you’d like to achieve, whether it be an increase in muscle size, or being able to do more reps, or being able to perform a new variation properly. This kind of goal is your monthly goal. You might want to wait until after your first week to set this goal so you’ll have a better idea of what you can do, and what you should be able to do within a month. Remember to be reasonable, you aren’t going to be able to bust out pistol squats after just one month, a good goal would be something like, be able to do 100 push-ups, or 20 pull-ups without rest. You’ll be surprised that, as long as you set an obtainable goal, you’ll likely achieve it sooner than you’d expect on your first month, this is commonly referred to as “nooby gains”, enjoy them.

Finally, the long-term goal. This is the goal that would be the determining factor for whether bodyweight training is right for you. You should think about this goal prior to getting into any program/routine. What is it that you want to obtain from working out. Do you just want to look good in a bathing suit and fill a t-shirt? Or do you want to be able to go rock climbing, and do other extreme sports. Do you want to be more flexible and agile than you ever have been before? Or do you want to be able to lift heavy things and compete in gym Olympics. If you just want to look good, look into some “brotastic” work outs. If you want to lift heavy things and compete in gym Olympics, then I suggest looking into a solid strength building barbell routine. If your long-term goal is to uncap many of the “limits” of your body that you’ve lead yourself to believe than bodyweight training is right for you. Once you know what kind of training is best for you, you should then think, “what do I want to be able to do in 6 months?”. This will be vastly different for each person, and I’ve already had a hard enough time explaining the first part of the long-term goal, but ask yourself what you want to be able to do. Unless you are very overweight, I don’t think your goal should be “lose 30 pounds” or anything of the sort. If your goal is to gain strength, then your goal should be something like, “be able to do at least 5 reps of pistol squats”, or “be able to do at least 3 one-handed push-up”.

This will be different for everybody given their current physical condition and their own personal body. You won’t be able to find a general answer of what you are capable of within 6 months. If you get a personal trainer, they can give you a good idea of what you personally may be able to achieve, but that is entirely up to how dedicated you are, your diet, and your genetics.

Hopefully this helps some of you out, remember, if you have any questions, leave it in the comments.

Tagged with:
Posted in Calisthenics, Introduction to Calisthenics
2 comments on “How to set your fitness goals
  1. Francis Pollen says:

    Hi

    I just finished reading the first article for beginners and really enjoyed it, this looks like a great website! I just have one question. How many days should you rest a body area before working it again? I know that when you work a muscle group specifically using weights/machines that you should leave about 2 days for repair. Does this apply to a body weight based routine too? For example if you were to do an upper body routine of pull-ups, chin ups and dips could you do them the next day again or should you leave them a day or two?
    I know it sounds like a pedantic question but I really want to improve my upper body strength fast but without injuring myself.

    • Alex says:

      Francis,

      Well, many people say that you don’t NEED to give your muscles a rest with bodyweight, but, I disagree, if your muscles are very sore, then you should give them a rest. Your body builds muscle when you are recovering. I wouldn’t give it more than a day off though if you’re trying to build muscle fast. Lastly, it may seem obvious but I would like to stress, if your muscles are too sore to work out, even after a days rest, don’t work those muscles that day. Just find another muscle group to target. When you’re tired and sore is when you’re more prone to injury, and if you injure your tendons, or tear a muscle, or possibly even break a bone, it will take you a LOT longer than a day or two to recover.

      Thanks for reading and hope this helps,
      Alex

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Free 7 Day Calisthenics Course
What are you waiting for?
    Name:
*  Email: