Goal setting with your personal trainer
Starting a fitness program without a goal is like going for a walk without a destination. It's likely you will end up somewhere random and not necessarily where you want to be. A sculpture or an architect has a vision at the start of a project, an artist can see a mental image of what they want to paint and a company has a mission statement. The point is you need an end result in mind, a direction, a purpose. If you don't have a health and fitness goal, it's unlikely you will progress at all.
The most common goal I come across as a personal trainer is weight loss. Does it really matter what the scales say? Do you really just care about what other people think about your body? It's ok to want to look and feel better about your physical self but there are other goals we could and perhaps should consider. Too many people get hung up on aesthetics and chase a size 8 or a six pack, for me it's much deeper than that, it's about function, performance and health.
Function is different for us all. It's about being capable of doing the daily tasks life requires us to in order to remain efficient and independent. A millennium ago we needed to be able to run, hunt, fight, swim and climb just to be able to survive. Modern survival may require us to run for the bus, climb the occasional wall and perhaps shift a few heavy boxes. The physical demands for survival just aren't the same in the modern world so physical prowess has slipped. Due to hours of prolonged sitting many of us have lost the ability to crouch, lift our own body weight and even just to balance on 1 leg without falling over. I think it's important to strive to recover full physical function so that we can move with ease, perform the physical tasks life throws at us and the activities we want to pursue. If as part of this process your body changes (which is highly likely) then that's a bonus.
Performance takes physical function to the next level. Performance is not just about being physically capable it's about being highly efficient in movement. It encompasses strength, agility, reaction and movement strategy to compete in activities against others of similar ability. When improving performance you're often working close to and sometimes pushing the physical limits of your body.
Health is something that we all desire. To me health is staying disease free, prolonging your lifespan and having the energy and enthusiasm to pursue the life you want. It's rarely discussed as an exercise goal but I would argue that health is the main reason that we should be exercising or considering personal training. When I am 'fit' the energy and enthusiasm I have for life in general is motivating, exciting and infectious to those around me. If for some reason I have been unable to exercise for a short period within weeks that energy is quickly replaced with fatigue, lethargy and depression. For those that are sedentary and perhaps unhealthy they can often be ignorant to the potential they have if they just exercised a little more and ate a little better - they haven't experienced optimum health. I can see why starting an exercise plan is so daunting if you just don't have the energy or enthusiasm to start with. It's also understandable how others get hooked on the buzz and energy exercise can provide and become addicted to being active. Having regular health checks and knowing your stats can help balance your activity levels and your health.
If you are considering starting or improving a diet and exercise plan, whether your goal is the six pack abs or not, please also consider how well your body functions, how well your body performs and how healthy your body is.
For more help and tips on how to brainstorm your goals and structure them into a motivating format please read my article 5 steps to goal setting.
If you would like a chat to discuss your situation and how personal training could help you, please contact me using the form below: