Goal setting for smart weight training – VIDA Fitness

By: VIDA Editor / Member Mekita Rivas

Lisa Lipscomb

It's new year and you have goals! Strength training goals, to be precise. But what does that really mean? As with many fitness goals, it depends on the individual. Some may want to build on an already existing foundation, while others may want a completely fresh tile.

No matter where you are on your fitness trip, weight training is essential. Lisa Lipscomb, Director of Personal Training and Nutrition at VIDA Fitness, says that weight training improves bone density, boosts metabolism and has been proven to boost your mood and brain activity. Ahead, Lisa, walks you through everything you need to consider as you set your weight training goals for the year ahead.

What should you start with weight training, what should you keep in mind?

One year is a long-term schedule, so you must have daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly goals. All goals should be easy challenges, but they should also be workable, measurable and concrete. And if you do not implement the plan, there should be consequences. You also need to be prepared to reassess your goals and plans over time. It is important to be realistic that will help you succeed.

What are some common goals for weight training that you often hear?

Some people say they want to become "tone", "bigger", "healthier" and "stronger". Not all of these goals are specific enough to let you know you've achieved them. Defining goals with a specific timeline is a much better approach, such as wanting a 14-inch upper arm by June 1, or £ 250 for Christmas.

What goals do you recommend, especially for beginners?

I suggest you figure out what your ultimate goals are and what they are. Be very specific and prioritize your goals. Then ask if they are realistic for real life today – not next week or next month. Going to the gym five times a week is a good goal, but if you really only allow your schedule twice a week, you may need to adjust your expectations. Think of it this way: "I go to the gym at least twice a week and I'm excited to go to the gym three times a week." I would do these test exercises every two to six weeks to see if they improve.

Is there a secret to achieving your goals?

You need to keep your goals at the forefront of your thinking process. It's a good idea to set up social support systems, for example, to achieve the same goals as your friends and family, hire a trainer, keep a daily mantra, and track weekly registrations or measurements.

Progress can be measured in different ways, depending on the individual. I propose process goals and result goals. Examples of process goals include going to the gym three days a week for the next 12 weeks, working on a registered diet, and training with a personal trainer for 12 weeks. Effective goals include the ability to make 12 strokes or have 14-inch arms. Many beginners also do well on the fitness or nutrition side, but rarely do they do well. It's a good idea to meet qualified professionals so you don't make common mistakes that speed up your progress with everything else.

How can more experienced athletes and weightlifters come up with goals that will lead them to better performance and new PRs?

The best ways to improve performance are to create an additional set of meshes while moving, to develop and adhere to a well-rounded periodic plan. Experienced athletes and lifters do all the things they like and avoid doing things they are not good at. You should be prepared to be uncomfortable, but you need to balance it with rest. Some athletes and weightlifters train to achieve goals through overtraining, but often lose muscle or ability due to overactivity or when they are not eating properly. Work with your trainer to develop a plan for sufficient rest and specific periods to develop endurance, maintenance, and strength. Also work with a registered diet to make sure you get the right fuel at each stage. The greatest success will be achieved in these planned transitions.

What makes VIDA the ideal place to work for your weight training goals, regardless of your level of experience?

We have excellent, well-educated personal trainers and registered dietitians working with every skill. They are available to discuss realistic goals, no matter what stage you are currently in. In addition, each member receives a free personal training and nutrition session to help them get on the right track. Taking advantage of these benefits is a great first step towards achieving your goals.

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