Hopefully by now you realize the importance of having a goal, especially when it comes to your fitness. Having goals gives you focus, dedication, and a sense of purpose. After all dieting and exercise isn’t always fun, so it can be helpful when you’re struggling to remember the reason “why” you’re doing all of this in the first place. However there’s a new trend in fitness that has been adding to the already overwhelming heap of misinformation in the industry: Group Fitness classes. In a group a generic workout is done by the same 10-30 people, regardless of their age, weight, health history and…you guessed it, their goals. This type of training promulgates the idea that you are either “fit” or “not fit.” In truth, fitness is highly contextual. Now it’s not uncommon for new clients to list their goals with ambiguity such as “get in shape” or “improve athleticism.” But the athletic needs of a football lineman are much different than that of a freestyle snowboarder. (if you’d rather watch/listen click here)
The Newbie Phase
If you go from being a couch potato to doing some exercise (any kind of exercise really), you will improve almost all of your physical attributes: endurance, strength, heart rate recovery, flexibility, etc… That’s because you went from having no physical stimulus, to having some physical stimulus. All human movement taxes nearly all human systems. But while your legs may get stronger from walking, after you’ve spent years being sedentary, we can all agree that eventually (probably sooner than later), walking won’t be challenging enough to continue to build strength in your legs. At some point you may have to start doing squats, and eventually adding weight to those squats. You get the idea. This is why picking a primary goal is so important. Beyond the very beginning stages, you must shift gears to focus specifically on a clearly defined outcome.
If your goal is to be a better runner, then the bulk of your training time wouldn’t be well suited going to Yoga classes. If your goal is to be more muscular, then you probably wouldn’t want to go for long runs multiple times a week. In short, you have to pick the right tool for the job. When you go to a group fitness class, you are subject to whatever random workout the instructor has come up with for that day, regardless of whether or not that type of training is synonymous for your goals.
Why Picking a Primary Goal is Important
- When you focus on a primary goal, you will reach that goal sooner. In the modern era society seems to put a high value on “multi-tasking” but in reality we work more efficiently when we focus on one thing at a time.
- It helps you develop a strategy of how to get to that goal. When you have multiple goals your path will be less direct and more likely to lead you astray.
- It keeps you from having to choose between one thing or another. If you have two conflicting goals, training for one goal may detract from training for another goal and vice versa.
Putting it into Practice
- Pick a primary goal
- Come up with a strategy for accomplishing that goal
- Hold every choice up against that goal to see if it moves you closer or further from that goal (very few choices will be neutral)
- Work incessantly until you reach and smash your goal
- Move down your list, find your next important goal and make that your new primary goal
Hopefully this is helpful. If you have any comments, questions or anything else please don’t hesitate to e-mail me! Tony@arkitectfitness.com