How to set a fitness goal

Many people get this wrong. So I’m going to share with you some tips with regards setting fitness goals. That will ensure that you stay on track to achieve your goals.

Every sporting event/physical pursuit I have undertaken, be it a marathons, power lifting, bodybuilding, open swimming or this year mountaineering.

I know it is going to be a challenge.

When I book it in there is always an element of doubt, a fear of failure.

The knowing that I’m going to be bad at it to start off with.

And that’s the reason I do it.

You see I’m not expecting it to be easy.

I’m expecting it to be hard.

But I know that having this event this will put a little bit of pressure on myself.

I know I have a deadline to work towards.

I know this will up the ante with my training and preparation.

That it will give me focus and clarity. I’ll be applying my efforts intentionally, specifically towards a task.

And that’s when I’m at my happiest. When I’m working on something, building something.

It could be my fitness, my business, relationships.

And in the pursuit of said thing and seeing improvement along the way is my Nirvana.

How to keep momentum going?!

The most common questions I get asked are; ‘How do you keep it going’, ‘how do you stay motivated?’, ‘how do you get to the gym X amount of times a week?’ and ‘how do you stick to your diet?’

When people lack motivation I usually find it’s because what they’re doing on their quest for health and fitness is not enjoyable!

If your exercise plan or diet isn’t right for you then you’re going to hate it, of course, you’re going to struggle to stick to it. If I was doing some awful prescribed method that I wasn’t enjoying because I didn’t know any better, I’d last not very long before I’d quit.

One of the most important questions I ask my clients is ‘how often can you exercise?’ and ‘what do you like doing?’ I know that this is hugely important because if they like it, they will stick to it. Swimming, CrossFit, resistance training, yoga even power walking; these are all options people enjoy and if it gets them moving then great.

And a frequency they can realistically keep to removes the overreaching problem where you can’t realistically keep up with a cookie-cutter exercise routine.

Yes, there are exercises that I am going to recommend that they should factor in that are going to be optimal for improving body composition. These can be a small part of someone’s exercise regime, but you have got to enjoy it overall. Which means you will keep it going.

And there lies the secret sauce, adherence!

It is the same with diet, if I tell you it’s chicken and broccoli for the rest of your days, you’re going to say ‘Andy it is time for you to piss off!’ This is why food plans are futile. You’ve cultivated your diet over years, and you eat at the times convenient to you. To completely overhaul your diet is ludicrous! You won’t last very long before you are back eating your normal diet.

I have had clients tell me that they had done a certain personal trainer’s (let’s call him Joe) diet plan and they lasted just a couple of weeks. Because ‘prepping like a boss’ and ‘eating clean’ is a complete overhaul and miles away from their normal diet. And irrelevant for when it comes to getting in shape. No wonder only 10% of the people that purchase his plan complete it!

So when you’re thinking about exercise and diet think about the stuff that you enjoy and you won’t need motivation, you’ll be happy to do it!

Habits trump Motivation!

Another kilo down and one closer to my goal of 100kg lost. This is over the 7 years of self experimentation with weight loss and gain. I’ve has some people ask.


‘How are you staying motivated over this period?’


I’m going to let you in on something, I’m not! I’m not reliant on motivation! It’s not a concept I use or need.


I know that if you are reliant on motivation then you will struggle with consistency! That’s why I don’t rely on motivation, I rely on self discipline created by my routine!


Lots of people have more time afforded to them at the moment. Yet they aren’t exercising/doing workouts or keeping on top of their diet. Because their motivation is low, due to the current climate.


I’m not relishing all the workouts I’m doing, but I know they are beneficial to me. They are a positive action for the future me. Plus a good example to the younglings.


So I know I should be doing them. And I’m getting them done out of habit, not motivation. I’m getting fitter and stronger with time. Rather than the reverse, which is the general consensus.


It’s like investing/saving money. No immediate gratification now, but in the future, the money will compound. It’ll add up to a nice amount in your account. I put in place things that will keep those habits going. Setting a reminder at certain frequencies to invest and save money. Just like I set a reminder/time in my diary to workout.


These things make sure what I need to do gets done. They ensure it happens and these actions add up to a big return over time.


Think of your exercise sessions and food choices as investments in your health. Accruing over time to see you get fitter, stronger, healthier, happier.

Muscle confusion

Many moons ago when working in the gym I would always speak to members. Exchanging pleasantries and ask what they are doing and how their training is going.


From their response, I could deduce a lot; the efficacy of their training programming. Their level of understanding of exercise physiology, and a heap of other things.
when people would say:


‘Yes training is good, I’m trying to confuse the muscles as much as I can’


I knew that they were a newbie to weight training and their understanding of how we grow muscle was not there.

The reason being is that you can’t confuse contractile tissue [muscle].


Many gym-goers switch up their training programs. To the point, where they’re doing a different workout each time. The rationale for this is down to some idiot out there putting out the concept of ‘muscle confusion’.


The premise being; confusing the muscle, preventing it from adapting to the training.
First, you can’t confuse contractile tissue!⁣ Second, adaptation is not undesirable!

Adaptation is the very goal of a training program. By applying stress on a muscle in the form of mechanical tension, we cause it to adapt to that stress. Making itself bigger and stronger. ⁣


Recent studies this year have shown that muscle confusion does not work. When a group of men trained for progressive overload [increasing strength over time].

Compared to another group of men applying ‘muscle confusion’ [rotating through different workouts. The ‘confused muscle’ men didn’t gain more muscle!


The bottom line, have a good training program and stick to that. Don’t you be confused about what to do in the gym for building muscle.


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