Be Specific in Your Goals, Use Time Wisely


Question: I try to follow routines I read online but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. I train a couple days a week and don’t know how to stay on pace to get the job done in the gym or how much weight to use. Any suggestions?

Answer: To be successful on a daily basis as you work towards a goal you need to set general goals and specific goals. It’s not clear enough to say you want to lose weight. Be specific and set a reasonable but concrete amount. Several of the current weight loss programs now encourage the just opposite so you won’t feel pressured as you train or disappointed if you don’t quite make your goal. Sorry. As the late Pat Summitt said in her book, ” average sucks”. Determine a reasonable goal and make sure you do everything possible to reach it. Exceed the expectations you set for yourself. If you don’t quite get there, pat yourself on the back for what you did and rest to go again.

Next you need to have a plan. If you’re going to the gym two days a week you can break your training into chest, back and shoulders on one day and legs, biceps and triceps the other. Core is done both days. If you prefer doing a full body each day emphasize upper body one day and lower body the next.

When you go in to train have a rough outline, at least, so you’re not wasting time wondering what to do next.

When it comes to determining the amount of weight for your sets have a goal of how much you want to use based on the last workout you did in which you performed the same exercise. This is more important on your major lifts like squats or deadlifts but applicable to each exercise. For deadlifts, if your goal for the workout is 135 pounds for five reps, then set one could be 95 pounds for 6 reps. Then, 115 for five followed by 135 for five reps. If you’re feeling good add a set at 145 for three reps.

Also remember that once you’re warmed up and have performed a challenging series for a body part those joints are ready to go. For instance, once deads are done and you move on to low pulley rows, do a moderate weight for the first set and then add on the weight. Changing exercises as you continue working the same body part means doing one set to establish neuromuscular movement and go to work on the subsequent sets.

If you have a tendency for conversation,use music and headphones to isolate yourself to get the job done. If you tend to day dream or get sucked into something on the television, which has no place in the gym, choose a rabbit, an individual who is maintaining a good training pace, to follow. Time is a precious commodity. Use it wisely to get the job done.

God bless and keep training,