Learn the secrets to long term behavior change

Category: New Lifters (page 1 of 2)

Measuring Your Progress

Getting frustrated with your progress — or lack thereof?

Maybe you’re right and you need to consider a new plan. That’s okay! But you have to know what you’ve been doing. And today I’ll help you set some goals (though you should talk to your coach and come up with a plan together).

Maybe, however, you actually HAVE made progress, but you just can’t see it. Let me help you take a step back and evaluate.

What is your BIG Goal?

What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to fit into an old dress? Excellent! That’s easy to measure. When do you want to fit into that dress? Let’s set a timeline.

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Framework

I’ve always found it helpful to make SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-sensitive

This is where your coach can really come in handy. Not every training method is good for every person. Some people will get a lot out of yoga, but you don’t NEED to do yoga.

I don’t mean to pick on yoga. It applies to all training methods: PRI, FMS correctives, CrossFit, whatever. Literally anything.

Anyways, since I’ve seen hundreds of different people as I’ve developed my coaching eye, I’ve seen hundreds of different ways that things can play out. I can steer you in the right direction. And when that direction proves to be a little off-target — because plan A never works — I can help you re-align.

Deeper SMART Goals

I implore you to do more than just listing one sentence for your goal. Dive deeper. How will you make this goal a reality? Be specific about your goal specificity. What are some ways you’re going to measure it? When are you going to take those measurements? Who will take those measurements? How often? What would make you change that plan? Think about every. little. detail.

Shoot to write at least 500 words on each goal. Write for at least ten minutes. If you don’t have anything to say, sit there and think about it instead. If you’re spinning your wheels, move on to the next goal and maybe that will jog some creative thinking.

What are your sub-goals?

Sub-goals comprise your BIG goal. What’s the best way to identify them? It happens when you dive deeper into your superficial SMART goal. Not much feels more magical than just continuously unlocking thoughts you didn’t know you were thinking. A lot of people are smarter than they allow themselves to be. It’s just like fitness, actually.

What else can you measure?

List out sub-goals. Then elaborate on each one of those.

I always like to set performance goals along with body composition goals. Looking to shed some fat? You can generally see progress pretty quickly there, but it’s susceptible to fluctuation. How about we also track your work capacity? Maybe your resting heart rate, strength, and subjective well-being, too.

Health is broad. What is important to you? Above all else, I want to feel well. That entails strength, cardiovascular fitness, business success, and social connections. Include all of those goals, too! I couldn’t live with myself if I helped you lose weight, but made you into a person you no longer liked.

Now I will leave you with some examples of things you can measure. Get your notebook and favorite pen ready.

Work capacity

Measure your work output. Maybe try some escalating density training, for example. See how far you’ve come.

Cardiovascular fitness

Tracking your resting heart rate can keep you in tune to your body.

Subjective well-being

Do you feel on top of your day? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you have a strategy for dealing with stress? If not, find one.

Maybe it could be exercise!

Consistency with diet

Are you sticking to your plan? If so, give yourself a check yes! Plan your “cheat” meals. You cannot be 100% ON all the time. Realize that. Don’t judge yourself more harshly than is fair.

Consistency with training

What did you and your coach decide is a realistic frequency of training? Have you stuck with it? If not, why not? Did the goal prove to be unrealistic? If so, change it. If not, is it not a priority for you? If not, why not? What is a higher priority?

Write this down. Introspect. Disconnect from the emotional and objectively evaluate your life for a few minutes. This will help you make logical decision.

Maybe You Shouldn’t Do Yoga, CrossFit, or Squat Deep

Doing any one thing in particular is unnecessary for your goals, no matter what they are. But doing something is necessary for progress.

  1. Find a direction.
  2. Figure out what steps will get you towards there.
  3. Re-evaluate monthly.
  4. Stay the course.
  5. Make every day a win.

Fitness is a bit of an amorphous target. It’s generic. Does it mean cardiovascular fitness? Weight loss? Relative strength? Absolute strength? Weight deadlifted? Flexibility measured? Workout done in x number of minutes?

Is your goal a fitness goal? Or are you just trying out a new training method?

Most people I work with — at least the “regular” people with day jobs — want to be more fit. It would always be nice to be skinnier, stronger, leaner, toner, healthier, smarter, more muscular, more patient, more even-keeled, less anxious, less depressed, less neurotic, less unstable.

But if you want these things, we have to talk about goal setting.

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When to Eat Carbs

Carbs are kind of bad, but not all the time… and not for all people.

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Supplement Recommendations

NOTE: If you use the links on this page to buy from Muscle Feast, they’ll give you three bucks off your order.

To buy from Muscle Feast:

  1. Get your discount
  2. Search for product
  3. Checkout
Top recommendation — Muscle Feast Grass Fed Whey Isolate

Vegan recommendation — Garden of Life Raw Protein.

Top Recommendation — Muscle Feast BCAA 4:1:1
Top Recommendation — Muscle Feast Creapure®
Top Recommendation — Designs for Health

Though dietary supplements are both plentiful and popular, it takes a lot to make me actually recommend one.

There are a wide range of things that can help you get the fitter, healthier, and sexier body that YOU want. Supplements generally yield much less benefit than, say, a consistent diet and proper exercise.

But some supplements can make a lot of things better. I’ll list off my recommendations along with a short explanation of what they are and why I recommend them.

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What Does It Take to Lose Weight?

Losing weight is hard.

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