RAW Performance are athletic performance specialists based in Bromley, Kent.
We utilise odd objects, gymnastic/bodyweight movements, barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells to create complete athletes. We offer 1:1 Personal training & small group training for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
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There are a few things that are synonymous with the Christmas/New year period. There is of course the getting together of families, the opening of presents, the overeating and of course new years resolutions.
Most people set goals for this year to join a gym/get fit/drop body fat. While it is good that people want to get fitter, you will often see people start strong during the beginning of the year and by March they are nowhere to be seen.
A huge reason for this is a lack of thought into goal setting. Although most people start off really motivated, this dwindles because there is no end achievement and so training just seems to be made up of random exercises or something they have seen in a magazine which probably will not be specific to their goal.
There are a few easy things you can do to ensure you don’t end up as one of these statistics, follow RAW Performance’s do’s and don’ts of goal setting:
1. Not setting a goal:
you can train, what the sessions will be focusing on, selecting particular exercises and work out the intensity/weight, sets/reps and rest period (if applicable) you will use. Create a plan for the next 4 weeks.
Training should not just be a tick in the box! It should be a place where you come to improve your physical attributes and improve what your body is capable of. Do not be that person on the bike reading the paper!
2. Too Much too soon
Around January, people make the mistake of going 100mph into a new fitness program and ‘diet’, however training 7 days a week and severe calorie restriction are a recipe for overtraining and boredom. Make sure you plan rest/deload (a deload is a period of reduced intentinsity or volume) weeks, everybody is different, so listen to your body on this one, some people need a deload/rest every 4 weeks whereas some can go almost 10 weeks, this depends on the persons previous training experience, quality of sleep and nutrition, stress levels etc
Remember your training is simply a stimulus, all the actual gains will come when your body is resting and has time to repair and adapt to the training you have done. If you don’t give yourself time to rest you could get into a state of overtraining, which can lead to injury and lack of motivation.
3. Setting unrealistic goals or timescales
If you are deadlifting 100kg for 1 rep today, trying to deadlift 200kg in a weeks time would be unrealistic. Setting unrealistic goals ruins motivation and confidence, aim high but make sure goals are realistic and attainable. Deadlifting 200kg is an attainable goal for most people, but to get there will require small incremental steps, with a sustained effort over a set time.
If you know you are going to be travelling a lot make sure the program allows this.
1. Set Goals
We touched on this earlier, but the most obvious one is actually setting goals. ‘Getting fit’ is neither measurable or attainable, yet this is one of the most common resolutions we see. What does fitness mean to you? Does it mean
adding 50kg to your squat? Or do you want to take 5 minutes off of your 5k run time? What ever it is, set steps that will lead you to that goal, let’s take the squat example:
Take someone who can squat 120kg, but wants to be able to squat 170kg by the end of the year. As an example he has poor squat technique, tight hips, underactive glutes, poor ankle mobility and has trouble getting out of the bottom portion of the squat with anything over 120kg. To Reach 170kg he will take the following steps:
These are all small changes that will improve his squat technique, mobility and strength, which will all help reach his goal of squatting 170kg.
2. Record your workouts
This will identify improvements you are making and how you have improved over the weeks/months. Not only is this a good motivating tool but will also help you identify what is working and what isn’t as well as where your weaknesses lie.
After each session record what you have done including the intensity/weight of the exercise and for how long or how many reps. Retain these records so you can come back and see how you have progressed as well as what exercises are most effective for you.
3. Time specific Goals
It is great to set a goal but if you do not set a specific date this has to be achieved by there will be a tendancy to miss workouts and there is no urgency to make sure that each session is of quality.
Set yourself a realistic timescale for your goal to be achieved by, this will also help you determine how much time you have before you get to your goal and most importantly will let you know how much the intensity/weight/volume needs to be increased by each week to get you there.
The human body is extremely efficient at adapting to increased demands placed on it. If you continue with any program or excercise with the same reps/sets and weight for a period of time eventually you will not get any further benefit and will start to go backwards.
For this reason you should look to vary your training at least every 6 weeks ideally every 4. This could be small changes by changing the reps and sets scheme to greater changes such as changing the exercise to keep your body guessing and always moving forward.
After every 4 or 6 weeks sit down and implement a new program. Do not look at changing everything in the program but look at changing maybe 2 or 3 elements evaluate this after the next change in program.
If you take one thing away from this article……. PLAN!! No matter how busy your lifestlye is, take 20 mins out of your day to plan your goals for the year, break them down month by month, then plan each session at the start of each week/month. This will ensure you know exactly what you’ve got to do when you get into the gym, meaning you’ll hit your goals within the time scales you have set.