(How) do you set your fitness goals?

Do you have fitness/performance goals? What is it? How did you decide? Did you write it down? How did you come up with that specific goal?

I ran a half marathon last year, and I would like to run it faster this year. All my other goals I cannot really pin down. I have never run a 5k (only with my kids) so I don't know my race time. I guess I could do it in under 28 minutes but I am not sure. Hard to set a goal there. Even harder it is with strength goals. It took me forever to progress in my deadlifts. Now I deadlift 130lbs. What will I be pulling in 6 months? I don't know! If I set my goal too low, the goal will be too easy. If I set it too high, I might get injured training too hard. How do you set goals in strength training??


  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
    Why do you need goals, especially if you are not even sure what they should be? I have never set specific fitness goals in my life. I just do whatever sounds interesting at the time. I have short-term goals, to aid with whatever I am doing, but they are more along the lines of do one more lap next week, do 2 more push-ups per set next week and so on. It does not need to be something big.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
    My strength training goals are pretty basic. I just want to hit my reps and then add weight either monthly (based on my program) or once I get enough reps to do so. So my goals are pretty much about adding 2.5 or 5 or 10 pounds.
  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    My goals all involve being better than I've been previously. Be it faster, stronger, leaner, happier, whatever. Some of those things are easy to measure, some aren't. But ultimately it comes down to progress and improvement.
  • hoyalawya2003
    hoyalawya2003 Posts: 631 Member
    Ditto the progress and improvement. Just like weight goals, sometimes setting a specific number for a specific date is counterproductive. I set some last year, most of which I achieved. I always have the caveat that I will not push too hard just to get a specific number (which is why my "run 50 miles in one month" hasn't been checked off yet).

    For this year: run a race every quarter, one of which will be a half marathon (most likely in September); jump 2'6" with my horse (already achieved), ride second flight foxhunting (our season doesn't start until fall, but should be achievable). Less specifically, I am trying to increase my activity/exercise until I work out consistently 6 days a week. Last year was probably more like 2-4 days on average.
  • kickassbarbie
    kickassbarbie Posts: 286 Member
    I set fitness goals but choose either a date or a weight or a time. Fitness progression for me is too unpredictable.

    Weight training goals are pretty simple for me to set. Example - atm I want to dl 150kg, it might take me 6 months it could take a year or 2. I can't really time my lifts increasing but having something to work towards helps me stick at it but setting a date will either make me lazy or disheartened.
    Running and the like I tend to set dates more than exact times. Example - I'm running my first 10k in a couple months, absolutely no idea what my race time would be (aside from practises round my town.) So my goal is just to run the whole thing without too much swearing and get my first ever 10k race time by July 16th 2015.

    Planning to do your race in itself is a goal, you can acheive and feel great about any goal. There is no need to have a set number down to the decimal point for everything I'd pick either a time or a date. (unless your a pro athlete I guess)
  • jediguitarist
    jediguitarist Posts: 73 Member
    I've set a goal to lose weight and have abs few years ago. It worked for me. Before that, all I did was work out with no plan. Being in generally fit and a healthy weight is a goal, but I found that having a specific plan was necessary for me.

    Currently, my goal is to participate in a men's physique contest in 16 weeks. Within that, there are other specifics such as bulking for muscle gain, and then cutting 4-6 weeks out.
  • DesertGunR
    DesertGunR Posts: 187 Member
    My opinion there has to be one goal. That goal has to be your MINDSET!

    You ran a marathon, you know your time on that. If you want to run another marathon and get a better time as a goal. Then you have to log more miles running than you did for training the last time.

    You did a couple 5k's with your kids. This one is not a goal about time. It is a goal about teaching your children about a healthy lifestyle. An extremely noble goal to teach your children to be better than you were. Find more fun/charity based 5k's to get you and your children involved in.

    Ah, the ever elusive strength goal. In case you haven't noticed, nobody is the same. Even if your best friend is the same height and weight as you. Even if you both choose StrongLifts 5x5 as your strength program. As you progress through the program you will both being doing different weights for the same exercise as time goes by. That is just the plain, simple, harsh truth about it. My advice for a strength goal is to look over all the training programs there are, including the ones that use only body weight like the TRX system. Choose the one that you feel fits your personality and are capable of finishing, whether it is a 90 day or 12 month program and start. Stick to that program like a religion and make it your goal to finish it. The weight you're capable of is not the goal, just the measure of what you can improve on if you decide to start another program.

    I personally like both the StrongLifts 5x5 and the TRX system for strength. Because they start out simple and when you finish, you have never really finished because they're both endlessly variable.

    In the end your goals are your goals. Your times are your times. You may be running a marathon with 30,000 other people around you, in reality you are only racing yourself. I hope you understand.

    Good Luck!