Archive for the tag - smart goals

What Makes Someone Physically Fit?

Dear Davey,

Everyone talks about getting ‘fit’ but what exactly is ‘fit’ and how do you know when you have become ‘fit’? Is fitness a good BMI, fantastic looking body (like yours), low weight, being able to cycle for miles non stop or something else?

Thanks,
Jonathan

Hey Jonathan,

I love your question! And it speaks to the importance of structuring your program around a solid goal.

In the past, I’ve written about the necessity of S.M.A.R.T. goals. That is, goals that are:

  1. Specific: Goals should be laser-focused.
  2. Measurable: Whenever possible, attach real-world numbers to your goals. This could mean pounds, kilos, inches or clothing sizes.
  3. Attainable: A good goal should be achievable with hard work and dedication – but rooted in reason. Don’t make it too difficult. Conversely, don’t make it too easy.
  4. Relevant: The goal needs to be important to you. If it’s not important, you won’t stick with it.
  5. Timely: Attach a date to your goal. Rather than wanting to lose 10 pounds of fat, say that you want to lose 10 pounds of fat in 60 days.

With S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind, your question illustrates the problem of saying you’d like to become fit. For starters, it’s not specific, measurable or timely. So let’s turn “fit” into a smart goal.

body fat percentagesThough true physical fitness takes many complicated factors into consideration (such as cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, balance, etc.), there is an easier way to cut to the point. It involves body fat percentages.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Essential fat: 10% – 13% for women, 2% – 5% for men
  • Athletes: 14% – 20% for women, 6% – 13% for men
  • Fitness: 21% – 24% for women, 14 – 17% for men
  • Average: 25% – 31% for women, 18 – 24% for men
  • Obese: 32+% for women, 25+% for men

Though body fat percentages don’t consider every aspect of physical fitness, they’re a great place to start. And it’s easy to create a smart goal around body fat percentages. For example, you could say,  “I want to achieve 15% body fat by December 31.”

With that S.M.A.R.T. goal in mind, you can certainly structure a fitness program to make it happen!

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

 

But when most people use the word fit, they’re referring to an in-shape individual with a low percentage of body fat.

 

When and How to Get Started?

Start here, and start now. 6 months from now, you'll be very glad you did.

It’s the new year and you’ve made a resolution to live healthier. Great! But when and how do you start?

The when is easy. The answer is, of course, now. The present moment is the only moment in which you’ll ever live – try as we might to live in the past or future. All decisions are made in the present moment and all actions are taken in the present moment.

And if you do act right now, in six or twelve months, you’ll be very glad that you did. Just think if you made (and stuck to) this resolution a year ago; you’d already be enjoying a transformed life. But instead of looking back, let’s stick to this present moment and know that the time for change is now.

The how can seem trickier. And indeed, the how will be different from person to person, and it really depends on your goals. As I’ve mentioned a million times, I advise my clients to commit their goals to writing (it makes it official!) and abide by the S.M.A.R.T. philosophy of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals.

But while the details of what you need to do to make your S.M.A.R.T. goal a reality can seem overwhelming, remind yourself that all you need to do is take the first step. The realization of a goal is really the sum total of many small steps – and you just need to take the first one. It doesn’t seem so daunting, does it?

So the bottom line is this: Right now, take the first step. Just one step – whatever it might be for you. It might be the hardest step to take, but it’s also the most important.

P.S. There are only 48 hours left to use discount code “youtube” and save 25% off The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. It’s been my most successful product launch ever – and I’ve been getting tons of great feedback. Snag your copy today before the discount ends!

Part II: Frustrated By Lack of Results? Create a Better Game Plan.

If you are frustrated by a lack of results, it’s probably one of two things. Either it’s an issue with your goals, or you need a better game plan. Yesterday, in part I, we discussed the importance of creating S.M.A.R.T. goals. Today, in part II, I’ll show you how to connect your workout routine to your fitness goals.

How to Create a Workout Plan that Achieves Your Goals

You have a goal or set of goals. It seems intuitive, but virtually everything that you do at the gym must be connected to those goals. Some people think that going to the gym and doing whatever is a means to achieving their fitness goals – but it’s not.

If your goals involve bigger muscles, for example, your workout must be intentionally structured around that. To get bigger muscles, you’ll want to stick with free weight exercises that involve either dumbbells or barbells. Moreover, you’ll be doing a low number of repetitions (probably between 4 – 8 reps) at a heavy amount of weight. You’ll want your muscles to be fatigued when you perform your last set, and you’ll need to constantly be progressing to heavier and heavier amounts of resistance. Most likely you’ll do different muscle groups on different days, and your cardio will probably come in the form of jogging, running or sprinting in intervals on the treadmill.

If you’re looking to maintain muscles, then your workout must be structured around that, too. When it comes to strength training, don’t increase the amount of resistance for those muscles you are looking to maintain. And, you’ll probably perform 10 or more reps since the weight will be only moderately heavy.

If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s important to build a well-balanced workout schedule that includes cardio and strength training (many people forget about the importance of strength training when trying to lose weight). Intervals are also great for releasing weight, and you’ll probably spend a higher percentage of your time doing cardio than your muscle-building counterparts.

Everyone’s goals are specific, and it’s beyond the scope of this blog post to create a personal workout routine for you (that’s what my Ultimate Guide to Working Out is for), but the point is this: Going to the gym and just doing whatever is not enough – each rep of each set of each exercise of each day at the gym must be intentionally connected to your goal or goals. Know what it takes to get where you want to go – and then do it!

How to Create SMART Goals.

If you’re frustrated by your lack of progress or results, setting SMART goals could help get you there!

Spring is in the air, and the energy and enthusiasm of the season is palpable. As it turns out, Spring is a great time to re-evaluate your fitness progress, and to take a critical look at yourself and how far you’ve come. Or, in some cases, how far you haven’t come.

For those people that are struggling to reach their goals, the issue is likely one of two things. It’s either an issue with the goal itself, or with the plan for achieving it.

Evaluate Your Goal

Today, let’s start by looking at your goal (and tomorrow, in part II, we’ll look at your plan). I help my clients develop SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

  • Specific: We can’t create a map if you don’t know where you want to go. Saying, “I want to look better” is abstract. Saying, “I want my waist to be 2 inches smaller” is more specific. Make your goals as specific and concise as humanly possible.
  • Measurable: To track progress, you need to be able to measure it. We can measure fitness success in inches, pounds, increases in energy, clothes fitting differently, the mirror, before and after pictures, pant/dress sizes, etc. As you think about your goals, keep “measurablity” in mind – see if you can build the measurements right into the goal. Instead of saying, “I want to increase my biceps,” you could say, “I want to increase my biceps by two inches.”
  • Attainable: If you only make 30 minutes of time available for exercise in your busy schedule, don’t expect to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The goals that you set need to be “reality checked” by the amount of time you’re willing to put into working out, the resources available to you, what’s healthy (i.e., losing 20 lbs a week is not healthy), age, what’s humanly possible, etc. Save yourself the frustration by picking realistic, attainable goals. On the other hand, don’t make them too attainable, either.
  • Relevant: The goals you select should be relevant to your life and your wants. The more relevant the goal, the easier it is to put time and effort into achieving it. The goals that you select should add real value to your life.
  • Timely: Set your goals to a specific date. You want a six pack stomach by what date? Beach season? Your birthday? Put it in writing – but remember, be realistic!

Creating SMART goals for yourself will save you a ton of frustration down the road. But what if a SMART goal isn’t enough? Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the goal itself, but rather with the game plan for getting there. Tomorrow, in part II of this series, we’ll help better connect your fitness routine to the goals you are looking to achieve! Stay tuned!