Archive for the tag - goal

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?


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!



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


How to Stay at Your Goal Weight.

Hi Davey!

First and foremost, I just want to say that I’m a huge fan of yours. 🙂 I’ve been working out hard and eating healthy for the past six months and have finally dropped the 40 pounds to get to my goal weight. My question is should I change my workout regimen to stay at my goal weight and do lighter exercises? I want to obviously stay where I am, but I’m not sure how to keep the weight off.


Does reaching your weight loss goal mean it's time to ease up at the gym?

Hey Alex!

Congratulations on reaching your goal weight. Though I’m sure there are many envious blog buddies out there, we’re all happy to celebrate your transformation and achievement!

As you probably know, weight loss occurs when we have a calorie deficit. In other words, we lose weight when we take in (i.e., eat) fewer calories than our bodies burn. By eating smarter and moving more, we’re able to create the calorie deficit that results in weight loss.

For most people, it’s worth noting that the calorie deficit is fairly small and may only be a few hundred calories. Over time, these few hundred calories add up to long term and sustainable weight loss.

Once a goal weight is reached, it’s time to close the calorie deficit. Though easing up on your workout would mean fewer calories burned and thus close the calorie deficit, I’d encourage you to continue pushing yourself and training hard. Going to the gym is a wonderful way to honor your movement-craving body - and it will continue to transform and shape your body. Rather than easing up on your workout, I’d recommend modifying your diet to close the calorie deficit. In all actuality, it probably just means an extra small snack each day.

Again, congratulations on your transformation! I’d wish you good luck on maintaining your weight - but there’s no luck involved. Just continued mindfulness, effort, persistence and dedication!

Davey Wavey

Failing Your Goals.

If you’re exercising, then you probably have goals. If you don’t have goals - make them! Otherwise, it’s like taking a road trip without a destination in mind.

And if you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to write down your goals. I like to write “SMART” goals - goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Since my goals are specific, they contain a “by when” date. For example, I might want to increase the circumference of my biceps by 1 inch by April 1, 2011. When April 1 comes along, I can evaluate my results.

But here’s the kicker: Though our goals should be attainable - i.e., it’s physical or mentally possible for you to accomplish whatever goals you create - they shouldn’t be too attainable. Failing to reach about 50% of your goals is a good thing. It means you’re shooting high. It means that you’re really pushing and challenging yourself. After all, it’s better to shoot for the stars and land on the moon than aim for the mountains and reach them.

If you’re reaching all your goals, you’re probably not challenging yourself enough.

And remember, “failure” really isn’t failure. It’s just a result - and it’s an opportunity to re-evaluate your goals. Maybe you didn’t accomplish it because it’s actually not that important to you. Or maybe it needs a new deadline, or a new approach. Learn from your results, and evolve.

Want questions do you have about goal setting? And what are some of your fitness goals?