How to Achieve Real Progress on Your Workout

Why do you want to work out? This is the question you should ask yourself before you pick up a single dumbbell. Focusing on your fitness goals is like following a new year’s resolution. You will be more successful if you set your objectives in line with your personal desires and priorities. For example, you may choose to work out in order to lose weight. That is perhaps the most common reason for working out. In such a case, you will become more motivated in your training the more you see your goals being achieved–through a shrinking waistline or a lower bathroom scale reading, perhaps.

There are many other reasons for you to work out–muscle increase, stamina, power, core strength, body shape, and overall health are some examples. You may even find yourself shifting from one goal to another, as your needs and priorities change.

In this article, I will focus on the fitness goal of muscle increase. That is my general objective. But to truly motivate myself, I need to set additional and more specific goals that can move me towards my objective. In the case of muscle increase, I set myself the goal of increasing my biceps size from 14 and a half inches to 15 and a half inches. It’s a step, and it may not be a huge step, but it definitely brings me closer to my overall goal. The exact goal is something that will differ from case to case, depending on the individual. Anyway, I decided to purchase a pair of 35-pound dumbbells to use in curling exercises. Knowing what I wanted to achieve, I could tailor my training program to suit my requirements, and acquire the equipment necessary.

At the same time that I got the dumbbells, I purchased a 300-pound weight set for bench exercise. It’s not that I regularly bench press 300 pounds, far from it. In fact, my current maximum press would be 180 pounds. I set an additional goal for myself–that I would be able to increase my maximum press to 200 pounds, a difference of 20 pounds. So why did I get a 300-pound set? Because I was looking ahead. I was certain I would reach my goal of 200 pounds, but when I did, the muscle gain may not be enough to satisfy me. I could foresee the day that I would be striving towards a 300-pound maximum. But I did not set that as my current goal, but chose to focus on a smaller measurable step.

That is a good approach to fitness training. Achieve your goals in a series of small measurable steps. Then you will be able to measure your progress and know when you are doing well and when you need to work harder. You will also be motivating yourself to keep training as you see progress happen slowly but surely. And your training progress will prove more effective when you set your sights on concrete goals instead of a single vague mission. That is something I learned the hard way. I got into fitness because I wanted to have a better body, but with no more specific goals and no way to concretely measure my progress, I lost spirit and ended up quitting. I have since learned my lesson and no longer have trouble motivating myself to keep working out. If you have trouble maintaining your fitness regime, I suggest you set yourself a number of clear, measurable goals, and that should keep you going.