When was the last time you reassessed your training goals? While we all start fitness programs with the best of intentions, it’s easy to get off track. Here are some of the common distractions that can get in the way of fitness objectives, and suggestions on how you can get back on track with your goals.
Why do fitness goals get forgotten?
Most fitness goals fall inside the following 5 categories:
- Fat loss and/or muscle gain to improve appearance e.g. going down a dress size
- Improving overall health to prevent disease, return to a previous health status, or rehabilitate from an injury
- Strength training towards a specific goal e.g. beating a personal best for weight-lifting
- Improving flexibility and mobility
But, without the right strategy to reach your goal, it’s easy to become fixated on other objectives like competing with your friends or racing through a workout as quickly as possible. Such distractions are particularly prominent in group fitness settings. Sure, you may have joined the gym for socialisation and support from others, but if you suddenly find yourself focused on your peers instead of yourself, you’ll never achieve the goals you’ve set.
Think of these common scenarios:
- You try to get workouts done as quickly as possible, often at the sake of technique and good form
- You’re constantly comparing yourself to others, working to beat their times, bench press limits and personal bests
- You’ve used dangerous techniques in an attempt to lift more than others
- You often workout to the point of exhaustion, rather than training towards perfection
If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to reassess your motives and refocus on your personal goals. It’s ok to be competitive – but remember that even star athletes aim to beat others during competition, not during training.
So how do you get back on track when you’re no longer focused on your goals?
- Make sure your fitness program is aligned to your goals. There’s no point focusing on exercises that others are doing if they won’t help you with your objectives. If you’re working towards lifting a certain weight, for example, you need to build strength training into your daily regime. Remember also that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing every day. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a rest day – but if you find yourself having more “rest days” than training days, it’s time to reassess your schedule.
- If what you’re doing isn’t working, shake things up by trying the opposite. If you’re doing a timed workout, slow down on purpose and focus on perfection over speed. If you’re struggling with lifting a certain weight, lower the weight and focus on form. Sometimes you just need to do something different for a while to break the cycle.
- Remember you don’t need to be exhausted to be working towards your goals. Imagine a footballer working on kicking goals to the point of exhaustion. Their technique only becomes sloppy once they’re tired. Improving technique and skill is much more achievable when you’re at your best, so practice skillsets while you’re fresh and keep your strength up for the next day.
- Focus on big picture goals. Achieving personal bests in every training session would be great, but it rarely happens. If you have a lacklustre workout, reset the next day and try again. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day – it’s ok to have setbacks when you know that each small step is one foot closer to your goal.
Staying focused on your personal fitness goals, and avoiding group distractions, can be difficult, but we’re here to help. If you want a hand to realign your fitness goals and strategise to achieve them, contact us today to learn how a personal trainer can help.