Appearance goals are too arbitrary. Set performance goals and you will be happier and more successful.
I spent forever concerned with how I looked, and no matter how lean or big I got it was never enough. Concern yourself with output related goals that can be achieved through a system based on reason and hard work.
I believe in getting STRONG. But what is strong? How do different measures of strength relate to your appearance related goals?
Below I have come up with some answers. The system isn’t perfect, but I believe taking the advice below will lead the majority of people closer to their goals than what they’re doing now. Understand that the training alone to reach these goals will yield most of the results from an appearance standpoint, hence why the goals themselves may seem to be a reach.
Mrs. “I want to lose 20lbs”:
Goal #1: Do your first unassisted, strict pull – up. If you believe you have 20lbs to lose and you can’t do a single pull-up you are weak, overweight or both. In order to achieve this goal you will need to build full body strength, clean up your diet and lose body fat. Continue to focus on the pull-up not the mirror or the scale. When you hit that first pull-up go check the mirror and if you must…the scale.
Mr. “I Want Abs”:
Goal #1: 15-20 consecutive pull-ups. Just as I explained in our first case, certain things need to fall in line for this to be possible. Namely, you need to be strong and you can’t be fat.
Goal #2: Either Squat 2x your body weight, Deadlift 3 x your body weight or both. This isn’t a perfect ratio. It is closer to perfect when you couple it with Goal #1. I haven’t seen many 200lb men who can squat 400, pull 600 and knock out 15-20 consecutive pull ups who don’t have abs. Furthermore, if you can do the following and you aren’t happy with your physique I’d be REALLY surprised.
Mr. I Want To Be JACKED:
Goal #1: Overhead press your body weight and do 3 pull/chin ups at 190% of your body weight. If your 165lbs that’s 3 pull ups with roughly 145lbs attached to you. To achieve this you need to be lean, and plenty strong. I understand the chin up goal is lofty, but the training to achieve it will add mass in all the right places.
In ending, understand that the training alone to reach these goals will yield most of the results from an appearance standpoint, hence why the goals themselves may seem to be a reach. Focus on progressive overload, train smart and embrace the process. Stop setting subjective goals. Start setting objective goals and you will find success in the gym and the mirror.