Setting Goals for Success

Hey Everyone,

Been really busy lately so I haven’t had a chance to post. Excited to say that I am done the 1st semester of my MSc in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning).

I also had a great week for performance in my workouts, and I thought i’d share what happened because it has some good lessons for goal setting and mindset.

A couple friends of mine have been making me jealous by banging out a ton of muscle ups. I am a competitive guy, so I decided I wanted to be able to do some as well. This is the kind of thing they’ve been doing. If you don’t know Jose or Kane, they are some impressive guys in terms of feats of strength! (Especially relative to body mass…)

So after seeing this I got motivated to figure it out…I figured, I can do plenty of dips and pullups, so it can’t be that hard right?

The first time I tried it, I could barely get over the bar. I could not imagine how to get over and be in a position to press-up. Round 2, I fly over the bar, but can’t stop myself from falling back down again. Round 3, I narrow my grip a little bit, and BAM, knock one out, easier than I expected.

That’s when I texted Kyle and said I wanted to do 5 in a row by Thursday November 24, 2011. This was on Saturday November 12, 2011. I thought it was a little aggressive but doable.

Check out this video of me hitting my goal on November 18, 2011.

So how did I do it so fast?

I’m awesome, that’s how. In all seriousness though, it was the desire to accomplish a huge performance goal. I am lucky that I am in the gym for big chunks of time each day, so once I got my first one, I decided to do a muscle up whenever I got a chance. I can’t tell you how many reps total I have done in the past 4 days, but it is quite a few. If you think about weightlifters (i’ll use this term for those that compete in the snatch and clean and jerk), and especially those in eastern Europe, they perform squats, cleans, jerks, and snatches daily. They just cycle the volume and intensity of each for an appropriate mix between progression and fatigue. So when you have a performance goal, if you want to be aggressive with it, make sure you do it a lot. Don’t just do a once a week pulling lift if you want to improve your pullups drastically. Obviously you need to monitor your fatigue and soreness daily, but singles are always doable!

The next big lesson that I take from this goal, is not necessarily supported by evidence but anecdotally I believe, that performance goals are easier to achieve than body composition/aesthetic goals. It’s way easier to see what it takes to go up one rep at a time, or put 5 pounds on the bar at a time, but if you don’t lose weight one day it is easy to get mentally discouraged. Sometimes you don’t know what it will look like to lose 10 inches, or decrease body fat % by 10 points, so how do you stay focused daily? It’s easy to get side tracked when the end goal is hard to picture. But as I experienced, it was easy to tell when I was getting close to putting multiple reps together, so I slowly progressed to doubles and triples.

There is a lot more that goes into appropriate goal setting, but I feel that having a feel for the process is a very important part of the journey. I also believe that accomplishing certain performance goals can really boost self-confidence and give you the personal satisfaction to keep achieving great things.

So go ahead, make a goal, and work daily to accomplish it!

It’s About Getting Better!!

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