The reason i first started working out and going to the gym was because i wanted to get in shape, which to be honest is the same reason most people start going. After i had worked hard and was finally happy with my shape my goals in the gym changed.
I had smashed the goals i first set for myself in relation to my shape/size and was more than happy. Now i wanted to get strong!
You ever walk into the gym and see somebody dead lifting or squatting, and they have so many plates stacked on the bar that the bar is literally bending when they lift it? I want that to be me. I’d walk into the gym and see somebody doing pull ups or press ups and think i wish i could do those. Compared to now I was so weak when i started working out, i couldn’t do a single press up, couldn’t do a single pull up, i couldn’t squat using only the bar, i couldn’t do one rep on the leg press of even my own body weight. You could have flicked me and i would have fallen over.
Now don’t get me wrong, these things aren’t easy – press ups / pull ups etc, so if you can’t do any of them that’s absolutely fine, neither could i. Setting yourself strength goals while you are in the gym, and finally reaching them, and then setting even bigger strength goals, and also reaching them… is one of the most rewarding feelings ever and a great way to improve and track progress and really have something to focus on and work towards.
I remember first setting myself a leg press target of being able to do 3 set of 8 reps of my own body weight (50kgs). After completing that i knew in my head that if i kept working hard and stayed focused i could not only get strong, but i could get STRONG! So i set myself the target of being able to leg press 4x my body weight (200kgs) for one rep. I have just recently managed to leg press way above what my goals were and managed 200kgs for 3 sets of 8 reps. This was a massive accomplishment for me and the sense of achievement i felt afterwards was amazing. I had surpassed the goals i had first set myself not only by a little bit, but my a massive amount!
I had also set myself goals for squats / dead lifts / bench etc which i have passed and set new goals with as well. The reason i’m using my leg press as an example is that when i remember laughing at myself as i wrote down my leg press goal. I had just managed my first leg press of my own body weight for 3 sets of 8 reps and all of a sudden i felt like the hulk setting myself goals that i thought at the time were wayyyyyyyy ahead of me. But it just goes to show, your body can do anything – its your mind that needs convincing.
Set your goals for where you are at, everybody is different. If you are just starting out and are the same as i was… Make your first goal to be 10 press ups, one pull up, to squat your bodyweight, to deadlift 1.5x your body weight.
Once you have reached these, set them higher. Aim for 10 pull ups, then added weight pull ups. Aim for 1.5x your body weight for squats and even higher for dead lifts. Working towards strength goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated when going to the gym and when you finally reach them and make yourself proud the feeling is like no other.