Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Value of Training Goals

Training goals are important.  Without them, we lose direction, motivation and focus.  Our training then becomes less effective and less consistent.  I feel that is the value of the personalized training program I write out for my clients.  They have a plan (that is specific and appropriate for them) that gives them a center of focus, raises motivation, and improves consistency.  These intangibles provide the mental basis for which specific, physical, objective goals can be pursued.  Your mind and your thoughts are a powerful determinant of your success. 

I spend a good part of my week writing out programs to help clients pursue and achieve their goals.  I sometimes lose focus in my training and end up just doing whatever I can.  I know better.  I know specific goals will help me stay focused and improve my motivation.  Yes, even I lose motivation time to time. 

An important component of effective goal-setting is to make the goals as specific and objective is possible.  Also, goals should include not only outcome-orientation (losing twenty pounds), but also process-orientation (training four days per week, for 45 minutes).  You can read more about outcome and process-orientated goals here. 

So, one of my goals is to improve leg strength, power, mobility, and single-leg stability (I partial tore my left hamstring two years ago).  I have pursued maximal strength lifts in the past (barbell squat and deadlifts), but want to stay in my philosophy of "moving well."  While I still see value in training the "big lifts" and use them as part of my program, I want my goal to be more specific to my needs.  I figured out my new training goal, yesterday.  The Pistol (single-leg squat)-Lateral Hop complex is it.  I was able to perform six good reps yesterday and in the past have done 8-10 Pistols in a row.  However, single-leg stability and endurance (my heart rate was 160 bpm after only 6 reps) are challenged more with a 48" Lateral Hop.  Check out the video.  My new goal is 30 good reps of the Pistol-Lateral Hop Complex without falling down.

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