“If you’re not assessing goals you’re guessing!”
I think somebody famous or inspirational or important said that but I can’t remember who. Either way it’s a pretty good point.
Whatever you are training for, whether it is fat loss, strength, muscle building, performance, flexibility, to run faster, throw further, punch harder, you need to be assessing whether or not you are achieving your desired outcome.
When it comes to reaching your goals, whatever they may be, a great way to stay motivated towards them is to record your progress. The first thing we need to do is actually set a goal – I want to fit in my new flowery dress by July (not a personal goal of mine). Too many people join a gym and say “I want to get fit.” What does that even mean? “I want to lose weight” How much? By when? “I want to get lean”. In all these examples I can almost guarantee failure somewhere down the line. How do you know when you’ve reached your goal of being fit? Losing weight? Being lean?
Once you have decided on your clear goal, then decide what you need to be assessing. If your goal is to get stronger, don’t assess yourself by taking pictures in a bikini. If your goal is to get leaner don’t asses yourself by how much you weigh on the scales, take photos and body fat measurements. Hopefully you get the picture – the assessments must match up with the goals.
Here are some great tests for athletes
- 1 Rep MAX on Deadlift, Bench Press, Squat and Overhead Press
- Vertical Jump Test
- Broad Jump Test
- 3 minute Chin up Test
- 3 minute Press up Test
- Cooper 12 minute Endurance Test
Here are some cool assessments for body composition
- Skinfold Test
- Girth Measurements
Here are some not so good assessments
- BMI -most lean, muscly people are obese according to this
- Bodyweight – useful if you compete in a sport where there are weight limits, pretty useless if you want to look good naked
For me the actual assessments aren’t too important, as long as it is something that is measurable and relevant to YOUR goal then I’m cool with it, the important thing is that you assess something.
In reality it’s a simple process that many people overlook. Set a clear long term goal, break it down into small, easy to achieve short term goals, track your progress every week, reach your goals!
Try this when you embark on your next training programme and watch how easy it is to stick with it.