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Rest Day

Becca Steinsquat and Samir no-middle-name Chopra get their Zercher on

Goal Setting
Christian Fox

Goal setting can be a tricky thing. Many times when people do what they think of as goal setting they are actually just creating a wish list. For example, “ I want to be faster on the erg”, or “I want to lose weight” are not really goals, they are wishes. “I want to take 30 seconds of my 2k Row time”, and “I want to lose 15 lbs by November”, or even better, “I want to lose 15 lbs and be down 2 pant sizes by my birthday party in November” is a goal. These are specific statements that spell out what the desired end result is. Be specific. Make a list of reasons WHY you want to achieve said goals. Write it all out.
            A goal must also be for you. You have to really be the one who wants to achieve it. They can’t be for anyone else, and they can’t be something you just think you should be able to do. You need to own it.
            Have a plan on how you’ll achieve the goal. Map out the steps you’ll take on the way. Want to have that faster 2k row? Think you’ll need to row a bit to get there? Plan it out and write it out. “I will row 2x a week before or after class. One day will be a 5k-10k piece focusing on technique. The other day will be 5 x 250 or 500 meter sprints focusing on intensity”. Have a plan, write it out, and make it happen.
            Tell people your goal. They’ll ask you about it. They’ll want to know how it’s going. People (especially your coaches and fellow athletes at CFSBK) want to see you achieve your goals. That can help to keep you honest. Even if you’ve disappointed yourself in the past by quietly not keeping to your goals, you’re less likely to want to disappoint others. Peer pressure can be used to your advantage here. Know a few people with the same goal? Form a casual support group to keep each other honest. It doesn’t have to be hokey, but it can work.
            Importantly, you won’t achieve goals that are in obvious opposition to each other. “I want to gain 20 lbs of muscle and bump my back squat from 330 to 350”, in addition to “I want to PR my ½ Marathon time by 11 minutes” won’t jive. We can all be guilty of the error of wanting it all, and wanting it right now. Take it from me…sadly I know.
            Finally, check in on your progress often. If you had the goal of losing 15 lbs and 2 pant sizes by November, you also had a plan to get there, right? Have a checklist for each day. Set a reminder in the calendar on your phone! Did you keep to your eating plan? Did you do your strength and conditioning work? Did you get enough *sleep so your hormonal profile is conducive to fat loss and not fat storage? *That may be another article right there…
            Set powerful goals and have a powerful plan to achieve them. Screw New Years Day…Start right now. Cheers to success.

Post a 1 month goal to comments. Remember, goals come with plans, wishes don't

Alec and Deb are doing 4 workshops at Nimble Fitness. Check them out all the details here!


Reader Comments (16)

Christian Fox with another great post. It's going to be tough to maintain this pace!

My goal is to improve my strength and performance, but specifically by a focus on posture and flexibility. The main steps towards this are to establish a stretching and mobility routine, and do something daily. (Have already started this.) I also have appointments scheduled with Alec and Deb to work on this and better understand what needs to be fixed, and they have helped me tremendousty so far.

1. Stand in a more natural state, with a good back arch, and stronger midline and transversal stabilization. (I need to find ways to strengthen this very weak area.)

2. hip flexibility, adductor work, hip flexor, glutes, etc. etc.

I know that I am "leaking wattage" on everything from the squat to deadlift.

How is this measurable? The only specifics that I can truly measure are in my maxes in the strength program, and a general sense of flexibility and posture. If you want some numbers, 10 more pounds on press, 50 more on squat, 75 on deadlift.

I welcome any thoughts/support on this. If there's a better way to measure this, or approach this, I'd like to know about it, and good luck to the rest of you with your goals!

September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim
Goal 1 = 2 dead hang pull-ups.plan = I'm doing as many singles and negatives as I can at home and off the pipes in the stairwell at work. I'm also doing a couple sets of pull-up-y work (ring rows, band pull-ups, negatives) everytime i'm at the gym. I'll bring a TRX to do at least some rows when I'm on the road.

Goal 2 = stay glutton-free/dairy-free through all the trips this monthplan = pack food, feign illness when needed
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie
Thanks to those who have offered their help setting up for Laurel and Malcolm's wedding on Sunday.

If you have not contacted me, but would be able to contribute, we can always use more hands. Feel free to let me know via email or in person OR just show up at 2pm on Sunday.

September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargie
Jim already wrote my post for me! I have always known my lack of flexibility was an issues but it has become painfully (literally) apparent that I can not improve in strength or over all fitness without seriously addressing this issue.Long term goal is to improve over all flexibility and mobility especially in the hips and shoulder. I have already implemented this in committing to a daily yoga practice focusing on flexibility and not power (currently on day 33).I am also committing to the daily mobility WOD.

September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Mak
This post reminded me of a mnemonic that can be used for both personal and professional goals. SMART goals are:

SpecificMeasurableAchievableRealisticTime-Based (or "Timely")
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecca
Bar dips (bw) 23, 18, 13

100 burpees in 8:01
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos
Jim, DMak - what they said.

DMak and I start a 30-day Starrett Mobility WOD challenge tomorrow - anyone else just want to join us, let us know. I just want to become pain-free and move better somehow. I know thats not a quantifiable goal but this challenge is.

If the Starrett WOD requires equipment we don't have, we'll do one of Chris' hip or shoulder routines.

September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra
I'm trying to rock this linear progression for all it's worth.

I've also been adding the mobility wod into my routine, but I'm not sure my honor is up to a 30 day challenge.
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Red Hook Track tomorow at 9:30 !!!The track is in the section of the park closest to the Ikea, furthest away from the expressway.

See you there!
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFox
Must-read for bicyclists:


I consider myself pretty good at following the rules of the road, because I never want to be the asshole biker who endangers himself and others, but this reminded me that I can definitely do better.
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt U.
More helpful, awesome info regarding goals from your neighbors on Bergen:


September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSam Shendow
Having constant flexibility and mobility issues - calves/ankles and shoulders/lats. Margie was great tonight in helping me see where I need more focus. I'm in for Samir and DMak's Mobility challenge. Let me know how you want to benchmark progress.
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn Maldonado
Strength "A" cycle tonight, end of week 2.

First point, note to self: FRIDAY STARTS AT SIX. Get with the program.

Secondly: major revision of squat technique tonight, thanks to Jeremy for that. Use the hips the whole way up; a little forward tilt of the torso through the head is OK as long as the angle stays the same through the whole movement.

Second two sets with that correction, even though I'm a mere 5 lbs from my 5-rep max, were radically easier.

45x5, 75x5, 95x5, 105x3, 117.5x3x5.

Bench press:

Easy breezy beautiful.

45x5, 65x3x5.


The most technically difficult lift rendered much easier by sheer unavailability of excess time to overthink the movement.

45x5, 65x5, 70x3x3, done essentially as a metcon to catch up with the rest of the group.


40-yard sprints, 2 for time individually, 2 as a group with staggered starts to exploit the group's natural competitiveness.

Colette: I got you in my sights.

Ariel: I am toasting you right now with my espresso cup full of Carlson Lemon Flavored Fish Oil.

David: I miss the dog.

See y'all at 9 AM.
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

Usual warmup + descending PC/cleans to 70kg


Trap-Bar DL (low handles): 120x4x4

TruSquat: +30x4x4

Sn-Grip Olympic Rows: 40x6x4

Exhausted. Chugged a pint of half & half post-WO for reasons unknown.

September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYoon
great post as usual fox.My goal is to get faster/leaner for rugby season.My plan to tackle that is running twice a week outside of practice (sprints and/or distance).I also hope to drink once a week (which is a severe drop off).And maybe I will drop a few LBs from all this, though if I can get faster and more endurance and can still weigh 258 lbs...More power to me.

Also, Yoon what is Trusquat? you always post at least one exercise I dont know.
September 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergabrus
Hi Gabrus,The Trusquat is a type of squatting machine. My coach adds it to the rotation of exercises in order to work my legs without loading the back too much (since I also do pulls, regular squats, and the full lifts throughout the course of the week).
September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYoon

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