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What Is Your Training Goal?
Your Goal and Results Are Only Separated By Your Actions
We simply cannot craft a training plan or come up with a plan of attack for training if we don’t have a clear and defined goal!
This isn’t some motivational “we must have a definite goal to achieve our dreams” statement. No, I mean like literally what is your goal? so we can set up exercising and programming to get there.
If we go into the gym without a clear and defined goal, things will happen, that’s for sure, but they could be completely contradictory of your goal or simply waste your time.
When I say goal, I mean what outcome do you want out of your training? Are you training for aesthetics? Do you want to be stronger? Are you trying to be a better athlete? Is there a specific lift you want to improve? It could be anything.
What Is Your Goal?
I get many, many workout programs people ask me for advice on—some of them are great, some of them god awful.
Some guys are squatting everyday, some are doing some variation of a 5x5 StrongLift program, 531 programs, you name it.
None of these programs are inherently good or bad—it all depends on your goal.
If your goal is to simply build muscle, lose fat, and look better, you don’t need a special program to get stronger and get a better deadlift. You actually don’t even need to do things like deadlift, squat, or bench. A simple bodybuilding-style routine will take you exactly to where your desired results are.
If your goal is to be a powerlifter, to be stronger in specific lifts, then you more than likely need a specific program geared towards maximizing those results—you will be doing the Big 3 lifts, and doing them frequently.
The specific reason I’m writing this is that I see a huge disconnect with people and their goals and their training.
If we are not training specifically for our desired goal, we are probably wasting our time and there is a better and even a safer way to do so.
Defining Your Goal
At some point, sit down and take 30 seconds to think about what you really want out of the gym and your workout program.
This will guide every decision you will make in the gym. You need to be honest and clear with yourself with that you want.
This doesn’t just apply to the gym, it applies with your diet too. Aimlessly eating and training without this goal is a very quick way to circle from Point A to Point A with very little progress.
Deciding Training Based on Goal
Now that we have accountability of our plan, how do we approach this?
Most people simply want to look better, get stronger, feel better, and be healthy for the rest of their lives.
For this you’ll be doing more “bodybuilding” style training. Don’t let the name fool you. My intent for none of you is to step on stage and compete. We simply want to look more athletic, lean, vibrant and healthy. Think more like a model rather than “bodybuilder”.
This type of an approach is simply going to be training for muscle growth and watching our diet. This is the healthiest/safest/most effective way to train for this goal. You will not magically look like a freakish bodybuilder, unless that is your goal and you push to extremes.
Now what if your goal is more performance-based? You want to be strong on certain lifts? You want to compete in strongman or powerlifting?
If this is your goal, you’ll obviously not be following traditional weightlifting/bodybuilding workout routines. You will be following specific strength-based programs, that are specific to training up for whatever events you are going to do.
Same goes for if your goals are athletic in nature and you want to perform better at a specific sport. You will then set up training that is conducive to that sport and those goals.
The key here is knowing what you want and setting yourself up with a system that will yield the result you want as efficiently as possible.
Ox Example Of Where This Goes Wrong
I will give you a clear example of a disconnect with goals and training plans—if this is you, don’t feel bad, you’re creating a great example for others to learn from.
I talked to a guy, he is doing a 5x5 deadlift program 3x a week.
I asked him what his goal was and he said “well to get big and shredded like everyone else".
I asked if he cared about deadlift or wanted to get bigger and stronger as safe as possible.
Again his response was “well of course, that’s why I do this, and want to be healthier as I age”.
I asked him what he thought he was accomplishing with this program and he was confused.
After we talked more it just simply came down to the fact he didn’t realize his training and his goals actually were not optimal for each other.
He could have followed a much more traditional weightlifting approach and gotten better results with much less risk of injury.
Now this isn’t to say deadlifts are bad, I go into the reason why I like deadlifts in this post. The point is there was a better way to get to his goal quicker and more effectively.
More than likely if you follow this and you’re reading my posts your interest is in more of the health and visual aspects of lifting. You want to look good and feel good.
For the majority of you, following a plan like the ones on my substack are going to net you the most efficient results for your goal.
Combine them with a diet that also goes with your goal (build muscle or lose fat) and you have a system for success for your results.
Now, what if you simply don’t know if your training matches your goal? Educate yourself—if you’re new to this substack, tons of articles, including the free ones discuss the science behind many of the aspects of training.
Learning this will ensure you are working conducively with your goal and not spinning your wheels.
Putting All Together
Your goal and results are separated by your actions. Do bridge that gap—the action you take needs to be in line with the goal.
If you want to look better and feel better, following a bodybuilding-style training program is what’s going to yield you the most efficient result.
If you want to be strong at all costs and good at the Big 3 lifts, then a powerlifting approach is going to be what you want to do.
If your goal is athletic-based, your training should look like it. This post goes over how your training should look for that.
At the end of the day, this will be the most important aspect after adhering and staying consistent.
We can still make progress to our desired results doing it suboptimally, but we can also walk from NYC to LA, doesn’t mean it’s the best or most time efficient way to do it.
Keep keeps in mind when making decisions during your fitness journey.
Until next time,
This is not Legal, Medical, or Financial advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting any workout program, diet plan, or supplement protocol. These are opinions from a Cartoon Ox.