Reach Your Fitness Goals One Step at a Time

by Joe Lawrence | March 10th, 2009 | Eating Tips, Exercises, Sports, Strength Training

fitMany of us look at ourselves in the mirror and don’t see something we like.  We wish we were thinner or more muscular or whatever.  Eventually, it will get to the point where we are ready to take action.  Even those in shape go through the same cycle.  They want to have a firmer bum or larger arms.

I recently saw an article in some magazine offering advice for men on how to get their biceps past the 20″ mark.  That would be a terrible problem to have.  All of us want something we don’t have.  Well, we can get there if we are willing to work for it.  All it takes is effort and tiny steps.

Step one: assess where you are.  Go to the gym and benchpress a set with a weight you’re comfortable with.  Then slowly add weight until you can’t lift anymore.  For sake of argument, it is 185 lbs.

Step two: Where do you want to be?  You want to bench 225 lbs.  It always has been a goal of yours, but you have plateaued at 185.

Step three: Create a plan to get there.  I like to deal with percentages.  185 lbs is roughly 80% of 225.  Most people  realistically can expect to increase by five to ten percent each month.  This means in two months you actually can reach this goal.

How?  Each week I do sets of 65/75/85/105.  What this means is I will put on 65% of my current max (185).  I do this as many times as I can up to ten.  Then take a two minute break and load on 75% and again push hard to ten.  The same goes for 85%.  Finally, load 105% of your max onto the bar.  This is usually only a few pounds more.  Try to get at least one, but if you can’t, have your spotter help you through a full repetition.  This is called a negative rep.  Negatives reps help train your muscles to think they can handle the weight.

Keep doing this each week until you actually can lift the 105%.  Then starting the next week, recalculate the 65/75/85/105.  You will reach your goals by taking these small steps.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.