Get smart: A fitness journey without proper goals is like a journey without a destination

Setting your goals at the onset is the best way to arrive at destination fitness

By Siba Guzha


Embarking on your fitness journey without setting proper goals is as good as going on a journey without a destination. You just drive and drive probably until you run out of gas. Hope I find you well, dear Brawlers. Let’s get into the journey to proper fitness and techniques.

I know most of you out there – veterans or novices are already following various fitness routines, systematically designed, or even just ad-hoc. Well done!

Or perhaps you just have not started, again this is for you too. Let us keep the fitness wheel spinning by adding value through SMART goal setting.

SMART goal setting? Yes, you heard me right, have you ever wondered why you are not reaching your fitness goals – be it bodybuilding, weight loss, body toning or just general fitness.

Why do you seem to be going round and round in a myriad of circles?

Why are the muscles just not coming out, despite the endless hours of gruelling weight lifting, huffing and puffing? They actually call you the Beast Territorial Boss ( the one who walks with arms chest erected eyes roving left right and centre checking to see if people are looking as they make grand entrance).

Why is that dream body so elusive, even though you hit cardio like no man’s business> They even call you cardio master? Where is the six pack, after you crunched your neck out? Let us delve deeper into this.

300kgs on the bench press. Forget it

SMART goal setting is an integral part to your usual fitness regime, it is the missing mile in your intensity of each bout, that is your dose of pre-workout shake. Let us set smart fitness goal. Here it goes: SUSTAINABLE goals can be maintained at a certain rate or level, upheld, or defended. Do not overset your goals.

You do not want to burn yourself out, to overexert. A classic example: you get in the gym; you want to lift 300kgs on bench press? Hell no, you will break yourself and you will never get back in the gym again. Please one step at a time, this fitness game is not a once-off thing.

You live it, it is your life, it should be memorable and enjoyable. Get into your fitness journey gradually, progressively you will get there.

A good example is when people engage in yo-yo diets? Are you never going to eat meat? Are you never going to eat chocolate? Hack, are you never going to take alcohol? Pap? Are you going to live with that?

It is best to centre your fitness goals around your habits. And, your environment, financial status, social support etc plays a major role in the accomplishment of your goals.

Do not set goals that are not in tandem with all of this.

Hulk Hogan

MEASURABLE goals are tangible, what is it that you want to achieve? Loose or gain X many kilos, gain muscles weight, bicep size, quadriceps etc.

The measurable goal will set the pace for what you eat, how you exercise, intensity and frequency. Most of us make mistakes of starting at the wrong fitness decision making point.

What is going to happen is you will just follow a very good eating plan and training routine which are very good but only for the purpose it was set for which may not be congruent to your goals.

This will lead to you walking into the gym, picking any weight that is not relevant to your goal. Result: you look like Hulk Hogan whilst your goal is to be a perfect size 8 model.

The Fitness in stages

ATTAINABLE goals are achievable, achievable is relative to your will power. How much can you push yourself? Goals must be challenging but you must have the will power to back them up.

Do not be overzealous in goal setting when you do not have equally overzealous will power. Attainment level should be gradual, be content with attaining fitness goals in stages.

Let it go with the flow of your life, do not grandstand. A good example is in a group fitness class where everyone has different fitness levels, push at your own best pace. The performers are always there but with the help of your trainer you will get there before you know it. Never set yourself for a failure.

The Weight loss training

RELEVANT goals are the ones with a meaning to your fitness desires. Intricately connecting training routines to your goals, takes you a step closer.

Some of the exercisers out there are doctor referred eg for weight loss, so weight loss training program will be a relevant goal. Are you running daily because you have been diagnosed of high blood pressure?

Driven by the relevant goal of reducing blood pressure, your running program will consequently be aligned to the goal. Typical fitness addicts barely stick to exercises relevant to their goal. For example, doing bicep curl whilst you want to grow your quadriceps.

The Comrades Marathon

TIME-BOUND, years of training without time set goals will be of no meaning. Time-bound goals help to pace and is the key to check and track progress.

The secret is to break it down, set your targets, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly. If you ask me? I would advise on short term rather than long term goals then you progress as you go. A good example is, preparing for a Comrades Marathon, be in the right mind set.

You can design a year program then narrow it down to an hr program that speaks to the overall target that is supposed to be attained by the time you go for the marathon. Considering you need to work on muscular strength, endurance, and your cardiovascular endurance, you can break it down accordingly.

In conclusion, there are many exercises and good foods to help you improve your health and stay fit, but it all works well when it fits the purpose.

With SMART goal setting, you can start your vibrant fitness journey and it will guide you through to accomplish your desired goals. If you already have goals set, keep it up! If not, you can set and start today. You can transform your life in no time.

Bring it on!


Siba Guzha is a personal trainer. Contact him at +27612497679

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