A couple of years ago, when I was working as a gym instructor and doing the occasional PT sessions, I would always ask the same question
What is your goal?
And I always got the same answer
“I want to be fitter”
this would often be followed by
“and to tone up” but let’s not go down that rabbit hole
Saying you’re going to the gym to get fitter is like saying you want to get a job so you can work for a living…it’s redundant.
When setting goals, you want them to be specific to you or at least measurable so you can know if you are progressing week on week and month on month.
But if you’re still struggling to think of what your goal really is, here are ten suggestions from the Ultimate Fitness Bucket List
100 unbroken perfect press ups
The press up is widely considered the ultimate bodyweight exercise. It not only requires upper body strength but full body stability. Done correctly the press up will work your pectoral (chest) muscles as well as the anterior (front) deltoids and Triceps. If you can’t perform full press ups, start off on your knees or against a wall. Perform them 2-3 times a week for 3-4 sets, doing as many reps as you can manage and work your way up to 100 full press ups unbroken.
Squat bodyweight for 20 reps
Much like the press up, Squats are considered a cornerstone of strength. Being able to squat will not only build up your legs but also the rest of your body, as it forces you to engage your core and back muscles. Putting your bodyweight on a bar and squatting it for 20 reps will make you strong and fit both physically and mentally.
Complete a 10k
Ask someone to run a marathon and they’ll run a mile, problem is they won’t run the next 25. However, running a 10k is a little less daunting. Having this as a goal is a great way to focus your mind and is a great goal to complete with friends for extra support. If you’ve never ran before start off by walking and build yourself up into a run. Try training 2-3 times per week for 20-30 minutes at a time
Hang by 1 arm for 30 seconds
A strong grip crosses over into many aspects of training and life…nobody likes doing two trips to carry in the shopping and you won’t have to ever again if you master this test. Start off by doing a two-handed hang, with palms facing away. Once you can do this, start sliding a hand away so your only hanging by just the one hand. Do 3-5 sets for each side, 2-3 times a week until you can hang for 30 seconds unbroken.
Master the pull up
The pull up requires you to pull yourself upwards from a stationary hanging position with your hands placed just outside shoulder width. Pull ups are one of the most effective ways to build strength and muscle in the back and core. If necessary use a band or pull up machine to assist you to build up strength at first. Women should strive for 4-8 reps and Men 6-12 reps
Climb a Munro
A Munro is a mountain in Scotland that is over 3,000 feet high, although you can choose any mountain, anywhere. Walking is one of the easiest ways to increase your fitness levels and it has many health benefits such as lowering risk of disease and strengthening your heart. Adding the extra challenge of doing it up a mountain will also boost fat burning and building your leg and core strength. Plus, the views will be pretty amazing if nothing else.
Balance on one leg with eyes closed for 15 seconds
An often forgotten aspect of fitness is being able to balance, and as you get older it becomes even more vital. If you’ve never practiced balancing before start off by gently supporting yourself on a chair or wall and keep your eyes open to begin with. Being able to balance on one leg with your eyes closed will lead to fewer falls, better core engagement and heightened body awareness.
Learn an Olympic lift
With the surge in popularity of CrossFit, Olympic lifts are fast becoming a more common sight in gyms. These lifts are complex and require full body movements that are designed to increase power and strength. Due to their complexity, its best trying these when you have a good bit of training experience under your (weightlifting) belt or have the advice and guidance of an experienced, qualified trainer.
Hold a plank for 2 minutes
Being able to hold a plank means having stability throughout your whole body. The plank is a great core exercise as it works the deep muscle tissues hidden under the muscles you can see i.e. “the six pack”. Keep your shoulders and hips in line and perform 3-4 sets for as long as you can until you work up to the 2-minute mark
Enter a competition/Event
This could be anything you like…Powerlifting, CrossFit, Triathlon, Charity race or even strip down into a pair of tighty whities and step onto a bodybuilding stage. Taking part in a competition/event will give you that extra bit of motivation and determination in your training and you will get a huge sense of achievement and confidence boost just from taking part.