We can all agree that getting fit isn't easy. Especially if it is your fourth, fifth (or sixth) attempt at it. You start out with the best intentions but before long, your motivation has all but disappeared and your intentions to hit the gym have gone right along with it. Here's the thing, if you are hitting the gym with 'inspiration goals,' like losing weight for your sister's wedding or getting ready for bikini season, it might be enough to get you through the door, but it isn't enough to keep you going.
Inspiration goals do not lead to action and because they are often rooted in self-loathing or comparing yourself to someone else, they become, over time, entirely self-defeating.
If you are tired of this hamster wheel type cycle, try swapping your inspiration goals for action goals. Personal trainer, Jennifer Blake, breaks down some of the most common inspiration goals and tells you exactly how to turn them around so they work for you!
Inspiration goal: You want to fit into your high school jeans again.
Try this action goal instead: Perform a deadlift with weights that are 1.5 times as heavy as your bodyweight.
Deadlifts are great for you entire backside. They target your upper back, spinal erectors, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. If you take the time to develop a strong deadlift -- as well as performing all of the deadlift variations -- you will change the shape of your body.
Pro-tip: Find a coach or trainer who can help you fine-tune your deadlift technique and show you how to safely progress to other variations. You’ll end up with a lift, and body, that will turn heads.
Inspiration goal: You want to score arms like Michelle Obama.
Try this action goal instead: Perform a full range of motion pushup. Not only will this provide you with a solid upper body workout, it will also make your core work too. In particular, this bodyweight exercise works your pecs, anterior deltoids, and triceps. And because they require no equipment, you can do them anywhere and at any time. Blake says if you can't do a regular pushup, don't drop to your knees, instead, "elevate your hands to a bench, box, or even the wall instead to take some of the heat off of your upper body without eliminating the core component of the exercise. Brace your abs, and lower your chest, not your chin. As you get stronger, work your way down to the floor."
Inspiration goal: You want a butt like an Instagram fitness queen's.
Try this action goal instead: Perform a back squat as heavy as your bodyweight. The barbell back squat is the best for your butt. In this exercise you will bend your knees and squat toward the floor while holding a barbell across your upper back. This move targets your inner and outer thighs and your posterior.
Pro tip: If you’re not able to squat to the point where the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor with good form just yet, squat down to a point high enough that allows you to load a bar on your back and maintain stability in the movement. Keep your back flat and upright, and make sure your knees track in line with your toes on the way down and the way back up.
Inspiration goal: You want a six-pack.
Try this action goal instead: Perform a strict bodyweight pullup. To perform a successful pullup, you will need to use your entire body. It requires tension from not only your arms but your legs, glutes and core. Blake recommends you start, "by placing your hands on a pullup bar and jumping up high enough to bring your chin over the bar. Come back down immediately, landing softly on every rep. As you get stronger, jump up and keep your arms bent to hold your chin over the bar for as long as you can. Keep your entire body tight, and make sure to brace your core." Give this a try three times a week, doing as many reps as possible.
Inspiration goal: You want a bikini-ready body.
Try this action goal instead: Lift moderately heavy weights using compound movements. Lifting weights is the best way get shapely muscle tone. Use multi-joint, compound movements like squats, deadlifts, pullups, and pushups. Basically, see moves 1-4! If you want to flip the script on your get fit failures, it is time to move your goals from abstract inspiration to specific, action oriented goals.
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Source: Women's Health