How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals With a Personal Trainer

Fitness goals can keep you motivated and on track. But they need to be realistic, or you could end up pushing yourself too hard and risking injury or burnout.

For instance, aiming to do 20 push-ups on your toes may be unrealistic for someone new to exercise or returning from an injury. A personal trainer can help you create realistic fitness goals that are both challenging and attainable.

Be Specific

A personal trainer get more PT clients if they set fitness goals that are personalized, clear, and realistic. However, it’s important to set goals that are measurable and time-bound to keep you motivated. Saying you want to be stronger is a great goal, but saying you want to do more push-ups in one minute makes it measurable and creates a sense of urgency.

Your goal should be specific enough to know when you’ve reached it, but also flexible so that you can adjust it as needed. For example, if you want to be able to do 20 push-ups on your toes but your current level of strength isn’t there yet, your personal trainer can help you create a plan to achieve that goal over time.

It’s a good idea to focus on just one goal at a time. This will allow you to give it your full attention and can avoid the potential burnout that comes from trying to do too much at once. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to celebrate each success as you make progress toward your goal.

You should also be sure that your goals are relevant to your lifestyle and starting fitness level. For example, if you’re new to exercise, setting an incredibly challenging goal like running a marathon may be unattainable.

It’s also a good idea to share your goals with a friend, coach, or trainer to help you stay accountable and on track. Your personal trainer can help you develop a plan that’s aligned with your goals and will be able to provide support and encouragement when you need it. They can also help you stay focused on your health and wellness journey by reminding you of the reasons why you started.

Be Time-Bound

A client should have a clear goal in mind for when they expect to achieve the desired outcome. This helps them plan the steps necessary to make the change and stay on track, especially if they work with their personal trainer to establish milestones along the way. Often, simply setting a timeframe for the fitness goal is enough to boost motivation and increase likelihood of success.

For example, a client could set a goal to run a 5K in three months or complete 100 push-ups by the end of summer. In addition to having a concrete deadline to meet, a client should also decide how they will hold themselves accountable for the goal (like scheduling regular check-ins with their trainer) and what support system will help them stay on track. This might be enlisting the help of a friend to workout with before the day starts or finding a group online to participate in an exercise class with.

Using the SMART acronym to set fitness goals is a helpful process that helps clients identify what they want to accomplish and why, then break it down into smaller goals to create an actionable plan. A common error people make when establishing their fitness goals is being overly broad with what they hope to achieve, like “getting fit.” However, a more effective goal would be to aim for a specific activity you enjoy, such as running a 10K, as this will help you gauge your progress.

A good fitness goal should also inspire a client’s emotional involvement. Creating a motivational mantra or putting the “why” behind your goal will remind you why you are working so hard, whether it’s getting up early to go for a morning run before work or increasing your bench press weight in order to feel stronger.

Be Measurable

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, bulk up or improve your overall fitness level, setting measurable goals can help you stay motivated and on track. This allows you to track your progress, so you can make adjustments as needed to reach your desired outcome.

Measurable fitness goals are also a great way to provide individuals with a sense of accomplishment. When you can see tangible results, it helps keep your motivation high and may even encourage you to push yourself a little harder in future workouts. Having a specific number of reps or exercises that you want to perform in a given time frame is an example of a measurable goal.

For many people, it can be challenging to set measurable fitness goals, particularly if they’re new to exercise or a bit out of shape. This is where expert guidance from a personal trainer can come in handy. They’ll be able to assess your starting point and recommend specific goals that are achievable and relevant to your lifestyle and starting fitness level.

Another important consideration when creating measurable fitness goals is to ensure they’re time-bound. It’s much easier to create a strategy to hit a specific fitness milestone than it is to try and tackle several goals at once. For example, trying to hit the gym six days a week, cut out added sugar and drink eight pints of water each day is a lot to take on at once, which can quickly derail your efforts.

Aiming to achieve a measurable, realistic and time-bound fitness goal is the best way to help you get started on your fitness journey. With the guidance from a trained professional, you can lay the foundation for a purposeful and successful fitness journey.

Be Relevant

In addition to considering the individual’s current fitness level, resources and health conditions, a personal trainer should also consider what is relevant to them in terms of their motivation for embarking on a fitness journey. Vague goals like “get healthy” or “hit the gym five times a week” don’t inspire many people to stick to their fitness routines. Instead, it’s important to think about the reasons behind an individual’s goal – does it make them feel stronger and healthier so they can play with their kids more, for example? This can help them stay inspired, even if they find it difficult to hit their workouts.

It’s also important that a personal trainer is aware of any underlying motivational issues an individual may face when trying to achieve their fitness goals. If, for instance, a client’s motivation for signing up for a marathon is to overcome feelings of being bullied in school gym class or an underlying insecurity around their body image, it is important that this is addressed before they start training as it could lead to burnout or even negative self-talk if these feelings are not worked through.

The process of setting realistic fitness goals in collaboration with a personal trainer is an excellent way to ensure a person sticks with their plan. Taking the time to set these goals, assess an individual’s starting point and tailor them to their lifestyle can help individuals stay on track and reach their desired outcomes. If you’re looking for a trainer who can offer tailored plans specific to your needs, book a free consultation today!

Be Timely

When making fitness goals, it is important to consider time and the timeline in which one wants to accomplish their goal. This helps a client understand their realistic ability to achieve the goal and can help them set milestones along the way. For example, if a client is new to exercise, they may not want to work towards an extreme goal like running a marathon in three months. Instead, they should consider their current fitness level and lifestyle to determine if a 5k run in 6 months would be more appropriate for them.

It’s also important to be timely with goals and make sure they are in line with the person’s motivation. A trainer should discuss with their clients what drives them to improve their fitness and health. This can help them identify what type of goals are most relevant for them, such as a desire to lose weight or build muscle. The trainer should then be able to create goals that are more specific and relevant to the client’s motivation.

For example, a client may want to increase their bench press by 20 kg within 3 weeks, but this is not a relevant SMART goal for them given that they are looking to run a marathon in a year’s time. Ideally, the trainer should question why the client wants to achieve the goal and help them find a more relevant alternative.

Achieving fitness goals can be challenging, but it is possible to make them realistic with the right support. Creating specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals with the assistance of a personal trainer will set an individual up for success in their fitness journey.