T Nation

Achieving Goals

When you’ve mapped out your goals for a particular time period, do you try to adhere strictly to those even if you start to exceed them? For example, I have a goal of two pounds of fat loss per week. I know I could push myself and lose more than that, but I want to approach this slow-and-steady rather than go for it and risk losing muscle. Also, I want to be very strategic about this and only integrate new fat loss methods (i.e. restricting calories more, adding thermos, more cardio, etc.) once I hit a plateau.

Part of me wants to say “screw it” and go for rapid fat loss, but the truth is, I’m not gearing up for anything in particular other than to get leaner for the coming summer months. Currently, I am lifting MWF and doing some type of cardio on T Th; all exercise is done in the mornings before work. I am taking in 2,800 calories per day with a pretty even split of protein/carbs/fat with less carbs on non-lifting days (ala Massive Eating with carbs in the first half the day; fat in the latter). I try to get at least 200-250g protein each day and 200g carbs on lifting days. I am currently 174 lbs and around 17% body fat. The Tanita scale says I am at 20% but that has always read high compared to calipers (which I can’t seem to find right now, dammit) which have always pegged me too low, so I take the middle ground.

Last week, which was my first week back to exercise after a looong layoff, I ended up losing 2.5 lbs (Sunday-to-Sunday). I was happy with that. This morning I woke up and realized I was already down a pound and instead of going out for a run, I hit the exercise bike and did four 30-second sprints for a total of only six minutes. Because I was already on my way to attaining my goal for this week, I decided to do less this morning as I am of the mind that the more exercise I do today, the more I have to do tomorrow to keep up the pace.

So, where’s the question in all of this? Well, I’m just wondering how you all go about achieving your goals. If you begin to exceed them, do you slow things up or do you just keep right on truckin’ and get as much out of it as you can? Please let me know… and if anyone has ideas on how to do this better, I’m all ears. Thanks.