T Nation

Goal Setting

At age 38, I started resistance training in Feb 04. I began following a program devised by Ian King - not personally you understand :slight_smile: - but one provided in a Mens Health pullout.

I have since following a couple of other of Ian’s workouts and thus far I have been very happy with my progress.

My starting point back in February was that at 5’ 11" and 164lbs I was very weak and, as you regulars put it, a skinny bastard :slight_smile: I had been a regular runner on our home treadmill and had no history of resistance training.

The only goal I had was to grow and look big, get stronger, improve posture, and er, look good nekkid - nothing wrong with that.

So that’s the long term goal I guess. The problem I have, is that as someone who is a recreational exerciser and weight lifter (I don’t play sports) I find it difficult to break down my long term goal into smaller goals.

I now have a fairly good understanding of muscle physiology and am reasonably aware of my body and its weaknesses - though still my overall strength is low compared to some on this forum I am sure (but I am not comparing ok) - and I guess I can focus on weaknesses.

Given my long term objective of getting stronger and bigger, how should I approach goal setting in this context?

I’d appreciate any advice.


Flying Scotsman, smaller goals(1 RM):
1st Deadlift 150 lbs
Squat 120 lbs
Bench press 90 lbs
2nd Deadlift 200 lbs
Squat 160 lbs
Bench press 120 lbs
3rd Deadlift 230 lbs
Squat 180 lbs
Bench press 140 lbs
4th Deadlift 250 lbs
Squat 200 lbs
Bench press 150 lbs
etc. etc.
I would suggest you to start the training sequence recently suggested by C.W. :
Big Boy Basics, ABBH, ABBH2, TTT, Total body training, Quattro Dinamo,Single’s club. After each program take some days off. Eat properly. In the meanwhile try to accomplish the smaller goals. Then start the training sequence again and so on.
Have a good time !

Your goals should be SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE.

Non-Specific & Not measurable:
“I want to be strong”
Specific & Measurable:
“I want to deadlift 350 for 6 reps”

You should pick a long term goal (i.e., something you’d like to accomplish a year or two from now). Break that down into monthly increments. If you want to put 60lbs on your bench in the next year then you’d focus on adding 5lbs per month.

For body composition set a specific weight and percent bodyfat that you’d like to reach within a couple years (keep it realistic…don’t try to be Arnold). Now break the lean mass you’d like to gain into monthly increments. I’d also suggest doing measurements, but don’t fixate on these things as they often end up getting you fat. Finally, if you have a digital camera take pictures monthly to assess your progress.