You may have noticed the large white board labeled “2019 Goals” on the wall we just put up. Many of you have already started to write down many things you aspire to accomplish!
Some of you might be like me, staring at the board thinking “uhhhh….what DO I want to do?” You may not be sure yet what to write down. What IS a good goal?
What may help you is to think of 3-4 different goals so you give yourself a range of goals with various intensities and timelines to work with (in case things move faster or slower):
- A couple short term goals (to try for in the next 2-3 months)
- A couple long term goals (to achieve by December this year)
Short: Achieve 1 handstand pushup with 1 abmat by March 1st.
Long: Achieve 10 HSPU in a row by December 31st.
Short: Get 2 double unders in a row.
Long: Get 50 unbroken double unders.
Short: Add 10 lbs onto my Front Squat.
Long: Be able to Front Squat my current 1RM for 10 reps.
When choosing your goals, choose “SMART.” We’ve all probably heard of the term “SMART Goals” (S.M.A.R.T. Goals is a registered trademark of The Meyer Resource Group, Inc.) before and have probably needed to write one at some point as a student, during our professional development for work, as a teacher being evaluated, or for other reasons. They really are SMART though because they ensure that our goals have substance…they are tangible and achievable! Here’s the framework one more time:
S – Specific (you can elaborate on the details)
M – Measurable (you can quantify the evidence)
A – Attainable (something you CAN actually achieve…with work)
R – Relevant (it matches your skill and abilities, and meets you where YOU are).
T – Timely (within 2019 is an example of a deadline, we can also make shorter deadlines!)
When you are picking a goal, ask yourself if it matches the above criteria.
What is awesome about what we do here at CrossFit Inconceivable is that everything can be measurable. We can measure and see how we improve day to day:
- Doing a movement we’ve never been able to do before (a pull up, a push up, a box jump to X height)
- Doing more reps of a movement we struggled to do before
- Doing more reps of a movement at a heavier weight
- Being able to lift a heavier weight for a 1 rep max
- Increasing our rounds (or decreasing our time) on a benchmark workout that we’ve repeated.
- Increasing our power output through decreasing our mile time, or the time it takes to row/bike a certain distance or calorie amount
- Achieving a full-range of motion standard on a movement (such as an overhead squat to below parallel with an empty barbell)…demonstrating our improvement in mobility
- Consistently making it to a workout 3 days/week, or 4 day/week for 10, 20, or 52 weeks in a row!
As you can see, everything we do can be measured. We can see progress made day to day when we are able to look at the numbers, the movement standards, and the visual evidence of where you were at Day 1 to where you are now.
When you pick a goal, pick something that you can measure.
For example, let’s look at the goal “I want to improve my mobility.”
Fantastic goal!….BUT, how are we going to measure “more” mobility? Or rather, what will more mobility enable us to do that we aren’t able to do now?
Is there a movement that you are unable to achieve full range of motion of because of lack of mobility? Examples could be Front or Overhead squat, ring muscle ups, catching a clean or snatch in the squat (instead of power), or being able to reach your toes when doing a seated hamstring stretch.
So instead of your goal being unspecific, let’s specify our goal even further and pick a movement that we can accomplish IF our mobility improves. Examples are:
- 10 wall squats with feet 3 inches from the wall to full depth in 1 minute
- Doing 3 snatch balances at 75lbs.
- Increasing torso angle over 15 degrees in the bottom of a front squat with 95 lbs. (we would measure this through taking a before/after side video of your position).
- Being able to do 5 strict ring dips to full depth and lock out.
- Being able to do 20 full range of motion Wall Balls in a row with 14 lbs to the black line.
Whatever your goal is, make sure that it can be numerically or visually measured.
Now that you have your goal, the next step is to figure out what steps you need to take to progress towards it!
Think of where you are now as “point A”, and your goal as “point Z”.
There are steps B, C, D, E….all the way to X and Y before we hit Z! Some of your goals may not necessarily have 25 other steps, while others may have over 100 steps. Regardless, there are several markers of progress we need to hit along the way to show that we are getting closer to our goal.
Let’s say your goal is to get your first pull up. Right now, you are able to do 1 full-range-of-motion pull up using 2 green bands.
If you were to guess where “halfway to achieving your goal” would be, what might that look like?
Based on the above example of a pull up, It could be:
- Being able to hold your chin over the bar for 3 seconds.
- Being able to do 5 pull ups with the blue and green band
- Being able to do a pull up using 1 green band
- Being able to do a negative taking 4 seconds to descend.
Then, let’s break it down one more time. What would halfway to each of those halfway goals be?
- Being able to hold your chin over the bar for 1 second.
- Being able to do 2-3 pull ups with two green bands.
Once you have some smaller benchmarks in place, you can work on the skills and steps needed to get to those points. Any of the coaches at CFINC will be able to provide you ways to work up to each movement through a mini workout that you can do before or after class (such as 3 negatives on the minute for 5 minutes), or through a designated program (if you want to increase your squat to 200 lbs., you can do a squat strength program for 6-12 weeks).
Lastly, how often should you be putting in work toward your goals?
Because we include so much variety in Crossfit, chances are, the goal you picked may be a movement that we only see once or twice per week in our program. If your goal is to get toes-to-bar or 20 double unders in a row, those movements might only show up…say…every 7-8 days. If your goal is to add 50 lbs. onto your squat…you probably won’t be able to do that with just 1 heavy squat session a week. Strength and skill take time for your mind and muscles to adapt to the stimulus.
You will most likely need to make some progress towards your moment at least 3-4 times per week to make it a habit. The more often you work on the movement, the more your body will prepare for (and recover from the movement) as if it was a regular occurrence.
For bodyweight movements that are easier to jump into without a lot of warm up (whereas barbell movements take longer to work up intensity) you can probably tackle working toward the goal in about 5-10 minutes a day.
Starting this week, each time you come into the gym, take just 5 minutes before or after class and dedicate that time towards progress on your movement. If you are trying to get a handstand, take 5 minutes to work on wall walks, shoulder taps, or overhead KB carries to build your upper body and core strength. If you are trying to get muscle ups, spend 5 minutes working on hanging with a false grip and practicing transition work from below to above the rings.
If you are working towards more strength (deadlifting more, or being able to snatch more with a secure lockout) then you might need a little more time than just 5 minutes a day because it takes several weeks to build the right muscle fiber types to support more strength. Joining an Inconceivable Strength program (where you will deadlift, squat, or snatch at least 2-3x per week) will help you work the movement and technique frequent enough to see quicker progress.
The next time you’re at the gym, any of us coaches (Rob, Tia, Bryan, Vic, Nate or I) would love to be able to chat with you on how you intend to work toward your goals. We are here to help you become better and we love seeing you make progress.
You are able.
Get Energized, Become Empowered, and Evolve.
– Coach Snow