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You want to build muscle & lose fat this year. Eating healthy will help, but that alone doesn’t make it. You need to get stronger. More strength means more muscle. More muscle is more calories burned.
Best way is to set strength training goals. Several readers have asked me how to choose achievable goals. This post will help you out.
Strength Goals. You can go for 1 Rep Max, 5 Rep Max or 5×5. If your 5×5 goes up, your 5RM & 1RM will go up too. You choose which way you want to track your strength. Use this 1-rep max calculator to convert 5RMs to 1RMs.
- Strength Standards. You can get to the intermediate level within a year using StrongLifts 5×5. Use this table as a guideline.
- Body-weight. Lift your body-weight times X. 1xBW Squat: easy. 1.5x BW Squat makes you intermediate. 2x BW Squat close to advanced.
- #Plates. #20kg/45lbs plates on each side of the bar. Example: 1 plate Overhead Press, 2 plates Bench Press, 3 plates Squat, 4 plates Deadlift. The higher your body-weight, the easier you can achieve these goals.
How to Achieve Your Goals. Goal achievement is a broad topic. I recommend the Law of Success or Psycho-cybernetics if you want to get an understanding of what works. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Set a Deadline. “A goal is a dream with a deadline – Napoleon Hill”. You work harder under pressure. Deadlines build pressure.
- Set Mini Goals. Break the problem into parts. You want to increase your Squat from 60kg to 100kg: 70kg quarter goal, 80kg mid year goal, etc.
- Plan. Make a detailed plan that includes everything you need to do & avoid to achieve your goals: routine, schedule, nutrition, sleep, etc.
- Track Progress. Keep a training journal. Get a FitDay account.
- Evaluate. Review your goals & progress once a week. What did you do this week? What’s your goal? What do you need to change?
- Autosuggestion. Repeat 100x/day aloud “I want this by then”. Believe what you say. Visualize how it would be when you achieve your goal.
Example. Reader Felonyr301 started strength training a few weeks back. He asked how to choose achievable goals.
I’ve figured since I weigh about 192-196Lbs that my squat will be good at 320lbs and always wanted to bench press 2 plates which is 225Lbs so that’s a good goal for me.
Only thing is what is a good one for deadlift, and what about my favorite exercise the overhead press? In the future also learn and perfect the form of the power clean and that’s about it.
My stats are 6’1 and look pretty skinny with clothes on. I weigh 192-96Lbs and noticed that my body easily grows the shoulders and the chest and everything else doesn’t look different.
Goals. Here are some goals Felonyr301 can set this year, based on what he wants to achieve & his current stats:
- Squat. Felonyr301 will Squat 200-220lbs within 2 months by adding 5lbs every workout. Then he’ll have 9 months to reach 260lbs for 5×5, which converts to a 1x320lbs Squat.
- Deadlift. Squat goes up, Deadlift goes up. You’re usually about 30kg stronger on the Deadlift. Go for 4 plates: 400lbs.
- Bench Press. Felonyr301 wants a 2 plate Bench Press. 225lbs for 5×5 is doable by January 1st 2009. One rep max will be even higher.
- Overhead Press. The hardest exercise. 0.75 BW Overhead Press is a good start. Let’s say 150lbs.
- Lose the Skinny Look. Body-weight is fine. Solid nutrition while bringing his Squat up to 320lbs will take care of his skinny look.
It’s better to set your goals too high than too low. Aiming high sets pressure. You perform better under pressure. I’ve started a thread in the forum. Several members, including me, have posted our goals. Click here to participate.