programs gym photos nutrition videos

Goals Goals Goals (Dancin' down on the Sunset Strip)

(yes, that title is a Crüe reference...)

All our lives, we all seem to kind of operate on the belief that the fall starts something new. For at least our first 18-25 years of life (and longer if you’re a teacher), fall means back to school and a change in the weather.


We’ve had our summer goals up on the board for awhile now. What have you done to work towards them? If you’ve hit one or all of your goals, that is freakin awesome. And if you haven’t hit any, that’s okay too. It’s awesome that you took the time to think of them in the first place.

Goal setting is an art. If you plan too vague of a goal, you leave yourself open to just giving up. If you get too specific and high reaching, you might fail. And that’s not great for your state of mind.

In general, most people’s goals look something along the lines of this:

1. Improve strength

2. Decrease bodyfat

3. Increase conditioning

Written as they are, they’re pretty ill-defined. Your training requires FOCUS to get you to the next level. If you’re used to scaling a WOD, you get pretty good after awhile at knowing how you need to scale and why. But what work are you putting into moving past those scaling options? If you’ve always called pull-ups to body rows, it’s time to address how to get to the next level.

The biggest failures in goal setting:

  1. Too many goals at once. Pick one skill and hunker down on that bad boy like it’s a piece of bamboo and you’re a hungry ass panda.  “I want to PR my back squat, my snatch, and my bench press, get 742 unbroken double unders, and learn to do muscle ups while balancing a plate of cookies on my head” isn’t really attainable within a 4 week period. FOCUS. Choose one lift/squat and one skill to master and dominate. Then choose a non-weight or skill related goal (we’ll call these behavior goals) to reinforce those. For example: “In September, I will PR my snatch, link 20 DU without breaking, and come to the gym 4 times a week including one weekend day.” Perfect. I bet you can do that.
  2. Your goal isn’t focused on the how, just the what. Just writing “Toes 2 bar” on the goals board isn’t going to get you that bamboo (we’re back to the panda reference because I fucking love pandas). Think short and long term. If the ultimate goal is to get 3-5 T2B in the next 6 weeks, choose that as your Big Almighty goal. Your short term goal (and what you should write on the white board) then needs to be 5-10 minutes of accessory work that will help with your T2B (hollow rocks, hollow hold, working on your kip, working on your grip by hanging from the bar, etc). Coaches can give you direction here; ask one. And all of your coaches are always available for one on one sessions. Just ask them what they’re schedule is like, and they can set you up with some private time.

3. Your goal is not specific enough. Just writing “double unders” or “abs” on the white board isn’t really accomplishing much. “Double unders" are a great end goal, but again, you have to focus on the “how.” If linking DUs is your ultimate goal, what you should write on the board is “5 minutes of focused DU practice before and after each WOD. DUs are actually a perfect goal to work on this way. You don’t need to warm up, and you can get a lot accomplished in 5-10 minutes of focused work.

So here’s my challenge to you for Septmeber-October. Write these up on the board starting this week (once I have erased it).

Choose three things on which to focus:

1. Strength goal. This should be something like “New 3RM back squat” or even simpler, “Find my 1RM snatch”

2. Skill goal. See any of the above examples. Or choose a different one: “get one strict pull-up by the end of October” is a great one.

3. Behavior goal. If one of your goals is to decrease body fat, you need to focus on how you’re going to put that into affect. One way would be to start recording everything you eat. Another may be to sign up with me for one on one nutrition coaching. Another good behavior goal is attendance. Did you know that you can sign up for classes ahead of time using the new Zen Planner app?? That’s a GREAT idea if you have a hard time getting here: set yourself up for success by signing up for classes ahead of time.

All goals are valid, and all goals are attainable. If you aren’t used to setting them, you just need a little intentional thought and refinement. Again, feel free to hit up a coach and ask what you should be working on. Let's do this!

panda bamboo