Learn to love the PROCESS

There are two views we can take on our goals. One is a process orientation, and the other is an outcome orientation. Naturally most of us tend use the latter, but the former is a much more productive view.

We spend so much of our lives focused on a future outcome that we are unable to enjoy the moments that go by until we get there. This is true of any aspiration you may have in your life whether it be fitness, financial, relationship, or any other type of goal. The first problem with this is; what a waste of part of your life! However long it takes you to lose that 10 pounds or make that six-figure income is time spent so focused on a future achievement that the present moment is wasted.

The other major issue with an outcome focus is that the accomplishment of the goal often does not bring the satisfaction we were hoping for. Our goals are always a moving target. Once we make 50k we want 100k, once we hit that we want 200k. There is nothing wrong with continually striving for more, except that if you will “only be happy when” you get to a certain outcome you will never be happy. Staking our happiness on the destination is setting us up for a pretty disappointing life.

Instead learn to love the process. Enjoy every minute of work put into the goal. Be proud of yourself for the effort you exert every day. Appreciate the continual growth you see in yourself as you chase your dream. Fall in love with the daily grind. When you take this outlook you will enjoy the days, months and years leading up to the goal. And, more importantly, it won’t really matter whether you get there.

I have huge, daunting goals I have set for myself in fitness, career, and life. These goals are going to take YEARS of work to get anywhere near accomplishing. If I hated what I was doing each day, and was waiting to be happy for this end result, I would waste years of my life exhausted and miserable. And potentially never even getting to that illusive “happy place.” Instead I use these goals as a motivator and a guide for my daily pursuits, but I enjoy all of the blood sweat and tears I put in along the way.

This means you have a couple options. You either learn to love what you’re doing, or change it. If you hate the job you’re doing, but it will lead to a comfortable retirement, is it really worth the decades you spend miserable? If you hate dieting and cardio do you really want to be a bodybuilder? Sometimes we learn to love things as we spend more time with them, but we also need to realize when this just won’t be the case. If something makes you miserable leave it behind!

So no more “I’ll be happy whens”. Don’t wait for retirement to enjoy this life. Love it every day.

 

How to go vegan-The right way

I have heard numerous stories of people adopting a vegan diet, having a terrible experience, and shunning it completely. There are also tons of stories of people going vegan, feeling amazing, and never turning back. So what’s the difference? Why do some people have a miserable time while others find El Dorado? While I can’t say for sure what exactly the difference is, I have some inclinations that I believe to be true. I want to share with you some tips that I think could make all the difference for your journey, or someone you’re helping along theirs.

First and foremost is the issue of calories. Calories=Energy. Animal products tend to have a much higher caloric density than plant-based products. This means there are more calories per gram of food. This is important because when you switch to a vegan diet you will tend to eat a lot less calories naturally. While this can be beneficial in some ways (namely weight loss) it can also cause a significant decrease in energy. If your body is used to consuming 2,000 calories per day, and you switch to 1,500 calories you will definitely feel the difference in energy levels. This is especially true if you workout with any sort of intensity.

To alleviate this issue it is important to include some of the more calorically dense plant-based foods in your diet. These include things like beans and legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables like potatoes. If you are eating all fruits and vegetables you are likely not getting enough calories in to fuel your body. If you are an athlete (competitive or not) you should take it to another level by tracking your food. Calculate how many calories you are eating per day before you go vegan, and make sure you are hitting that number after you make the transition. If you don’t it is likely that your performance could suffer.

A lot of people decide to go vegan and simply cut out all animal products without finding other foods to eat instead. Then you are left eating only what you had on the side, which is likely not enough. I believe you should start by adding in plant-based products before removing anything. Then you can slowly start shifting away from animal products. Or if you are the type who likes to make the big jump (myself included), then great! But at least plan ahead first. Set yourself up for success rather than jumping with no parachute.

I truly believe everyone can thrive on a vegan diet, and it makes me sad that making this simple mistake has turned so many people away from the lifestyle. There is plenty of energy to be found in plant-based foods (actually more than in animal products) so there is no reason a vegan diet should cause low energy or lethargy. We just have to make a point to find the right foods, as we are not used to needing to get energy from different sources. If you are thinking about going vegan, or someone you know is, make sure this is a top priority, as I think it will drastically affect the outcome.

 

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Using Caloric Density of Food for Weight Management

The caloric density of food is something that has a huge effect on our body weight, yet very few people understand what it is, much less the importance of it. I want to teach you how to use caloric density as a tool to control your bodyweight much more easily.

Caloric density is the number of calories per gram of a food. Foods with a high caloric density contain a lot of calories in a very small volume of food. Examples of this would be meat (850 calories per pound) and oil (4,000 calories per pound). Foods with a low caloric density have very few calories in a higher volume of food. The prime example of this would be vegetables which contain somewhere between 60 and 200 calories per pound. All other foods fall somewhere in between. You can see that this is a pretty extreme difference from one end of the scale to the other.

Now you should know that the most important contributor to whether you gain, maintain, or lose weight is your net calories.


Net Calorie Equation:

Calories Consumed- Calories Expended= Net Calories


If your net calories consistently comes out to a positive number you will gain weight, and if it is negative you will lose weight. So if this is the case does it matter where you get your calories so long as you eat the right number? Well, no. Technically you could get all of your calories from oil, and so long as it was less calories than you are burning you will, in fact, lose weight. But how awful does that sound? Like I said earlier, it is a tool to help make weight management much easier.

So how does it work? Well look at the example in the previous paragraph. If you want to lose weight and are burning 2,000 calories per day, you would have to consume less than that. If you don’t take caloric density into account you may eat 1,500 calories of oil every day. This would equate to drinking around 8 cups of oil (gross). Do you think you would be satisfied at the end of the day, or go to bed starving? On the other hand, if you ate 1,500 calories of broccoli, you would have to eat 50 cups. If you were even able to finish that in a day, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be hungry after.

Our bodies react to volumes of food much more than calories. Our stomach is full when we eat a large quantity of food, regardless of if it contained a lot or very few calories. We can use this idea to eat the right foods to hit both our calorie goal and feel satisfied at the end of the day. When trying to lose weight, it is extremely beneficial to eat foods with a low caloric density such as fruits and vegetables. These foods will fill you up quickly without racking up a ton of calories. This will allow you to eat in a caloric deficit without feeling miserably hungry. On the other hand, if you are trying to gain weight, you may want to opt for foods with a higher caloric density. This will allow you to get all of the calories you need to eat in a surplus, without feel uncomfortably full all of the time.

Now of course I’m not recommending you eat all veggies or all oil. You should definitely be eating a variety of foods, and be making sure you hit your macros. What I am recommending, though, is when you are hitting the proper calories and macros, if you are still feeling hungry opt for less calorically dense foods, and if you’re feeling too full choose more calorically dense foods. Making these adjustments will make for a much less miserable time cutting or bulking.

 

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Keys to Making Progress in the Gym

I see so many people at the gym sabotaging their gains because they either don’t do nearly enough, or do way too much. Some people don’t want to get huge or are afraid of injury so they don’t use enough weight, or only train a couple times a week. It is nearly impossible to make any gains without consistent training and decent volume. Others of us have a more is better mindset and push our bodies to the limit every day. Training in this constant state of fatigue is just as detrimental to progress as not training enough.

So how much volume and intensity should you be doing? This is an extremely difficult question to answer, as it is very different for each person based on genetics, gender, training experience, etc. For example, women can generally handle more volume than men. Also, the more trained you are, the more volume you can handle. It will take time for you to figure out for yourself, but I will give you a few ideas to start you out.

#1. You must work, and you must work hard.

In order to see progress, whether is be in gaining muscle, strength, or endurance, you must provide enough stimulus to the body in order for it to adapt. This includes volume and intensity. If you go to the gym and only do a couple sets, barely breaking a sweat you will not see results. If on the other hand, you do a lot of sets, but do not use heavy enough weights to cause damage to the muscle you will also not see results. The same can be said for endurance training. If you want to improve your 10k time you will not do this by running short distances once in a while (not enough volume) or by walking 10 miles every day (not enough intensity). You have to push your body in order for it to change. Working out should be hard.

#2. You must progress your workouts as you progress.

This is probably where I see the most people go wrong. In order to keep improving you have to keep progressing your volume, your intensity, or both. Many of us start out on our workout journey, see some gains, and continue to do the same workouts with the same weights over and over again. Our bodies adapt to the stimulus we put on them, so progress will come to a halt if you are not consistently increasing the stimulus. If you squat 100lb for 5 sets of 5 your body adapts and gets stronger. So in a couple months of doing this workout it will be easy for you, and you will have to lift more weight in order to keep getting stronger.

#3. Recovery is king.

Something that many of us don’t realize is that gains don’t happen in the gym, they happen when you’re recovering from the gym. When you hit a hard workout you cause damage to the muscles. Then when you are relaxing or sleeping your body repairs the muscles, and this is when they grow. This means that if you train too hard too often your body will not have the time to repair itself before your next sessions. If you never allow your body the time and give it the resources (proper nutrition) to recover, you will never see any progress. The more recovery you allow, the harder you can train. If you are unable to get proper sleep, nutrition, or have too much stress, you will need to reduce your training volume accordingly. Recovery is just as important as training, so don’t ignore it.

 

It all comes down to finding the balance of pushing yourself hard enough to make gains, but not so hard that you are unable to recover. Finding that balance is tricky, as it is different for everyone, and is a constantly moving target. (The fitter you are, the more volume you will be able to handle). What you really have to do is learn to listen to your body. Start by making sure your workouts are hard. They should hurt, the weight should feel heavy, you should feel tired, and you should get sore. BUT it should be possible. Don’t go so far that you can’t finish the reps without extremely long breaks, or that you can’t move the next day. Then make sure you do everything you can to recover. This includes eating plenty of healthy food, sleeping, and relaxing. The best way to determine if you have recovered properly is how your next workout goes. For example, if you do 5 sets of 10 squats at 100lb on Monday, then on Thursday, your next leg day, you struggle to do 100lb for a set of 6, you are not recovered from Mondays workout. In general, if you are struggling to accomplish something that is typically doable for you, you likely need more time to recover.

It will take some trial and error to find the amount of volume that your body can handle, but once you find that sweet spot you will see great progress. The secret to all the gains: train really hard, but not too hard 😉

 

Cutting on a Vegan Diet

I just finished up a cutting phase, as I had to lose 4 pounds to make weight for my powerlifting competition last weekend. I thought this would be a good time to talk about some important points about how to cut in general, and how to apply these points as a vegan athlete. Whether you are cutting to make weight, for a bodybuilding show, or just want to get leaner, this should help you figure out how to get there.

Check out our latest video  to see what I ate on my cut!

Cutting, on a basic level, consists of eating fewer calories than you are expending. So when you start a cutting phase, you will reduce the amount of calories you consume, increase the calories you burn, or a combination of both.

One super important point to keep in mind is protein consumption. When you are cutting, you will have to cut your calories, but you don’t want to cut protein much, or at all. (Unless you were eating an extreme surplus of protein.) I recommend staying around .8g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Keeping your protein high will help maintain your muscle mass through the cutting phase. When it comes to protein, especially when cutting, you should spread your protein consumption out throughout the day. Getting some protein in every 3-5 hours is ideal.

So if your protein remains the same that leaves carbs and fats to cut. Fats are essential to our diet, so cannot be eliminated completely. The minimum fat intake should be 10% of your body weight in grams. For example, a 150-pound person should not cut fats below 15 grams. This is a pretty low number, and should be easy to fit into your diet throughout a cut.

Carbs, on the other hand, don’t necessarily have a minimum intake requirement, but they are extremely important for fueling our bodies the best possible way. If you are working out, you want to use carbs to fuel your workouts. This is especially important if you are cutting for a sport. Carbs are also important for maintaining muscle while cutting. For these reasons I recommend keeping carbs as high as possible while consuming a caloric deficit and fats above their essential level.

Because carbs will have to be lowered during a cutting phase, timing them appropriately becomes even more important. In order to best fuel your workouts and prevent muscle loss you should consume the majority (or all) of your carbs in your pre and post workout meals. If you don’t do this you will likely see a decrease in performance, and increase your risk of catabolism.

Now what makes cutting on a vegan diet a little trickier is the fact that our protein sources are not pure protein. Eating chicken or fish allows you to add as much as you need for protein without affecting the other macronutrients. Plant-based protein sources will all have some fats or carbs that come along with them. For example, almonds have 14g of fat for every 6g of protein. Black beans have 18g of carbs for every 7g of protein. These are great sources of protein, but if you can’t afford the extra fat or carbs they may not fit your diet.

This means that you need to be conscious of your protein sources, and they may need to change as you progress with your cut. If you are looking to cut fats you can move to beans and legumes, which tend to be more carb heavy. If you are looking to cut carbs you can move to more nuts and seeds, which tend to be more fat heavy. Foods like tofu, edamame, and seitan are really great options, as they have more protein and less carbs and fats per serving. Plant-based protein shakes can also help increase protein without much affect on the other macros, but try to get the majority from food!

To sum up, make sure you are firstly controlling your total calories. You will not lose weight if you are not in a caloric deficit. Next, make sure you are getting enough protein, and spacing it throughout the day. Then figure out fats and carbs with however many calories you have left to spare. And finally, as a vegan, pay attention to the macronutrient make-up of your protein sources, and adjust them accordingly.

 

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How should you train?

I think one mistake that a lot of us make is pigeon holing ourselves into one specific style of training. I’ve seen so many people get stuck doing bodybuilding style training day after day, year after year, never getting any different results. I see the same thing with cardio queens, who do tons of cardio every day, and their progress has stalled out, but they just push harder. When we learn a training style, and see results (which you inevitably will at the beginning of any program) we convince ourselves that this specific training style is best. We never even think about trying anything else

One major problem with this is that it is likely that whatever style training you began with is no longer optimal for your goals. This could be because your goals have changed, or your body has adapted and is ready to progress. For example, if you start out training each body part one day per week, you will very likely see gains at the beginning. This is because you have gone from zero to one. As you get bigger and stronger, though, gains become much harder to come by. For this reason, you should progress your training as you progress. When one day per week becomes easy, add a second day. Also, if your goals have changed from wanting to get big to wanting to get strong your training must change accordingly. Different goals require different training methodologies to obtain.

Another problem is staleness, both physically and mentally. I don’t know about you, but I get really bored going into the gym and doing the same thing every week. If you are bored with your training you are unlikely to push yourself, and will tend to just go through the motions. If you are not putting effort into your training you will not see improvements. Our bodies also develop adaptive resistance. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the first time you do a new exercise you get extremely soar, and a little less sore each time after, eventually not getting sore at all. This is because our bodies get used to a certain stimulus, and will see little to no progress with that same movement. It is important to switch things up to avoid this issue.

Something else that I have found in trying out numerous different training styles along my fitness journey, is that they all tend to be lacking somewhere. If you want to be the best overall athlete that you can be, I don’t think any one type of training will get you there. Specifically, bodybuilders tend to look good, but not be extremely strong. Powerlifters are incredibly strong, but are usually pretty out of shape in cardiovascular fitness. Crossfitters are very fit, but have imbalances due to a lack of accessory work. If you get stuck in one training style you are likely missing out on the benefits of others. I think that even if you are competing in a sport it is beneficial to draw from other sports to enhance your performance, especially in the off-season or further from a competition.

So what’s my advice?

  • Make sure your training is appropriate for your current goals
  • Make sure your training progresses as you progress
  • Make sure you at least switch up exercises or rep ranges when your body (or mind) adapts
  • Make sure your training program isn’t missing an important link

Ultimately I think that the best training program is a combination of many other programs. This is how I program for myself as well as my clients. I think that every training style has benefits that can all be utilized to create one well-rounded program. You can be strong, fit, and look good all at the same time. So try everything! This doesn’t mean you have to ditch your current training style completely, but try switching it up every once in a while. You might find something you love, while getting better results along the way.

 

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Bulking on a Vegan Diet-Part 2

A couple months ago I published a blog post about bulking on a vegan diet. (You can check out that post Here). I set out to use my boyfriend to prove that you can get big on a plant-based diet. So we got him on a solid lifting and nutrition program in hopes to do so. Here’s how it’s gone so far:

Today marks 7 weeks since I started the LOTV Program. Over the last 7 weeks I followed the 6 week hypertrophy block as well as the programmed De-Load week. I had fairly good adherence to the program with the occasional shortened workout due to time constraints. Throughout the 7 weeks I also dialed in my nutrition and made sure to maintain a caloric surplus from plant based foods in order to make the most out of the hypertrophy block. My macro breakdown was roughly 20% Protein, 65% Carbs, and 15% Fats throughout the first 6 weeks and then I shifted to a few less carbs on my de-load week in order to adjust for the lower intensity. In practice that consisted of 5-6 meals a day plus one post workout shake which were all plant based sources.

To say that I was able to put on some mass while using a plant-based diet would be an understatement. My original goal was to go from 180lbs @9% Body Fat to 186 at 11%BF over the course of 15 weeks. However, in just half that time I went from 180lbs. at 9% Body Fat to 191lbs. at 12% Body Fat. Although my Body Fat percentage is a little higher than my original goal I’m not worried about it because I have still put on about 4lbs worth of lean mass. That is a HUGE amount of muscle gain within a few weeks for someone that has been training as long as myself (about 10 years of weight training). With all that weight gain has also come a huge increase in my working load. I have regained a lot of the strength that I talked about losing in my first post, and I think that I will be approaching my strongest yet, but I will not know until I decide to max again.

That said, I have decided to stay on the gain train! Instead of taking the next 6 weeks to do a strength block I will do another 6 weeks of hypertrophy. Over that time I plan on getting close to 200lbs, and although I will continue to put on body fat I should be able to keep it down to around 15%. After that I plan to take off all of the excess body fat with a mini-cut and continue into a strength cycle to progress the rest of my training year. I plan on continuing to post my progress every few weeks or as I approach landmarks within my training. Stay tuned and let’s see just how far a plant based athlete can go!

In 7 weeks of a plant-based bulking diet and solid training he’s been able to gain 11 pounds! His diet was mostly clean, with a few cheats here and there. This shows that gaining muscle does not require meat! It really just takes a solid caloric surplus with plenty of healthy carbohydrates, and hard training of course.

It has been shown time and again that you can get great gains with an omnivorous diet. That is common knowledge, and something I am not looking to disprove. What I want people to realize, though, is that that is just one option, and not mandatory if you want to see progress in the gym. You can choose a plant-based lifestyle for the sake of your health, the animals, and the planet, without sacrificing your fitness goals in the process!

If you need help on your plant-based fitness journey check out our programs Here.

Aesthetics vs. Performance vs. Health

I think most of us chase nutrition information from multiple sources and wind up confused. A major source of this confusion comes when we fail to distinguish between health, aesthetics, and performance. We lump all of these goals together under the umbrella term: “healthy diet”. Eating with each of these goals in mind, though, requires very different tactics.

Let’s start with health. I actually think that eating for health is the simplest, but it has been severely complicated by the both the food industry and the fitness industry. Here is the secret to good health: Eat REAL food. The food industry has created billions of food like substances that now make up the bulk of most Americans’ diets. These foods have been processed with unwanted chemicals and the nutrient balance has been altered. As creatures of this Earth, we were meant to consume the food created by the Earth, not in a lab. If you eat a variety of plant-based whole-foods you will very quickly improve your health.

Aesthetics is a very different beast, as it is focused completely on the outside appearance and inner health is irrelevant. This is where an “if it fits your macros” or “flexible dieting plan” works well. Simply altering your calorie intake and macronutrient balance can drastically alter your body composition, regardless of the quality of food you are eating. This is why we see body builders with amazing physiques eating poptarts and pancakes to get their carbs for the day. It works, I’ve lived it, but remember that just because you look good on the outside does not mean you are healthy on the inside.

Performance goals are my favorite, as they require the most thought. The first necessity to perform well is eating a proper quantity of calories. Food provides us fuel for our workouts, so if you don’t eat enough you won’t be able to perform at a high level. The next step would be finding the proper macronutrient balance. We use both carbohydrates and fats to produce energy. Carbs are utilized for high intensity anaerobic activities. Fats will be utilized better in a long, low intensity aerobic workout. It is important to eat the right type of fuel for your workout to optimize performance. The final consideration is the quality of your food. Our bodies are enduring and will learn to function on almost anything, but that does not mean the “anything diet” is an optimal one. The better the fuel you put in, the better the machine will run.

I think too often we look to people who diet for different goals than us because we don’t realize that there is a difference. You need to decide what your goal is and eat according to that. Can you improve all three areas simultaneously? Absolutely, yes. BUT if you want to take any one to the extreme I believe you will have to make a small sacrifice to the other two.


For help with nutrition plans based on your goals sign up for our nutrition coaching here: Plant-Based Nutrition

Bulking on a Vegan Diet

Many people I come in contact with are convinced that it is impossible to get big on a vegan diet. I strongly disagree, and am hoping to prove it over the next 15 weeks.

Switching to a plant-based diet makes it easy to lose weight, and hard to gain it. I will admit that this is absolutely true. Plant-based foods have a much lower caloric density than animal-based foods, which means we will feel full after consuming fewer calories. This is great when you are trying to lose weight and be in a caloric deficit. When you are trying to gain weight, on the other hand, it can cause problems. This doesn’t mean it can’t be done, it simply means you have to have a solid plan in place. It becomes more important to track your calories and macronutrients, because if you simply go based on hunger you will likely not consume enough.

My boyfriend, David, switched to a mostly plant-based diet about 6 months ago, and would currently help my opposition prove their point. He has had a hard time putting on muscle since making this transition. We are now going to do an experiment to determine whether it can be done when you follow a good program.

Meet David:

In August of 2017 I decided to go plant based. After 24 years of eating a heavily animal based diet I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I felt that it would be a great challenge for myself. I currently subscribe to a vegan at home, vegetarian when I’m out kind of diet, and have been for the last 6 months now. When I initially made the lifestyle change I didn’t really have a plan in place. I knew that I wanted to go on a plant-based diet while still competing and training at my usual intensities. I also knew that I wanted to continue to gain lean muscle mass and strength, but I didn’t think about it much beyond that. I made the mistake of simply taking out all of the meat, eggs, and dairy that I ate every day, and with that came a huge portion of my daily caloric intake. Over the course of 4 months I ended up losing about 6 pounds, and with that, quite a bit of strength. I became extremely aggravated with what was happening to my body and performance, things I have been working for years to develop. I reached the point where I was fed up with a plant based diet and strongly considered switching back, but I knew that the diet wasn’t the real issue. I knew that I needed to take charge of my day-to-day nutrition and focus more on how I was training, so today is my first day of taking those steps. Today I’m going to start dialing in my nutrition and following the Train Untamed template written up by Sophie (with some Olympic lifting added in).

I currently weigh 180lbs @ approximately 9% body fat. I would like to get up to roughly 186lbs. while staying below 11% body fat over the next 15 weeks of the program. I will do check in blogs periodically to keep up with my progress as well as maintain accountability. I’ll talk a little about the steps I’m taking each day to reach my goals, and I’ll go more into the backstory of my personal transition to a plant based diet. Stay Tuned!  

Follow his journey on instagram @davidbrock_22

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Goal Setting

I am a goal junkie. I am completely obsessed with goal setting. I set goals every day for every aspect of life. While I may take it a bit overboard, I do believe that goal setting is a very beneficial technique for accomplishing anything in life.

Most of us have been taught to use the SMART (specific, measurable, adjustable, realistic, time-bound) acronym for goal setting. I think this is definitely an important step, as it helps to create optimal goals. Because this is a commonly covered subject, I am going to skip it and instead talk about a couple crucial parts of goal setting that I find are often ignored or forgotten.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Goals

I’d loosely define a long-term goal as one that takes 6 months or more to accomplish, and a short-term goal as anything shorter than that. Where we go wrong here is using one without the other. Having both short and long term goals is so important. A long-term goal is the destination, and a short-term goal is the map to get there. If we are missing either one of these we will end up lost.

First, set your big exciting long-term goal (make sure it’s S.M.A.R.T.). Once you have that, fill in the time it will take to get there with smaller short-term goals. There are two techniques I use to fill in short-term goals. One is to divide your goal by the months you have to get there. For example, if you want to lose 100 pounds in a year you would divide 100 by 12 months. Your short-term goals would then be to lose 8.33 pounds each month. The other is to work backwards from your goal date and set milestones. For example, my goal is to lift a 900 pound total at USAPL nationals. My current total is 766. I found a qualifying meet that gave me 6 months before nationals, so I set my goal for that meet at 830 pounds, or about half way between my current total and goal total.

Long-term goals are important so we know where we are going, but short-term goals provide the necessary steps and keep us on track to get there.

Process vs. Performance Goals

The other distinction we often fail to make is between process and performance goals. Process goals are focused on the specific practices you will engage in, and do not take outcome into account. Examples would be things like “I will lift weights 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes,” or “I will run 3 times a week for at least 1 mile.” It is important to include process goals in your plan, because it will enforce the behaviors necessary to accomplish your long-term goal.

Performance goals, on the other hand, are focused on improving your performance in a certain area. “Improve my mile time by 5 seconds,” and “do 5 more pushups,” would be examples of performance goals. The benefit of this type of goal is that it pushes you to be better. It is important, though, that these goals be focused on improving your own performance, and are not a comparison to anyone else.

I highly recommend including both process and performance goals in your plan. I think it is more common to use performance goals, but process goals are often forgotten. Process goals will ensure that you are creating the habits and building the consistency needed to accomplish bigger goals. Performance goals will motivate you to work hard during the process rather than just go through the motions.

 

Goal-setting is much more than coming up with a SMART goal. Ultimately, you should have daily process goals that get you to your short-term performance goals, which are stepping-stones to your big long-term goal. These are all pieces to the puzzle, and without all the pieces the picture won’t come together as planned.