Do You Have Direction?

One of the very first things I ask each of my new clients is what their fitness goals are, and now I’m asking you.   What are  your fitness goals? Is this a question that you have asked yourself?   If not, there’s no time like the present!

For those of you who are  similar to myself and set out with a particular  fitness goal, such as weight loss, but have long since achieved it…have you set a new goal for yourself?   Or are you just existing in a state of “Well, good for me!   I met my goal…now what do I do?”

Some  people who go to the gym wander around aimlessly. Have you seen them? It’s almost like they can’t decide what they are there to do. They’ll meander around the track, maybe pick up a pair of dumbbells and then, before ya know it,  they are heading for the door. WHAT??!!?? Why did they even  bother? If all you are doing is minimal mindless cardio and a few weight lifting exercises…you’re  just going through the motions. Without direction, or a goal to aim for, what is it you are hoping to get from your time spent while there?

In order to get the most bang for your buck out of your gym time,  YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE A GOAL!!


Whether  your goal is weight loss, building muscle, gaining strength, improving flexibility or  increasing your balance, you’ve got to have one (or two, or three). You wouldn’t get in your car and drive all over town (especially with gas prices being  what they are!) without a place to go, would you? I wouldn’t get all dressed up if you were going to spend an evening at home by yourself, would you? You wouldn’t  take time  away from your kids, your spouse, your family, your religion, your job, your favorite sport, hobby  or activity just to be thrown away and wasted, would you? Then why would you go to the gym without a goal in mind?

Time is too precious to be wasted, I think we can all agree on that. My gym time is .I don’t get near enough of it (ironic huh?), so when I’m in the weight room, I make every second count. My workouts are tailored around my fitness goals, and yours should be too. In fact, it should be so obvious that I should be able to watch you do one set and know for certain what at least one of your fitness goals are. Now granted, I’m a trainer and know what to look for so maybe your average Joe couldn’t tell, but I (or any other knowledgeable trainer) should be able to.

If you’re sitting there saying, “But Laura, I don’t know what to do with my workouts to make them reflect my goals!”, don’t worry!  I’m about to tell you!

For Weight Loss/Endurance

Your reps should be right around 15 per set, rest periods between sets should be no greater than 30 seconds. Use a spotter if you will be lifting weight(s) above your head or face.

For Building Muscle/Hypertrophy/Toning

Your reps should be between 8-10 per set, rest periods should be no less than 30 seconds but no greater than 1 minute. Use a spotter if you will  be lifting weights) above your head or face.

For Gaining Strength/Bodybuilding

Your reps should be no greater than 6 with rest periods being no less than 2 minutes and no greater than 5 minutes.   Typically, the amount of weight being lifted in this case is so great that a spotter should be used at all times, unless of course it is a power exercise (cleans, clean and jerk, etc.) that is being performed.

So, once you know what your goals are, you now have a guide on how to get there. Remember too that, enjoying the journey is just as important, if not more so,  as enjoying the destination point once you’ve arrived. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *