How Goal Setting Can Help You Break Through a Fitness Plateau

There’s no question that setting goals can have a direct effect on your progress in the gym. Setting goals is like planning your own road map for your fitness. Getting from point A to point B isn’t always easy and may not always be a direct path, but if you have a plan, and know WHAT you want to achieve, then you can go about figuring out HOW to achieve it. Also, setting goals can help you move past a fitness plateau. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut doing the same things or only working on things that we are good at. Goals are a great way to break through these plateaus by focusing on weaknesses, developing new skills, and experiencing new things outside of our comfort zones.

Here are a few tips from some of our members on how they have implemented goal setting into their routines.

Create a short-term and long-term goal

It’s important to be realistic in your time domains. If you have a goal of losing 20lbs of fat and gaining 10lbs of muscle, it’s not going to happen in a week, or even in a month. Set a timetable for how you want to achieve that long-term goal, then set some shorter term goals to achieve along the way. Think of them like motivational checkpoints in the big picture.

Another goal could be to achieve a muscle-up. That’s a great goal to have, but if you don’t have 5-6 strict pull-ups and 5-6 strict ring dips, then it would be a good idea to conquer those before attempting a muscle-up.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-10-16-06-am“My long-term goal over the last few months was to accomplish a bar muscle up. In order to reach that goal, I set a short-term goal of achieving a band-assisted muscle up because my biggest issue was on the transition. I started with a blue band, and as it became easier I moved to a red band. Finally, I was able to do it without any band at all. Now that I’ve accomplished my long-term goal, I’ve set a new goal of completing five strict handstand push-ups. Right now, I’m still working with an abmat and doing strict presses to gain shoulder strength, but I’m looking forward to making progress toward my new goal!”
-Pedro Zaccarelli


Think outside of the gym

Consider goals outside of the gym that will ultimately benefit your performance inside the gym. Goals like getting 8 hours of sleep, eating a serving of vegetables with every meal or drinking a certain amount of water each day are easy goals to implement that have a big pay off in how you feel and perform. Be specific- “eating healthy” and “sleeping better” are too broad. Narrow those down to- “I will eat 1-2 servings for vegetables with every meal” and “I will get 8 hours of sleep each night.”

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-10-18-36-am“I’ve noticed, since I’m not getting any younger, recovery is not something to be taken lightly. While I do my best to get to bed at a time that affords me 7-8 hours of sleep, I’ve incorporated use of an app, called Sleep Cycle, that monitors my sleep patterns and allows me to log different things that may positively, or adversely, impact my sleep quality. Things I log are coffee, CrossFit, yoga, naps, eating late, stressful days, and even sex. This way I can modulate things that impact my much needed rest and recovery. I’ve also added an essential oil diffuser to further aid in better rest and relaxation.”
-Tek Vu


Keep detailed notes

We have an amazing tool in Wodify that many of you use, but we also see many of you walk out the door without logging your weights and/or times and scores. Writing down the weight chosen, any scaled movements, and even how you felt is important for long-term success. Don’t be afraid of the “notes” section of Wodify or even using a journal to track your workouts. This becomes increasingly important with benchmark workouts. Use notes as a tool for you to rely on later when wondering which weight to choose or what time you should try to beat.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-10-14-47-am“For all of my life that I’ve been training, I had always kept a notebook and written down what I was going to do that training day and noted the reps and load I achieved for that particular workout. I still use a notebook today, but use Wodify as well as a secondary log. It serves as a great barometer of your progress, allowing me to see and measure my improvement week to week. In addition, it provided me the information I needed to best estimate what I needed to hit in the coming workouts to maintain my progress.”
-Marc Stevens


Celebrate PRs

Celebrating wins — even the small ones — is important to keep motivation high. At CFWP, we invite our members to celebrate their PRs by writing it down on a whiteboard each month. It’s amazing to see the amount of records our members can achieve in just a month’s time, and it motivates others to continue working hard.

For those of you ready to get started by writing down your goal, here’s a great way to begin: SMART Goal Setting (specific, measurable, attainable/achievable, relevant and timely).


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