When I first got into the gym I couldn’t see past gaining size. The first goal I set was to be 100kg by the time I was 21. Funny because I only weighed around 62kg when I first started in the gym aged 17. I just wanted to be big, no idea why looking back.
Also funny because the most I’ve ever weighed was 84kg and that was when I was 21. So I missed by a long shot.
It didn’t really bother me though. 80kg seemed to be my happy weight, it still is!
It’s where I’m fast, mobile, strong and can play any sport I wish without struggling for air.
Goals change. I started to see the longevity, function, my strength, my athletic ability, remaining pain and injury free as more important than just muscle mass alone, and that’s where I’m at right now too.
I’m continuing to learn, get stronger and challenge myself through different means of training. Right now that happens to be weightlifting and some calisthenics. When you’ve been working out for a number of years you need new challenges, at least I did. Pec-dec and bicep curls get boring after about the 1000th rep.
So I don’t mind when people say I’ve looked the same for years. That sort of thing used to bother me. Welcome to the real world and natty gains. I’m actually bigger and stronger than I’ve ever been. These things are great, don’t get me wrong, but more importantly I understand my own body more than ever and I’m content too. I have no pains or injuries and I’m learning daily.
You may have heard of Jatin. If not you can find his story here – Jatin’s Journey
His first goal when contacting me was to increase mobility and reduce body fat. I won’t go too deep into his story here as you can read about it on the link above. Through the journey of losing a hell of a lot of body fat and eventually revealing his abs he actually developed a great liking for resistance training.
I remember numerous calls where he would ask me to challenge him further and asking about tips for some of the big compound lifts like squats, deadlifts and dumbbell clean and presses. In the process of reducing fat and just becoming comfortable in his own skin he actually ended up focusing on improving technique and increasing numbers in these lifts.
If on day 1 I told him look, we will be focusing on deadlift and increasing it by 100kg. I don’t think he would have taken a single bit of interest. He was solely focused on weight loss. He began to enjoy the process (important) and actually used that weekly overload as a main driver for his sessions so he could enjoy working out whilst still reducing fat.
Based on my experience as a coach and trainer this is completely normal and actually quite essential for long-term fitness. Otherwise you would give up the day you got lean and revealed your abs. Right now Jatin is focus on lean muscle gains and strength and has been for quite a few months.
So what’s my point with all this? I don’t really have one, this was just something on my mind after speaking to a few of my clients. Goals change and they develop with your understanding and your results.
I guess a good conclusion is that this is an ongoing process. No end goal. No ‘I’ll be happy once I bench press 120kg’. Because as soon as 120kg is conquered you’ll be thinking about 125kg. It’s a continuous process. Enjoy it. Set new challenging goals for yourself, even if you don’t they’ll probably change at some point anyway because of circumstance.