Setting goals: be SMART

One of the keys when designing proper training plans is to properly set goals. Each client needs a specific and personalized goal. For this reason, when setting goals you have to take into account an acronym: SMART.

Setting Goals: let’s get back to the basics

One of the first lessons learned in coaching certification courses is how to design SMART goals. This is a fundamental concept that, unfortunately over time, many personal trainers either forget or fail to pay enough attention to. But it is a very important idea that should not be lost sight of. SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

Be specific

Indeed, this concept is so basic that it is easily forgotten. Often the goal of many clients is to “get in shape”. But this is not a very specific target. Does the customer want to lose fat or gain muscle? Is the goal to run a marathon? Or is it to change life habits? Is it to be stronger, more resistant? The goal should always be specific and designed to obtain the best results.

Be measurable

Once you have set a specific goal, you have to give it a number. If the client wants to gain muscle, it is necessary to establish a parameter that helps to determine whether he/she is approaching or not the fulfillment of the objective. So set a specific figure that is appropriate for your client. (Example: “Gain 10 pounds of muscle in 3 months.”).

Be attainable

A goal has to be attainable based on the body’s physiological boundaries. Any program promising a natural increase of 25 pounds of muscle in 6 or 8 weeks is false — just plain false. It is important for the client to know that the goal is achievable. Setting goals that your client can never reach will make you a bad trainer.

Be realistic

This looks like a reiteration of the previous point, but there is a difference. A goal may be attainable but not realistic. Your client, through his/her physical characteristics, can gain 15 pounds of muscle over the course of a year. But if he/she is not a consistent person in training, does not rest well and does not feed properly, this goal is not realistic.

Be timely

Establish a training program with a deadline. The goal has to be with respect to time. The client has to know that their training period will end and that the goal is not to gain 15 pounds of muscle, but to gain 15 pounds of muscle in that stipulated period.

Setting SMART goals will allow your customers to optimize time and achieve better benefits in each workout. Use digital tools to monitor the progress of your athletes and encourage them to use them to check their progress and encourage them as they progress towards the goal.

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