Commitment to Achievement
Once your goals are set then you will definitely want to put them on paper. Declaring your goals is a commitment. Psychologically, we are more likely to follow through on things to which we have committed. This is very well proven in psychological research and has been used by sales teams for decades. If you are skeptical, then here is an interesting quote from the Amway Corporation’s sales training manual:
“One final thing before you get started: Set a goal and write it down. Whatever the goal, the important thing is that you set it, so you’ve got something for which to aim – and that you write it down. There is something magical about writing things down. So set a goal and write it down. When you reach that goal, set another and write that down. You’ll be off and running.”
If you want to increase the likelihood of success then you should set your goals and write them down. Scratching things off of a list is just a very simple way that you can positively reinforce yourself to continue training. The objective here is to change your lifestyle – and positive reinforcement is one of the most effective means of doing so. (Skinner, B. F. 1970. Walden Two. Macmillan, Toronto.) I strongly suggest that you keep your goals written in your training journal. A training journal can be in a notebook or online but its existence ensures progress. If necessary, keep your log by your bed, next to the fridge, near your computer, saved as your homepage or minimized on your desktop so that you see it regularly during the day. If you realized that you haven’t done your workout then the log will server as a reminder to get out and do it before you eat or get sucked into reading articles and blogs online. One of the hardest things to do is to get into the habit of your workout routine and these methods all make this much more possible. Once you get into the groove of your routine the benefits are stark and undeniable. Think about it; what if your doctor told you there was only one thing that you needed to do to drastically reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, improve your mood, allow you to eat more, reduce stress, get stronger, significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis, lose weight, put on muscle and gain confidence? You would likely do it. That panacea just happens to be exercise.
Strength training can be broken down into two subsets – dynamic movement and static holds (stationary positions). For dynamic movement, you want to shoot for 15 reps in a row for what are considered basic movements. This lays a foundation for strength gains on the more advanced movements where you will typically want to shoot for 5 reps. This is because the basic movements program the initial motor pathways (or, if you are a fan of Pavel Tsatsouline, “grease the groove”) for further strength gains. If you can’t even perform the basic dynamic movement then you need to build up to it. The best method of doing so is to perform negatives of the movement in question in conjunction with assisted positives.
For something that is considered a basic static hold you will typically shoot for a 15-20 second solid hold before progressing to the next position. As you progress to the advanced static hold you will typically shoot for 5-10 second holds before progressing. Normally, any hold that is in a tucked position is basic whereas a straddled hold is considered advanced.
For a list of high quality goals then continue on to Page 3.