Everyone has a different level of fitness. Whether you’re starting as a beginner after a time of inactivity, or an avid expert, you want to see results from your exercise. One way to make sure that you never lose your motivation is to set goals that are difficult, but attainable! This balance can be tricky to manage, so sometimes it’s good to set a goal, then have a much harder stretch goal farther along.
The great thing about having fitness goals is that attempting to reach them keeps you engaged. Your motivation remains high and when you reach a goal, there’s a sense of accomplishment and reward! That kind of drive is what helps people get fit and stay fit! So consider some of these great fitness goals. If you don’t like them, create your own! Whatever works for you to keep you exercising is a great choice.
This is better known as simply “touching the rim” referring to basketball. For many people who are shorter, or who weren’t born with jumping explosiveness, this can be incredibly difficult, verging on impossible. That’s alright. Choose a different target height. For those who can theoretically pull it off, this is an interesting goal to chase. Getting up that high requires a person to be lean. Fat has to go, but muscle is needed! Typically, most people are aiming to be lean with their fitness goals anyway. If you can already reach this goal, then learn to dunk! It can be a bit of a show off moment when you dunk, but it’s fun. If you can dunk, then mix it up and get creative! Plenty of stretch goals are available for this one.
I know what you’re thinking, “Push Ups? Come on!” There’s a reason that push ups have been a staple exercise for a long time. The key with pushups is and always has been proper form. People who don’t use proper form can do them all day long. Push ups are much easier if there’s less excess weight and body fat. The goal shouldn’t just be to complete 50 push ups, but should be to complete them in perfect form. When starting out, this is a deceptively hard goal. Start with a smaller goal of 10 perfect push ups and increase from there. 50 is eventually possible!
The morning is an ideal time for exercise, and getting some exercise every day is great for the body. This shouldn’t be huge 90 minute power workouts. This fitness goal is simply small 10-15 minute morning workouts before the daily strain of sitting at a desk hits for so many people. There’s lots of options. A quick jog, some basic home exercises and stretches, or a quick yoga session can all work out well. For most people, this can have a surprising impact on their overall fitness level.
Most people associate 5K races with some kind of fundraising effort. The good news there is that there seems to be an endless number of 5K races going on because there’s always needs for fundraising. Running a 5K from start to finish is a good intermediate goal for runners. The key is that you need to keep a consistent pace from start to finish so that you don’t exhaust yourself too early, or just go too slow. A 5K is a good stepping stone. From there, you can try to improve your time at that distance, or look into longer races that require greater endurance and training.
A pull-up is easy in theory and difficult in execution. Pull ups require a large amount of upper body strength. The higher the body weight in question, the more power is needed to complete a pull up. 10 pull ups from dead hang is a very impressive fitness goal. To be fair, for beginners, completing 1 pull up is a great first goal to set! For veterans who have no problem with a few pull ups, try to do 10 more than you’re used to. If pull ups are absolutely nothing to you, try weighted vests to increase the difficulty. There’s a lot of versatility here, so set your own goal at the right level.
Rowing requires an incredible mix of strength, stamina, flexibility and cardio ability. Rather than picking up an expensive boat and working with others to row down a river, just hit the gym. Gyms have rowing machines that nicely mimic the feel of proper rowing sculls without needing to keep incredible balance and possibly tipping over. 500m is a good rowing distance. Setting a goal of 2 minutes for men and 2:30 for women is a difficult and high end fitness target. If you’re just beginning with fitness, this may be hard. Try one run to set a baseline, and then try to improve your time by 30 seconds or 1 minute!
These races can come in several different forms. There are the “tough mudder” events in which the obstacles often involve getting real dirty. There are the Spartan races which feature obstacles that hearken back to those historical people. Typically races will have around 2-5 miles of running combined with the difficult obstacles. One of the best parts about obstacle course races is that they are almost always a team affair. You can work with your friends and train together. That mutual support is often a driving factor to helping with fitness. Another benefit here is that they are just fun! Variety keeps exercise fresh and enjoyable.
This may be the most aggressive and difficult goal on this list, so immediately take it with a grain of salt and consider a lower target. Instructors need to perform 100 snatches in 5 minutes to qualify as a kettlebell instructor in many places. If that sounds like a lot, it is. One way to make this goal more obtainable is to choose a lighter kettlebell. Snatch sized are 53 lbs for men and 35 lbs for women. Choosing a lighter version gives you a better chance to train up to this ambitious level. It’s also possible to simply aim your target at lower levels. 50 is a reasonable one and so is 75!
The benefits of yoga and the flexibility it offers have continued to become more obvious to people who have preferred other forms of working out. Many are the weight lifters who take a day or two each week for yoga. Yoga helps you feel relaxed, mobile and in balance. It’s a great supplement to other forms of exercise. 30 days may seem like a long period of time, but it’s possible! You can alter the length of the sessions shorter or longer depending on how comfortable you are with yoga.