“Without a plan, you plan to fail.” I overheard this being said by Louie Simmons in the warm-up room at a powerlifting meet and the statement has never left me. Since then, every time someone asks me for some tips on anything from how they can lose a few pounds, to how they can add 50 pounds to my bench press. The answer to both, are exactly the same… goal setting.

  1. First, layout a plan
  2. Second execute the plan
  3. Third evaluate your progress
  4. Fourth, change the things that don’t work

Of course there are details to each that are unique and make the magic happen, but the foundations of achieving any goal you set are the exact same.

  1. Laying out the plan – Have you ever left on vacation and had no idea where you were going? How can you prepare? You can’t. Just like traveling, you need to have a road map that lays out how to get from point A to point B. Let’s say your goal is to bench 315 pounds. The 315 pounds would be the point B, now, where is point A? So what is your Bench now? Finding your current bench max gives you the starting point for the journey. Now from here you can set up some waypoints along to monitor your progress and better plan for achieving your goal.
  2. Execute the plan – Patience is the Key! As a nation we are use to instant gratification.  If you are trying to lose 50 pounds, don’t expect to lose 50 pounds of fat in 6 weeks. I would guess it took  you a few years to put that 60 pounds on. The key here is sticking to your plan; if you give it a little time you will begin to reap the benefits of your efforts.
  3. Evaluate your programWhatever the goal is (fat loss, increasing strength, etc) you will need to periodically check yourself. If you’re trying to lose fat, take some new measurements and compare them against the ones you took at the beginning of this journey. If you’re trying to gain strength, check your one rep max, and see if you’ve made progress. Now with this being said, it doesn’t mean to max out your squat, bench, etc every 4 days. PATIENCE is the key.
  4. Change the things that don’t work – This is where keeping records is key. Keep a log of your workouts, weights lifted, a food diary listing what time you ate, what you ate, and the macros. This is a critical part of the process in seeing what is working and what is not.

Sticking to these four simple steps can help you to achieve anything you are trying to achieve anything from weight loss, increasing strength, to getting a better job. Always have a plan!

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