For the last 4 months, my trainer Cederick (see my workouts here) has been working to max out his bench press at 400 pounds by his 50th birthday – a weight he used to press daily when he was younger. Holy cow, that’s intense! I honestly have the same reaction when people tell me they are training for an Iron Man (read Reilly’s tumblr here) or even a marathon (like Rebecca).
Everyone has a different motivation to exercise. The friends I mention above have very clear goals. In the past decade, my goals have included:
- Maintaining my strength and wellness.
- Staying lean and fitting into my clothes.
- Carving out an hour a day at least 5 days a week.
When I was younger my goals were in the sports areas of volleyball and basketball. Sports gave me an means to see my progress in endurance and accuracy that general exercise has not.
So, what am I really working towards now??
As I’ve told you, over the last month I’ve been wearing a heart rate monitor so I can track how my heart performs and how many calories I’m burning each workout session. I started out with my max heart rate being 187 and my caloric goal of 580 (see how I figured that out). While the calories are important, I have been focusing more on my heart rate zones in my cardio workouts to see how hard I push myself even though I want to stop. When I teach spin I push people to their max, but it’s hard to do that for myself, which is obviously why group fitness is so popular.
Last week in my Blast900 class, Missi pushed me to a heart rate high of 193! Without any thought to do so, I just kept going and my heart rate continued to climb. Now that I know I can get to that level, I try to hit it in my other cardio workouts. It’s tough! But my attempts are valuable for my physical and mental progress in my exercise.
When I look back at Cederick and the Iron Men, I see they are striving for their maximum effort. It’s not achievable everyday, but it’s a goal to set, and knowing you can achieve it motivates you to TRY for more on a daily basis.
What goals have you set these days and how do you measure them? One of the most important part about challenging yourself and seeing progress in your workout is taking on something different to change up your routine. If we all share our perspectives, we’ll have many new goals we can take on!