Alternative gym goals that have nothing to do with losing weight and everything to do with living your best life.
If you’re keen to focus on strength, agility, and mobility, if you’d like more energy or to prepare your body for a long and active life, this article helps you figure out goals you’ll feel good about and find a path towards setting these fitness goals.
There are over 13,000 registered personal trainers in the UK. More than 7000 gyms, 10 million members, and a market value nearing £5 billion.
And a gazillion trillion messages on social media pedaling one prolific message: workout to lose weight.
But what if you’re someone who doesn’t want to lose weight but does what to get fit? How do you find a gym class or online training programme that doesn’t have your waistline as their number one priority?
When the highlight of every gym success story is weight loss it can be hard to find information that supports a health journey that’s got other goals in mind.
If you’d rather focus on strength, agility, and mobility, if you’d like more energy, or to prepare your body for a long and active life, this article is for you. It’s all about setting goals for fitness that don’t include anything to do with weight loss!
We spoke to Claudia Fiddler, a personal trainer at FORM who’s dedicated to helping clients do more of what they love – in the gym and out of it. Here’s her advice for setting fitness goals at the gym when weight loss ain’t your thing.
Find what you love – then set a goal
“Training shouldn’t ever feel like a punishment. A lot of people (especially females) train because they feel bad about the chocolate they ate the night before or the few glasses of wine they had over the weekend. But there are lots of different facets of health and not all of these are physical,” says Claudia. “I like to advise people to do what they enjoy.”
Finding something you enjoy can be a catalyst for changing a negative relationship with fitness and training.
“Find what you’re good at and what you enjoy. Whether that’s CrossFit, powerlifting, or a completely different sport like swimming, hiking or running. Then focus on how you can manipulate your training in the gym to get better at your favourite sport.”
When setting goals for fitness, Claudia believes that “A training goal that supports something you love can be much more motivating than a goal to get a bigger bum or abs.”.
“Train to get stronger, move better, run faster, jump further and be pain free and you will enjoy your training and body a whole lot more.”
Workout for the long game
“We’ve no idea what will happen in later life, but if we keep our bodies strong now, old age will be a whole lot easier,” explains Claudia.
So, what’s the best thing we can do to keep our bodies fit and healthy as we age? Resistance training, also known as lifting weights.
“We lift weights to replicate everyday movements pain free. We want to train so we are still able to carry our shopping bags when we are older, or be able to lift and move things without doing our backs in.
“Our bodies gradually lose muscle mass over time so it’s really important to preserve this for as long as possible. Resistance training has many benefits and can help reduce the onset and management of muscle loss over time. It’s never too late to start resistance training.”
With long term results in mind, consistency is key. This isn’t about overnight results but a sustainable fitness regime.
Workout for the long game
“Different training methods benefit different people in different ways,” says Claudia. “Understanding your body is a big part of knowing what to do with it.”
“Start becoming aware of what feels good and what doesn’t. Figuring out your weaknesses and then finding ways to improve them will encourage you to move more often.”
This is not the same as doing what’s easy and avoiding what’s difficult. This is about becoming aware of where your body excels, where it doesn’t and why.
It’s all part of falling in love with exercise. “Try to not overthink the process,” she advises. “Simply moving more in general by increasing your step count on a daily basis can be so impactful in the way we feel in our bodies”.
Let go of Instalife
“Remove the pressure to look or act a certain way just because the half-naked shredded fitspo on your Instagram says so,” says Claudia. And, as above, the latest Insta fitness craze might not be the best thing for your body.
“Do things that make you feel good and leave you feeling empowered. Whether that be lifting heavy weights, going for a run, or boxing or dancing.
“If your instagram feed is filled with people who are chasing personal fitness goals that don’t light you up, make you feel negatively about yourself and don’t motivate you, it’s pointless having them on your feed,” says Claudia.
“Surround yourself with people who make you feel uplifted and provide relevant education. In real life and on Instagram. Set your own goals and find people, PTs and fitness leaders who are going to help get you there!” It’s important to set your fitness goals for yourself, and not to look like the people on your Instagram feed.
Where to go to the gym when weight loss ain’t your thing
Because the most accessible fitness advice is generic, your first move towards a healthy life that’s not weight-driven, is to look for specific, tailored information. You’ll find this through a coach or gym with a long-term approach to fitness. Look for people who listen, with solid experience and a variety of training practices and approaches under their belt.
Set realistic fitness goals, tailored to you and your goals today.