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Why Setting Goals Is Essential To Maintain Long-Term Fitness

A woman doing battle ropes

Fitness isn’t just working out at the gym for two hours daily. Instead, it’s a lifestyle that requires maintenance, consistency, and effort.

It’s not too difficult to get your clients to reach their ideal fitness goals, but a lot of times, people don’t maintain their bodies which results in them losing all the progress they’ve made. As a certified personal trainer, it’s important to train clients for long-term fitness management so they can make it their lifestyle and not something they do for a short period.

Besides that, if the clients lose their progress after keeping up with an intense workout routine, it leads to certain health issues like faster weight gain, chronic muscle pain, and unhealthy eating habits. This makes it much more difficult for them to return to their workout routine. Read this guide to learn why trainers need to set long-term fitness goals to allow people to better maintain their fitness and stay healthy.

Become a fitness trainer by enrolling in W.I.T.S Education’s courses.

A man using weights

How Are Short-Term Goals Different From Long-Term Ones

Other than the self-explanatory time frames, short-term goals are usually a smaller part of long-term goals. This is done to make it easier for people to reach their long-term goals without feeling pressured. In fitness, short-term goals allow personal trainers to break the client’s fitness goals into smaller parts, making it easier to track their progress and make the necessary changes.

Key Features Of Maintaining Long-Term Fitness

Health And Nutrition

Focusing on the exercise while paying little attention to the client’s nutritional needs will only slow down their progress. Working out takes a toll on the body, and people need extra nutrition to stay healthy. Additionally, constant workouts with a poor diet can lead to health issues later on that can diminish all the progress made so far. So depending on the person’s health, personal trainers should also guide them about their diet and nutrition.

Manageable Steps

As mentioned above, big goals are easier to achieve when broken down into smaller milestones. So, for example, instead of losing 60 pounds of weight in six months, it’ll be easier to manage to lose 10 pounds a month. With small goals, the clients won’t get disappointed either because they’ll see the small progress and stay motivated. With these types of goals designing workout programs is also easier.

A person Deadlifting

Personalized Workouts

Everyone is different, especially when it comes to fitness. What works for one might not work for somebody else. Fitness trainers should stay away from giving generic workout programs to all of their clients. Instead, they should design personalized ones targeting each person’s concerns. Someone might be looking to lose weight, while others might want to keep their chronic illnesses at bay. So the same workouts won’t work for both of them and won’t give them the desired results. This will result in the client getting disappointed and losing all motivation.

Easy Workouts

Workouts that demand too much only lead to reduced motivation, and eventually, the clients give up. Designing easy workouts that include fun activities increases the client’s interest and keeps them motivated. Clients will also stick to exercising longer if there are easier workouts. But this doesn’t mean certified fitness trainers can just design workouts once and then leave it. The exercises should regularly be updated to keep up with the client’s levels so they can see results. Because without results, their motivation will go down.

Picking up dumbbells

Small Breaks

A good workout plan should include breaks. Not just breaks in between different exercises but long-term breaks spanning a couple of weeks. People who aren’t keen on having defined muscles or a lean body mass don’t need to work out too much. As a result, their bodies can go for a few weeks without losing the progress made up until then. This also gives people a break to do other things they enjoy and relax a bit. For long-term fitness, these breaks are essential to keep the client motivated and consistent. Another benefit of such breaks is when the client comes back, they’re more motivated and energized, resulting in an effective workout and better results.

Holistic Wellness

It’s easier to stick to something when we enjoy it. The same is true for working out. If your clients have a good time during their workout routine, they’re more likely to stick toit. This is where holistic wellness comes in. Holistic wellness relies on mental and physical fitness to help people lead better lives. In this, trainers not only work on the client’s physique but also make sure they’re mentally healthy and happy by designing workouts that stimulate the brain cells and increase the release of endorphins and reduce stress

A woman running outdoors

Why Setting Goals Is Essential?

To Stay On Track

This is the hardest part when it comes to working out. Many people are super motivated initially but begin losing interest as time passes, even if they are making good progress. This makes it difficult to stay on track. In this scenario, the best course of action is to simplify the workouts so that people will keep doing them even if it means slower progress. The good thing about long-term goals is that the results depend on cumulative progress. So after giving easier exercises to the clients, you can put them on tougher workouts for a few weeks to keep them on track.

Make Workouts Efficient

The workout a client started with isn’t going to be as effective a month later. Because their bodies have gotten used to the exercises, and the muscle stimulation decreases. Certified trainers can keep the effectiveness of the workouts consistent by periodically changing the exercises. But this should be balanced to not make the client’s experience burn out. If you’re adding a difficult workout routine then some of the existing exercises should be removed to keep everything balanced because upping the workout doesn’t mean it should get too difficult. If that happens, the client might get exhausted and make slower progress. This will mess up their long-term goals.

A man doing planks

Make Required Lifestyle Changes

As people start working out, they make certain lifestyle changes to accommodate their fitness needs. This might include changing the diet, setting up a home gym, setting aside additional time to work out, or just relaxing. This makes it easier for the clients to improve their progress and attain their fitness goals. Besides that, certain lifestyle changes are necessary to see any considerable results. For example, if a person binge eats frequently, they need to change that if they’re trying to get fitter. Similarly, an older person should make time for morning walks to stay healthy. This would mean rearranging their sleep schedule to match their goals.

Switch The Workout Program

With long-term goals in mind, clients and trainers can make changes to the workout programs keeping the progress in mind. If the progress is on track, slightly tougher exercises are added to the workout. But if the progress isn’t up to the mark, then a new strategy can be developed. But this will only happen if there are long-term goals set beforehand to measure the progress.

A woman in the gym

Measurable Progress

With long-term goals, it’s easier to measure progress. If a person has only worked out for a month, they won’t see any visible results. But if a person has been working out for six months, it’s easier for them to compare their progress. Progress is highly important when it comes to maintaining motivation levels. If a client isn’t seeing progress, their workout efficiency will decrease, which is what happens when they set short-term goals. Because exercise doesn’t change a person’s body overnight. It requires consistency, hard work, and proper nutrition to see minimal results.

Target-Specific Results

The benefit of making long-term goals is that it’s easier to make them target-specific. For example, if a person wants to lose weight, there are no specific exercises that can help with targeted weight loss. But paying attention to the overall physique makes it easier for people to reach their ideal weight. In such cases, short-term workouts don’t offer any measurable results, but in the long run, people lose weight and increase their body’s lean muscle mass, which is more beneficial in terms of health.

A person doing yoga

Things To Avoid When Making Fitness Goals

Not Making The Goals Realistic

Setting realistic goals is the first step in attaining them. There’s no point in setting goals that are too hard for the client because they’ll only feel down when they can’t reach them. After analyzing the client’s health, fitness levels, and required results, the goals should be clearly stated.

No Room For Breaks

Besides the breaks after workouts, trainers need to include breaks in between exercises as well, especially after tougher sets. This helps the body get normal, and the heart rate stabilizes a bit. It also takes down the strain on the muscles and gives some rest time before moving on to the next exercise. Depending on the client’s health, you should increase or decrease the number of breaks they need.

Depriving The Client

Some people believe that giving 100% to working out while skipping other things is the right way to reach your fitness goals. This is the wrong approach. A good workout routine can easily integrate into the client’s lifestyle and doesn’t drain. If that’s not the case, then the client will be deprived of any fun and excitement in their lives. This will reduce motivation and lead to burnout. Exercise should be fun and easy. This is the only way a person will stick to their long-term fitness goals.

A man using dumbbells

Avoid Too Many Comparisons

Comparison is a good way to keep people motivated, but too much of it can lead to burnout and loss of motivation. Instead, you should encourage the clients no matter how little progress they’ve made because long-term goals are based on consistent but slow progress. It’s a good idea to compare the client’s progress with the previous self so not only do they feel motivated but also proud of their hard work.

Short Recovery Time

Depending on the end goals of the exercises, proper recovery time should be determined to allow the client to energize. For example, someone looking to build muscles should be given time to let their muscle fibers grow and for the swelling to slow down. With a short recovery time, the body won’t heal, and doing more exercises will only lead to muscle strain and, in some cases, nerve damage. Trainers should decide the recovery time based on the person’s fitness levels and intensity of exercises.

Working Out When Fatigued

If the workout program you designed constantly makes the client feel fatigued and exhausted, you need to revamp the program according to the client’s stamina. Because if they keep working out the same way, it’ll deteriorate their health, and it can also lead to injuries during exercise. If the client is exhausted, you should give them more time to rest between workouts or change the exercise to reduce the strain on their body.

Sitting in the gym

Earn Your Fitness Training Certification With W.I.T.S Education

Those wishing to launch a career in fitness can choose from a number of personal health trainer programs offered by W.I.T.S Education, a fitness training center. We offer a variety of courses, such as a certified personal trainer program, a senior fitness trainer program, a program for group exercise instructors, a program for medical fitness, and more.

Additionally, you can participate in our fitness management course if you’re interested in managing your fitness business. Our courses combine in-person practical labs with engaging online lessons taught by professors with five-star ratings. These laboratories are located around North America and include state-of-the-art training tools.

Our courses are also accredited by the NCCA and the American Council of Education, allowing us to offer course credits to college students. Not only that, but we also have the biggest network of colleges and universities. So check out our courses before enrolling to begin your career as a fitness trainer!

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