Fitness Specter 6 – Goals

Welcome to the Fitness Specter WEEK, folks.  In honor of the impending Mr. Olympia contest on September 19 & 20, I’m putting out a Fitness Specter every day this week.  That means five full columns of Fitness Specter goodness, starting right now!

In this Fitness Specter, we are going to talk about setting goals.  Want to understand more then read on!

FitSpecter300Everybody that works out needs to have a goal.  When I say “work out” I also mean those of us that choose to go to a gym and lift weights… bodybuilding.  If you want to do any sort of bodybuilding and you’re actually serious about the idea of lifting, you need to decide what your goal is to achieve anything.  Yeah, that means you need to set a goal.

I chose Arnold Schwarzenegger for the “cover art” of this column for a reason.  I believe that the definition of the champions, the Olympia winners, is something to pay attention to and Arnold’s generation has a special kind of look to them.  They all had pretty significant “definition,” for aesthetics.

Here is Hugh Jackman:

HughHe’s got more aesthetics going on than anything else with his body building.  He’s an actor, that’s really what is necessary when they want when they’re filming.  This would be “definition” and this would be more about what I was initially shooting for: looking ripped.

Here is the current 3-time reigning Mr. Olympia Phil Heath:

PhilPhil is different from Hugh in the fact that Phil has spent the better part of his life bodybuilding, and therefore is absolutely massive.  He’s a professional bodybuilder but there are those who want the size, and he’s got both size AND definition.  He will be my representation of pure size, though.

Hugh is defined.  In this example, Phil is big.  You need to know what you’re working for in order to actually achieve what you’re hoping for.  There are two paths on this one and they are actually quite different paths to follow.

The size path is one of a very strict eating regimen, very well plotted out workouts, and very strict routines to get as big as you can get.  You’re eating nothing outside of a very specific list of items, food designed to help you maximize nutritional output and you’re lifting towards gaining size, meaning you’re after heavier weights and increasing your weight limits.  Yeah, you’re spending a lot of time doing cardio, a lot of time lifting weights, and you aren’t deviating from your diet at all… or so little that when you do you’ll feel terrible for doing so.

The definition path is not nearly as strict but you need dedication nonetheless.  Definition still requires eating a very specific diet but you don’t need to be AS strict as going the size route.  You are lifting up to a certain weight and spending more time lifting for more reps than anything else, which is what defining is really all about.  More reps, lighter weights, and eating right.  Having the occasional drink, eating something “not healthy” once or twice a month isn’t a killer and you can certainly take some time off now and then.

These are two very different routes but if you want one, then you need to put the effort in once you identify which route you’re taking.

I was initially heading for the definition and briefly considered the size… I think a mix of both, for me, might be better, but definition is where I’d ultimately like to be, I think.  I would like to look the part but  I haven’t been putting in the effort at the level I need to be… that changes right now.

Lift it.