Hey SMARTy Pants!

I know that many of you want to lose weight, and that’s a fantastic goal to have. The trouble with it is that sometimes it can be a drag. Maybe the numbers on the scale or tape measure aren’t moving as fast as you’d like. Your workout or diet might feel like a slog with no end in sight. You might look at yourself in the mirror, and instead of seeing how far you’ve come, you only see how much further you have to go.
I’m not going to lie. This SUCKS.
BUT there is hope. And while it has nothing to do with weight loss, it has everything to do with attaining a strong physique.
Here’s what we’re gonna do.
Starting January 19th you’re going to make a SMART goal. SMART is an acronym that stands for:
And let’s keep weight loss out of the picture for the time being. I promise everything will turn out just fine, possibly even better than you can imagine.
What I want you to do is spend a minute or two thinking about some of the exercises we do at boot camp, kettlebells or in personal training sessions. Write down a couple you love but could do better and a couple you struggle with. Then pick one that you want to work on. I’ll use myself as an example.
Pull ups come to mind. They are the ultimate show of badassedness (yes that’s a word) and strength in my mind. I’ve dabbled with them for years, but have struggled to string more than 2 or 3 (OK, 2 1/2) together at a time. I can do flexed arm hangs, S-L-O-W negatives, and dead hangs like a boss, but high (or low) volume pull ups elude me. I usually get frustrated and stop training them after a few weeks.
But I want those pull ups! Clearly I have my work cut out for me.
So I have my exercise. Now I need a time frame. Nothing so far away that it ceases to have relevance, and nothing so soon that it dooms me to failure. For this challenge we’re going to choose 6 weeks. A month and a half for me to perform 5 perfect dead-hang pull ups.
Is this a SMART goal? Let’s check. Is it sustainable for me to work on this for five days a week for about five minutes a day? YES. Can I measure my progress? If I keep a journal I can. Is it attainable? I think so. I’m not reaching for the Olympics after all. I just want to get my chin above the bar 5 times in a row. Is it realistic? Given my history with overcoming fitness obstacles and other assorted fears, I’d say yes. And time-bound? Check. I’ve given myself until March to reach my goal.
The cool thing about a SMART fitness goal is that by embarking on this quest, I will also invariably improve my body composition WITHOUT EVEN THINKING ABOUT IT.
Also, I will possibly increase my confidence level by attaining an extremely challenging skill. I will be reminded that my body is more than a combination of fat and muscle. It is a miraculous vehicle that I can celebrate by challenging it to get even stronger and more capable.
This is empowering stuff.
If you’re having trouble thinking of a SMART goal for yourself, here is a list of 10—

  • one set of 10 PERFECT military pushups
  • one minute of nonstop squat jumps
  • 1 to 3 sets of 10 full burpees (with the pushup, jump and clap)
  • 10 perfect feet-elevated TRX body rows
  • one full one-armed pushup on each side
  • one 20 second handstand hold
  • three barbell or kettlebell deadlift reps with 1.5 times your bodyweight
  • 10 “perfect” swings with a heavy-for-you kettlebell
  • 100 kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes or less
  • 1, (or 3 or 5 or 10…) full pull-ups from a dead-hang

Now come up with your own or choose one from the list. Then make it official by stating it in the comments section below and posting it to our goals board at boot camp or telling your trainer. Our team can help you tweak almost any goal to make sure that it is indeed a SMART goal. Once you start working toward it, you might be so busy celebrating your strength and conditioning gains that you don’t even notice how much looser your jeans are!
Okay now get to work!


  1. Guissou Dabiri on January 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I want to be able to do sit ups without music aid!

    • michelle on January 19, 2015 at 6:22 pm