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Train SMART: Build a long-term performance plan you’ll stick to

We’re all tempted periodically to launch into some intense training just to feel the burn, but without a plan, those moments of intensity fade. It becomes a struggle to work out aimlessly.

Stop searching for affirmation that your hard work is improving your athletic performance! Start with a SMART approach to training that gets you closer to your goals with every workout: Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, Time-limited. Plan SMART, hit your goal, and then start the process again with the next goal.


Your friend’s ideal workout plan or WOD might work great for them, but you’re an individual with specific challenges, needs, and goals. Base your fitness and performance planning on specific information about you. Consider initial assessments that provide detailed information about your body fat percentage and distribution, your muscular definition, movement issues, and even information hidden in your DNA that may hold the key to athletic performance improvement.


Create an initial goal or set of goals that you can measure. If your one big goal is to PR on bench or improve time on your running mile, you already know it takes consistency to get there. Take that knowledge and set intermediary goals that will get you to your big goal. Start with daily supplements, nutrition, and hydration goals, then weekly workout planning that incorporates recovery and pushes your performance limits safely to prevent sidelining injury. Take it one small goal at a time to see big end results.


Of course, if your current bench max is the bar and two plates, a 250-pound max in 30 days may not be an attainable goal. This is where some experienced advice comes in handy, and where this SMART approach to performance improvement requires all the other facets. Now is the time to get real about what an attainable goal looks like.


You’ve set long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals, right? Consider how realistic those goals are within the context of work and family responsibilities, upcoming travel or vacations, and any other real-life issues that could derail your plans. Consider how your goals fit into your lifestyle, and that they’re relevant to even larger, long-term goals. Then, adjust for those realities.


Put all of your preparation and planning together and focus on a (SMART) deadline for reaching your goals. Limiting the amount of time you have to achieve your next performance benchmark can be highly motivational. Without a due date, you might never reach your goal. Set that deadline and work for it.

Reach Your Goals

You don’t have to invent SMART goals from scratch. Etage Athletic offers personal training packages that can provide detailed information about where you are right now. You’ll then work with a trainer whose expertise can help you fill in the details. Learn more about you, set SMART goals, and work with a trainer who will keep you accountable and motivated to perform at your best and reach that next level.



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