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Fitness goals for women...

...That don't involve getting smaller.


I've been thinking about body positive personal training again (OK, you got me, I never stopped...)

Specifically because Lift the Bar (a CPD provider for fitness professionals) brought it up recently.

It brought me back particularly to goal setting.

Goal setting for women.


It's often assumed that the reason a woman takes up any kind of "fitness" is to lose weight "tone up", get rid of a body part or otherwise alter the look of her body to one that is normatively considered correct for a women.

Often women turn up at a facility and have goals of this type thrust upon them, because that's got to be why they are there, right?

But more and more, it's not. Plenty of women are fed up with people telling them to get smaller, and whether you are one of those women, or someone trying to help those women, I'm going to throw you a primer.

Not sure what your new goal should be? Not sure what to offer a client who doesn't want to get "lean and toned" thanks very much? Here's some starting ideas. They are a mix of goal orientated targets, process orientated targets and improvement markers which come with increased fitness. Let's go....

Performance goals


  • Get your first full push up.
  • Get your first strict pull up.
  • Deadlift/backsquat your own bodyweight.
  • Enter your first competition.
  • Learn to do box jumps (or any other tricky movement).
  • Run 5k without stopping, or improve 5k time.


Movement improvement


  • Complete a bodyweight overhead squat in good form (this would require corrective programming to iron out dysfunction).
  • Develop a good running gait (measured by video analysis).
  • Eliminate hyperlordosis.
  • Learn to brace correctly when lifting.
  • Learn a new animal flow movement and execute it well.



Health - existing conditions


  • Take less painkiller for back/knee pain .
  • Reduce blood pressure (for hypertensives).
  • Increased time between rolling ankles/losing knee on stairs etc


Health - general



  • Be able to climb the stairs at work without stopping for a breather.
  • Eat a portion of vegetables with every meal.
  • Walk the dog 5 times a week.
  • Improve pelvic floor strength (look for improvement in existing issues, eg, being able to do jumping jacks...)
  • Develop balance - assess through accomplishment of balance based exercise.



Energy and fatigue



  • Have enough energy to reduce morning coffee intake.
  • Get up without snoozing the alarm every weekday.
  • Go to bed by 10.30pm every weeknight.


Lifestyle and mental



  • Complete 3 workouts a week for 6 weeks.
  • Eat one meal a day sat at a table with a family and friend, consistently for 2 weeks.
  • Do 10 minutes mindfulness meditation daily for a month
  • Find a programme that you enjoy and stick to it for the whole block


Unconventional aesthetics



  • Get bulky (think shoulder/quad circumference)
  • Build bicep definition.
  • Put on a specified amount of lean mass.


So why do we always think about weight loss when there are so many, much more interesting, other things we could be doing?



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