In this boot camp blog I want to discuss the importance of assessing your current ability and identifying the types of assessments you should to carry out. I will also discuss goal setting ie choosing an appropriate goal that will motivate you to train more effectively in a manageable way. Assessments and goal setting are paramount if you intend on measuring the effectiveness of a given intervention.
When it comes to boot camp health and fitness the majority of the population use body weight as a determinant. This is where most people get it wrong! There are several reasons using weight loss as an assessment and goal can cause problems as it does not take into account fat loss and muscle gain. You can be training for several weeks or months and the body can lose a significant amount of body fat while increasing muscle mass. The story on the scales may be interpreted as ‘no change’ and therefore prevent that person from continuing in the specific intervention.
A while ago I had a client that trained with me over a 12-week period; he was only a couple of stone overweight. During the first 6-8 weeks his weight remained the same, his performance, however, had increased significantly. The distance he could run in 60 minutes had increased from 7.3km to 9.5km, the amount of press-ups he could do in one minute had jumped from 18 to 32 and his sit-up assessment had improved in a similar manner. If I had not carried out the other assessments and just weighed him each week I am pretty sure he would have given up. However, as the good news continued over the final 4 weeks of his personal training course his weight dropped by 2 stone. Not only did he lose the weight but eight years later he has managed to maintain it.
So next time you decide to assess your current ability may I suggest you do not just weigh yourself – it is ok to weigh yourself but do it in conjunction with other varied physiological boot camp assessments:
The more boot camp assessments you carry out the more informative the reading will be when you re-assess.
Now let’s move on to boot camp goal setting. When someone states that they want to lose weight for me it is like a young person stating they want to be rich. Let me explain – you can walk around until you are blue in the face saying that you want to be rich but it will not increase your bank balance. If you want to be rich, unless you are going to rob a bank, you need to work hard at school, you need to come up with a future plan and decide on a career that pays the appropriate wage. You need to be frugal with your finances and not squander wastefully. I think this example fits in very nicely with health, fitness and weight loss.
If you use weight loss as a goal it does not give direction. For me, weight loss is a by-product of achieving an effective physical goal. Let’s say that you can currently run for about 8 minutes before walking and you decide to set a three month goal of being able to run for 60 minutes. The next time you turn up to the treadmill for your scheduled 10 minute jog you know that if you don’t manage that 10 minutes the following week, when it is upped to 15 minutes, you will not be able to complete it – it therefore gives direction. Also, if you do stick to an effective and progressive training plan and in three months manage to complete your 60 minute boot camp run, I guarantee the weight loss will look after itself. If you think running for 60 minutes could be your three month challenge and would like more information on how to achieve this please check out my other fitness boot camp blog.
Well there you have it … it is not all about weight loss. I hope you have found this blog beneficial and would appreciate it if you could share on your various social media channels. Happy training and if you would like to receive a free weekly training plan or more information about the 5 day boot camps I run please check out our fitness boot camp website.