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  1. #1
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Setting a Realistic Goal(s)

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    I wasn't sure whether this was best suited to Nutrition or Fitness, but given the "80% body composition is driven by what you eat" creedo, I figured this would be the better spot.

    I started out in August at 207 lb, an all-time high for me. In mid Sep I was 200 lb, 37" waist and 23.4% BF (and only really just starting with PB). By Nov 17, I was 182 lb, 35" waist and 19.7% BF.

    I'm thinking a good goal is to hit 170 lb, 33" or 34" waist and 15% BF by late March/early April. Is that too lenient a goal (ie, way too easy to hit) or not? Also, are some numbers off? For instance, if I hit 15% BF, would I be more likely to hit 32" waist simply as a result of that instead of 34"? I'm just milimeters shy of 6' tall, by the way, if that helps.

    Currently (I think):

    5'11" (we'll say -- it's the height I'm using for various calculations, anyway)
    180 lb
    35" waist (though it might be closer to 34" since Nov 17)
    ~19% BF

    I'm trying to be realistic and keep up a solid progress, but I'm having trouble visualizing a goal that gives me something to actually work towards... but without being a target I'll almost certainly fall short of.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    lizch's Avatar
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    I'd go or the 170 goal, live there a while and see how you feel. If you aren't satisfied, set a new goal.

    This issue of "what should my goal be" will be a lifelong challenge on primal, because you'll meet your initial goal relatively quickly. When the problem of "I'm too fat/I don't have enough muscle" is fixed forever, what's your goal THEN? I've been facing that head-on lately.
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

  3. #3
    iniQuity's Avatar
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    I can’t comment on your waist question because I’ve no idea how that would work. I’m not entirely sure what mine is but I went from 175lb 34’ to ~150lb 31’ .. and I’m not sure if I’m a true 31 because most of my jeans are 32’ but they’re all lose while my workpants (also 32’) are a more comfortable fit, but not snug. Jeans stretch though, so going by that I can’t really tell.

    You’d be surprised how your goals change in just a couple of weeks, I think it’s reasonable to shoot for 10lbs in 4 months, if your diet is on point and you’re not a big time snacker/cheater then you should have no problems, I’d say if you’re strict with yourself (whilst having some fun in life regarding food and stuff, this is key) you’ll probably hit 170 sooner than you think. Get your lifts in there (or whatever resistance training you like) and make sure to get your sprints in there too. Yes, I do believe food is most important, but I think I heavily under estimated the value of heavy lifting and sprint training. Now that I’m doing more of both I feel a lot better, and I think my body is shaping up too.

    I’m on whole30 right now and its taught me a lot of discipline and also the value of NOT snacking (on non-primal junk, that is, but I’m also not a primal snacker) because now I’m finally busting through a long “plateau” though calling it that is unfair because I was sabotaging myself.

    Looking forward to seeing your progress, please keep us updated!

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizch View Post
    I'd go or the 170 goal, live there a while and see how you feel. If you aren't satisfied, set a new goal.

    This issue of "what should my goal be" will be a lifelong challenge on primal, because you'll meet your initial goal relatively quickly. When the problem of "I'm too fat/I don't have enough muscle" is fixed forever, what's your goal THEN? I've been facing that head-on lately.
    I remember an article by Martin of Leangains.com regarding that. It sounds like one of those good problems to have, “I’ve reached my body comp goal.. I worked hard for this… umm… what do I do now?” It’s almost a bit scary to think about.

    Personally, I can’t lie, I do want to look a certain way, but I’m also trying to have other goals that motivate me to workout and eat right that are not just what I want my body composition to be. I think in that fashion I can always push myself despite having achieved a desired look, whenever that happens. I’m heavily into trying to achieve some bodyweight feats, so I like that I’m working towards those goals, but I’d be lying if I don’t get a little too excited when I see progress in the mirror, sometimes that excitement is bigger than the one I get from getting closer to a body-feat goal. Meh, it’s going to be nice to look good naked, but it’s also going to be rather empty if there isn’t something behind it, something you can do with your body. That’s my thinking. Especially because literally nobody cares what my abs look like – except for me.

  5. #5
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. I've been doing all the PB fitness stuff -- walking a lot, taking the stairs, etc. (I walk the 5.3km to work twice a week, also); doing resistance exercises (I'm only on progression 2 and 3 of the essential movements, so I'm taking it easy and not going nuts); though I'll admit I have yet to do a sprint. The timing's been crappy and I need to get some proper clothes so I don't cause myself to become sick. (Ottawa winters suck, so I'm trying to avoid "poisonous things"... like hypothermia and pneumonia. heh)

    I agree on the waist thing. Mine fluctuates. I had to have a new hole punched in my belt, and I go back and forth between using it and the one an inch and a quarter larger. I'm not really using that as a firm measurement, but I do have some clothes I haven't fit into since 2006-07 that I'd like to try on in the spring and fit into.

    Mostly it's a BF % thing. After all, I hit a point where I knew I'd lost weight, yet I hadn't. So I'd lost BF but no weight due to muscle mass. Weight's not a great guide, either, then (I figure).

    So other than BF%, how are people setting measurable goals? I guess one of the things I like about PB generally is that firm goals aren't needed. You see the damn results, and if you want better, you alter things slightly and carry on!

  6. #6
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    I say you forget the weight and waist measurement all together and just go by your BF% and how you look in the mirror.
    "Live Free or Die"

  7. #7
    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    So other than BF%, how are people setting measurable goals? I guess one of the things I like about PB generally is that firm goals aren't needed. You see the damn results, and if you want better, you alter things slightly and carry on!
    This!

    Also, though I think sprints cannot be replaced (you're not running unless you're running, you know?) I do think if weather is really shitty or whatever, just doing some metabolically expensive work can at least take its place for a bit. I still strongly suggest heading out there and facing it at least once a month or something but in mean time you can try some burpees at home.

    This morning I tried some high jumps, basically squat down, jump up and bring your knees up, when you land bend your knees and explode up again. I thought it’d be easy… but it’s not! It’s pretty damn tough! I wanted to do ten but crapped out at 6! Be careful though, the landing can be a bit rough.

    I’m going to start adding those to my before shower routine. I got into the habit of doing a quick workout before showering on off-days, I like to earn my showers. I typically just bust out some type of push ups or something, but now I’m going to add at least one round of these high jumps. I think over time it will help, so consider that on those cold Ottawa days. Straight up burpees would work too, the high jump can be incorporated into the burpee but the push-up portion gives you a bit of a rest which might defeat the purpose.

  8. #8
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Good ideas, iniQuity! I'll need to be careful with the burpees, though, as I live in an apartment building. I was also thinking of the shuttle-run test replacement that the military sometimes uses. You basically step up two stairs and back down, slowly increasing the pace. I seem to recall that doing quite a number on me. It's also useful if space/equipment is at a premium. Hmmm...

    Thanks again!
    "Oh, you wanted answers...yeah, sorry, I'm not so good with those. Uh, probably something to do with science or something..." -- canio6

    August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

    Sometimes blogging as The Primal Mind. (My unorthodox and filthy-mouthed journal is semi-retired at this point)

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