Setting a goal for my own training


I’ve recently started working at a gym as a personal trainer, a big name gym actually. And I couldn’t be happier.I decided that I wanted the security of a salary for now, and knowing I have a space in which to train my clients. I sent out applications to a bunch of gyms in my area and voila, I landed a job. And recently, I booked my first client there. I couldn’t be happier.

Talking to gym members, I’m also starting to realise that I know more than I think I do, and that people actually listen and look for my knowledge, which is a weird feeling. I haven’t felt very confident about my skills in the last few months (or anything in general!) and I’m finally starting to feel where I fit in all this.

My only issue is that so far, my own fitness has taken a hit. Between Watson (my dog) and the shifts I do, I’m finding it difficult to find a rhythm and train. Especially when I’m on the late shift (which is most of the time anyway).

In order to kick myself in gear, I decided I needed a goal, and not something around losing weight, looking more defined, or even being able to do a certain amount of pull-ups. I needed something specific, with a date and something I could easily tick as complete or not.

During a conversation I had recently in a course, my goals and motivations were the centre of an exercise within my group, and I mentioned that I liked the TV programme Ninja Warrior and that my general fitness goal is to be able to do what they do, not necessarily that same course, but just knowing I have the ability and skills to do those obstacles. The tutor found it interesting and essentially told me I should sign up. Of course, there’s no way I’m going to do that, I’m too shy to appear on a TV programme like that! But he, and my group, kept insisting, so I said I would just have a look at the dates anyway, and leave it at that.

To my relief, the deadline to apply to the UK one is in July, and I’m nowhere near that level of fitness, which means I wouldn’t be ready for it in time, so I had my excuse there. However, it gave me an idea...and a year to train.

By July next year, I want to be fit enough so that I can apply to Ninja Warrior UK (and not embarrass myself!)

A year is a long time though, and setting a goal so far away in time is risky, because it’s easy to see it as unsurmountable and also to let life get in the way and slowly lose motivation, so we need to set checkpoints in between in order to keep it going. A series of smaller goals that will allow me to keep the energy up and the motivation going, and also provide some sort of check on my progress. The easiest thing that comes to mind are obstacle races, like Tough Mudder (which was something I wanted to do at some point anyway), but I need more! Maybe I’ll do Go Ape as well, although I’m not sure it really relates... Suggestions welcome, by the way!

This month, I’ve started training my general strength and core strength, and I’m working on my pull-ups and balance. I’ve only done a couple of workouts (even though working in a gym is workout enough!), but so far it’s been mostly farmer’s walks, deadlifts, weighted squats, military press, rowing, chest press, hanging and lowering myself from pull-up bar, TRX inverted rows, and balance on BOSU (with eyes closed, I’ve never feared for my life so much before!). I’m also running, but no surprises there.

I need a good base, so I can then start working on specific things. Ideally, as soon as I have trained my grip and my core a bit more, I will start bouldering. Stuff like parkour should also help, and I bet I can train on my own.

I have a long way to go, but I have a whole year to train for this. I don’t expect to want to apply to the TV programme, but who knows what might happen then. I will update you on my progress and will share different workouts I do with all of you.

As a side note (and funny story), I might have convinced my new boss to train for Ninja Warrior too, so who knows, maybe you'll see us both on TV next year!