Lesson 1-Creating Goals

Goals-The Foundation of Your Bodybuilding Success by Scott Jameson

“If you don’t know where you are going, any path will do”

As with any worthy endeavor including the sport of bodybuilding, goals are an essential part of being a winner. I know what you are thinking, I just train hard and eat right and everything will turn out right…right? Wrong. Oh sure you can make progress, but how do you know if you have pushed hard enough or watched your diet close enough. Goals will help you choose the path that supports the outcome.

I remember as kid that a farmer told me to keep his rows straight he focused his eyes on a fixed object off in the distance. As soon as he dropped his eyes lower to the front of the tractor, the rows began go wavy. Whether you are driving a Ford tractor or driving weights to build your chest, goals are an essential.

So what are good goals in bodybuilding?

I have spent 30 years in business world and good goals are goals that are SMART. SMART is an acronym for





Time bound

“Specific” means to clearly define what is to be accomplished. For example, specifically you may want to gain 10 pounds of muscle in the next 12 months. If you are concerned about body fat you may want to include “at what % body fat”.

“Measurable” is an aspect of specific. Measurable means that the goal is objective rather than subjective. A subjective goal might be “I will have more of the bodybuilder shape in the next 12 months. A nice goal but it is not measurable. An objective goal would be the quantification of the bodybuilder shape. For example; “I will achieve a 40 inch chest/back measurement and a 32 inch waist measurement in the next 12 months.”

Notice how the Measurable goal drives your behavior in the gym and at the next Home Town Buffet meal.

“Aligned” means to be in harmony with other life goals. Bodybuilding though it may be important to you, need to align with other goals such family, work and health. For about 8 years, I lived and breathed bodybuilding. At 31 years old, my wife gave birth to twin boys, “Daddy’s Training Partners”. At this time, I had to make some tough choices. Was I going to be a Dad or completely a gym jock? My choice was, I think a wise one. I reorganized my gym time and became more flexible to my wife’s needs. Believe me I kept the gym important but not at the inconvenience of her. When I did this for her she was more sympathetic to an occasional inconvenience.

Be wise. Be holistic in your approach to your life goals. Failure to choose wisely can cause an even greater loss in all your life goals (especially Bodybuilding) if you go through a divorce or deal with out of control kids. Get your priorities right and align bodybuilding appropriately. Okay enough preaching.

“Realistic” means to choose an accomplishment that is reasonably attainable in the time frame mentioned. For example, don’t set your goal to win the National Bodybuilding Contest next year when you haven’t even competed this year. By the same token, don’t set the bar (no pun intended) so low that you can loaf your way to success. Make the goal a stretch but realistically attainable. When I suggested a goal “to add 10 pounds of solid muscle next year” that would be a good stretch goal. By the way, 10 pounds of muscle is a lot. This is not same to 10 pounds of weight on the bathroom scale until you check that body fat.

My favorite ridiculous goal

Right after the first pretty spring day where guys can and do take their shirts off, the following Monday you’ll see a lot of guys flock to the gym that you haven’t seen since Christmas holidays. I laugh when I hear them say, “I am going to get in shape for the summer”. Well bud, if you aren’t 90% in shape right now, you are not going to be in shape for summer. It just don’t work that quick.

“Time Bound” means to frame what you want to accomplish with when you will complete it. If you noticed in my examples above, time was included in the goal. “I will achieve a 40 inch chest/back measurement and a 32 inch waist measurement in the next 12 months.”

Now with your goal complete, create in between milestones and measurements. If you goal is to gain 10 pounds of muscle in 12 months, work to gain 5 pounds in 6 months. If you goal is attain a certain body part measurement, create some in between milestones.

Okay so there you have it, the framework for creating a SMART goal. Now snap to it. Write it down. Write it on 2 index cards and place copies on the refrig and bathroom mirror.