Print This Page SparkPeople

5 Fitness Feats that are Worth the Training

Exciting Exercise Goals to Shoot For
  -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
We all know how important goal setting is to reaching our dreams. From walking four times a week to eating more fruits and veggies, declaring your healthy intentions is an awesome way to make positive changes in your life.

But if you’re looking for an exciting new goal that’ll push you (and inspire you) more than the standard "hit the gym regularly" or "drop 5 pounds," read on! We have five doable-yet-challenging fitness goals that are sure to enliven your workouts, refocus your fitness intentions and impress your friends.

Train for a Race
Whether it is a sprint triathlon, a 5K, a marathon or a 1-mile walk in your hometown, committing to a race is a sure-fire way to get motivated and moving. Choose an event that interests you and is at least a few months away, so that you have plenty of time to train for it. Also, be sure to choose a race that is appropriate for your fitness level but still a challenge. For example, if you’ve never run, signing up for a marathon probably isn’t the best idea. Instead, start with a 1-mile race or a 5K, if you have at least two months to train. On the flip side, if you can easily run 3 miles, then signing up for a 5K won’t really be much of a challenge, so go with a 10K, which is 6.2 miles.
Links to get started:
Spark Your Way to a 5K
Active.com (to find races near you)
Do a Pull Up
Pull-ups are a fantastic exercise for the back, shoulders and arms. Problem is, they’re not easy to do. For many exercisers—especially beginners and females—doing an unassisted pull up is one big audacious goal. Heck, even for those who hit the weight room regularly, doing a full pull up is tough. But it doesn’t have to be a pipe dream! With regular training, you, too, can do a full pull up, if not several of them. Put in the time to do the exercises listed in the link below, and you’ll be on your way to the title of Pull-Up King or Queen!
Link to get started:
You Can Progress to a Pull Up
Master Pushups
Most of us can do some form of pushup, whether it’s wall pushups, modified pushups on the knees or full pushups on your toes, but can you really say that you’ve mastered the pushup? That’s what this goal is all about: getting to the next level with pushups. Pushups are an awesome exercise for your chest, back and arms, but without making them a priority in your workouts, it’s easy to never progress from modified to full pushups on your toes. Commit to the workout plan linked to below, and within weeks you’ll feel like a GI Jane or Joe.
Links to get started:
You Can Do Perfect Pushups
The 100 Pushups Challenge
Beat Your Time
If focusing on completing a specific exercise isn’t your cup of tea, try focusing on something you can already do, but want to have more endurance while doing. For example, you may be able to do the plank for 20 seconds, but how awesome would it be to do it for two full minutes? Or if you’re really committed to making your legs stronger, then why not set a goal to stay down in a wall squat for a full minute? Follow the directions on the links below to set your goal time. Remember to do the exercise two to three times a week, in addition to your usual workout. And increase your time spent in each exercise a little each week. Before you know it, you’ll be surpassing your wildest endurance goals!
Links to get started:
Modified Plank
Wall Squats
Strike a Pose
If you feel like you’ve got the traditional cardio and strength down, why not try a yoga or Pilates goal? Some advanced Pilates moves like the Hundred and the Teaser are definitely hard to do without regular practice. In yoga, even poses like Triangle are challenging and give you something to strive for, especially if you’re not very flexible. And that’s why consistently incorporating some Pilates and yoga moves into your workouts and focusing on improving your ability to do them is so perfect—with regular practice you will get stronger and more flexible! You just have to commit to doing the exercises at least a couple times a week. (And for you advanced yogis out there, you can always try to master the more advanced poses like crane or firefly!)
Links to get started:
Skeptic’s Guide to Pilates
A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga
No matter which of these five goals you choose, you’ll find that having something fun to strive for makes you more motivated and makes your workouts more focused and enjoyable! And don’t forget, SparkPeople has all the tools, trackers and information you need to reach these goals and more!