Health Fitness Goals – Which Goals are Unrealistic?

Yep, there are fitness goals that are UNREALISTIC  and even STUPID, and I’ll list some of them here.  I’m not saying I haven’t been guilty of some of these myself, but nonetheless, they are not only unrealistic, but .just plain stupid.

We all want to look like Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Paul Walker or maybe Hugh Jackman. It’s probably not in the cards for most of us.  Our culture leads us to believe that we should want to look like these Hollywood stars.  We can’t. …..at least most of us can’t.

So there’s the first unrealistic goal…..look like a movie star.

Here are eight (8) more:

 

1.) GETTING A SIX PACK

This seems to be the ultimate fitness goal of almost everyone.   I read more articles for both men and women about getting a six pack than I do about any other subject. It’s the most obsessed-about body part that there is.

To get a six pack, you gotta start by inheriting some good genes.  If you come from a family that are mostly endomorphs, then you’ve got a bigger challenge than someone who has a natural mesomorph body type.  You can’t fight what you were born with.

No matter how many times a magazine uses a headline like “Flat Abs Fast,” unless you are already highly fit or were blessed with really fortunate genetics, it’s not likely you will ever be able to achieve six-pack abs in a short amount of time.

It really takes a lot of work, commitment, and a strict diet.  It also requires you have a body fat percentage of 8% or less   Good luck with that.

The truth is, a shredded belly is extremely hard to attain and doing so requires a lot more than performing ab exercises every day. It’s not impossible, but you’ve got to really want a six pack and be willing to do the work, diet and exercises to get there.

 

2.) WORKING OUT EVERY DAY

If someone already has an exercise routine and is consistent with it, then it’s possible to work out every day.  BUT WHY?

It’s not the best thing for you.  If you do decide to do this, take one or two easy days each week so your body can recover, like walking, light yoga or a really good stretch out.  Your body needs recovery for you to get the best results.

People who are new to exercise are better off planning 2-4 days of activity per week, and then actually doing it.

Overtraining is one of the worst things you can do to your body. The muscles actually get toned during the recovery stage when you’re resting.

 

3.) MAKING TOO MANY DRAMATIC CHANGES ALL AT ONCE

One of the most common mistakes that people make is to adopt a more fit and healthy lifestyle all at once   It’s best to make only a few changes every month and build up to having a healthy lifestyle.

Trying to do too much all at once is a mistake.   Avoid entire lifestyle overhauls overnight.  They don’t work.  They won’t stick.

People become overwhelmed and, as a result, they don’t stick to their new plan and end up falling off the wagon.

Depending on where you are in your fitness journey, less can absolutely be more. If you adopt only one new habit per month, your success rate will be as high as 80 percent. But when you try to increase to two habits per month, your success rate for either habit plummets to less than 20 percent.

 

4.) LOSING 20 POUNDS IN A MONTH

If you set unrealistic goals for weight loss, you’re gonna be disappointed.

So start out with realistic goals of say, 2 pounds a month.   That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you did that for a year, you’d lose 24 or so pounds.   It may sound boring and slow, but a slow loss can be maintained better than rapid weight loss.

You often see diets that guarantee you to lose 10 lbs in 7 days. No diet that guarantees rapid weight loss should be trusted.

At the beginning of a diet, your weight loss will be greater due to water loss, with more loss of body fat coming over the following weeks or months. That initial weight loss can be encouraging and you may get the idea you can do that forever.  Unfortunately, you’ll hit plateaus along the way.

 

5.) GOING ON A STRICT DIET

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Calorie-restricted diets that are nutritionally balanced absolutely do work for the short term, but they usually are so far from what you can maintain, that they are useless.

Many people make the mistake of not having a plan for coming off a strict diet, and after losing weight they just go back to how they were eating before and gain all the weight back.

Oftentimes, you will end up worse off than when you started.

 

 

 

6.) SPOT REDUCING

Strength training exercises will increase the mass and strength of specific muscles, but they will not burn fat from the area.

If you’re aiming for ripped abs, endless crunches and sit-ups won’t get you the results you’re looking for.  Folks just don’t understand that our body doesn’t work like that.

Yes, your muscles will become more defined if you concentrate on a specific muscle group, but you can’t choose which parts of your body will shed fat first by exercising those specific areas.

The idea that you can lose fat from a specific body part by working the muscle near it makes no sense because muscle and fat are gained and lost in different ways.
The reality is that you lose fat all over and not where you exercise.  The logic is simple: To help the body lose fat and keep muscle, people have to burn more calories than they take in.  It’s that simple.  It has nothing to do with what parts of the body you work out.

 

7.) GAINING LOTS OF MUSCLE IN A MONTH

You may not be exercising to lose weight.  You may be starting a workout plan to gain weight and look fantastic.   GREAT GOAL! Congratulations on the goal.

If this is your goal, expecting unrealistic results is often an issue.

In the same way that a guy shouldn’t get too ambitious with his weight loss goals, you too must be reasonable when setting your fitness goals. If you expect to be able to do 50 pushups in one week when you can only currently do 15, you will be disappointed.  If you expect to gain 20 lbs of lean muscle in a month, you’ll be disappointed.

If you expect to be able to bench press 175 lbs in one week when you can only currently press 125, you will be disappointed.  If you expect to gain 20 lbs of lean muscle in a month, you’ll be disappointed.

If you expect to gain 20 lbs of lean muscle in a month, you’ll be disappointed.

It is important to use your first few weeks, if you are just beginning to train, as an adjustment period to see how your body responds to exercise and then set realistic goals based on your first few weeks of working out.

Instead of deciding that you want to bench press 175 lbs by the end of the week, aim to bench press 130 by the end of the month. Only by taking things slowly and being happy with small, progressive results will you have any hope of reaching your ultimate goal.

 

8.) RELYING ON SUPPLEMENTS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

A lot of folks believe that with the right supplements, they can develop an incredible body simply by taking the supplements.  DON’T BELIVE IT !

Some supplements are required to get to your goals if your goals involve gaining muscle, but a high dosage of supplements without a doctor’s guidance is never a good idea. The gym-goer is advised to investigate the credibility of what they’re consuming.

You should do some research on the side effects of each and every supplement you take, and you are advised to investigate the credibility of the trainer who recommends certain supplements.

A guy who works out more than 4 days a week might need different nutrition from a normal person’s, so supplements may be part of your overall nutrition plan.  The approach must be an informed one.

Just don’t think supplements will do the work for you.  You gotta hit the gym.

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SUMMARY 

Getting into the best shape of your life is not quick or easy.  Those are the facts.

Start with realistic goals, commit for the long haul and stay consistent and dedicated.

I have made many of these mistakes myself because I wanted instant results like many folks do.  I have learned the hard way that getting in shape and staying there is not easy.  I now have realistic expectations and goals.  I can meet them because they’re realistic.  It’s taken me years not weeks to get to where I wanted to be.

See you at the gym.

 

About "W" Tucker 49 Articles
I've been a fitness enthusiast for many years and want to encourage guys over 40 to get and stay in shape. It makes life better, and makes you look and feel better.

6 Comments

  1. Hey man, first of all thanks for this great, interesting and very informative article on fitness goals. I really have to agree with you and your goals. Many people develop unrealistic goals because of movies and people they see online. Just like most things in life, reaching your fitness goals is a consistent and longer term process, which can’t be done in a few days, weeks or sometimes even months.

    • thanks for the comments.  you are so right.  Many of us set unrealistic goals and don’t realize and then get discouraged because they don’t happen easily.

  2. Hello “W” Tucker,

    Your website is a great site! I really enjoyed all the information it provides on how to stay young.
    The content is very encouraging to read. I like the fact that it’s broken down into age groups so that no matter your age, you can exercise regardless of age. Reading the content gives you the encouragement & motivation needed to get started. Not only does your content provide engagement but at the same time it offers a great deal of value.
    The inclusion of pictures & videos really makes your website interesting. I enjoyed watching the YouTube videos. Adding videos is a great idea & would like to incorporate some videos into my website.
    The idea that “age is just a number” is truly realistic. I’m in my 40’s but sometimes feel like I’m older than that. Anyway, you’re an inspiration to all of us. You’re website provides a lot of helpful tips & insights on how stay young. The information you provide in your website is relevant in today’s society. With cell phones, tablets, computers, & internet controlling our lives, it’s no wonder we’ve gotten unhealthy.
    Thank you for creating your website. I have bookmarked it since I plan to come back & also refer others to your website. Wish you a great deal of wealth & health.

    • Daniel, thanks so much for your comments.  Your comments are welcome because sometimes I think what I’m doing is not useful, so thanks for the encouraging words.  I truly am committed to providing information and encouragement to folks over 40 to get in shape and stay in shape so they can have active, vibrant lives. 

  3. Lovely post man, you really smashed some myths there!

    I totally agree with you on all points. Losing fat quickly means you’re also losing precioue muscle mass. Rapid weight on the other hand would be mostly LARD.

    As for six pack abs – haha. Everyone is throwing mad advice how to quickly get them, yet only a handful men have them at the beach.

    • There are so many myths in the weight lifting world.  They persist, unfortunately. 

      Yes, a six pack is a rare thing because you have to be genetically inclined, work like crazy and have a perfect diet.  Something most of us are not willing to do. 

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