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Welcome to Fit to the Core’s “Everything you ever wanted to know about fitness” blog. Everyday people are bombarded with conflicting health and fitness messages by the media. It can be overwhelming. I hope to clear up some of those conflicting messages by sharing what I have learned over the years and what I am still learning. The fitness industry is a young industry that is constantly changing and evolving. Let me clear up some of the confusion.

Beverly Brewer Karpinski

Get SMART: Setting Your Exercise Goals

Now you’ve got your home gym set-up and you’re ready to get started.  Not sure where to start?  If you want to make progress and get results then it’s time to set some goals for yourself.


Most people start their fitness program with only a vague idea of how to get results.  To stick with your program and get the results you are looking for you will need to set SMART goals.  SMART goals are:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time Anchored.

Specific: Do you just want to lose weight or do you want to lose body fat?  There’s a big difference! How many pounds do you want to lose?  What is your body fat percentage right now and what would you like it to be?  How many inches do you want to lose?  What do you want to be able to do, look like, feel like?  The more specific you are, the better.

Measureable: Your goals need to be measureable.  This is why a fitness assessment is so important.  If you can’t afford a personal trainer, you may still want to spend the money for a fitness assessment.  This will give you a starting point.  It will include weighing you, taking measurements, conducting a body fat test, and taking a health history.  Other tests included may be a Vo2 max test, flexibility, muscular strength and endurance tests.  Once you have this information you can establish your goals.  These should include short term and long-term goals with specific dates when you want to achieve these goals.  You will also want to include performance, process and outcome goals.   The performance  and process goals will help you to achieve your outcome goals.

Attainable: These goals focus on activity that will produce results.  They use words such as “I will…I am going to…”.  It must be a goal that is attainable.

Realistic: Many people set goals that are too lofty or unrealistic, or evern dangerous – such as loosing 20 lbs in one month, or “I want to run a marathon in two months” when you have never ran before.  If your goal is too far out of reach, you will only get frustrated and quit.  You want your goals to be challenging but achievable.

Time Anchored: When do you want to reach your goals?  Set a long-term goal date, but also set dates for short-term goals.  This will help keep you motivated along the way.  An example of a long-term (outcome) goal would be “I will lose 12 lbs of body fat in three months (specific date).”  A short-term (process) goal would be “I will lose 1 lb per week by getting 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week and two weight training sessions per week. ”   As I mentioned before, you can also set performance goals.  Performance goals can help you achieve outcome goals.  An example of a long-term performance goal would be “I will get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day, six days per week, and weight training 3 times per week. ” A short-term performance goal would be  “I will get 30 minutes aerobic activity 2 times per week and 1 weight training session the first two weeks.  I will increase that to 30 minutes of aerobic activity 3 times per week and weight training to 2 times per week for the next two weeks.”

Last thought – make it personal!  Do it for yourself, not for someone else.  Don’t decide to lose weight because your doctor told you to do so.  You have to want to do it.  And remember, goals aren’t set in stone.  You need to reevaluate your goals on a regular basis and adjust as necessary.  More on goals later.

About the author

Beverly Brewer Karpinski
Beverly Brewer Karpinski
• Owner and director of "Fit to the Core" In-Home Personal Training
• Health and Fitness Inc. Certified Personal Trainer, 2001
• A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer, 2004
• Certified Master Fitness by Phone Coach, 2005
• Strength & Conditioning Personal Trainer Certificate, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix, AZ, 2008
• Wellness Editor, Puma Press, 2007-2008
• Currently in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise & Wellness.
• Fitness Manager & Director, Curves for Women, 2004-2006
• In-Home personal training, 2002-Present
• Personal Trainer, Naturally Women, 2004-2006
• Personal Trainer, Total Woman, 2001-2004
• Core Stability Specialty Training, Health and Fitness, Inc., 2001
• Advanced Biomechanics Training, Health and Fitness, Inc., 2001

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