In studies which compare the effectiveness of different working practices results have shown that people with tight deadlines are more effective and productive than those who have more relaxed or unspecified deadlines. The end date provides the employee with a specific time frame in which a certain task is to be completed.

When exercising the same principles are applicable. When people have a clear, defined goal they have more focus and approach their training with a more positive and determined attitude. Deadlines appear in various forms. One person might want to tone up for their wedding, another might be awaiting surgery and someone else could be training to run a 5k. The goals are all different but the one thing they have in common is an exact date by which they need to have completed the required work.

Once the goal has been established it then often makes sense to set intermediate goals especially if the deadline is the following year. This provides a series of ‘stepping stones’ towards the main goal and helps maintain focus and motivation along the way. Example of this would be losing 1-2 lb (only if required) or gradually increasing the distance you can run every week.

If you’re training for general weight loss or health reasons with no specific deadline consider setting some objective goals to provide more focus. This could be to achieve a certain number of pull ups or to dead lift a certain weight by a specific date.


Your personal trainer should be able to help you with your goal setting and devise a suitable training plan. The sooner you have a goal the more effective and rewarding your training will be.