Exercise Nutrition

What does SMART mean when it comes to Fitness & Nutrition?



You might have heard the term ‘SMART’ being used within the fitness industry. I have my own take on what ‘SMART’ means but first let me explain the general term. ‘SMART’ is used to set goals for personal training clients or gym members. As a personal trainer, I myself use this 5 part goal setting method for my clients but sometimes it just isn’t enough.

Heres what SMART stands for

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Realistic

T – Time

Specific means that the goal must be in detail rather than a vague statement like ‘I want to lose weight and tone up’. A more specific goal would be to ‘drop 20 pounds and work on the shape of my arms.’

Measurable means that you must have a way to track progress to ensure that improvements are taking place. This could be done using body scales, measurements, or various fitness tests.

Attainable means that a clients goal must be achievable for that individual. There is no point in setting a client a goal to run a marathon next week if they have just completed their first 5k run.

Realistic means that the goal must be realistic. Yes I just stated the obvious. There is no point in telling someone who cant swim, that in four years time they will be representing their country in the Olympics and set a new world record.

Time is the final of the five. Without a set time you could just prolong the goal and then before you know it 5 years have gone by and you are still sat on the sofa eating Ben and Jerrys ice cream.

So there is my brief explanation of what SMART stands for. As I mentioned before it is a great tool for any goal setting whether it be exercise related or not. I do however have my own view on what SMART means and without it I don’t think you will get too far down the yellow brick road.

To me smart means being smart in your decision making. Did you really need to have the extra bit of cheese on your sandwich? Was it smart to go to the gym on an empty stomach. Was it smart to have two cheat days instead of one?

Smart means mentally preparing yourself for the journey you are about to go on. There will be some highs and some lows. There will also be times you want to quit, times you need to push that little bit harder, there will also be times where you have to eat something you don’t fancy over something mouth watering and tempting. Without a positive, driven mindset you will more than likely fall at the first hurdle.

Smart means making a pledge to commit to the lifestyle changes needed for a better future. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You will be feeling good both inside and out. Smart is planning your week to make sure there are no slip ups. Making sure all food needed is at home, preparing any meals for any busy parts of the week. Scheduling which days you will be going to the gym and what time. A routine makes things ever so much easier.

It means getting up off your couch and instead of watching people act, play sport, or sing on TV then get out there and change your future. There is so much out there. If anyone asks you to do an activity you haven’t done before then say YES!!!

Make improvements, track your progress, set targets that challenge you but are achievable, hold yourself accountable for your own actions, inspire yourself by the results you are achieving, praise yourself, and finally reward yourself.



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