My old friend and former co-worker, Nick Tumminello* just wrote a post that ended:

“ … to many clients, “getting results” from exercising isn’t about achieving impressive deadlift numbers or to build a wider back – those are gym-rat goals. It simply means staying active, overcoming physical challenges, and enjoying each workout. Those are respectable goals – goals the personal trainer should encourage and be proud to help facilitate.”

That’s exactly our philosophy at 29 Again Custom Fitness, and I’m one of those proud trainers.

Sure, everybody would like to look better, and, sure, you’ll lose some weight, but that’s probably not your focus.

One of the salient points (looks like “salient” is my Word of the Week) about my gym is that we’re all over 40 – with most of us pushing 50 or even above (like me). Unlike standard gyms and bootcamps that sell “hot,” “sexy,” and “look great naked,” we have different, more mature goals. (Nothing personal, kids.)

– Goals like post-rehab, delaying or even preventing surgery, learning to exercise without injury, being a healthy role model for your family, or simply showing up consistently when you had never been consistent with any other exercise program before.

We don’t judge you by your times or weights up on a whiteboard. And no one brags about their max lifts.

My calipers are dusty and I’m not quite sure where my measuring tape even is. [Although I can still recite all the sites verbatim as if I had an ACSM exam scheduled tomorrow!]

When my fancy body weight/body fat scale died, I never replaced it because my happiest clients (many of whom have been with me for over 10 years) aren’t concerned with numbers.

Yes, as a personal trainer and Healthy Habit Enhancer, I know I’m supposed to promote S.M.A.R.T. goals, with the “S,” of course, meaning “specific,” but it may be even more important to have fuzzier goals like feeling better about your body and about yourself, too.


*(Yes, NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year and ACE Personal Trainer of the Year (and 3-time NSCA finalist Are Your Goals Mature? together at a little gym north of the fitness Mecca known as Baltimore)

Are Your Goals Mature?

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