Goal Setting

with Marshall, Weightlifting

Learn one of the first steps to starting your fitness journey. Take a look at some insights from Outrivals trainer, Marshall, and use his goal setting tips, framework, and know-how to decide how you can develop your own fitness goals. 

So what is Marshall’s goal for the future?

“Of course in the future, you want to be successful, you want to be healthy, and you want to be handsome still if you can be.”

Marshall’s Kingdom of the Strong

Goal setting with Marshall

Marshall’s future fitness goals include having a gym of his own. This is because being in and working at a gym gives him enjoyment and fulfillment. Just like any effectively set goal, Marshall’s vision for his future gym is specific and honed to match his personal fitness style; he wants to create a workout space with positive vibes.

“Not the kind of gym with people smashing weights all over the place.”

From what he has experienced during his time at Outrivals, Marshall would also want to adopt the same sense of community and personalisation that he feels in the Old Street gym, where people know your name and you know their names. 

“A boutique gym with a good environment, and where people are respectful. I’d like to have one of those.”

“I said, ‘Hot tub.'”

Marshall fully enjoys working with his clients at Outrivals in their fitness journeys. But one of the reasons that influenced the creation of this personal goal was the development of his own ideas that he would want to implement in a gym facility.

Some ideas he’s shared are a rock wall for climbers, or a basketball hoop, or a crash mat for him to do backflips on. But obviously, a gym can’t cater for everything and everyone. Maybe spending money on a crash mat isn’t for everybody. And clearly, you can’t go around putting hot tubs everywhere (as nice as that sounds). 

The biggest highlight of creating Marshall’s gym would be the excitement of experimenting and putting his personal touch on the environment. 

Goal setting with Marshall

“I like jokes, so I’d like to create a nice, friendly, fun place where you work hard but you have a good time as well.”

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

Setting personal goals is obviously for yourself. But that consists of more than just what it sounds like.

“For myself, I look in the mirror and think, ‘Holy guacamole, I need to workout!'”

Goal setting with Marshall 3

Marshall began his training at the gym when he was around 20 years old. Before then, he would go to the gym, not know what he was doing there, and basically walk around and pick up a weight here and there. He didn’t have a clue. When he was 20, Marshall was introduced properly to fitness by a friend, who would take him and some other mates around. Marshall was guided by his friend through chest-days, leg-days, arm-days, and shoulder-days.

“On leg-days, sometimes I never turned up because I didn’t really like it. I only liked the vein stuff; when you look in the mirror and you look big with popping veins.”

“Too much at the top, nothing at the bottom? You’re gonna tip over, right?”

At the time, Marshall didn’t know what it meant to be top-heavy, nor did he care. He simply wanted to look good in a t-shirt. Later, that changed and he began to enjoy leg-days, realizing the importance of exercising them. Marshall found that when his legs were strong, everything was strong. Legs are important for building strength and maintaining balance. Now, Marshall absolutely appreciates squats, deadlifts, and lunges.

One of the best ways to develop personal fitness goals is just by looking in the mirror. That way, you can physically see areas of improvement. This is one method Marshall uses as well. He looks at his image in the mirror and compares it to where he wants to be. Personally, he focuses on being proportional to his ideal body image. This is largely in part to the kung fu films he watched growing up, as well as his personal role model, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“For me, when I watched that guy, he was just amazing to watch…He just has a screen presence. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I guess I just wanted a bit of what he’s got.”


Goal setting with Marshall 4

When Marshall sets goals with his clients, he tries to stay out of the way. His role is simply a guide and developer. He first makes a point to listen to what his clients want to achieve, but sometimes this can be vague, lacking, or inaccurate. This is when he steps in to combine his clients’ wants with what he sees to be their needs. 

As a trainer, you have to go with what you can see sometimes. And of course, when problem areas are identified they should be shared with the client. In this way, trainers can influence and shape their clients’ goals. it’s a matter of finding the balance between what the client wants and what the trainer determines is a need. 

“At the end of the day, I want [my clients] to move well, be strong, be fit, and not have any injuries when they come here.”

Want & Need

“When I first started training clients, I had this thing where I just wanted to beast people.”

Many people feel that a workout is only good or effective when they feel completely exhausted or torn up. But according to Marshall, that’s not exactly the case.  

Goal setting with Marshall 5

“I’ve made people sick and when you do that as a trainer, you think, ‘Yeah, I made them sick!’ But then at the same time, maybe that’s not very nice.”

Most people can agree that vomiting doesn’t feel very nice. If anything, it’s a bit embarrassing. This is why when Marshall witnesses something that seems to be heading in that direction, he makes it his business to intervene and calm it down. He stops escalation before it gets to that “sick point.” Many trainers adopt this “beasting” to prove their ability to push clients as trainers, but Marshall has made the decision not to go in that direction. We’ve watched the boot camps on t.v. with people getting absolutely slaughtered during a workout. Maybe some people like it, but for Marshall, it’s a bit much. Ultimately, it comes down to the relationship between the client and the trainer, and how well the trainer can read the client’s responses. 

“If I see someone super red, looking like they’re dizzy and seeing stars, I’ll calm it down. But if there’s someone that I push and they’re smiling at me, I think in my head, ‘Alright, this joker can take it!'”

Be Realistic…but don’t be

When setting goals, you want to stay within your circle of what’s achievable. This pertains to both clients and trainers mainly because you never know how long the relationship between the trainer and client will be.  

To Marshall, one of the easiest scenarios in which a game plan can be established is when his client has a future event that they want to prepare for, usually a wedding or holiday. But having that future time constraint motivates his clients to work harder. Having this time constraint allows Marshall to decided what the agenda is and the processes they will take to achieve the client’s fitness goals. 

The timeline depends on what the client wants to achieve while maintaining a realistic progression. This means more than being determined to be fit for the next month. being fit should be for the rest of your life. 

“What’s the point of being fit for a wedding and then losing that health for the rest of your life?”

Don’t be silly

Goal setting can be extremely broad, which can make it either very easy or very difficult. First, you have to know what you want from yourself. Second, you have to be realistic with what you’re physically able to do. We’ve all seen inspirational videos of people with amputated limbs doing incredible things with their bodies. This doesn’t mean that your goals need to imitate or be on par with these, but it means that you shouldn’t limit yourself.

Goal setting with Marshall 6

“Keep it simple, achievable, and realistic. But at the same time don’t limit yourself, because if you have a dream and know in your heart that’s what you want, go for it. Don’t let me say no. Just do it.”