Advertising
Advertising

How to Set Goals Like Katie Ledecky

How to Set Goals Like Katie Ledecky

This past summer Katie Ledecky showed the world that she is better at swimming than the rest of us are at pretty much anything.

She thoroughly cleaned up in Rio, winning four gold medals—three of them individual—and a silver. Her 400 and 800m freestyle wins were devastating, with her margin of victory in the latter a staggering 11-plus seconds. She swept the 200-400-800m freestyles, something that hadn’t been done since 1968, displaying a once-in-a-generation range of speed and ability.

She’s now a two time Olympian, kicked an American Ninja Warrior’s butt at a made-up game on Ellen, and tossed a heater when she threw the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game.

And did we also mention that she’s only nineteen years old?

Here are some goal setting tips us mortals can pick up from the greatest active swimmer on the planet:

Advertising

Keep them visible.

Thinking and dreaming about our goals is easy. Everyone does that. If you are even mildly serious about crushing your goal, jotting it down and having it in sight is almost mandatory.

After all, something changes when you take literally five seconds to write down your goal. It becomes a little more real.

When Ledecky and her coach Bruce Gemmell sat down after the 2013 FINA World Championships, where she rocked the world records in the 800m and 1500m freestyles, they discussed what was possible over the next three years leading into Rio. They decided on two goal times: 3:56 for the 400m freestyle, and 8:05 for the 800m freestyle.

Even though they kept the goals to themselves as they prepared for the Olympics, the goals she had set were never far—she had written “565” to signify her two goal times on her pull buoy. Every day during her swimming workouts, during the long 8,000-9,000-yard training sessions with a nearly endless number of flip turns, those three little numbers were there waiting for her, motivating her, reminding her of the purpose of all the work.

And how did she do in Rio? She pretty much nailed her goals right over the head, swimming a 3:56.46 in the 400m freestyle, and 8:04.79 in the 800m freestyle.

Advertising

Be willing and ready to fail.

The word failure carries with it so much negative baggage that the moment we slip up, fail, or otherwise disappoint ourselves we quit. We tell ourselves, “Ah, we didn’t really want it that bad” and move on to the next thing, never giving our goals a fair and consistent effort.

Which is too bad, because without the ability to brave the initial hurdles and resistance we can never truly improve or advance towards the hard and rewarding things we want from life.

One of Ledecky’s strengths is her willingness to fail in practice, to see past the initial struggle and keep at it. In Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, her coach related just how serious Ledecky was when it came to being willing to fail:

“There are days she fails catastrophically,” he said. “She fails in practice more than anybody in her [training] group, because she’ll start out like, ‘This is the pace I need to swim in the race, so I need to replicate it in practice.’ And she’ll go six repeats like that, and the tank goes empty and she just falls off. But you know what? She’ll come back the next day and try it again. And on the third day, she’ll nail it. And she’s been doing this since the first day I walked on the deck with her.”

Nobody likes failing at something or not being good at something the first time out. Being willing to fail is not about getting comfortable losing or sucking—it’s using the rage and frustration from not nailing it the first time to get the hang of it in future attempts.

Advertising

Surround yourself with people who will bring out the best in you.

If you looked at the people you keep in your circle, would you say that they are inspiring bigger and better things out of you, or are they encouraging mediocrity and the status quo?

When you hang out with people who are doing the things you want to do it’s inevitable that their influence will help push and propel you upwards.

Ledecky, having outpaced the female swimmers on her team, trained predominantly with male swimmers in the lead up to Rio. During altitude camps at the United States Olympic Training Center, she would go head to head with male swimmers on the national team and routinely “break” them.

One of the male swimmers that Ledecky “broke” included Conor Dwyer, who is no slouch himself in the middle distance swimming events—he placed 4th in the 400m freestyle in Rio and won a bronze in the 200m freestyle.

By surrounding herself with swimmers who were faster than her she rode their wake towards faster swimming, elevating her to times and records that are so far and above the competition it’s ridiculous.

Advertising

Meet and Exceed Your Goals

Whatever your goals are—whether it be learning how to swim faster freestyle, or get that promotion at work, or get in better shape—there are lessons that the top swimmer on the planet can teach you.

Write out your goals and keep them in sight. Be ready to fight back against those first few moments of difficulty. And surround yourself with people who will push you upwards.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

More by this author

How to Pick the Perfect Set of Swim Goggles 5 Benefits a Food Journal The Shocking Power of Prepping Your Meals 4 Cool Things That Happen When You Start Journaling Your Workouts How to Set Goals Like Katie Ledecky

Trending in Exercise

1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 25, 2020

10 Best Gym Equipments You Need in 2020

10 Best Gym Equipments You Need in 2020

Gone are those days when a healthy lifestyle and a perfect figure could be achieved only by starving oneself. In these modern times, we have a more proactive and a healthier alternative to the “dying and dieting” perspective. Today, it’s better to start investing in the best gym equipment for your home.

Initially, working out and physical training was an activity limited only to the four walls of a gym. However, now the concept of “home gym” is being adopted by a lot of people. At-home exercise equipment provides us with a more convenient and personalized space for working out in the company of various home gym machines.

The following article will guide you on how to design your very own perfect, compact home gym by highlighting some of the very best gym equipment in 2020 to invest in.

Things to Consider When Buying Equipment

There are a lot of factors to consider before you jump into buying everything you need for your home gym. Below, you’ll find some of the things you need to think about.

Space

Deciding on the best gym equipment is not an easy task. According to several home gym reviews, the most crucial step in designing at home gym is choosing a space that is appropriate and that will allow you to practice your daily regime with ease.

Having a clear idea about the space will help you choose the type of home workout equipment you can have. Home exercise equipment like free weights requires a maximum of 50 square feet of space, 30 square feet space is needed for treadmills, and the famous multi-gym station must-have 50-200 square feet.

Goals

Having clarity about what you want to achieve through your home gym equipment is essential. Some people are looking for a regimen that focuses more on weightlifting, while others prefer to practice more cardio exercises in the convenience of their home. Identifying your needs and following up on that will keep you motivated and allow you to make the most of your equipment. 

Features

Now that you have a few home gym ideas, you can easily decide which features will make any at-home gym equipment the best and most suitable for your space. The wide range of exercise machines available can be categorized into three types:

Bodyweight Resistant Regimen and Equipment

Bodyweight resistance is the most simple and effective exercise regimen. These exercises are designed to make use of our own weight as resistance, and it leads to producing more muscle strength.

Ankle weights, resistance bands, and tubing are some of the famous bodyweight resistant equipment for home gyms. They are characterized as compact and affordable.

Weight Lifting Regimen and Equipment

Weight training is known to enhance the shape of your body by giving it a more sculpted look as it helps in developing leaner muscles. Stack and plate-loaded machines are ideal for weight training as they are safe and easy to use. Additionally, cable and pulley machines are considered to be most effective for weight training and are famous for their versatility.

Cardio Regimen and Equipment

Cardio exercises are extremely beneficial to our overall health and improve the functioning of our lungs, heart, and circulatory system. Treadmills, stationary bicycles, rowing machines, and elliptical trainers are some of the must-have home gym equipment that is perfect if you want to have intensive cardio workout sessions at home.

Affordability

Cardio and weight training equipment are pricey and expensive as they are designed to be multipurpose and include a wide range of features. Body resistance equipment, like dumbbells, kettlebells, a jump rope, or a stability ball, is budget-friendly if you’re not looking to spend a lot of money. 

Versatility

Adding kettlebells, dumbbells, resistant bands, and weight vests that have proven themselves to be modern, multipurpose, and versatile home gym essentials to your home gym is a good idea. Combined with the best gym equipment, these tools will slowly work miracles on your body.

10 Best Home Gym Equipments You Need

Any of the equipment below would be a great addition to a home gym. Identify your workout goals, the space available to you, and how much you’re willing to spend. Then, take a look at the choices below to identify what will work best for you.

Advertising

Editors’ Top Picks

1. Bowflex Home Gym Series

    The quest for the best gym equipment is not an easy one, but luckily we have an answer for you. The Bowflex Home Gym Series is the most reliable equipment to have in order to practice extensive weight training.

    It has a power rod of 210 lb. resistance and can be increased to 310-410 lbs. This compact home gym equipment allows you to perform 60 exercises to energize your entire body. For your safety, the handgrips are designed to be strong and give you more control during extraneous workouts.

    Pros:

    • Compact and space-saving
    • Power resistance can be increased up to 410 pounds

    Cons:

    • The rowing function has no support

    Check out this equipment here! 

    2. Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

      The famous Marcy Smith exercise equipment for a home gym will satisfy you with instant results through its ultra-modern features. The multi-functional arm press feature lets you do exercises that will enhance the strength of your biceps and triceps.

      For long-lasting use and improved performance, the aircraft cable of this device has a strength of 2000 lbs. The heavy-duty steel frame comes with 6 weight plate pegs that allow you to store the weights on the machine and give you easy access. This single, all in one device will cater to all of your workout needs.

      Pros:

      • Can be used to perform a wide range of exercises
      • Strengthens different muscle groups

      Cons:

      • Assembling the cable system is a bit complex

      Check out this equipment here! 

      Best Value of All

      3. Weider Ultimate Body Works

        For those who are looking for a budget-friendly home gym equipment, Weider Ultimate Body Works is famous for its ability to enhance your body strength and shape within a short period of time without breaking the bank.

        You can work on building strength in your chest and shoulder area by easily doing bench pressing through its high pulley system. Additionally, you can focus on developing your core area and abs by performing v-crunches. The high pulley system of this cheap home gym will also work well in toning your back.

        Advertising

        Pros:

        • Compact, affordable, and space-saving
        • Comes with a 90-day parts and labor warranty

        Cons:

        • The seat doesn’t slide up and down

        Check out this equipment here! 

        4. TRX All In One Home Gym Bundle

          If you want to start a body resistant regimen and are looking for the perfect small home gym equipment, then the TRX All In One Home Gym Bundle can solve your problem. As the name indicates, it includes all the necessary items needed for a smooth body resistant regimen.

          You will get a suspension trainer, indoor/outdoor anchor, 4 various exercise bands, and more, all in one package. For those who don’t have much space but still want a great workout, this is the equipment for you.

          Pros:

          • Portable gym you can take anywhere
          • Multipurpose and ideal for limited spaces

          Cons:

          • No DVD or exercise guide book included

          Check out this equipment here!

          5. BodyBoss Home Gym Workout Equipment

            The BodyBoss Home Gym Workout Equipment is designed to be extremely convenient. This portable and highly compact home gym equipment has all the features that you would find in a high-class gym. You can practice exercises that will improve and further develop both your lower body and upper body. Moreover, it can also be used to perform cardio exercises for a fast fat burn.

            Pros:

            • Lightweight and compact
            • Can be used to perform 300+ exercises

            Cons:

            • No instructions are included on how to do the exercises

            Check out this equipment here! 

            6. Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power

            Advertising

              Another essential home gym equipment, the Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power has a high and low row pulley system which helps in forming stronger muscles in the upper and lower back. The strong leg hold-down is adjustable and can be managed easily according to one’s needs. The lower rear crossbar has extra space, which can be used for placing benches and footrest. It can support 265 weight plate capacity and includes one 39” lat bar.

              Pros:

              • It has a strong frame
              • The pulley system is effective for upper and lower back

              Cons:

              • Assemby takes a bit long

              Check out this equipment here! 

              7. ICON Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS

                Space-saving, easy to use, and dependable are the qualities that make ICON Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS stand out. The high pulley is designed to enhance lats while the low pulley will tone your leg muscles. The multi-grip bar will give you more control and stability while exercising. Additionally, you will get a free exercise chart designed by a professional trainer.

                Pros:

                • Easy to assemble with detailed instructions
                • Helpful workout chart

                Cons:

                • It doesn’t come with weights

                Check out this equipment here! 

                8. Total Gym 1400 Deluxe Home Fitness Exercise

                  The Total Gym 1400 Deluxe Home Fitness Exercise equipment will cater to your workout needs in a matter of 10-20 minutes by strengthening and toning all your major muscle groups simultaneously. You can perform 60 and more exercises according to the cardio and weight training regimen using this equipment.

                  Pros:

                  • Attachments included give you options to exercise at home
                  • Rocks steady and glides smoothly

                  Cons:

                  • Top-mounted flip chart is hard to read

                  Check out this equipment here! 

                  9. OYO Personal Gym – Full Body Portable Gym Equipment

                  Advertising

                    This total home gym is constructed in such a way that it will give you instant positive results. The SpiraFlex will allow you to do intensive workouts for fat loss. Moreover, like any weight training device that builds up muscles and increases core strength, OYO Personal Gym will give you these same benefits.

                    Pros:

                    • Perfect for both men and women
                    • Ideal for people who are recovering from an injury

                    Cons:

                    • Resistance cannot be increased

                    Check out this equipment here! 

                    10. Fusion Motion Portable Gym

                      The Fusion Motion Portable Gym is perfect for an effective body resistance regimen. Manufactured with steel bars, it can handle heavy weights and extensive workouts for long durations. The detailed instruction booklet will assist you in performing more than 200 exercises to get the most out of it.

                      Pros:

                      • The ab roller and door anchor are good additions
                      • Comes with a guide of exercises and set workouts

                      Cons:

                      • The rollers have a little friction

                      Check out this equipment here!

                      Some Common Questions

                      When creating their home gyms, many people run into questions. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions to help you overcome challenges in the early days of working with your home gym.

                      Where Should I Set up a Home Gym?

                      Setting up an effective at home gym is generally an easy process. First, choose a room that you feel is spacious enough. Basements are ideal as they are usually soundproof. Then, add a couple of touches to your selected room through good lighting and a ventilation system.

                      What Are the Benefits of a Home Gym?

                      To begin with, a home gym is comfortable to use as it is in a safe, comfortable space, and you can access it any time. Additionally, it is a one -time investment and saves you from the monthly cost of gyms.

                      How Often Should I Work out?

                      For beginners, working out two or three times per week is a good start. For people who are used to extensive workouts, going to four to five times per week is ideal.

                      Is Gym Equipment Safe?

                      Home gym equipment is designed keeping in mind the standards that will ensure your safety. However, it is recommended to read and learn about the equipment before use so that you can proceed with caution and care. It is also important to read instructions carefully before setting everything up.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Creating a safe workout space at home is a great idea if you want to stay consistent with a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, with the best home gym equipment in 2020 we recommended, you will be able to turn your home into a perfect workout area according to your needs.

                      More Tips on Creating Your Home Gym

                      Featured photo credit: ŞULE MAKAROĞLU via unsplash.com

                      Read Next