Workout regime: Get SMART with your fitness


Lily Knudsen talked to Faissal Teziti, a personal trainer at Aspria Royal La Rasante in Brussels about dealing with your workout regime.

In business, we talk about setting SMART objectives – objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound – as a strategy to drive success and keep everyone motivated and focused on the goal.

So why don’t we apply the same rigour when setting goals in our personal lives? For example, if we want to see results from our time at the gym, why not set SMART goals here too – clearly spelling out what we want to achieve, ensuring that it’s aspirational but possible, putting measurement in place to track our progress and stay motivated and setting milestones along the way to help us stay on track?

Lily talked to Faissal Teziti, a personal trainer at Aspria Royal La Rasante in Brussels.

Relevant training
“The number one rule is to look at who we’re dealing with: does the individual have any musculoskeletal or heart problems, for example? The first PT session is free, so coaches must take the opportunity to take their time and get to know the person. Everyone has different goals which will require personalized – that is, relevant – training.

“If they have back pain, for example, we can work on core strength. If it’s their knees that are troubling them, we might work on balance. For cardiac rehab, we will vary the intensity at which we work.”

Keep it achievable
Teziti continues: “We also have to understand the context. What do they do for work, how often can they come to the gym, and on what days? What are their objectives and why haven’t they achieved them so far? This analysis is essential to setting SMART goals – to making sure whatever goals we set are achievable.

“You then need to work out what level of fitness they currently have. Start gently – partly for safety, but also to make sure the individual doesn’t feel discouraged. They must be shown they can succeed. The role of the coach is less about correcting posture and more about motivating the person to train – to feel they are succeeding and that it’s worth them continuing.”

Specific, measurable & time-bound
“Once I fully understand my client’s objectives, we set specific goals and have an honest discussion around how long it might take to achieve these and how we will measure success.

“Sometimes I find myself shattering people’s idealism – the notion that results will come fast – because it’s very important that whatever goals we set are achievable. To get results, we have to train regularly (two to three times a week), and it won’t happen in a month.”

SMART recipe for success
Teziti is convinced this SMART approach plays a significant role in keeping people working towards their goals. He explains: “When you see progress in what you’re able to do week after week, it motivates you to keep going.

“My workout routines are very varied and adapted to the person – I never do the same workout twice – but after a few weeks, there are exercises we’ll come back to, and the client will see how much easier they’ve become. This in itself is a huge measure of success.”

Set in the heart of four hectares of greenery in Woluwé, Aspria Royal La Rasante benefits from the latest fitness and health innovations, a historical tennis club and over 300 classes for children.