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Progress Updates: What Are Your Goals?

It’s been a couple of months since I asked you what your goals were.  In that time, lots of new readers have arrived and hopefully we’ve all made some progress.

During my week with Adam Glass, I’ve seen what singleminded focus and determination looks like.  I’ve also seen the results that it can give a person.

So, if you participated in the first goals poll, how has your progress been?  If you didn’t and you’re comfortable doing so, why not share what you’re working on with us?

Here were a couple of my own goals for the near future:

  • Press the “beast” with one arm (106lb kettlebell).  I’m only about 6 weeks away from this
  • Bend the Ironmind Red Nail – I’m probably at least 5 months away from this one, but it’s coming
  • 20 pullups.  I’m nowhere close.  I need to get going

This sort of accountability is usually just the kick in the butt I need.  I can’t be the only one.

What say you?


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  • Chris Beardsley September 29, 2009, 2:30 am

    Hi Josh, this is my first comment but I’ve been reading your posts for a while. You have a great site.

    I’d be really interested to hear what your plan is for hitting 20 pull ups if you feel able to share that.

    Best of luck with your goals.

  • Gordie Rogers September 29, 2009, 5:38 am

    Once you’ve done the beast, you can do the mother of the beast. 53 kg! There’s a Romanian guy here in Tianjin. He does one arm presses with it. The gym doesn’t have any heavier kettlebells than that. Lol!

  • Casey September 29, 2009, 7:08 am

    Copied my goals over from the previous post with up dates:

    Big goal: Get my Master’s
    – Still going strong, have a test tommorrow, should be done by summer 2010!

    Small goal: Clean the bathroom every week
    – Yeah this hasn’t happened *Fail*

    Fitness: 350lb deadlift and 20 pullups.
    – 325 deadlift, 12 pullups. Not quite there yet, but progressing!

    So there has been progress on some, but nothing gigantic. Slow and steady…

    • Josh Hanagarne September 29, 2009, 7:31 am

      Casey, good work. Your poor bathroom…

      Gordie: The heaviest KB I’ve seen was 56kg. Adam has a lot of weird in between and massive bells from Australia. I do look forward to being the mother of the beast!

      Chris: Thanks, glad you jumped in. When I’m trying to increase my pull ups, I just do sets throughout the day wherever I am. Until recently, I had a pullup station in my office. Every hour or so, I would do about half of my max. This took me from 6 pull ups to 14 in about 7 weeks. the concept is called “Grease the groove.” Frequent practice, never getting tired.

      that’s the plan this time around as well, provided I can always find something to dangle from. Otherwise, pull up ladders are your best friend, i.e., multiple sets of (1,2,3,4..etc)

  • Positively Present September 29, 2009, 7:33 am

    Good luck with your goals, Josh! You can do it!!

  • Rosie September 29, 2009, 7:49 am

    My most recent goal has become to do that elusive first pull up. You asked me how long I can hang. I tested myself and I’m almost not willing to say . . . um . . . less than 2 seconds. I can, however, let myself down slowly and controlled. I’ve applied the same technique you described above to my weak little arms. Several times throughout the day, I *attempt* to hang from something and then let myself down in a slow and controlled manner.

    Good luck on getting up to twenty!

  • Casey September 29, 2009, 8:17 am


    To be completely honest, I only started to be able to do pull-ups a few years ago. I still have demons tormenting me over highschool gym coaches taunting me over my inability to do even one.

    Once you get that first one, they get much easier from there. If you can do a controlled let down (ie a negitive) then you are well on your way!

    Men’s health has a great workout for increasing pull-ups (or getting your first one) here’s a link:

  • Heather September 29, 2009, 8:17 am

    Hi, Josh!

    Fitness goal: Do 10 biceps curls with my 15 pd. dumb bells (just now I can barely manage 5)

    Get back into my kettlebell stuff. That one is also a measly 15 pounder.

    Work goals: Clean my damn desk
    Keep my damn lab running with almost no hassles
    Keep the damn business labs running with no hassles
    Have better damn days

    Personal goals: Stop swearing so F*$(@%g much (yeah–I gotta really work on this one).

  • Chris Beardsley September 29, 2009, 8:25 am

    Josh: thanks for sharing. I was just curious what well-informed lifters were doing to increase pull up volume these days. It’s been about 3 years since I tried to do more pull ups rather than with heavier weight.

    Casey: hope you don’t mind me asking but are you also doing frequent daily sets of half your max? Best of luck with your goals.

  • Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl September 29, 2009, 8:37 am

    I’ve been striving toward improving my yoga practice. I started out with just 10 minutes each morning, then worked my way up to 20 minutes. Now I can do an hour–although I’ve been skipping it lately. 🙁


    I’m never giving it up, though. I just have to get back into the swing of things. 😀

  • Casey September 29, 2009, 9:13 am

    Chris: I do but it’s nothing strict. Until Josh mentioned it I had never heard of “grease the groove”. I’ve just found if you do something numerous times throughout the day it gets significantly easier. It may not be exactly half but I end up doing them continously throughout the day.

  • Gayze September 29, 2009, 9:32 am

    Wow, y’all, I’m so impressed! I’m definitely out of my league with this crowd, LOL.

    My goal at the moment is to get out of this racketyfrackin’ wheel chair FOR GOOD this time!

    🙂 But mostly, consider me your cheer leader, everyone!

  • Larissa September 29, 2009, 9:49 am

    I knew this was coming! 🙂 So my daily routine has gotton better, but mostly because the boys started back to school. Once I get to my studio, my routine varies depending on how much sewing and marketing needs to be done, whoohoo! No running yet though. 🙁

  • Matt September 29, 2009, 10:03 am

    Within the next year my goals are to
    1. Do a handstand on the gymnastic’s rings.
    2. Overhead squat my body weight
    3. Scuba dive in the ocean.

    My shorter term goals are to
    1. Do a bar muscle-up
    2. Do a handstand for 30 seconds
    3. Run 100m in under 13 seconds. (Currently at 14.2 s)
    4. Not eat any grains or sugar for one month.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 29, 2009, 1:35 pm

      @Matt: I want to do the sugar goal with you. Tell me when you do it.

      @Larissa: what’s holding you up on the running? Winter’s coming!

      @Gayze: Your goal can be to cheer the loudest and with the most capital letters in your comments:)

      @Casey: You’ve got it right. You do as much work as you can while remaining fresh. The numbers aren’t that important, but I find that it means about 50% of my max for me.

      @Raw Juice Girl: Do you enjoy the yoga?

      @Heather: Wow, that’s a lot of damns! Good luck with your desk.

      @Rosie, you’ll get there, but you have to keep doing it. Pullup strength vanishes quick when you don’t do it. Same with hanging. Tiny, tiny progressions every day. You’ll get it.

  • Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl September 29, 2009, 1:39 pm

    Yes, I do!

    It’s really, really relaxing and I have noticed a huge increase in productivity since I’ve been practicing yoga. Other folks are telling me they’ve noticed an increase, too–must be working! 😉

    • Josh Hanagarne September 29, 2009, 7:00 pm

      Ms. Raw Juice, why do you think yoga leads to more productivity?

  • Matt September 29, 2009, 1:53 pm


    I am giving up sugar and doing the green face diet for the month of October. James has created a contest and convinced a large group of us at the gym to give it a go, so we have a descent size support group to help us be successful.

  • Larissa September 29, 2009, 2:07 pm

    @Josh I live in Southern California, winter never comes! And I’m just a chicken, that’s all. 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne September 29, 2009, 7:00 pm

      Larissa, is Monterey in Southern California? I’m coming out there in October for a few days.

  • Beth L. Gainer September 29, 2009, 2:26 pm

    I have some serious goals (I always must feel like I’m working toward something, or I’ll feel stagnant).

    Medium-Term Goals
    — To write and complete a book proposal. YIKES
    — To get two books published. Double YIKES

    Short-Term Goals
    — To get through October’s breast cancer month. I have two events to go to, one a fund-raiser and one as a speaker at an event honoring survivors

    Long-Term Goals
    — To stop being a perfectionist. Oops, that goal wasn’t perfect enough for me. See?

    • Josh Hanagarne September 29, 2009, 6:59 pm

      Beth, those are serious goals. good for you. Although I’m not much of a fan, the singer from Coldplay once said that they wanted to be bigger than Mozart. Of course, that won’t happen–not if I can help it–but he knew that. He also said that there was no reason to shoot small. That’s not what goals are about. Shame on him for saying something I’m forced to agree with…

  • Helen Hoefele September 29, 2009, 7:21 pm

    Accountability is a scary thing. But that is definitely what I need, too. Ok, here goes…

    I just joined a gym. For now, my goal is to just get in the habit of going regularly (regardless of what I do when I get there.) I’ll be aiming to do something 5x/wk. [Maybe I’ll even ask someone to show me how to use those kettleballs that they say they have there. 🙂 ]

    My other goal (in the next two months) is to make at least one short video to post online. I’ve been wanting to try online video for a while now, but have been a bit shy, I guess.

    Looking forward to seeing where we all are at the next check-in. Glad to be part of such an inspiring crowd!

  • Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl September 29, 2009, 7:26 pm

    Josh, I’ve noticed a HUGE increase–and improvement–in my writing (fresher, more inspiring, more creative…) and what I’m accomplishing (new gigs, new sponsors, new products to review, new contests…) since I started doing yoga. I’ve also received emails and have been told on various social media sites by different people, that they’re noticing a (positive) difference in my articles, blog posts, etc., — I’d say that’s more productive. 😉

    I don’t know… it’s like I’ve been flooded with a TON of inspiration, motivation, new ideas, and maybe even more boldness (confidence?) than before I tried yoga.

  • Warren Talbot September 29, 2009, 8:16 pm

    Hi Josh,
    Great site and you are inspiring me to stay committed to my goals and hope that in putting mine out there I can stay motivated. My number on goal for the next 12 months is to spend 30 minutes a day learning Spanish. I want to be able to have a 10 minute conversation with a native speaker before we leave on our around the world adventure on October 1, 2010. Just completed my lesson tonight, so just 366 more days to go.

    Looking forward to your ongoing updates to your goals and will share mine in return.


  • Josh Hanagarne September 29, 2009, 9:44 pm

    @Helen: What do you have in mind for a video? Don’t be scared. Once you have no pride, you can’t be embarrassed. Take it from me!

    @Warren: that’s great. How are you learning Spanish? They say the best conversationalists are the best listeners. You’ll hit that ten minutes in no time if you just let someone blab. I want to hear more about the world adventure! (please)

    @Michele, that’s fantastic. If it works, it doesn’t matter why it works. Roll with it. roll!

  • Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl September 29, 2009, 9:49 pm

    @Josh: I’m rolling, I’m rolling! LOL 😉

  • Greg Fedderson September 30, 2009, 4:13 pm

    Hey Josh,
    In july I reached my goal to complete the Rite of Passage program from Enter the Kettlebell. The SSST is no joke! On september 12th I finished the Mid Mountain Trail Marathon in Park City which was another of my long term goals. My new goals are:
    April 2010 TSC
    -Deadlift 450lbs (if my back stays healthy I think I can do it!)
    -35 pull-ups
    -135 snatches with the 24kg kettlebell in 5 minutes.
    I am also working on a one arm pull-up with a 20lbs vest, I think I might be able to do one now but I am going to give my self 2 more weeks to practice before I atempt it.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 30, 2009, 4:42 pm

      Greg, good to hear from you, buddy! Those are some serious numbers, my friend. I’m going to start teaching a kettlebell class on Tuesday nights on 2600 south if you’re interested. I’d love to see you again. They just had a TSC and will be doing a Salt Lake one again in April.

  • Rob McMurren September 30, 2009, 6:41 pm

    here are my current goals

    500 lb dl
    315 x 20 in the back squat
    DL 315 x 50 in 3 minutes or less (did my last 50 rep marathon in 6min)

    i ve bent the red and shiny this summer, need to set a new goal for bending

    • Josh Hanagarne September 30, 2009, 7:39 pm

      Rob, congrats on the Red! how long did it take you? Where did you start at? Tell tell tell! I’m hoping to get the read by February.

  • Marti DenUyl September 30, 2009, 7:04 pm

    The timing of this blog post is perfect… after dragging my feet for about a year I just joined a local chapter of Toastmasters.


    In the next 60 days:

    Attend 3 meetings
    Sign up for a spot on the agenda as the “Humorist”
    Give an “Ice Breaker” speech

    Alright, now it is print and legally binding… =)

    • Josh Hanagarne September 30, 2009, 7:38 pm

      @Marti: Fantastic! Do you have a fear of public speaking? As long as this server exists, you’re right–it’s binding. I’ll be checking in on you with the rest of the crew here. Welcome.

  • Rob McMurren September 30, 2009, 7:55 pm

    Josh: I did the red in under a year. I started with 60d’s wrapped a car wash chamois, my first bend took me 15 minutes and my only thought was that these bending guys were animals. I bent my first red 6 months later with leathers.(i did the red in IM pads this summer)
    During those 6 months my bending partner(yes i found another bender within a 3 block radius) and i followed through the progression set out in the diesel crew book.
    We also did a lot of volume of 60d, upwards of 50 to 60 a session once per week.

    good luck with the red, you ll get it before you think

  • Beth L. Gainer October 1, 2009, 9:46 am

    Hey Josh,

    No, they won’t let me omit the About the Book section. Actually, I’m pleased with how that finally turned out. It took a fellow writer and friend to critique my drafts and humiliate me for me to improve it.

    Good luck with your book.