To borrow a concept from American author, speaker, consultant and business management expert Jim Collins, should one set Big Audacious Goals (“BAG”) for personal fitness?  Anyone can set a fitness goal, but what about a transformational Big Audacious Goal?

OK, let’s start by unpacking the pros and cons, first addressing the latter. Cons-you may burnout, get hurt, feel frustrated, become exhausted, and ultimately succumb to self-doubt. It’s true; all of this could happen. But let’s look at the potential pros.

What could happen if you really stretched your goals? Think transformation; a sense of new found confidence, inner strength, improved blood panels, even the ability to lift heavy things you never thought possible, maybe.  The ability to leap tall buildings, probably not.

Let’s talk accountability. I’ll start by going public with my Big Audacious Goals:

  • Run a mile < 6 minutes
  • Swim 400 meters < 6 minutes (500 yards < 6:41)
  • Bike 40k < 60 minutes
  • Strict back squat at 1.5x body weight load for 10 reps
  • Deadlift 2x body weight for 10 reps
  • Clean and Jerk body weight load for 3 reps
  • 20 strict (chin over bar) full range of motion pull-ups

While completing these exercises individually may not be uber “audacious” for me, having the fitness to do all of them within say a 30-day period certainly feels so. More importantly, it drives me towards self-optimization for muscular endurance, aerobic capacity and strength. BAGs give us distinct and clear targets to work towards. For me, that serves as a motivator unlike any other.

The regimen above will not be appropriate for most, but consider what your limits are, and where you can push beyond those perceptions for above average growth, both mentally and physically. Remember, mastery of one’s own vessel is a mission filled with reward.

Accordingly, what is your BAG?