Get in Shape the Right Way

How I Set a Goal to Dead Lift 400 Pounds & Achieved It!

How to Set Achievable Goals

8 week dead lift goal img

If you’re in the business world, especially in sales, you know that goals end up becoming the one thing that everything you end up doing revolves around.  There are reasons why business set goals for their divisions.  YOU CANNOT ACHIEVE WHAT YOU ARE NOT MEASURING!

The same goes for your health and fitness goals…  My motto is; “Dreams are just dreams, until you write them down.  Then they become goals!”

Your dream may be to lose 20 pounds, gain strength, run a Spartan Race, start your own business.  The only thing is, you will not reach your dreams if you do not have a defined path on how you will achieve them.

This all starts by writing down a plan, following that plan, documenting your success along the way, and sticking with it!  You need SMART goals!

S.M.A.R.T. is the acronym that I personally used to achieve my most recent goal of Dead Lifting 405 pounds!

setting smart goals img


Specific: In order to begin, the most important thing is to be specific!  For example, do not say, I want to lose 20 pounds…  Be more specific.

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Why do you want to accomplish this?
  • Who is involved in accomplishing this?
  • Which requirements or constraints do you have in accomplishing this?

Measurable: Secondly, you have to have a way measure your progress along the way!  This is the most important way to keep on track towards your final goal.

  • How much weight do you want to lose, miles you want to run, weight you want to lift, etc…

Achievable: Your goals have to be realistic and both achievable.  While you may set this up as a “stretch goal”, it should not be so extreme that you set yourself up for failure.  For example, if you’re only 20 pounds overweight, don’t set a goal to lose 50 pounds.  That is most likely not achievable.  Also, if you can currently dead lift 135 pounds, don’t set a goal to dead lift 500 pounds!

  • How can your goal be attained?
  • How realistic is your goal given your current situation/constraints?

Relevant: This is pretty simple…  Set goals that are relevant to you and your lifestyle.  Choose a goal that MATTERS!  

  • Does it seem worthwhile to you?
  • Is right now a good time to set this goal?
  • Does this goal match your other efforts?

Time Based: Give your goals a time-frame and set a target date to accomplish them!  Committing to a deadline will help drive you towards your goal and hopefully accomplish it even before the dead line you set.  This helps provide a sense of urgency…

  • It’s as easy as asking, when do I want to accomplish this goal by?
    • Do you have a vacation coming up that you want to lose weight for?
    • Do you have a power lifting meeting you want to be ready for?


This is what my goal looked like:

I want to dead lift 400 pounds within 8 weeks of starting my 12 Week Workout Program.  I will chart my progress weekly in order to stay on track.

My goal was specific (dead lift 400 pounds), measurable (setting up tracking and charting to view progress), achievable (I knew I could lift 300 pounds, and 400 was a small stretch, but still achievable), relevant (I love dead lifting and feel everyone should perform that exercise), and time based (within 8 weeks).

You cannot stop there!  Stating your goal is step number one.  From here, you need to begin putting the processes in place and begin the hard work!  Plan your work and work your plan!

If you read this blog, you know that I have been following a 12 Week Muscle Gain Program which I personally created.  I set this program up to successfully record (on a spread sheet) and measure (with charts) the progress of my major lifts (Bench Press, Squat, Dead Lift, Etc…).

See the program progress charts below:

Zach's 4 Week Progress Chart

Weeks 1-4 Program Progress


8 Week Progress

My Week 5-8 Program Progress


total 8 week progress major lift img

My Total 8 Week Plan Progress



Final Goal Tips

  1. Start small…  Setting a small goal that you can check off as an accomplishment will help kick start your confidence for future goals.
  2. Use visualization…  I personally would visualize how many plates I needed to add to get to 400 pounds.  I calculated that it would take (8) 45 pound plates (405 lbs).  Each time I would go to dead lift, I would visualize what the bar with 8 plates on it.
  3. Make it public…  I told my wife, my friends, and even put on facebook that my goal was to dead lift 400 pounds.  I put up pictures of my lifts each week on facebook and Instagram.
  4. Have support…  If you can, have a partner to work towards a common goal and keep each other in check.

If you want more information on the 12 Week Muscle Gain Plan I am currently using, here is the link >>> 12 Week Muscle Gain Program

Until next time…

Stay fit, my friends!

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