Is It Ok To Have Fitness Goals That Are Just Physical?

Hey guys!

So awhile back, I wrote about how you can love your body AND still want to lose weight. The shaming that goes on whenever the topic of weight loss comes up still bothers me, but I really loved reading your discussion on that post. It’s something we NEED to talk about. It’s not a black or white subject.

We need to stop shaming and instead focus on understanding and supporting each other’s goals, even if they’re not the same as our own.

Which brings me to another “touchy” subject I’ve seen a lot of judgment around. Is it okay to have fitness goals that are purely physical?

For example, what if you set out on a fitness journey JUST because you’re dying to grow your booty, or to get your abs crop top ready? Is that okay? Or is that cause for concern?

You know we’re gonna talk about it.

The pros to “physical” workout goals

Let’s start with the positives.

First of all, ANY goal gets you started. It lights the fire under you that so many people struggle to find. I can’t tell you how many people say they are going to start working out just because they “know they should.” That’s their reason. They go in aimlessly, without anything specific to work towards. That often leads to discouragement and giving up completely.

Second, having a physical goal is just more tangible. I think we can all agree that progress that you can physically SEE is one of the best motivators. There’s just nothing like seeing your hard work pay off. It’s a HUGE confidence booster. And when you feel more confident, you’re more willing to finally tackle other goals in your life that you’ve put off due to lack of confidence.

Lastly, the physical goals bring so much more than physical results. If you get the abs you want, you might notice that you stand taller and your back doesn’t hurt anymore. If your arms are more toned, it’s going to be easier to pick up your kids all day long. Your time in the gym might become your time to burn off stress or manage anxiety. Maybe you just needed the time for you. There’s an endless list of things that could stem from one little physical goal.

Yes… there are downsides too 

I’m not gonna pretend like there are no downsides to this.

Because those physical results are so satisfying, it’s also easy for them to become addicting. And sometimes, it gets to a point where it’s never enough. And what happens if your body doesn’t cooperate the way you want it to? What if your body type is just never going to fit what you want?

Dealing with that is hard and can lead to a road of more extreme, dangerous measures.

For some people, there could be issues when they DO get the results they want. This makes me think about my days doing bikini competitions because maintaining those physical goals was basically impossible. The second I’d let off the gas, I’d lose the physique I worked so hard for because my body just wasn’t meant to look that way all the time. My body fat was too low, I was super strict with my diet, working out ALL the time, and I was tired. I realized those goals weren’t serving me.

Of course, most people aren’t doing something as extreme as bodybuilding or bikini competitions. But it’s the same concept. For some, seeing hard work pay off with physical results can grow into an obsession. Just like any reason you might be motivated to workout or eat better, it’s really easy to get carried away or lose yourself in goals that are just unrealistic.

90 day journal blogilates fitness goals motivation

Your “why” is YOURS

If your “why” for working out and eating healthy foods starts out as something physical, that’s okay. Because your “why” is YOURS.

Other people may not understand it, and that’s okay. It’s personal.

What’s important is coming back to your “why” over and over again. Reflect and evaluate if it’s serving you, and keep going. That means if you started going to the gym for abs, it’s possible that after some time you’ll realize that now you want to KEEP going to the gym because working out makes you feel happy. On the other hand, reflecting on your “why” may help you realize that wanting abs has turned into feeling guilty every time you skip the gym. If your why isn’t serving you,  it’s time to take a step back.

My point is, you’re doing this for you. And with that comes the responsibility to take care of YOU.

plants growing in white pots in window

Don’t be surprised if your physical goals turn into more

Just because you set out on a journey for abs doesn’t mean you should ignore all of the other benefits of working out. You might be surprised to find that some of the other benefits of fitness actually impact you more in the end!

Maybe you weren’t working out consistently before, but now that you’re dedicated to a workout routine, you notice that your stress is WAY down. Or maybe you notice you’re sleeping better than you have in years.

Maybe paying attention to your diet for those abs has also given you the gift of more energy and a better mood.

Maybe, those are things you didn’t even realize you needed.

Even if those were never part of your initial “why,” don’t ignore them! Once you achieve your main goal and your abs are shining through, those other things will keep you motivated. When the physical “challenge” is complete, you’ll always have more to work on if you notice all of the little things. That’s the kind of (healthy) addiction I have found on my fitness journey.

Some tips for staying on track and keeping your goals positive

Here’s my advice if you set out on a physical fitness goal. Actually, it’s pretty much the same advice I’d give for ANY goal.

  1. Start small and make sure your goals are realistic and achievable.
  2. Have a secondary goal. If your goal is abs, also set a smaller goal to workout 3 times per week. Your big goal is going to take awhile, so having smaller ones to build on will keep you motivated!
  3. Don’t be hard on yourself, and remember to celebrate the small wins!
  4. Reflect and reevaluate your “why” constantly.
  5. Find a strong support system.

We’re all on our own journey. Let’s support each other!

Before we jump to conclusions about everyone else’s journey, we need to remember that we’re all on the same team.

Especially in this community! Different things work for different people. Wanting abs may seem shallow to you, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be important to someone else. Just like how some people will never understand how running can feel like anything other than torture.

That’s just the cool thing about fitness. There are options, goals, motivators, and benefits for EVERYONE. All types of people. And we’re all going to start somewhere. That “somewhere” shouldn’t be cause for judgment.

Let’s help each other embrace our own unique “why,” and support each other as we build and grow onto that “why.”

23 thoughts on “Is It Ok To Have Fitness Goals That Are Just Physical?”

There are 23 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Laura says:

    This is really helpful. Sometimes I struggle with being okay with only having a physical goal. I’m happy to know that I am not the only one that has struggled with it. Thank you.

  2. Mona says:

    My goal is to not have pain in my back and be stronger. After the pandemic started I stopped working out regulary, got an office job and wasnt able to move much (normally, I would work with children but due to my asthma i am not allowed to work in my kindergarten). So because of all the sitting in front of the computer, not eating healthy and staying at home, i not only gained weight, but i lost so much of my strength. at some point, it started to bother me because i remembered how strong i was back in the day. so i am currently following your 21 day challenge to get into working out daily. it helps its just 21 minutes, because i am studying next to my fulltime job, too. Thanks for all of your videos, you always remind me how strong my body can be and i want that feeling back 🙂

  3. Herpezine says:

    Absolutely! Making any lifestyle change can be challenging. Many people find that having a goal in mind gives them something to work towards, motivates them to stay on track, and provides a measure of how well they are doing.

  4. Christy says:

    Cassey, you are an inspiration to your viewers no matter how you look. The joy you exude is contagious. I live in Switzerland and am a huge fan. So you have fans all over the world! Dont pay attention to the negativity…there will always be haters and people insecure. They take their insecurities out on others instead of dealing with them. You are joy and happiness and that is so refreshing. Stay true to who you are 🙂

  5. Natasha says:

    This article is so good, I keep coming back to it. Around 13 years ago I lost a bunch of weight (80+lbs) and this past year I gained most of it back through a random sacrum injury and couch potato-ing habits. So, I am doing everything all over again: tiny goals that I can achieve and feel good accomplishing, monitoring my health, still enjoying good foods, and taking time to rest when my body says it needs it. Right now my goals are three important things for me: do more cardio, choose to eat healthier/better portions, and do not get burned out. Don’t over-zealously throw myself into the deep of the exercising. Too much, too soon tends to hurt more than help, at least personally speaking.

    1. blogilates says:

      I love these goals!!

  6. Lauren E says:

    Thank you for this post Cassey! My current why is to build my strength and energy back up! I had COVID last month, and I feel like I’ve lost all of my strength. I’m starting slowly and gradually building back up to the monthly calendars again! Love you Cassey!! <3

  7. Hattie says:

    I love this post! My why is currently to look and feel my best on my wedding day next year! x

  8. Ana Hippmann says:

    Wow, coming back to your own “why”. That’s someting what I need practice. Thank you Cassey
    (Sorry for my english)

    1. blogilates says:

      Your English is great!! And YES, keep coming back to your why. You can even share it here to keep yourself accountable! 🙂

  9. Dean says:

    I first discovered you when I was 19 and wanted to start my fitness but back than it was purely physical want. I wanted to be lean and strong without caring how I got there. So of course because of a lack in a clear goal, I was on and off and never fully committed. I love working out but because I didn’t see any physical proof I would give up for months at a time. Now at 26 and a whole pandemic later, I started to really listen to your advice about posture and having a clear goal and honestly I want to thank you so so much! I stopped obsessing about what I look like and obsess over how I feel and it’s made a world of difference. I’m more determined, I’m more aware of my body and my limitations and honestly doing your videos everyday consistently over I think 6-7 months now, I’m seeing all those physical markers I was always chasing, only this time I’m more concerned with being consistent, being present and enjoying the journey. You make me feel like I’m there with you and like I’m part of a team, and I keep pushing myself because you help push us to be better, not just on the mat but in life. I’m happy, I’m way more flexible than ever, my endurance has gone up so much, and my body not only looks better than it ever has, it feels better, it moves better. I feel my back straight, my shoulders back. You don’t just change physicality Cassey, you truly change lives in a positive and caring way. That’s why I’m team Blogilates all the way. Plus all the hate that comes your way for any reason is the just more fuel sparking your drive to further success and true happiness.

    1. blogilates says:

      That’s amazing!!! Thank you for sharing this – I love hearing that you FEEL better. That’s so powerful. Whoooo hoooooo!!!

  10. Siddhii says:

    I do have a physical goal but there’s more to it for me. I also started working out cause it boosts my confidence and I absolutely love the feeling I get after I do.

  11. Milina says:

    I love my body. And for that I want to work out. But I would lie if I would not have some physical goal. If I just want to stay fit and healthy I just could focus on having some muscle building and cardio. I do a lot of weight training because I want to have a nice butt and that is totally okay. It gives me energy to work out because there is a goal I want to reach. I have a lot of loose skin which I prefer over my overweight but still I want to remove it. But that dose not makes me love my body any less.

  12. Anyo says:

    I feel like the physical goal would only become a deterrent when it doesn’t come with acceptance, or when it eclipses the bigger “why”. For example – yes, having a tangible goal like losing 10lbs or having bigger butt or a tinier waist is easier to measure. But, there is always the possibility that the physical goal isn’t actually achievable – your natural set point weight might be only 5lbs below, your thighs prefer to bulk up rather than your butt, your frame might not allow you to shrink your waist size. I think an intrinsic, mindful why is ultimately more helpful than a physical aesthetic goal, as it also allows you to accept and appreciate your body for how it is – both what it can achieve and it’s perceived limitations. I think that’s true body acceptance.

  13. amithistbz says:

    Love this. I’ve been working on re-evaluating my why recently as my journey has come to a stalling point and I’ve felt unmotivated. And it’s honestly because I was choosing a ‘why’ that I thought other people would approve of. ‘I am doing this solely to be healthier’. But that wasn’t being honest with myself. I do want to be healthier, and I do want to have more energy. But I really think my main why is because I want to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I want to love how I look in photos and fit better in my jeans. That’s not to say I don’t love my body how it is. I do, and I appreciate everything it can do for me now. I just also know that if I focus on my health and fitness, part of which is losing weight for me, I will be able to do even more. And that’s what really motivated me.

  14. eve says:

    great post cass!!!!food for thought:)

  15. anonymous says:

    I dont think there is anything wrong with having physical goals be your motivation for exercise. However, I don’t think they are not to keep because they tend to not be specific. It is easy to say I want to have a bigger but how do you measure that? Sometimes exercise alone will not get you the desired affect.

    I somewhat feel like Cassey wrote this blog to defend her apparent change in motivation for exercise. I think she looks great and is obviously happy and changing her goals is ok. I just wish she would accept that some of her followers do not relate to these new goals. Cassey changed the verbage she used and when talking about exercise so her demographic changed slightly. She is still the best fitness instructor on YouTube and her product works. That’s what matters to me.

    1. blogilates says:

      Thanks for your comment! I didn’t write this defending “any apparent change in motivation”. It was just a genuine question that came across my mind and I wanted to start a convo about it. My goals have always been the same – to feel my best 🙂 Everyone will have different motivations and I think that’s good to listen to yourself!

    2. Alexandra says:

      It’s pretty easy to measure a goal like “bigger butt” actually. For the past 6 months I’ve used a tape measure along with 4 week photographs and it’s made my progress tangible. While the number does down on the scale, I can also visibly see more muscle definition. I would love to be able to measure exactly how much is fat loss and how much is muscle growth however!
      I really liked this post, and while I think it’s okay that some of her followers can’t relate, I also really value hearing Cassey’s perspective because I feel like most people lie on either extreme – health at every size and toxic diet culture. It’s really nice to hear a middle ground perspective, and it’s something I relate to and don’t often hear so I appreciate her for speaking out about these issues.

  16. absolutely, 100%! It’s okay to be vain. We live in a 3D world period it’s okay to have desires and you don’t need to justify wanting to have six pack abs.