Q&A: What Are Your Strength Training Goals?

by Robert Maxwell

A reader recently asked me about my personal training goals. Here's my answer.


This is a question I don’t get too often, so I’m glad you asked. My personal strength training goals are something I occasionally touch on in articles, but rarely discuss in detail. I’ll answer your question in two parts: general and specific. 


My general strength goals are to get as strong as I possibly can and stay that way as long as I possibly can, without using performance-enhancing drugs of any kind. I believe I’ve got a lot of natural strength potential, and I want to see it realized. I want it badly enough that I’ll go to great lengths to get there. If you’re wondering why I foster this obsession, I don’t have a good answer for you. For whatever reason, I’ve been bitten by the iron bug, severely. I’ve got a burning desire to lift barbells of increasing mass and volume, and become essentially superhuman. That’s my main goal. Now, some specifics. 



Because I define my strength gains numerically by adding weight to the bar, this is, naturally, how I set my goals, too. At the moment, my numeric strength goals are as follows. I want to squat over 600 pounds, deadlift over 600 pounds, bench press over 400 pounds, and overhead press over 250 pounds. I’m closer to some of these goals than others, but they’re all still a ways away yet. Why these number specifically? Again, I don’t really have a good answer. The best explanation I can come up with for my choice of goals is that these weights will place me firmly in a tiny minority of humans who have the ability to lift them. Is this a healthy goal? I think so. Although progressing in the sport of powerlifting to this level almost guarantees numerous injuries, the right physical and mental response negates this as an obstacle. Injuries are just one of many trials elite strength athletes must endure to reach the top of their game, and realize their potential. Getting hurt isn’t the only difficulty, either. But hey, if it were easy, everyone would squat 600 pounds.


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