2016 training goals

Yesterday, CJ had a post up about setting realistic training goals; which is an excellent thing for people to do. One of the issues I’ve encountered in the past is I’ve set goals which appeared realistic when I set them in January or February, but then life happened and by the end of the year they weren’t so realistic any more. For example, I’ve set the goal of making USPSA GM a couple of times, and it hasn’t happened. So this year I wanted to take a realistic look at my training goals and try to do something that I can accomplish, then if I’m successful, move forward and set new goals from there.

Shooting Goals

Again, the goal here is to keep things realistic. I don’t want to set a goal of getting my GM card and shooting 15 major matches like I did back in 2011 where my primary job was “be a sponsored shooter.” That’s not my primary job any more, and basing performance expectations of what I could do when I had unlimited range time and ammo isn’t smart. So, let’s keep it simple for 2016.

  1. Make Master in a division: It looks like the best bet for that will be Single Stack, since I’m spending a huge part of the year working on creating an extensive catalog of 1911 reviews. I’m currently B-class in SS, so I’ve got a lot of work to do there.
  2. Shoot at least 3 majors: The two most likely matches I’ll shoot are the Great Plains Sectional and Area 3, and the third is open for guesses. I’m dialing back match travel and participation a lot this year and trying to focus on skill building instead of shooting matches for matches sake.
  3. Attend at least two advanced shooting classes: I really, really, really want to take a class from Ernest Landgon, because everyone I know who has taken one said it’s awesome. And ENPS is bringing Manny Bragg in this year for a class, which would be high on my to do list as well.

Now, shooting goals are great. But you guys know me, and you know I’m about more than just shooting here on Gun Nuts. One of my big focuses is fitness, and we have goals for that as well. I will sacrifice dry fire for gym time any day of the week, because uh duh, lifting is awesome.

basement gym

Fitness Goals

Again, we want to keep these goals realistic and based of past performance abilities. I can’t just go out and say “I want to deadlift 400 pounds” if I’ve never lifted a day in my life. So, realistic goals are important.

  1. Maintain sub-15% bodyfat: I’ll be honest, my diet has gotten worse since I came back from training over the summer. As it turns out, living a spartan life of training, exercise and not drinking is pretty good, since coming back I’ve gone up about 10 pounds to 155, and most of the weight hasn’t been good weight. I don’t mind my weight fluctuating, what’s a lot more important is the % body fat.
  2. 100 consecutive pushups: my current PR on uninterrupted pushups is 62. I figure I can tack on another 38 somewhere.
  3. 20 consecutive pullups: I struggle with pullups, I always have. PR here is 10, and that was when I was at 145.
  4. Bench 225: I have never ever benched more than 185 for reps. I suck at it, it’s my worst exercise, and it has constantly flummoxed me.
  5. OHP 135: Current PR on OHP is 125, which I feel I should be able to get back to pretty easily. OHP is my favorite lift, and unlike bench I’ve always been pretty good at it.
  6. Squat 315: Squat PR before I started trying to cut weight to attend training was 250.
  7. Deadlift 405: This one would be huge. My max deadlift was in 2012 where I hit 350. This is by far the most difficult goal I have on this list, shooting or fitness. 400+ DL is no joke.

Yes, those goals are all in increments of 90 pounds, which seems like a fairly reasonable progression to me. Of the training goals I have, the weights are where I’m most willing to make adjustments, as I know I’ll have to go through a plateau and de-load cycle on each exercise at least once or twice. I also need to bear in mind staying in shape for my AF PT tests, which means I’ll have to mix running in there as well; which is rough for the Gain Train. One of the reasons I’m trying to cut back travel this year is because traveling really interferes with training. It’s hard to dry fire or hit the gym when you’re on the road for 100 days out of the year.

But there it is; simple, achievable goals for the 2016 season. I’m going to bookmark this post and see what I can come up with during the year. Which reminds me, I need to check the dates for the GP Sectional and Area 3 and make sure they don’t conflict with work.


  1. It may not at first seem like the two are connected,but fitness and gun training go hand in hand. I’ll just say that being the best concealed carry shot on Earth doesn’t help much if you’re destined for a dialysis machine on account of poor diet and casual obesity.

  2. For the strength goals, I’d highly suggest Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program. I’m AD career AF and I have been able to maintain a 95 or better on the pt test since 03/04 when we started the current incarnation. So, I’m always balancing my lifting with running as well. Jim’s program is hard to beat for good, achievable gains while still maintaining decent running in the mix. He’s a straight, no nonsense powerlifter with awesome advice. I’d taken some time off from powerlifting to pursue marathon running for a few years (only God knows why, that was stupid), but I got seriously back in to powerlifting this past fall. Using Jims program, I’ve smashed through all of my previous 1RMs and I’m making consistant gains, injury free so far. He has a awesome book out there on the program, but he also writes for T-Nation and has a solid overview of the program on there as well.


    1. Awesome, thanks for the link. Right now I’m working on the Stronglifts program but 3×5 instead of the excessive 5×5, and I’ve had really good success with it in the past. Plus, they have an app!

  3. If you want to increase your bench, do five sets of five. Start with a weight where your last set has the last two reps “forced” (assisted). When you can do all five sets unassisted, increase your weight 10-15 lbs and continue. Your max bench will shoot up. Once a week, or no more than twice a week. Allow two full recovery days between chest workouts. You will be amazed.

    1. I like that. I’m going to stick to my current progressive system until I stall out, then start looking into other options.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: