Goal-setting with Joe, Fitness Instructor

Goal-Setting with Joe, Fitness Instructor

We caught up with Joe, who has been working full time as a gym supervisor at UoB since 2019. Joe was also a student, graduating in 2018 with a degree and masters in Sport Science! After spending time as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for professional Rugby, and competing in weightlifting- Joe has a diverse background when it comes to Sport, Fitness, and goal-setting.

Where do you suggest people start when setting their goals?

Identify what it is you want to do! Goals need to be personal and stem from internal motives and not external. External motives can work over a short period of time, however internal motives that focus on yourself often lead to the best long term success.

I think it also helps to determine what is defined as ‘success’ for you, which is completely different for each person. With social media comparisons, we tend to view success as what others are showcasing rather than what applies to our own situations.

For example, comparing yourself with an Olympic Champion weightlifter who has been in the sport from a young age, versus beginning at aged 23 isn’t a fair comparison. You can apply zone of proximal development to this – setting a goal or picking something that is just outside your current situation and within reach. 

Image of circle layers demonstrating zones of proximal development

What are your top tips for setting goals at the gym?


Follow the SMART principle:


Specific – give a real goal that’s tangible, for example I want to squat 100kg vs I want to squat more

Measurable – Can you measure your goal and make it tangible.

Attainable – Challenging but possible – zone of proximal development.

Realistic – Being honest with yourself or the fitness professional. Set a goal that you can realistically achieve, given your situation and time scale.

Time bound – put some form of deadline on it.

What do you think the benefits are to setting goals?


Goal setting provides structure and purpose to coming to the gym. It also gives you something to anchor onto. Normally when we set a goal, we naturally dial in other areas of our life too without realising. If the goal is weight loss, you may find you develop other skills too, like more creative cooking to help achieve that goal.

Depending on personality, some people enjoy structure and purpose. I personally am very routine orientated so I struggle to come to the gym if I don’t have a plan or something I’m working towards. Goals can also be anything – it doesn’t have to be a physical thing all the time, it could be simply trying to come 3x a week instead of 1x a week, or making a new social circle through classes.

Do you have any tips to help people to get motivated at the gym?

I think the strongest builder of motivation is achieving goals that you set, in turn that builds confidence and gives you a background of internal motivation you can use. You can set mini goals along the way to a larger goal that can work like checkpoints along the way. If you’re training for an endurance event and have 16 weeks to do so, having landmark goals at certain points that are realistic and can be achieved will keep the motivation going as you go through your training.


“Its working and you’re on track, keep going”.


You will also begin to see success from your own effort and that form of motivation is far better than anything else.

Is there any specific equipment/activity you would suggest starting with if you’re a beginner?


I recommend everyone, if possible, do some form of resistance training. There is a huge body of research (a lot from the School of SportExR at UoB) that shows how beneficial resistance training is to overall health ,and most importantly, healthy ageing.

If you are not sure where to start there are inductions, GGT classes for strength, and beginner specific sessions. If you want more of a personal touch, you can opt for a Personal Trainer in the gym.

Want to kick-start your goal-setting journey this year? Find out below how you can get more involved in Sport and Fitness with our membership options, and achieve your goals with our high-level facilities and fitness staff to guide you along the way!

Member swimming in UoB Sport & Fitness poolCategoriesMember News Student News

Updated Swimming Pool Timetable

Updated Swimming Pool Timetable

Our Swimming Pool timetable has been amended, and will take effect from Saturday 11 March 2023.

Changes are reflected below:

Saturday’s Deep & Shallow has been changed from 17:00-18:30 to 17:00-18:00


Saturday’s Shallow has been changed from 18:30-20:00 to 18:00-20:00

To keep up to date with any future changes, please make sure to reference the full pool timetable ahead of your sessions.

CategoriesEvents Student News

Breaking Records at BUCS Nationals 2023

Breaking Records at BUCS Nationals 2023

From the 24th-27th February, just under 100 of our students headed up to Sheffield to take part in the annual BUCS Nationals event for the 10th year. The weekend was an incredible success, with 24 medals secured, 211 BUCS points, new records including our first ever para medal for Athletics, and personal bests for some of our students, and an impressive mascot win from our beloved Rory!


Students competed in Athletics, Badminton, Climbing and Swimming to win medals and earn BUCS points.


It has been a huge weekend in the world of athletics, with a record medal haul of 15, ranking 2nd overall, and 130 BUCS points secured. In terms of individual medals, the athletics squad secured 7 gold medals, 5 silver and 3 bronze-breaking another record for most gold medals from the indoor championships.The competition continued right up to the very end, with 6 of the medals won within the final hour!

Our gold medallists are:


Didi Okoh (60m Ambulant, Long Jump), Josh Woods (Triple Jump), Cameron Bailey (400m), Harry Fisher (800m), Tyler Bilyard (1500m) and Elsa Palmer (300m)

Our silver medallists are:


Didi Okoh (Shot put Ambulant) Angel Diaz (60m Hurdles), Ore Adepegba (Long Jump), Kimani Jack (High Jump) and Archie Parkinson (800m)

Our bronze medallists are:


Emily Marmion-Willams (800m) and Saskia Millard (3000m), and a bronze for the Men’s 2x400m



On Friday, Didi Okoh won our first event Para medal for Birmingham in the 60m Ambulant event. She then added 2 more medals in the Long Jump and Shot Put giving the ladies over a third of their total points, and breaking a record for being a triple medallist at the indoors- a huge well done!




We can’t forget Rory who gave a pawfect performance in the mascot race, flying across the finish line at true lions speed – with an impressive time of 28.15 seconds.



With 18 BUCS points secured, Ian Davis was awarded a bronze medal for Men’s Individuals, along with another bronze for the Men’s overall team. The Women’s Individual Team placed 7th!



Badminton were awarded 5 BUCS points, with Shayne Wilson securing a bronze medal in singles! Both Shayne and Chad Warren reached the R16 in the Men’s Doubles.



58 BUCS points were awarded to our swim team, with an overall position of 7th over the weekend. Two of our students secured a whole 6 medals between them!


Ollie Morgan and Lucy Jordan-Caws both excelled at the weekend, leaving the event as triple medallists! Ollie secured two gold and one silver medal in 100m ,200m and 50m backstroke respectively. Lucy secured two silver and one bronze medal in 50m free Multi class S 15, 100m Butterfly Multi class S 15 and 50m Butterfly Multi class S 15 respectively.


Sam Neeld also came 4th in the 50m Breaststroke final. 8 University records have been smashed and PBs hit across the group!

We are so proud of our Lions and their incredible achievements across all of the BUCS Nationals sports. With records broken, 24 medals, new personal bests, and a hefty number of BUCS points in the bag, it sure was a weekend to be remembered!