Setting yourself a goal is a seriously effective motivation tool. Here are MF’s expert tips on how to make sure you reach yours.

Bench press

Target Bodyweight one-rep max, says Nick Mitchell, founder of Ultimate Performance (upfitness.co.uk)

How to get there “Ensure your body is completely stable — tuck feet behind knees, squeeze glutes, arch lower back, chest high, pull shoulder blades back and down — through the entire move. Also drive your head into the back of the bench, which will increase neural drive. Finally, squeeze the bar as hard as possible (again this increases neural drive), and try to rip the bar apart in your hands. This will activate the triceps more and make you stronger.”

5km run

Target 20minutes says Nick Morgan, founder of sportsintegrated.com

How to get there  “You need to improve your speed-endurance fitness, so do some hard interval sessions. Start with 60 seconds fast, 60 seconds slow, then gradually increase the duration of the faster spells while reducing your recovery periods until you can deal with pushing it hard for the whole distance.”

2000m row

Target 7min 30sec, says Tom Kay, former rowing world champion and double Olympian (concept2.co.uk)

How to get there “Rowing is a power-endurance activity, so you need to increase your stamina and aerobic capability and improve your power output. Lower-intensity, steady-state sessions of 30 to 60 minutes will help your aerobic performance, while shorter, more intense workouts will help you develop more power during each stroke.”

Squat

Target 1.5 times bodyweight one-rep max, says strongman Andy Bolton (andyboltonstrength.net)

How to get there  “Ditch the muscle-building sets of 8-12 reps and do some low-rep squat training. After a thorough warm-up, do three to five sets of three to five reps with three to five minutes’ rest between sets. You should also do some assistance training, such as barbell lunges and Romanian deadlifts, that works the hamstrings.”

Pull-up

Target Ten, says strength and conditioning coach Andy McKenzie (ironmacfitness.com)

How to get there “You can quickly boost your record pull-up score by activating your lats before pulling. When in position, focus on turning your elbows inwards, as though you are trying to bend the bar. This sets the shoulders in the right position for pulling your body upwards. Also, do sets of only a few reps, but lower yourself slowly to build strength.”