“What should I do today?”
“Legs.. I’ll do deadlifts. No, wait..maybe some squats..when was the last time I did squats?”
If you’re deciding what your workout will be as you’re walking into the gym.. then I’m sorry to say.. but
In order to see any results you need to have a structured program. Walking into the gym, let alone trying to reach any goals without a fitness plan, is like trying to drive in a foreign country without a map; you will eventually get somewhere, but where you end up may or may not have anything to do with where you actually wanted to be. Without a proper fitness plan you have no way of tracking your progress, and no way of knowing if you will reach your goals.
The Right Way
Write down your goals. This is the first step to create a fitness plan. Do you want to reach a certain PR in your deadlifts? Do you want to chisel your back? Maybe you just want to feel comfortable on the beach. Whatever your reason is to workout you need a structured fitness plan to get you there. Once you’ve established what you want to accomplish, you need to create a ‘map’ to get you there, these are your short-term goals. Short-term goals are mileposts on the way toward your long-term goal.
- Long term goal: doing 12 unassisted chin-ups
- Short term goals:
- wk 1-4: build muscle strength by doing band assisted chin-ups
- wk 5-8: work on holding your weight- negative chin-ups
- wk 9-12: 3 unassisted chin-ups x 2 sets, 1.5min rest between sets (add 1 set per week)
- wk 13-16: 4 unassisted chin-ups x 3 sets, 1.5 min rest between sets
- wk 17+ : gradually increase reps per set, until 12 straight reps achieved
Establishing a fitness plan eliminates the guess work and tracks your progress. Having a schedule to follow helps eliminate the “I’ll do it tomorrow” thought pattern and holds you accountable. Once you get into the habit of following a plan, you’ll see how easier it is to get through your workouts which in turn helps motivate you to succeed. Also by having a visual record of your progress means you can actually see how far along you’ve come, which is always motivating.
Keep It Simple
It doesn’t need to be fancy (unless that’s your style). Simply having a small journal with your workouts written in them and space to write in reps, sets, weight, is enough. The main point is to make it a habit.
And that goes for any goals in general. The only way to ensure you reach them is by writing them doing, creating a ‘map’ & then following it. It eliminates any guess work, helps you be prepared for any obstacles you may encounter, and serves as a visual record of how far you’ve come and how much closer you are to your end point.
And that’s that.
Happy Training 🙂
There are 24 hours in a day.
The average person is awake for 17 hours.
The average time spent with a trainer is 2-3 hours per week.
That leaves 116-117 hours per week that a trainer has no control over what their client eats or workouts that are not completed.
The reality is that alot of times a trainer is hired based on unrealistic expectations. The client expects to lose weight just because they have hired a trainer. They believe that the trainer is the answer to their problems.. an instant, guaranteed solution.
But this is far from the truth.
A trainer will provide you with the necessary guidance and tools to help you change your lifestyle to that of a more healthier and active one. These changes will only help in reaching fat-loss goals IF you are willing to follow your trainer’s instructions. But more than half the time these instructions/guidance fall on deaf ears.
And what happens when you realize months have passed and you haven’t reached your goal?
You blame your trainer.
It’s your trainer’s fault that you miss your workouts, or that you have a cookie here.. a slice of pizza there. It’s your trainer’s fault that come the weekends your ‘healthy’ eating goes out the window.. because it’s so much easier to blame your trainer than to own up and blame yourself.
If your doctor were to tell you that you had a life threatening illness and unless you made drastic changes to your lifestyle, you would not survive.. would you think twice about it?
You probably wouldn’t even argue.
So why is it that most people are unwilling to make the necessary changes to their lifestyle in order to lose weight?
The average person will start to gain 1pd of fat per year after the age of 25 and lose 1/2pd of lean muscle after 25 years old.
What does this mean? By the time you have reached 55 years you will have gained anywhere between 25-30 pds of fat mass & lost about 10-12 pds of lean muscle tissue. (Lean muscle utilizes calories to work, repair, and refuel itself. Fat requires very few calories—it just kind of sits there)
You may not feel the effects of being overweight and inactive now.. but you most definitely will see how your lifestyle takes a toll on your body as early as your 40 ‘s. From coronary heart disease, to diabetes, to cancers.. these diseases can all be prevented with proper lifestyle changes. Why wait till then, when it’s too late? If you start the process early on, it will only be that much easier.
(See the effects of obesity here.)
So before you commit to hiring a trainer ask yourself these questions:
• Am I ready to give up certain foods/ habits?
• Am I willing to make time to exercise on a weekly basis?
• Am I willing to avoid situations that can throw me off-plan?
• Am I willing to put my health first and not ‘cheat’ myself for a moment of satisfaction?
If you can answer yes to all these then you are willing to commit to a new & healthier lifestyle. This is when a trainer can be your best investment. Because you will be focused on your goals, you will take accountability for your actions, you will be able to follow your trainer’s program and trust that the process will work.
And then the magic will happen!
So Phase 2 started on Wednesday. The training has been right on. Only yesterday I had to change a few exercises around since I did my workout from home. Did not feel up to driving all the way to my gym to just workout…so did it from home. Only had to substitute the last 2 tricep exercises with different ones & cardio was skipping instead of treadmill.
This phase I’m pretty much destroying my muscles. Weight is heavier, but I notice how much stronger I’ve gotten. By the end of my workouts I am extremely shaky. I’m convinced that if it wasn’t for my Mutant- Rehab(I mix this with my protein shake after my workouts) DOMS would render me immovable. But I LOVE that feeling of my muscles burning as I struggle to get those last few reps in. I usually don’t have a spotter as I prefer to workout solo, so I have to pause for a few seconds before continuing. Along with some grunts (and maybe a curse word or two?!) I finish off my set.
Food. Thats what got me this week. My goal is supposed to be 90% adherence or higher. FAIL for me…I’d say 50% if I’m lucky. It’s not that all my meals would be bad. Just that 1 meal would not be part of the plan. Which counts as an X. :(. I blame it on this long weekend.. During the week I’m pretty good at staying on schedule, but come the weekend its hard. Breakfast is always right on..its meals 3-6 that can be off track.
So as I start this new week I’m really going to aim for 100%. Maybe from here on out (till may 25 that is) I will become a hermit. Just leave the house to train my clients, train myself, then straight back home. Ok, and of course the necessary trips to the grocery store and such. But other than that I need to get a hold of this ‘situation’ as time is ticking.
Good luck to me!