With resolution season coming up, I wanted to give some tips on how to adjust your fitness goal, and stick to your resolution! For most people, the key this time of year is to either shake things up, or start a new, safe, and enjoyable exercise program. So, no matter where you are in your fitness journey, I think you will get something out of this post 🙂
Shake It Up
One of the best ways to shake things up is to reevaluate your goals. Often times when I get stuck in a training rut, it’s because I am aimlessly exercising. To break loose from the chains of exercises staler than flat beer, I make sure I have a purpose. Whether it’s to gain muscle mass, trim down, or prepare my body for the rigors of joining a team sport, I make sure to lift accordingly. In turn, I will know exactly how much time and effort I will need to put in to see my goals come to fruition. Here are seven things to think about, and take into account, when shaking your routine up:
1. Your training age: Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced trainee?
2. Your goals: Are you training for better physique, bodybuilding (muscle size), powerlifting (strength), general health and fitness, conditioning, fat loss or a combination?
3. Your recovery ability: How well can you handle a large volume of exercise?
4. Your split routine: Are you training your entire body, half your body, or just a body part or two in a single workout?
5. Your personal preferences: What style of training do you enjoy the most – short and intense or long and leisurely?
6. Your results: Is what you’re doing now working well for you?
7. Your schedule: How much time do have available and how much are you willing to spend working out?
A New Beginning
If you’re new to the gym, or starting back up into a regular routine, it’s important to progress through your weight training safely. So here are some thoughts on when, and by how much, you should increase the iron your lifting.
1. Start small. If you’re new to lifting, start with about half as much weight as you think you can lift. This simple step can not only save you from injury, but it will save you from embarrassing yourself the day after when you cant move your arms due to DOMS.
2. Know when it’s time to increase the weight. In general, it’s safe to start lifting a little bit heavier when you’re completing your last set of an exercise with ease, and barely feeling it the next day.
3. Figure out how much weight to add. Essentially, you should be adding a little bit more weight each week for any given exercise. Pushing yourself will drive results.
The Long Haul
Regardless of your fitness goal, the overarching theme should be that of life long health and fitness. Here are some tips on how to stick to your fitness plan past February.
1. Announce it to the world. The more people who are aware of your intentions, the more support and accountability you will have.
2. To go along with this, create accountability measures. Make use of a journal, friend, or accountibilibudy to regularly update your progress.
3. Tackle the goals with other people. Whether it’s a group, a friend, or hiring a professional, creating a give-and-take system will thwart the feeling of not wanting to work out.
4. Make very specific goals or resolutions. I went over a few general thoughts on goal making, but utilizing the SMART goal making system, will help ensure your success.
5. Do something every day. Achieving your dream body/fitness goals doesn’t happen over night. So trying to make it happen all at once isn’t the best idea. Even if it is a really small step, do something that helps you get closer to your goal every day.
6.Pick a goal that seems impossible. The key word here is seems. That’s because you will be amazed at your self-confidence as you start actually progressing toward that goal.