So you’ve made to another through another year huh? If you’re like most people, you have decided that 2010 is going to be the year you finally stop procrastinating on exercising, eating right, and living a more healthful lifestyle. These are all great goals to try to achieve, but what happens with about 80% (or more) of people who embark on fitness resolution plan? Within a month, they have given up once again; allowing themselves to relapse back into the lifestyle that they swore they were never to live again.
Why does this happen for most people? Why do we torture ourselves playing see-saw with our bodies? When we’re overweight, we wish we were skinny. When we do something that will help us lose weight, we would rather be sitting at home eating chips and ice cream. Perhaps it’s a motivation issue; human beings are lazy by nature so we tend to do whatever is easiest. Getting fit is really simple, but it is hard work and some people would rather walk on hot coals with jagged razors sticking of them than deal with the aftermath of tired, sore muscles.
So you are at a crossroads of sorts, you know you want to lose weight, but starting an exercise and nutrition plan can seem like a daunting task. Plus the feeling of giving up your favorite foods deters you from reaching your fitness goals. So what do you do? Do you become content with being overweight or obese? Or do you muster up the courage to finally do something that gives you a new lease on life and a body that will give people whiplash from needing double-take of your awesome body!
Some people will never stick to a fitness plan no matter how great it is, others will do extremely well if they only had a plan to follow. So here I am, bringing an action plan to those who will do well with it. By following the principles outlined, I have full confidence that you will be able to transform your body this year if you are willing to do the work necessary. The goal is keep you from being injured, which happens to most people within six weeks of starting a fitness regimen.
Outlined within this article are my “7 rules to Fitness Success.” If you are goal oriented and success minded YOU WILL get results. So don’t be afraid to sweat a little bit, don’t be afraid of few sore muscles. Sore is one thing, but when you feel pain it’s different; soreness is inevitable, but muscle and joint pain is different, you must recognize that. The 7 rules are outlined as follows:
Have a plan that’s progressive and goal oriented- You can’t get to the top of the mountain in a sprint. Even if you feel like you need to do more, you must allow your body time to become acclimated to your new exercise routine. In the exercise programs I have developed for my clientele, I always start with a modified movement before doing more advanced exercises. Be sure to set specific, progressive goals to attain maximum results.
Step away from the machines- The one thing I really abhor are exercise machines and the gimmicks on fitness commercials. Health clubs always boast about their “state of the art” machines, but what’s so special about them? For one thing they are extremely boring, and they hurt you more than they help you. Since I became a fitness professional, I have never seen anybody build an impressive body from using fixed machines. The only machines I do care for are cable machines such as those made by Free Motion. These machines force you to stabilize your core and improve your balance which leads to greater fitness gains.
Build a bodyweight based fitness program- There is no better resistance than your own bodyweight. You should always be able to use your own bodyweight before you think of adding weights to your regimen. This is the cause of many injuries in exercise; too many people are quick to load up the weights before they even learn how to do an exercise correctly. Build your strength training routine with this five exercise sequence of squat variations, pushup variations, lunge variations, rowing variations, and a core exercises such as side planks. Perform each exercise for 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest in between each exercise, then rest 1-2 minutes before completing the next round doing a total of 4-5 rounds. This routine only takes about 20 minutes to complete, and it burns a ton of calories, thus leading to greater fat loss gains. Here is sample exercise routine.
-Modified Pushups on your knees
-Overhead Reverse Lunges
-Bodyweight rows in a pushup position
-Front Planks w/ one knee down and one leg extended
Ditch the walking program- Don’t get me wrong, walking is a very healthy activity to do, but walking doesn’t boost your resting metabolism, which is key to losing fat permanently. Depending on your fitness & health history, walking is a great way to get started, but is not something that will continue to provide results. I like to use bodyweight cardio exercises such as speed squats, jumping jacks, and running in place for 30 seconds work and 30 seconds rest for 10-15 minutes. It stokes your “furnace” to burn off more fat in less time and it will boost your metabolism after your workout so even when you’re done with the workout you are still burning calories. Another benefit is you can do those exercises anywhere, no machines needed.
Eat supportively- One of the biggest myths in fitness I’ve heard is “As long as you exercise, it doesn’t matter what you eat.” My friend, this is just not true. A fitting analogy would be a 120 pound man playing tug of war against four 320 pound lineman; who do you think is going to win? Base your nutrition plan off lean proteins, and colorful fruits and vegetables. Watch your carb intake because it’s easy to eat too many carbs in a day. Try to focus on a variety of whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal. It’s best to plan your meals out for the day rather than “winging it.” You want to eat every three hours for optimal results. In order to burn fat, your body needs energy; it’s like feeding coal to the fire. If you don’t continue to put coal in the furnace, the fire goes out, thus no heat. It’s the same for your body; if your body is not continually fed at regular intervals, it will lock on to the fat on your body and won’t let go. Your body needs collateral in order to burn fat. Your body says, “If you want me to let go of this fat, I going to need something in return.” If not, your body will hold your fat for ransom and the payment will be hefty.
Stop listening to your friends- Even if your friends mean well, majority of them don’t know what they’re talking about. They will tell you to try this pill, try that diet, use this machine, etc, etc, etc. Don’t listen to them! Some people’s advice is just not smart and just because they may be in decent shape; it doesn’t that they have the knowledge and skill necessary to help someone else get in shape. One of my pet peeves is people who think they can be personal trainers, but don’t have a clue. No matter how close you are to someone or how good of shape they are in, you cannot trust just anyone with your body. Not everyone can be your doctor, right? Always listen to a trusted professional instead, which leads me to the last rule of Fitness Success