2012 is now in full swing and the gyms around towns and cities are packed with people who are working towards their New Year's Resolution. Ask any person who puts their total heart and dedication into the gym throughout the entire year what they think about come the first week of the year in the gym, and the answer you'll most likely get is "In 4 weeks it'll be back to normal."
"4 weeks? Why 4 weeks?
The reason most gyms go back to "normal" within four weeks is because a lot of people do not stick to their resolution of losing weight or building muscle, or whatever goal they had set for themselves. Now you ask why? The reason most people fail in a gym or with a fitness related resolution is because they do not have a plan. Waking up on New Year's Day and getting stoked about the resolution you thought about the week before and going into it on a whim will make you fall flat on your face.
You need a plan.
Having a plan to use while striving to reach your goals will help you every step of the way. Getting from point A to point B is not a straight line when it comes to fitness. Fitness in a way is easy to understand but also very easy to become brainwashed in. There is a ton of information on the internet, on television, and in magazines that will catch your eye. This makes it very easy to become overwhelmed with information and may take you off course. It takes a plan to weed out the useless information and to implement the most valuable information.
Before I go any further with this article I just want to say if you do not plan on dedicating the entire year to reaching your goal then do not continue reading. That is what it takes. You cannot expect to wake up four weeks into the new year and be in the best shape of your life. Start by changing your focus of using some quick fix to drop a pants size before Valentine's Day and focus on changing your entire life. I'm not saying go quit your job or break up with your boyfriend. I am saying it will help you so much if you change the mindset of "wanting the best and wanting it yesterday" to the mindset of "I'm in this for the long haul". It did not take four weeks to get you out of the best shape in your life. It sure as hell is going to take a lot longer.
Even if you do not want some Bodybuilder or Fitness model body, even if you just want to lose ten pounds, making this resolution a complete commitment will change your life. You will live a happier and healthier life and you will be motivated to tackle your day. Imagine yourself now, barely able to lift 50 pounds off the ground. Now imagine yourself in twenty weeks. After totally committing yourself to becoming the best you can be, to becoming a healthier person with an exciting life lifting 145 pounds off the ground. How stoked and how inspired are you going to feel? Ladies, how awesome will you feel when you look around and notice you are just as strong as some men in the gym? That is kick ass. What's even more impressive is the physique you'll be walking around with after those 20 weeks.
So now, how you do make an effective plan?
Starting off on the right foot will take some time to plan things out. First thing you should do is grab a piece of paper and a pen and write your Resolution out. Really think about what you want to accomplish. Look at it in complete silence for five minutes. Now ask yourself why you want that to be your resolution. Be completely honest with yourself. There is nobody judging you or grading you. This is for you and you only. Why cheat yourself already in the New Year? Write it out on the piece of paper. Again, look at it for five minutes in complete silence.
You should now have a very good understanding of what you want to achieve and why. If you don't, do it again. Looking at your resolution and the reason you want to work for it may be eye opening if you did as I said. You may even be feeling emotional about whatever you wrote down. That is good! Use it as motivation and use it to walk all over any of the fear that lingers beneath you.
If you are reading this and are not even in the slightest bit interested in working out, ask yourself, "What good would implementing a workout routine into my life bring?"
Now is the time you need to use to decide what you are going to do to accomplish your goals. Are you going to join a gym, go to a zumba class, sign up for a boot camp, or work out at home? Are you going to do it by yourself or hire a professional to help you? What type of workouts are you going to do? What am I going to eat? How much should I eat? These questions may be harder for some then others but the internet is filled with information. Go to a library and read strength training books in peace and quiet and take notes. Ask the guy squatting inside the Squat Rack for some advice. Just do it while he is resting. If he isn't an asshole, he'll lend you some advice.
In my opinion for an absolute beginner to working out the three things you need to understand about working out are:
1. Strength training with barbells and weights is the most effective form of exercise.
2. Weighing your food until you can judge by sight is important.
3. Stretching everyday will make you feel and perform better.
If you want to get on a good program without the cost, use Google to find answers. Follow the most known names in the fitness industry on facebook and twitter and read everything they write.
Buy a notebook. This is now your training journal. It is your best friend. It is the most useful app you now have in your life. Name it.
Having a training journal is a very resourceful tool to have on your journey of goal smashing. In the training journal you need to record everything about your day.
Here is an example of a very good training journal:
January 3rd 2012
New Year's Resolution: Reaching elite numbers in Powerlifting's big three.
6am I woke up and had coffee. I used 2 tbsp of creamer.
Packed my lunch.
8am I had another cup of coffee with 2 tbsp of creamer.
I had a protein shake consisting of 260 calories and 52 grams of Protein
I had a banana- 100 calories
1 had a plain bagel- 150 calories
I had my lunch- 1 scoop of protein powder 130 calories 26 grams of protein
8 oz chicken 200 calories 48grams of protein
1 bagel 150 calories
1 banana 100 calories
2pm I had a snack
2 scoops of protein power 260 calories 52 grams of protein
1 cup of oatmeal 300 calories
4pm I trained
I got to the gym and stretched for 20 minutes.
I foam rolled my calves, my hamstrings, my quads, my IT bands and hips. Finished foam rolling my back.
Used some hip flexor stretches to loosen up.
5 reps 95lbs
5 reps 115lbs
3 reps 135 lbs
5 reps 170lbs
5 reps 200lbs
5 reps 225lbs
5 reps 275lbs
Dumbbell bench press
I did 3 sets of 10 reps with 80 pound dumbbells.
ETC ETC ETC
By now you should understand what I mean about a training journal. You write in everything you eat and everything you do in the gym. Doing this will help you keep track of what you are doing and if it is working. In the long run you can review this if something is wrong and you are not making progress. PROGRESS is important every single workout. By writing your resolution under the date of the entry EVERY TIME you make an entry helps you stay on course with your goals and you see it before your eyes EVERY DAY. Eventually you will not need to track the calories and macro-nutrients because it will be second nature to you.
At this point you have your goal, the reason you want to reach the goal, what you are going to do about it, and your training journal. You are ready to make it work. It takes time and there is no rush. There is no failure in trying but sometimes you need to ask yourself if you're trying hard enough. Go out there and become awesome in everything you do. Be happy you are alive and you can perform in the gym. There are no problems in your life that a barbell can't fix. When you go to the gym, you go to workout. No chatting, no reading papers or facebook posting. No long treadmill sessions. Don't be the one who joins on the 1st and quits by the end of the month. You are better than that, take it one day at a time and don't stress the small stuff. It's just you and the wall blocking your goal. Knock it down.
- Happy New Year and Best Wishes