January is here! It’s a time when we’re looking back at everything that’s happened in 2018. The things that we have achieved and the things that we let slip to the wayside. It’s a time when motivation is high, where we can wash off all past attempts and approach things as a clean slate a fresh start!
So now, when your motivation is at its highest. You’re looking to join a gym. Here’s our tips for making sure you achieve your new body goals.
1) Set realistic, detailed goals.
Whatever your plan, you must be consistent for it to be effective. Don’t get stuck in the trap of ‘what’s best’ on paper. What’s best FOR YOU is going to be the plan you can stick to. Ask yourself:
Is my goal realistic?
If you’ve never lost weight before then losing 2lb a week is fast. Over a year that would be 100lbs. Time is your friend. Ask yourself:
Am i going to be able to stick to this… in 3 months time?
Can you see yourself still doing it at Easter? If not, go back a step and pick a target that works. You can always do more as it gets easier.
2) Do things one step at a time.
Everything doesn’t have to be perfect to train.
For example you don’t need the perfect diet or routine if for the last 3 months or more you’ve not trained or watched what you eat.
Procrastinating on getting everything perfect stops a lot of us from getting started or can lead to early burn out. We call this waiting for the stars to line up.
If you wait for the stars to line up it’s rare you’re going to get the opportunity.
Instead do things one step at a time. Often making one positive change will lead to another. After you’re into a routine of training naturally you’ll want to start eating better so if you have a bit of faith you can focus on getting into training and then as that becomes easy you can then put your focus into food.
3) Make a plan and hold yourself accountable.
You’ve heard the saying. ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’
It works for the simple stuff too.
Once you’ve made a plan be specific and go into detail.
If your plan is to train 3x per week, what days are you going to train?
Having a routine gives you something to stick to on the days when you’re not quite feeling it.
It also gives you a structure to plan around so things don’t accidentally get in the way. It keeps training high up on your priority list which you need to do if you want to look a certain way by April or June.
4) FOOD – Start with the basics
This applies to newbies and seasoned pros who’ve just got a bit comfy over the year.
Before going no-carb, joe wicks or paleo. Are you still doing the small changes that make a difference?
- Are you eating breakfast?
- Are you taking a lunch to work?
- Can you honestly say you’re getting 3 meals a day?
- Have you cut out takeaways? (or why not try cooking a fakeaway at home)
- Are you avoiding sugary drinks (diet ones are fine) Are you avoiding alcohol?
- Do you have a portion of protein with each meal.
- Do you drink 2 litres of water a day.
Making these changes will cut out 80% of the high calorie foods in your diet which aren’t productive to weight loss. They’ll make sure your body has most of what it needs to recover after a workout. You’ll be eating more food that fill you up for longer and it will have a positive impact on your blood sugar levels which is good for appetite as-well as balanced energy levels throughout the day.
You want to be ticking yes to all of those before you get into calorie counting, or cutting out your carbs.
If not, brilliant. Focus on using January to make these an habit. Don’t be afraid to make weight loss simple.
5) Form Habits and Routines.
We’ve all said it before, ‘I just need a little more motivation.’
That motivation comes. We work hard for a week.. maybe 2 weeks and then things start to slow or we revert to know what we know.
That’s because motivation is finite. It runs out and we run on what we know, our habits, lifestyles and routines.
On the other side of the coin there’s those people who always train, always eat well, asif it’s effortless. That’s because it’s their routine which is what we need to create.
It takes 21 days to form a habit so this isn’t always a quick process however you do gather pace and your progress becomes like a snowball rolling down an hill.
The secret to doing well is doing it consistently over time. To do that we need routines. That’s the secret to athletes, it’s their lifestyle.
Break goals down and build them up one step at a time.
6) Train for more than just fat loss.
Enjoying what you do is key!
On the face off things weight loss is simple. Eat less calories and move more.Sticking to it is much harder…
You will have much more motivation to go to the gym if you’re seeing a performance increase too.
Are you getting stronger? Are you getting fitter? Are you learning something new? Have you set up your program so you can see these things?
If you’re only measure of training is how much you sweat then you’re not going to see progression. As you get fitter you will do more and you will still be sweaty and out of breath.
7) Train with weights
Weights can be used to:
- Burn fat.
- Build strength.
- Build muscle.
- Tone up.
- Get fitter.
- Boost your metabolism.
- Injury rehab & prevention.
They’re proven to be good for just about everyone.
When you take in less energy than your body needs it has to look for that energy elsewhere. Mostly this comes from fat which is good BUT your body can also burn muscle too.
We need to maintain our muscle for a toned look so we need to do something to prevent this which is why we train with weights.
More muscle also burns more fuel which is why trainers recommend weights as part of a fat loss program.
Weights are as flexible as the programming. 3 sets of 10 can be a good place to start while you learn the movements however you’re not restricted to just that.
You can mix your reps from 3 – 30 depending on whether your goal is strength, building muscle, toning, fitness or anything in between.
8) Use free weights over machines.
Machines are designed to assist you. They have their place in terms of ease of use and gyms will use their vast array of equipment to sell you a membership but that’s not to say they’re best.
By assisting you they’re also doing some of the work your body should be doing. They are not letting your muscle stables like they should or engaging your core like compound free weights movements might.
You can work all you body with; Squats, KB Swings, Deadlifts, Lunges, Press up, Pull ups (bodyweight or assisted), Bent over rows and Standing Shoulder Presses.
If you’re not confident doing one of these yourself, ask one of the trainers in your gym to show you. They wont charge you for a 5 minute exercise demo.
9) Talk to trainers.
Finally. Speak to the staff in your gym.
Some trainers have a bad reputation for just trying to sell to you but don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch.
A good trainer should do the job because they enjoy helping people.
If you’re going to work with someone do your research.
Are they qualified?
Have they experience of training?
Have they experience of getting results for others?
If you need a demo on an exercise. If you’re unsure about what the next step should be talk to someone who has walked the path. Someone who has had experience of helping others and let them save you a bit of time.
As trainers we’re always happy to hand out a bit of advice. Drop us a message or pick up the phone.
Remember, whatever you do. Think towards April, are you going to still be enjoying it then. Best of luck!
Sean – Next Level Fitness