Happy New Year! This time of the year is an important time for folks to make and attempt new challenges. Getting back into shape is one of the most sought after challenges that many people will attempt. Unfortunately it will also be one of the least realized. Here are some tips to help you realize your fitness goals whether you are a beginner or a veteran.
Weight Loss is Too Broad of a Goal
Weight loss is a very popular goal. It is however a very ambiguous goal. I once trained a client that dropped three pant sizes, felt more energy, got stronger, and developed much greater endurance to include running, which she had not done for years. Her total weight loss after 6 weeks…..about 4 pounds. Had her goal been strictly weight loss she would have been very disappointed. What had happened was that her body composition had changed. Forget about the scale and the numbers associated with it. Train for athleticism, work hard, and stay consistent and you will be happy with the results.
Train to be an Athlete
We are all athletes and athleticism has a place in everyone’s life. When you train, introduce athletically derived drills into your workout. For example use cone drills for agility and cardio training and plyometrics for explosiveness and cardio. These will break up the monotony of boring traditional cardio workouts, increase the metabolic demands of your workout, and develop greater athleticism that is applicable to everyday life. Think of this component of your workout as the “spring in your step” portion.
Circuit training allows you to maximize the amount of training that you can do in a given amount of time. Circuit training is simply a group of about three exercises that are worked in a cyclical manner. For example a circuit may consist of push-ups, kettlebell swings, and pull-ups. Do push-ups then move on the kettlebell swings and then on to the pull-ups. Once you are complete with the circuit start from the top and do it again. Build your circuits to include at least one cardio event such kettlebells or sprints and try to use exercises that work different muscle groups each time.
Train for a Sport
Even if you don’t play one. Having a goal that you are training for is important and the lack of a goal beyond simple fitness or weight loss is a recipe for failure. For example train like a football running back. You don’t need to be 250lb and run a 4.4 second 40 yard dash to do this. Simply look at the athletic requirements for the position and train them accordingly. You will have to run faster, so that will require a strong and powerful lower body as well as sprint work. You will also need to include plyometrics for agility. Find a sport that you are interested in and train for that sport. I apologize but golf won’t cut it.
Being eager is good but it should be kept in check. Remember that genuine health and fitness are the result of prolonged and consistent exercise. Keeping that in mind limit your workouts to five per week at about 45 minutes to one-hour. Over-training can lead to injury and actually degrade performance. Rest is just as important as work. Also, fitness must be a part of your life, not your entire life. Take the weekends off and enjoy life and your new found fitness. You’re in this for the long run.
Good luck to you in everything that you do this New Year. Contact North Atlantic Personal Training at www.RhodeIslandPersonalTrainer.com if you have any questions or if you would to read more articles about meeting your fitness goals.