Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tips for succeeding with your fitness goals!

This month my work kicks off our nationwide 90 day challenge. During the 90 days clients can make a fitness goal- to lose fat, gain muscle, improve their health, run a marathon, etc. and we help them achieve it. I put together this list for my team and I thought others might find it helpful as well. These are things I have found to be helpful for sticking to your H&F goals.


Tips for staying on track with your health and fitness goals 
1) You have to WANT it. I mean bad… it has to be more important to you than going out for a drink after work or sleeping in an extra 30 minutes before work. Not only do you have to want it but you have to be clear with yourself about why you want it so that when it becomes a challenge you will have to motivation to push hard and keep going.

2) Set concrete goals and WRITE THEM DOWN. Put your goals somewhere you will see them, like on the refrigerator or your bathroom mirror. Make a second written document that states WHY this goal is so important to you that you are willing to change your life to accommodate it. This has to be good! You will need to look at this as a reminder of why you are doing things you might not feel like doing. Find a friend, coworker, partner, parent, the internet, and tell them your goal. Tell everyone your goal. Talking about it makes it real and like it or not you will have more pressure to succeed.

 3) When you fail to plan, you plan to fail… Think about what you need to complete your goal and get those things in place before you start. Do you need a trainer? Do you need a workout routine? Do you need a weekly grocery list? DO YOU NEED TO GO BUY GROCERIES??? Great, go do it.

4) Log things… Log your workouts, track your food, be clear with your intentions and the energy you put into this journey. Logging your food and workouts will make you more aware and focused on what you are doing and you will be able to see your progress!

5) Develop a support system… This can be a workout buddy, an internet group, an instagram account, coworkers who also have fitness goals- whatever. There is strength in numbers and having someone who is going to tell you to go workout when you feel lazy and congratulate you when you completed something hard helps a lot. Remember that ultimately you can’t count on a buddy to always be there when you need to go workout… you are going to have to go it alone sometimes. Don’t let another persons lack of commitment halt your progress.

6) Keep your eye on the prize. You will have set backs… you will get sick or have an injury, you will slip up and under eat, or have a few too many oreos on the weekend. It happens. Get over it and move along. We are prone to this mentality (I am especially) where when we make a mistake we either wallow in it and feel horrible about ourselves or we throw everything out the window and go on an unhealthy binge. Don’t do that. Just because I ate 8 oreos doesn’t mean I might as well finish off the pack.

7) Get help. Hire an expert, or find a good knowledgable source of information and learn from them. 

Good luck and I’ll see you at the gym!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What it takes: Achieving your fitness goals

It's that time of year again, New Year's resolution time… Everybody is excited to start fresh and get themselves in good shape for the summer. I could not applaud that more, even though I don't think you need to wait till January 1st to have those goals. 
As a trainer nothing makes me more happy than an influx of new gym members who are super excited and motivated to change their lives through fitness. Unfortunately most people don't make it... They put a few weeks in, or a few days in, and drop off the map. One of the most frustrating things is having a client who is super excited, motivated, and claims to be very dedicated to achieving their goals, and then can't seem to follow through with the steps they need to take to reach those goals. I can only help you so much, Internet memes can only take you so far, and looking at your fitness celebs for motivation isn't going to get you those abs you're telling me you want. Ultimately you have to find it in yourself to follow through; you have to eat right, tone down the partying, and make it to the gym. No one can do that for you.
Most people who start with these vivid and intense ideas about how they want to transform are not being honest with themselves about what it takes to get there. That may sound harsh, I am in no way saying this to be negative although it may come off that way, more so just to encourage people to make attainable and realistic goals that they can succeed at. Often when people realize that their goal was too demanding they quit altogether, instead of stepping back and finding a middle ground. I think you can have a more positive experience and long term motivation by planning an accessible goal. That being said, ANYONE CAN BECOME “FITNESS MODEL “FIT. This in not an elite thing, it just requires you to be completely dedicated and genuinely committed. 

I think that the main things people don’t consider when making a fitness resolution are:
- This is going to affect your life. You might not be able to go out as often, you might have to change the way you interact socially… Think through what that will be like and resolve to go through with it even though you may get lonely. Plan other types of ways that you can still do things with friends or make new friends that support your lifestyle.
- This will be your lifestyle. Prepare for the gym to be your new favorite hobby. When people ask you what you do for fun your answer will be “biceps”.
- You might not actually want the goal that bad… meaning you might want to look like an extra from 300, but you don’t want to track your food, be constantly hungry, do cardio several times a week on top of 5 regular gym sessions, and give up drinking and cookies. THAT IS OK! It isn’t for everyone and there is nothing wrong with you deciding you don’t want to sacrifice things you enjoy in your life for an extreme physical goal.

With all that said, here are my tips to achieve your health and fitness goals for the new year and hopefully the rest of your life!
Step 1- Make a goal with both long term and short term MEASURABLE parameters. 
- An example of this would be “This year I would like to gain 24lbs of muscle. I can do this by gaining .5lb a week.”
Step 2- Think through the logistics of your goal. 
- Is it even possible to gain 24lbs of muscle a year? How do you know? Is your information good? What are you going to need to do to get there? Do you have that knowledge or do you need to consult an expert?
Step 3- Re-evaluate your goal.
- You’ve realized that 24lbs a year might be a little lofty… maybe 12lbs this year is more realistic. You’ve learned that you will have to be in the gym at least 4 times a week for 1-2 hours at a time. You have learned that you are going to eat in a certain manner to achieve this goal, maybe that means more food than you are really comfortable with. It most likely means that you will have to turn down social engagements because you need to be at the gym. Or if your goal is weight loss you might have to give up drinking or opt out of fancy dinners sometimes. Can you do this? Are you that committed to your goal?
Step 4- Follow through.
- So you are deciding that it is realistic for you to eat 5000 calories a day and be in the gym 4 days a week for 1-2 hours a session. Great! Now to make that happen. How are you going to make sure you get your food in? Are you going to meal prep? How often? When are you going to go to the gym? What days? Are you prepared to go before work, or after even if you are tired so that you don’t miss a session? The gym has to be your job. Now just be consistent. Take the step necessary to get there!

Maybe just pick a facet of this and work on one thing at a time... here are 5 great starting points to reaching better health and fitness
- Go to the gym X times a week, unless deathly ill
- Track your food to make healthy changes
- Add 2 servings of green vegetables to your diet per day
- Cut out refined fats and sugar or reduce it to a level that will fit into your optimal macro balance
- Give up drinking or reduce your alcohol consumption to X drinks a week


Remember that attainable goals are measurable and realistic. Success in achieving your goals requires a plan that you are prepared to carry out. One misstep does not equal failure or a reason to quit, consistency is the most important aspect in improving your health and physique so just let it go and move forward. Fitness is a journey so it may take you a while to get where you want to go, but every step counts!
Hope to see you in the gym... EVERY DAY