It's a new year and we all know what that means, endless talk fo new goals, a new year, a new you. Up and down the country thousands upon thousands of people are dusting off their gym kit that hasn't been used since last January and saying this year will be my year to get into shape, to get fit.
Yet the truth of the matter is that most don't, most fall by the wayside even before January ends and a few months later haven't got anywhere near there goals, may have even cancelled their gym membership as they realised their money was going to the gym but they weren't!
Any of this sound familar? It should do, those of you who have recently made the new years resolution ask yourself how many times you plan to go to the gym per week? Whats your answer, 3? 4? 5? days a week?
Recent studies have shown that the average member uses their membership only 0.9 times a week. Not even 1 visit a week. Thats a huge difference from when you tell yourself I'm going to the gym 3/4 times this week. Why does this happen then? Well it's simple people aren't being smart and realistic with their expectations and goals. So how can you avoid falling into your traditional yearly pitfall of failure in the fitness department? Follow these simple tips:
1/ Don't do it for anyone else but you:
Why do YOU want to get fit? What do you think fit is? Don't be bullied into getting a beach body because your favourite actor or singer has. Don't think that because it's your best friends edding you HAVE to lose weight. Do it for yourself. Events like holidays and weddings do help motivate you but what happens whe they have passed? What happens when its 2 weeks before the big event and you realise you haven't been to the gym and are nowhere near getting into shape? If you want to do then think about what fitness means to you and deep down why you want to get fit. Only then can you.....
2/ Set Realistic and SMART goals:
When setting goals always think S.M.A.R.T,
S= Specific - Tone? No not right, what is tone? Specific is I want to have clear muscle definition in my arms, abdominals and quads.
M= Measureable - How are you going to determine you've been a success? I am a 36 waist I want to be a 32 waist.
A= Achievable - saying you want to be 10 dresses sizes slimmer by 2 weeks isn't achieveable, and by not achieving goals you become disinterested. Set yourself small goals to a bigger aim for example drop a dress size in 4 weeks.
R= Realistic - Becoming Mr Olympia within 2 months ain't gonna happen, think about what you want.
T= Time - Again wanting things to happen too soon will make you disinterested in what you are doing
3/ Seek professional help and advice:
Don't be scared Fitness coaches and Personal trainers don't bite. We don't sit in the staff room and laugh at people who ask us for advice, we do our job because we love what we do and are passionate about helping people, we get awfully big headed when we help someone towards their goals and reach them goals, we love it and live off it. So with that in mind ask us. Go to the right gyms and you won't even be charged for this help it's included in your membership. At my club a member is entitled to get a programme review from the fitness staff every 4 weeks as free, but only 2% of members take up this option.
4/ Plan and review:
Plan i your workouts, but also plan in your rest periods. If you have a 9-5 job great, but many people don't so try and plan your workouts around your work / sleep patterns. Remember a workout doesn't have to last 1 hour, if you are smart in your training not time wasting you can do an effective workout in 25 minutes, so theres no excuse.
It's also important to review what you are doing on a regualr basis to ensure you don't get stuck in a rut and keep doing the same thing, the Humany body (as cheesy as it may sound) is a fantastic thing that can quickly adapt and will figure out what you are trying to do, so in other words confuse the hell out of your body, it may hurt the next day but thats a sign your body is working hard.
If I had a £1 for everytime someone said they don't like the treadmill I'd be rich. Yet people still think they need to use the treadmill. If you don't like it why are you doing it? How many times have you gone to the gym and cut something short or skipped it entirely or made it easier because you don't like it or find it boring? Gym's nowdays have many different pieces of kit and classes, try something different, there are plenty of options and as long as you ask a professional they will be able to adapt it and make it work for YOUR goals.
I hope these tips help you get to your goals and make for a happy 2012 in fitness. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter or contact me through the blog for any further help of advice.