If you just workout everyday with no concept of why, you’ll never achieve those abs on your Pinterest board. Having a plan is the key to making exercise both fun and functional. Everyone’s goal will be different. Weather you want chiseled shoulders or the ability to hold a handstand. It’s up to you which path to take. Just make sure you take one.
You have a friend who’s really into fitness, works out everyday, cardio and strength on a consistent basis. You join them for an occasional workout once a month and are shocked to find you don’t see any results when they are in the best shape of their lives. Sound familiar?
It’s not that you aren’t consistent enough or aren’t lifting heavy enough. It comes down to the fact that you don’t have a clear objective. Get into shape. Is not a goal. That means something different for everyone. So let’s break down how to map our your specific plan and set obtainable goals.
Determine a clear goal
Set a specific target. Is it a weight, either higher or lower than where you are right now?Weight fluctuates throughout the day. So, measuring body weight should be done at the same time everyday to accurately track it. How about a waist measurement? This is different from a weight because you allow yourself to gain weight from the resulting muscle build up that weighs more that the fat you will be burning off. Or, the best option of all. Being able to achieve a certain skill. Run up an entire hill without stopping, jump rope for a solid 5 minutes straight, hold a plank for 2 minutes. The reason these are so great is they are not focused on body image. If you can let go of the shape of your body and focus on a skill or ability you will find that your muscles will adapt and you will get the body you’ve been looking for. Also, these are the easiest to measure.
Find a time that works best for you
Going to the gym for an hour immediately after work doesn’t work for everyone. I have to pick up my daughter from daycare everyday. The morning isn’t any better either because I have to get her ready and take her to daycare. For me, late at night works best. You can read article after article online about “The optimum time to work out”, but if that doesn’t fit your schedule. Don’t force it. You will never stick to a time if you have to rearrange your life. The easier it is to incorporate exercise into your day, the easier it will be to stick with it.
Make your exercise a priority
You would never skip brushing your teeth in the morning because you’re running late. Why skip a quick workout because your friends want you to do something else? Exercising isn’t for anyone else except you. That’s why others will always be quick to say you can skip a workout. Don’t let them! When you make a decision to stick to a routine let the whole world know it, and do not let them pull you away from it. Sticking to a workout regiment is hard enough without the outside influences.
Bring others in on your fitness routine
Related to the previous note. If you workout by yourself, others will try to guilt trip you into hanging out with them because you spend so much time in the gym. After committing myself to staying in shape I’ve encountered this many times. Invite them to be with you during these times. It’s been proven countless times that having a workout partner increases your chances of sticking with it.
Ignore success stories
This may sound backwards, but hear me out. After reading story after story of other people succeeding you will ultimately start to feel down about your progress. Regardless of how far you’ve actually gotten. Instead, talk to friends about what they have done and are doing. This will paint a realistic picture of what the average person goes through and the struggles to stay motivated. The more you talk about fitness, the more it will be a part of your everyday life.
If you stick to your routine, any routine. You will see results. As long as you are conscious of the results you’re reaching for. Keep moving, keep pushing. You can do it!
-David Buceta, PHL Fit