Stick to Your Resolutions This Year (Finally!)
By Dan Levin, Certified Personal Trainer
You've been down this road before. A year ago, you made New Year's resolutions that you confidently vowed to keep. Then, as they say, life happened. Throughout the year, work, kids' schedules, family obligations, celebrations of all sorts, and vacations mercilessly conspired to derail your fitness schedule and proper meal plan. Let’s not even talk about December.
But that's the reality of it.
Now that it's January 2017, all of that is in the past. You will likely make New Year's resolutions to get back into or stay in shape, just like you did a year ago. And like last year, you will again swear to keep your resolutions. But will history repeat itself or will you stick to the plan this time?
As a personal trainer at ClubSport, I see an influx of new faces every January. And in those faces, I see a fire burning within to take control of their health and appearance. If I had to rate their intensity from 1-10, it would be an 11! In every chat I have with these new members, they eagerly tell me how hard they're working out (six or even seven days a week), how they have curtailed their drinking or social outings, and of their many sacrifices to make this year the year it happens.
After a month or three, I notice that some of these members have improved, but I also notice that a fair amount slowly faded away and then disappeared.
So why is it that some people succeed and others inevitably fail? What is the X-factor that can keep you in the first group and not the latter? Motivation.
Is the juice worth the squeeze?
You're here for results. When you make sacrifices and don't get the returns you expect, your motivation will decline. I often hear people say things like "Why am I torturing myself if I don't look or feel any better?"
If you're not getting enough "juice" (i.e., results), it's not for lack of enthusiasm — you're already squeezing! Instead, the reason is that you simply don't have the required plan in place — or as I describe it, you didn't work on the front-end of your plan.
When I first sit down with a client or member, the first topic we cover is food strategy. We go over it in detail. Those who follow the plan get fast and consistent results.
So it's the food?
You eat pretty healthy, so shouldn't that do it? Here's some insight: The universe doesn't care if you are eating healthy; the universe only cares if you are eating to change your body composition.
Eating healthy just means that you are avoiding non-healthy foods. It doesn't mean that you can't get fat or stay fat on a diet of healthy food. Eating to change your body composition, however, makes all the difference.
There are some metrics to consider. The first requires that you get the right approximate number of calories on a workout day as well as on a non-workout day. The other metric involves consuming the right percentage of protein, fat, and carbs in every meal every day.
In other words, dietary fat and carbs aren't the enemy — getting the wrong amount, whether it's too much or too little, is. If you can't create a successful nutrition plan, attend a ClubSport-sponsored seminar or ask a fitness expert for guidance.
Is your workout plan right for you?
Mimicking workouts of other people in the club has its advantages and disadvantages. Take that ripped bodybuilder at the club that you have been emulating. He or she likely picks a body part and beats it up for an hour probably six days a week. Sometimes they even work out twice a day.
If you work in an office and can only make it to the club 2-3 times a week, you're probably not hitting each muscle group enough to make progress, but you're doing it infrequently enough to get needlessly sore.
Unless you can come to the club as much as that bodybuilder, you need to stop doing workouts that isolate muscles and instead do workouts that integrate them. Not only will your workouts fit into your schedule, but you will also hit multiple muscles at once, making each workout more effective for your lifestyle.
What's the right plan?
The right plan contains all the pieces of the fitness puzzle:
- Corrective training
- Proper nutrition
- Resistance training
This is a synergistic plan where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Most people fail because they choose to exclude one or multiple parts of the plan, which leads to less-than-ideal results and, in turn, waning motivation. However, when you utilize the entire plan, you will notice changes in the mirror, your clothes, and your measurements. People around you will notice, too. As the compliments roll in, your motivation, self-esteem, and self-confidence will grow. Your chalice will overflow with juice.
So this January, make sure you approach your resolutions with the right plan and stick with it. It's a new year and your new shot.