The season of feasts and indulgences are now over, which sadly came with an expanding waistline for most of us. This season typically is also accompanied by progressively decreasing workouts, and progressively increased periods of dining. Maybe this is caused by the change in weather, or maybe the change in times; but we will focus on the time you spend in the gym, and in your mind.
The largest fight in keeping the weight off, and staying year-round fit, or even having year-round progress starts in your mind.
Start With The End Goal
When starting any fitness regime, workout plan, diet strategy, or approaching a holistic approach to a healthier lifestyle it is extraordinarily important to start with your end game in mind. This step is often easier said than done as when the general populous set out on their new and improved fitness kick they come to a down-trodden pitfall that is impossible to dodge if you do not have previous knowledge of it.
This pitfall is that the “end-game results” are either too specific or too vague.
Your End Goal is Too Specific
Those who chose the too specific of outcomes often look to people like Jelena Abbou, The Rock, Arnold, or any other super-fit fitness model. This is an unrealistic approach that needs to be tamed to be sought properly. If you aspire for a body of this type often you will start out in your new regime at a vigorous rate, and then after a few weeks it will begin to taper off as you don’t see the immediate results that you were looking for.
The outcome from this approach ends up being that you feel as though you will never reach the picturesque physique of that who you were attempting to emulate. This will often end in discouragement and stopping you from achieving your dream body right there.
Your End Goal is Too Vague
The second pitfall trap that most people get sucked into is that of too vague accomplishments. Having been in the fitness industry for many years now the most common statements are that “I want to look better,” or “I want to just bigger muscles”. Although it may not seem as these can be so bad because of the saying set the bar low, and you’ll always exceeded yourself, it will actually stray you wrong in the long-run.
Why so? Simply because if you’re not striving, you’re not driven. This, much like the too specific approach ends in the petering out of the fitness world, and back into old habits.
Take It One Day At A Time
How can we combat these issues that are commonly seen in the fitness industry among newcomers and experienced members, as well? The key is to be able to chew your plan one piece at a time; much like a nice steak or your favorite dish for dinner you need to chew the food one piece at a time, because you cannot fit it all in at once.
You must take you end-state goal which should be a semi-specific, but not extravagant goal, and break it down into small goal-oriented steps.
If your goal is to be able to increase your long-distance run from 5K max to running a 10K this will require a progressive approach. What is often practiced is that you take your base rate of speed, and increase it incrementally over the duration of time you have. This duration is set by the goal of the 10K (maybe 2 months down the road), a reasonable goal would be to keep your normal running routine, and add about a 1/3 mile per week of progress over the next 2 months until you hit that 10K mark.
This will provide you with small victories that can be celebrated, versus a deafening attempt for the max goal from your base.
What About Weightlifting Goals?
Glancing into the weightlifting world of the gym: take the glorified bench press. I have seen over and over again people saying that they want to break that 300lb press mark yet they are currently at sub-200. This is a lofty goal for even the most seasoned of gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts, although this does not mean that it’s impossible.
This must be broken down into bite-sized pieces that may be over a period of 1 year or more. This most often will be broken down into an attempted gain of 5-10lbs per month of gain in your presses, while increasing overall body strength to maintain proper balance. In time, the goal of a 300lbs press will be achieved.
The key to training – whether it be nutritional, performance, strength, endurance or sports – is to see your end goal, and then break it down into small accomplishments that you can revel in. With this, you can reach the lofty goal of the “too specific” approach, but without this knowledge, most – if not all – techniques will falter.