Keep these up and you most likely will not hit your goals this year.
News Year’s resolutions week 2 is upon us! The great fitness rush of the year is well underway and by this point more than half of the well intentioned resolutions have fallen by the wayside.
For those of you still in the struggle, this week’s writing is for you. I want to make sure that those of you staying with your goals are on the right track.
What is the main reason people ‘fall off the wagon’? Most people do not achieve the desired result! If you make sacrifices and lifestyle changes and do not see a result, people get frustrated and simply quit.
Why do people not achieve results? It’s simple really; they are doing the wrong things! And often they have chosen the wrong goal.
Let’s be honest, you goal is to lose weight. Sure, you play it off as you want to be healthy, be more fit, blah blah blah. You want to look leaner and be ready to wear a bathing suit in public. It’s OK, I won’t tell anyone.
Here is a list of things you are doing right now that are sure to derail your progress. How do I know? I have seen it every January for as long as I have been in the fitness industry!
Yes. The decades old fitness rule of cardio is still a predominant part of many of your fitness resolutions. Why? It is what we have done for so long that we believe in it just because we have always done it. Even though science and those of us practicing in the exercise field know differently!
What is this cardio we speak of? You know it. Get on the treadmill, buy a stationary bike, and plod away on the elliptical. Best to follow the little target heart rate profile and make sure you do at least 45 minutes at 60% of your max heart rate. Don’t work so hard that you could not have a conversation with your neighbour, heaven forbid you might get out of breath during exercise!
Here is the truth. The more cardio you do the more efficient your body becomes. The more efficient your body becomes the better it gets at using small amounts of energy to accomplish a goal. You are, in essence, teaching your body to slow down its metabolism. You also hold on to a little extra body fat this way as your body likes to have excess fat on board. It’s a safety mechanism, as more fat means if you have to go through a period of low calories, and then there are ample reserves!
If your program consists of all or mostly cardio style training and your goal is to look better, lose fat, lose weight and get ‘toned’ you are doing things all wrong.
Walking or running
OK, we best talk this through. I am not saying running or walking are bad. Just that they are not appropriate for the goals we are discussing. If you want to lose fat, look better in a bathing suit and clothes, or get that more toned look these are not the exercise choices for you. If you want to know why, read the point above about cardio!
Also, if you are not a regular exerciser already, the chances of you taking up something new that is primarily an outdoor activity (and no, running on the treadmill is not like running outside) in winter temperatures and then actually sticking with it are pretty low. Don’t doom yourself before you even begin. That is unless you are looking for an excuse already.
This is my personal vendetta of the year. To get everyone off of machine training. Yes, I said it. You shouldn’t be on machines; there is no need for them.
So many fitness businesses rely on these machine circuits and profess that they are the true path to optimal health. Anyone that tells you this DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.
No, they are simply trying to sell you on their own particular narrow minded philosophy, and they obviously are not educated on how your body actually works and functions and needs to be trained.
Machine circuits suck you in and make you reliant on that method, that program, and that facility. And that is what makes it such a sales scam.
If you joined somewhere with a machine circuit program, get out now! It’s only the first week, and there must be a cancellation policy!!!!!
Training on your own
This is something people do all the time. Take up something they are going to do all on their own. Running, swimming, weight lifting, you name it, we all start out with good intentions.
But we are social creatures. We need motivation, accountability, and a shoulder to lean on. Even if you think you’re a loner you most likely are not.
The most successful people train with someone. Athletes with coaches, teams with partners, and people with workout buddies all rely on external support. Note that even individual sports have coaching staff! You need a workout partner, or a trainer, or a group coach, or an online support forum you actually participate in. Without one of these things you are much less likely to stick to your resolution in the long run.
This is essentially a continuation of above. I have made a separate note because a gym membership can be a great investment.
Join a gym, OK. But don’t go it alone. Join a set program, hire a good trainer (shop shop shop shop shop!!!! for a good trainer!!!!!), or watch for exercise clubs or specialty programs. Going to the gym is great, if you know what you are doing and make some new friends during the process. Remember, most of the people at the gym have the same goals and fears that you do.
Fad diets or programs
This should be a no brainer by now but people still get sucked into them all the time. Walk into a book store and take a look at the fitness and diet sections, it’s INSANE. Book after, book after, book, and program after program. I have read them all. They are all the same. Quick fixes and bloated promises intended to lure you in.
There are some that are better than others for sure. But if you look through those good ones and really understand the programs they are pretty similar.
Here are the rules in a nutshell: eat clean (meats, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and dairy, while avoiding sugar, chemicals, and anything deep fried), drink lots of water, and exercise with a good program consisting of lots of resistance training. If you analyze all the good programs out there, that is all they say; plain and simple.
Don’t be sucked in to the promises of losing 20lbs in 2 weeks, or that 3 easy, no sweat workouts once a week is going to dramatically change your life. It’s simply just not true. And if you do not take my advice, try a fad program or diet. Drop me a line in 12 weeks and tell me if it changed your life.