Last week I pointed out all the things you were most likely doing wrong right now when it comes to actually achieving your fitness goals.
I didn’t feel I should leave you hanging though. Too often we hear what we are doing wrong or not doing well enough and are never given constructive advice. So this is it.
As everyone else is doing this month I am going to assume your goal is to lose weight. Even though this is not actually accurate, (you are more likely looking to reduce body fat) I promised that this week was going to be about the positive steps you should be taking.
What you should be doing right now to achieve your 2010 fitness goals:
1) Get Help
Don’t do it alone. I know, you think you should be able to and you think you can. I have been in this business a long time and I can tell you this: Very few people can make a serious fitness commitment all on their own.
You shouldn’t feel bad about this. It’s OK. Even trainers have trainers. Doctors have doctors. Lawyers have lawyers. Massage therapists book massages for themselves. Mechanics get their cars fixed. Do you see where I am going? It is OK to seek out help, guidance, and motivation. You need it.
Find a qualified and experienced professional who can make sure you are doing the right things to achieve the right goals.
2) Make A Plan
Before you pick up a weight, sign a contract, or grab the running shoes- you need to have a plan. You need to have direction and a goal. And most of you have set terrible goals.
Here are some terrible goals; ‘I want to lose weight,’ ‘I am going to get fitter,’ ‘I am going to eat healthy,’ or, ‘I am going to make some changes.’ Why are these all so terrible? They have no definitive or measurable targets. When are you at the goal? How much weight? What is fitter? When or for how long will you eat healthy? What changes are you going to make?
A recent conversation with my staff left me with a great analogy for you. Imagine your goal is a destination you wish to get to. The first thing you need to do is choose a destination (your goal). Then you need to figure out the most efficient and effective way of getting to that destination (this is why you seek help!). Finally you break that route into manageable legs that can be achieved on a shorter timeframe.
If you do not lay it out like this you may find you have gone the wrong direction or not moved forward at all.
3) Hit The Weights
You need to do resistance training. This can be weights as we traditionally know them (barbells and dumbbells) or even something as simple as your own bodyweight. But you need to do resistance exercise. You need to be making your muscles work harder than they are used to and you need to continually be challenging them more and more.
No point lifting 10lbs dumbbells and then picking up 20lbs grocery bags. What a waste of time that would be. Yet how many times have I seen this happen?
Walking, running, elliptical, traditional cardio, cycling, and swimming are all healthy activities. Unfortunately none of them are the most effective and safest way to accomplish your goals (unless you are a runner or swimmer, but even then the elliptical and traditional cardio are still stupid).
Do resistance training. It’s better for you. It will work better.
4) Keep a Journal
If you are not writing it down you are wasting your time. Record everything. What you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, why you eat, what exercise you do, when you exercise, how much you did, and how it made you feel.
Record it, write it down, read it. This is a tried and tested technique. It will change the way you act, which is what we are attempting to do.
If you are not recording everything you will most likely not succeed. If you think you can succeed without journaling everything and you refuse to do it then you are simply not ready to get serious about making your lifestyle changes.
Then take your journal to the person you sought out for help to make sure you are using resistance training appropriately to complete your current leg of your journey towards the destination you set for yourself.