First off, let me say thanks for stopping by. I guess I can add some credentials to this writing so you understand where I am coming from. I have been an avid fitness enthusiast for all of my adult life, graduated the US Army Physical Fitness School in 1994 as a Master Fitness Trainer, held certifications from the American Council of Exercise (LWMS), National Strength and Conditioning Association (TSAC-Coach) and am a 27-year veteran of the martial arts (Korean and Japanese influences) where I am now studying the classic kihon of To Shin Do Kasumi-An over the last year. I believe that physical exercise is a key part of the three legged stool that makes up an individual (the others being the mental and spiritual aspects, but those are for another blog.)
I wanted to address goal settings and give you some food for thought as to your target for the coming year. Every year those of us who are “gym rats” see the seasonal January crowds come and go. We see the “oh, summer is here I have to spend two hours a day in the gym” crowds in May, and the inevitable November guilt crowds. Maybe you are one of those who are considering stopping your exercise routine you started three weeks ago because you are not ‘shredded’ yet, can’t run that marathon, or hurt too much. We need to push through this moment and continue to the path of a healthier, fuller life. Here is some food for thought:
1. Obstacles. They will drop right in front of you and try to throw you from your chosen path. Learn to flow around them or, better yet, pierce through them. Look and think outside the box.
2. Set measurable goals, both mini- and long-term. Start small “I want to lose 5 pounds” and strive towards it with determined focus. Don’t start with “I want to lose 100 pounds” and then be discouraged in two weeks. Start small, but look to the big. A journey of a thousand miles begins with that first step.
3. Keep it mixing it up. Your body is an adaptable piece of machinery. It will settle into a routine pretty quick, usually within two to four weeks. This is the time when it is recommended to change it up. Change your tempo, your resistance, your time. Challenge yourself. I have an advanced five week routine that changes focus every week; what is called microcosms and macrocosms. You wouldn’t drive to an unknown destination without a map, would you? Chart those workouts and increase as needed using Progression, Regularity, Overload, Variety, Recovery, Balance and Specificity. I will discuss the PROVRBS acronym in a future blog.
4. Build your support team, both mentors and travelers. There will be a day when you are “dun” as I like to call it. That is the time to reach out and within to gather your forces. Friends and mentors can provide that little bit of encouragement needed to get cranking on your planned workout.
5. But, I don’t have the time. Analyze what you really do in a day. Keep an hourly log for a week, then go back and look at it. There is a good bet that your daily hour of exercise is staring you in the face. Renowned weight lifter Bill Pearl used to get up at 4 am everyday to get in his workout before he started his day. Yeah, he probably missed his favorite TV show at 9 pm every night, but that show eventually ended and he still drives on. It is all about priorities.
6. Reward yourself. I cannot lie. I love chocolate covered honey buns. They are evil incarnate. But, I know that if I push myself hard Monday through Saturday, mile after mile, rep after rep, workout after workout, if I want a chocolate covered honey bun on Sunday, I can get away with it. A friend of mine recently wanted some cake instead of working out. I challenged her to have a small piece after her workout. She went out and trained. The urge for cake passed. She is healthier and stronger because of her workout.
7. Understand you will have slips. Falling is natural. The challenge is how to absorb the “fall” and spring back to your feet. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Right here is right now. That slip happened in the past. What are we going to do right now to make the future better?
Remember, keep training! The best time to start is right here, right now.
Now, get off the internet and go get ‘em!