A plan for 2021
It is getting to be that time of year again. The time when people everywhere have decided they are sick of being and feeling unhealthy. The time of year when we tend to overeat the most. At Thanksgiving we have the one day of gluttony and it is followed up with a couple of days of leftovers. This is only setting the stage for the next few weeks. There will be holiday parties and little get-togethers where holiday treats will be made a-plenty. There will be lots of running around for Christmas shopping. The stress will be at an all-time high trying to get the most out of each day and weekend. There will be less restful sleep form most.
All these things add up to people everywhere vowing to make a change. The problem is about 80% will give up by February. How can someone be so full of motivation and a month later be filled with so much apathy? There are many reasons why this happens. Here is a few of them.
Unrealistic goals – Every week I teach four mobility classes. The first rule of the class is that everybody understand that they are not going to be fixed in a single class. This applies to people new to fitness or those returning to fitness as well. You are not going to get it all back in a single workout. Too many people do too much their first time back. The result is extreme soreness that lingers for several days that keeps them out of action.
Instead of trying to do too much, think less is more. The idea is to make a lasting change, but it must be done gradually. Your body must be given enough time to adapt to this new stress. Muscles and bones micro-tear/fracture when we exercise. For those that are accustomed to resistance training, their bodies respond more efficiently and repair faster. For those who are not accustomed to resistance training, their bodies are not as efficient and take more time to recover. For this population, less sets are an ideal way to go about it. Instead of 3 or 4 sets, try 2 sets with more rest in between each one. Instead of trying to get in an hour, do a half hour. Less is more is the way to give yourself a better chance of staying the course
Unsure of where to start – I see people in the gym everyday with no real plan. They simply go from one exercise to another without any rhyme or reason. These are what I like to call, drifters. They simply have no direction. Often, they seek out a trainer. Many trainers will tell you that they know the secret to programming exercises. The truth is, there are no secrets to programming, especially for novice. Any program can work if it is followed and there is consistency. The idea is to hit big muscle groups and to impact multiple joints in one exercise. The more muscles/joints used in an exercise; the more calories burned per rep.
Consumed with burning calories – Speaking of calories, burning calories is important, but it should not consume the overall thought process during the workout. The idea is to simply work as hard as you can each time. If you are comfortable during your workout, you are not working hard enough. Growth rarely happens in the presence of comfort. Being uncomfortable is a necessary thing to see the change sought after. Try exercises that you are not good at. Allow yourself to be bad at something. If you only do the things you like or are good at, where is the gain in that?
Show up – It is as simple as it sounds. Just show up. Simply walking in the gym puts a person in the mindset of working out. Others are getting after it and this sets the tone for those coming in. Many Navy SEAL have said that going through BUDS with others made it tolerable. They said it added motivation and pushed them to work harder. Although the gym is far from BUDS, the idea is the same. The environment sets the tone just walking in the door. People all around the gym are pushing themselves to be better than they were last time. This is not realized if there is no commitment and one does not show up.
Keeping these four things in mind will help make the goals more obtainable. Keeping these things in mind will give someone a better chance of making their change plan permanent. After all, that is the real goal. Let’s face it, 2020 has been a year to remember and forget. We should all be ready to roll into 2021 with a mindset of things are going to be better.
In the US, we are all already very unhealthy and the holiday season only amplifies this. With COVID19 hanging around, we cannot afford to be our usual unhealthy selves. Fitness and better nutrition are key ways to fight this virus. When we exercise we boost our immune systems. When we don’t, we weaken our immune systems. When we eat good nutritious foods, we strengthen our immune systems. When we eat sugary foods, we weaken our immune systems. A 12oz coke can suppress the immune system for four hours.
Do not just talk about change and do not just make a resolution. Plan out the ‘how’ part of the plan. I would love to help you out. Contact me through my website. Do not wait until January to start working on the change you seek. Tomorrow is always a day away and today is here and now.
Let’s get after it right now,
JC Strength & Conditioning owner