With the holidays season an end, many will have made resolutions to shape up and hit new fitness goals.
Will those resolutions last? Have you set realistic goals? We asked a number of personal trainers for advice. What are the things they really want you to take on board before embarking on a New Year health kick?
1 Reinder Cloin
‘The simple truth about losing weight: In order to gain weight one simply has to consume more calories than one uses up and to lose weight one has to do the opposite: eat less or use up more calories.
‘We all know that one person who can seemingly eat everything they want and not gain an ounce. Then there’s the other who says they put on weight eating nothing but air. The ever-thin overeater will probably eat nothing more than those two pizzas they brag about.
‘The flabby air-eating friend will turn out to top up their air with chocolate sauce, greasy bacon or sugary drinks. If you want to lose weight, eat less. If you want to get fit, eat healthy and exercise.
‘It really is that simple.’
2 Ricky White
‘Firstly, it’s not just about the exercise. There’s a saying, “You cannot out run your mouth!” Which means no matter how much exercise you do you will never beat the quantity and quality of food you put in to your body.
‘Gone are the days of counting calories and trying to burn off the last meal. You are smarter now and should prevent over-eating or eating rubbish food rather than trying to fix the outcome of overindulging.
‘Secondly, a positive mindset is really the key to achieving your health and fitness goals. We focus on the physical body but there has been huge research into improving the way you perceive yourself.
‘Small things to work on are taking away the negative. Things like, “it’s too hard”, “I’m too tired”, or “I can’t!”. You need to practice replacing those thoughts with, ‘I’ll do my best’, ‘I can’ and ‘I will’.
There are plenty of motivational speakers or clips on YouTube to get you in the mood for the day.
3 Chris Rand Schiffer
‘Commitment is one of the biggest things I look for in a client. I know most people realize that it does take more than a day or two in the gym or being active to get healthy, but some of the clients I have worked with do not realize that living a healthier lifestyle is a commitment to change one’s lifestyle.
‘By this I mean, I have worked with people who think just hitting the gym is going to help them. It will, to a certain degree. People are willing to spend about five hours in the gym a week, which to some seems like a lot of time. But when spread out over five or six days a week you’re looking at either up to an hour or less a day.
‘I don’t force my clients to spend that much time doing physical activity when they are not conditioned to do so. But I will expect commitment from them that they will make it in on days we do meet, and a few more times when I do not meet with them.
‘As for motivation, stop looking at the scale as a means of measurement. Muscle weighs more than fat, and when you are starting off you’ll most likely be gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time, so physical weight does not mean much.
‘Use your reflection and take before and after pictures (same pose, same location). Visually seeing the progress you have made is the best motivation.’
4 Dan Welden
‘How do you keep your fitness resolutions? Set “SMART” Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-related).
‘Be specific about what you want. Do you want to gain muscle mass or lose weight – and if so, how much? Set small measurable goals. Do you want to add 10 pounds to the amount you can curl, or do you want to be able to run two miles without stopping?
‘Make your goals achievable. You won’t lose 100 lbs in one month, so be realistic. Don’t try to become an Adonis in six months; you’ll end up injuring yourself or just giving up. Finally, set deadlines for yourself. The key is not to overload yourself or overstrain your body while making changes that will impact your life and body on a long term basis.
‘Don’t Make Excuses – Excuses are for quitters, so be the person who inspires others. If you find yourself starting to think of excuses, immediately think of your goals and how you won’t hit them unless you follow through.
‘Be Efficient – This means no lounging in the sauna having casual eye sex or aimlessly searching Scruff while sitting at the bench press. Even though you do find hotties at the gym, it doesn’t do much for your workout.
Hire A Trainer – If you need more personal attention or can’t motivate yourself, hire a trainer. Keep in mind, every personal trainer is different – as are their personalities – so choose wisely. Find one who motivates you and makes you comfortable.
5 Kris Saunders-Stowe, owner of Wheely Good Fitness
‘Don’t give up on week four!
‘I see it so much when everybody goes back in the new year or starts going to the gym to improve themselves – they always give up around week four or week five. It’s such a shame because usually around week six or week seven, it’s when you start to see the benefits and you start to get into the routine of doing it.
‘It’s really perseverance. For me, it’s setting yourself a target. In general, we all have SMART goals – they have to be Specific, Manageable, Achievable, Realistic and Time frame.
‘You’ve gotta be realistic about what you can do. For me, with a disability, an ordinary personal trainer might expect to see improvement in six weeks, whereas it might take six months for one of my clients. It’s a goal and it’s set within a time frame. But I think when you’re starting off afresh, it’s about setting yourself a time frame and say you’ve got to do this for this length of time. Don’t give up until then.
‘So rather than just joining a gym and just going along and saying “I’m bored with this,” set yourself targets. Say to yourself you’re going to do this in six weeks and then go from there.’
6 Dave Tyson
‘The advice I have for anyone getting into fitness or needing help is this and it is very important. Number one is patience. Give yourself at least 12 weeks of consistent hard work before you judge your results.
‘Number two. Just because they look like a fitness trainer online doesn’t mean they actually are one. Research who you allow to speak into your life. What works for one won’t work for all.’