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How To Write An Effective Fitness Plan
By Maria Kang
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nly 20 percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions, which begs the question: what dictates who succeeds and who doesn’t? According to Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, the successful people are those who created a plan, set small attainable goals, tracked their progress and held themselves accountable through public support. “If you are trying to lose weight, it’s not enough to stick a picture of a model on your fridge or fantasize about being slimmer,” said Wiseman, “... many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping you stick to it.” Creating a fitness plan is more than declaring “you will eat better and exercise more.” Creating a solid fitness plan means charting your success, documenting your daily progress and planning for potential hazards. It means you are realistic about your journey, introspective about your weaknesses and prepared emotionally and physically to tackle this new journey. So let’s make this year THE year where you won’t be part of a negative statistic. This is a no-nonsense fitness plan not created in a book, but by you. You are the only one who knows your motivations, your weaknesses and your challenges in this fitness journey. So take out a pen and a blank piece of paper. Let’s get started the right way in 2012 and do the very first thing that will help manifest your overall goal to be in better shape by 2013. Let’s write it down!
Goal Setting: Get specific.
On a piece of paper, write down five big goals. If needed, take a few minutes or a few days to think about this. Be specific. Do you want to run a 10K? Do you want to fit into your college jeans or decrease your body fat percentage? Do you want to control your blood sugar levels or drop your blood pressure? Think about what you want and be specific about how you will measure your success. “Make realistic, attainable goals,” advises Dr. John C. Norcross, a professor at the University of Scranton. “Vague goals beget vague resolutions. Grandiose goals beget resignation.”
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Timeline: Make it realistic.
After creating a realistic goal, create a realistic timeframe. Forget losing 15 pounds in one month or training for a marathon in a few weeks. You need to be realistic about your daily obligations as well as the way nature works. Just like it takes a period of time to grow a tree, you need to realize that nature works slowly and in its own timeframe. “People make the mistake of not starting out slow for the first four weeks to let their body adapt to the training load,” says Dale Schrichten, a Max Muscle preferred trainer and owner of Premier Golf Performance. “It takes at least a month to get over the beginner’s hump when the muscles don’t ache so much and the exercises begin to get a little easier to perform. Within six weeks, strength increases and one’s body begins to improve. However, most resolutionmakers quit before they get to that point. Change happens gradually, in incremental steps.” A good way to look at setting a 30-pound weight-loss goal is to break it up into smaller, achievable goals. Realistically, you can lose one to two pounds safely per week. Setting a weight loss goal of eight pounds per month and 30 pounds total in four months is a realistic timeframe. Similar to weight loss goals, you can also create a timeframe to successfully run a 10K race by first making a goal to run just three miles per week consistently for one month. When you begin to succeed weekly, increase your miles every week until you’ve created cardiovascular strength to successfully run a 10K nonstop. When creating your goal date, you must make sure it’s not only realistic, but also within a timeframe that sparks motivation to change now. Some people give themselves an entire year to lose 30 pounds. You want to create a deadline that is realistic and accessible, so that it promotes action today.
Create a realistic action plan and chart your performance. If you don’t currently work out, don’t plan to work out five days a week. Start off slow and increase your exercise based upon your progress and performance. If you enjoy eating unhealthy foods, don’t limit yourself to chicken breast and salads all day. It’s not realistic. Write down your diet and observe your habits. Create a plan knowing that you may have to adjust it depending upon your success levels. Dr. Norcross suggests tracking your progress by recording or charting your changed behavior. Research indicates that such “selfmonitoring” increases the probability of keeping the resolution.
Set Your Environment: Make it successful.
Setting up a successful environment requires you to not only have access to exercise opportunities and healthy foods, but it also means you need to surround yourself by people, places and things that support the “new” you. Attaining tools for exercise success means joining a gym, hiring a trainer, purchasing exercise DVDs, reading nutrition books or creating a workout space in your home. Other ways to set up a healthy environment is to throw away all the junk food in your home and buy healthy foods that make up a diverse meal plan that you can be creative with and enjoy.
Become a Max Muscle Preferred Trainer
Make a personal commitment to yourself to improve your personal training business by working with the best provider in the sports nutrition industry: Max Muscle.
Action Plan: Track your performance.
Now that you have a goal and deadline, it’s time to start creating an overall plan that will get you to your goal. Your plan needs to embody all the elements in your fitness goal including training, nutrition and supplementation. This task requires health education, personal examination and constant motivation.
What you receive: • 10 percent discount on every purchase for your client. • 10 percent of all your clients’ purchases accrued for you to redeem as free product for personal use or for your clients. • A free one-hour in-depth nutritional evaluation with your client at Max Muscle. Documents from that consultation will be provided to you for your reference upon request. • A courtesy phone call to you from a Max Muscle Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach to discuss your clients’ goals to ensure that everyone agrees on the best course of action to get your clients the best results. • Inclusion in the Max Muscle Preferred Trainer Directory (www.maxmuscletrainers.com) that will be marketed to more than 20,000 (and growing) Max Muscle customers on a monthly basis. If you are interested, reach out to your local Max Muscle store owner or visit www.maxmuscletrainers.com.
Besides setting yourself up for success, you also have to plan for failure. It is inevitable that you will miss a workout, have an extra slice of cake or become unmotivated in this fitness journey. When these incidents arise, don’t beat yourself down for them. Instead, as Max Muscle Preferred Trainer Rachel Elizabeth Murray says, you must commit yourself to becoming resilient to challenges. “Don’t give up, get back on the horse and push harder. When you fail, try again and next time, fail harder,” advised Rachel. “We can get better and stronger because of our failures if we don’t let them defeat us, but rather learn from them and keep going. Quit resolving to become superman/woman in the New Year, and resolve to be resilient instead.”
Last but not least…
Sign your fitness plan like a contract so you are held accountable. Place it in an area you visibly see and read every morning so you reaffirm your goals each day. Writing a fitness plan takes deep evaluation of your habits, motivations and aspirations. This will take you an hour, a day or a week to complete. Map out your road to success before you begin trekking without a specific direction. The difference between those who succeed in their resolutions versus those who fail is dependent upon how prepared they were physically and mentally. So take the time out right now and create a personal fitness plan that will define your success. MS&F
IN THE FIGHT AGAINST POST-EXERCISE REPARED, MUSCLE FATIGUE, DO NOT ARRIVE ILL-P
8 Reasons To Strength Train
Cardio is good for your heart, but not necessarily for lean muscle mass. Here are eight reasons to incorporate strength training into any fitness plan:
ISE WITH THE MOST COMPLETE POST-EXERC MULA! MUSCLE RECOVERY FOR
You'll burn more calories in a day, even if you're just sitting at a desk. More lean muscle mass means a revved up metabolism.
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You'll be leaner, meaner and one heck of a fighting machine. Well, at least leaner!
Strength training helps you get rid of lumpy, bumpy, unwanted fat. So, you're not only getting lean muscle mass, but you're actually blasting fat. Do we need to explain further? Your bones will thank you. Strength training keeps your bones dense and sturdy.
Your confidence will soar. When you look better and feel stronger, you can't help but love yourself more. Your stress levels will drop. Strength training releases endorphins in your body that combat stress.
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You'll lessen your chances of injuring yourself in sports or daily activities. Training with weights not only strengthens your muscles, but it also strengthens your tendons, ligaments and joints.
You'll stand taller. Strength training, especially core work, will help your posture and make it difficult to slouch.
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