Top 5 Reasons You're Missing Your Fitness Goals, How to CRUSH IT in 2016!
...we've reached the end of a year.
2015 is rapidly coming to close, and many are looking to the new year ahead. This is often the time when we reflect on the year that, if you're anything like me, seemed to just fly by!
I like to reflect and establish goals, because it's hard to know where you're going if you are not aware of where you have been. It is also hard to know how to get somewhere, if you don't have an established destination in the first place! Part of the process of reflection is looking back on the year, on the goals we had set and the things we hoped to accomplish in all areas of life. Setting goals related to business, family, finances, recreation, and fitness are all very common areas of focus.
Were you successful in meeting your goals for 2015? Did you even set goals for 2015?
Did you know that:
So, if you were one of the many who set a New Year's Resolution to get fit, lose weight, run your first marathon, complete your first Mud Run...and failed...don't be too hard on yourself. You're actually part of the majority.
But who want's to be in THAT majority? Let's make a commitment to getting it right this year.
HERE & NOW! Say it out loud where you sit, even if other people are going to look at you funny if you're out in public reading this on your phone - "I am going to CRUSH my Fitness Goals this year! 2016 is MY Year!"
Let's start by looking at WHY you and so many others didn't meet your fitness goals in 2015, and then I'll walk you through a few strategies to give you a leg up on 2016!
Top 5 Reasons You Missed Your Fitness Goals in 2015:
1. Lack of Goal Setting:
Sure, you made a New Year's Resolution. Maybe you told a best friend, significant other, or co-worker that this would be the year you get in shape. Come Monday morning, you're joining the gym, and you're going to drop a few pounds and get that toned body you keep seeing on all the magazine covers.
Best of intentions? Yes. Setting you up for Success? Nope.
We need to make an important differentiation -- citing a New Year's Resolution is NOT Goal Setting. Setting goals is a process. Once you know what it is you want to achieve, you then set out the plan for getting there. There's no one specific way to set your goals, but there are a ton of resources out there in the business world to help you. At a minimum, get a notebook and dedicate it as being your Goals Book. Take time out, uninterrupted by kids, others, or technology, and write down your goals. Then, be sure to check back often in order to stay on track and revise / add as necessary. Some say you should check & rewrite them every morning, some say weekly, etc. Find what works for you, but generally speaking, more frequently will increase your chances of actually meeting them!
2. Nutrition -- or lack there of:
Notice I didn't say 'Diet'.
Throw that word out. We don't diet, dieting doesn't work and has so many negative connotations it can't help but set you up for failure.
The ultimate key to meeting any fitness and performance goals is nutrition. And there is no magic pill, powder, or potion. It starts with eating REAL food, and newsflash -- real food can taste amazing of you take the time to learn how to prepare it. If you're an adult, by now you really should know how to cook for yourself.
No judgment - well, okay -- maybe just a little.
Okay, a LOT! Come on now people, every home has a stove and you all are reading this so you can find and read a recipe!
There is no way to 'out train' poor nutrition.
There are a few simple tips to get you started:
Second only to good nutrition, is good program design.
There is no one-size-fits all approach to fitness program design. This is especially true if you are someone who has already achieved a moderate to high level of training, such as a college or professional athlete, or a fitness enthusiast who has consistently been training -- yes even they fall short of meeting their fitness goals!
There are few realities to consider here. If you are a novice, haven't worked out in a while, and are not a high level mover (athlete, dancer, etc) then it is likely that progress will be seen with almost any program. Certainly there are starting points and strategies that will be more advantageous in creating a long term plan to cover an entire year's goals, but being CONSISTENT with a basic program will get you well on your way.
Translation: You do not need the workout of a Pro athlete, nor do you need huge volume or crazy training sessions. Consistency, achieving your program goals for each workout, and adhering to your nutrition plan will get you there. And NO -- there is no short cut. There is, however, a much longer road and that is the road of walking into the gym without a predetermined plan or following the latest & greatest fitness magazine workout. Ideally, your program should be tailored to meet Your needs and based around your specific goals.
Also keep in mind that a year is a long time! The workout out & goals you start with today will not be the same ones you are working on 6, 9, or 12 months from now...if you have stayed the course!
4. You're slacking on your Intensity:
This is a big one!
From athletes, to active individuals, to our rehabilitation clients performing their rehab exercises. It is often the case that your effort and intensity level are not matching with what is needed to drive the changes you are working toward. Many people become frustrated with their lack of results after joining a gym, and often it is do to the fact that, as seen in #3, they have no real program, and they are not exercising at an adequate intensity to change their body composition.
'Intensity' is more than a measure of effort or how hard you are working. It is a variable which is adjusted to provide a training stimulus that your body will produce as specific adaptation to. There is a continuum between high intensity, moderate intensity, and low intensity training and each has it's place. For the novice, low & moderate intensities may be and adequate place to start to build a base from which higher intensities and heavier loads can be managed.
For athletes, high intensity training certainly is our method of choice, but with the understanding that:
One simple tool to use to gauge intensity level is RPE - Rating of Perceived Exertion. This scale has been used in many settings as a self-report measure of how hard or intense someone is working. It's not perfect, but with a little practice and an understanding of the characteristics of each numerical category, it can be a simple and effective way to know if your intensity is too low or too high.
As the saying goes, sometimes you don't know what you don't know. And sometimes what you do know is based on outdated information. The one tool that I think everyone does need is a good coach.
Professional athletes at the most elite level still have coaches. Professional singers & musicians have coaches. The most successful business people on the planet have their own coaches. This is a point which can't be stressed enough. If you truly want to make a lasting change, you're going to need help along the way.
Coaching can come in many forms, from on-site training to remote coaching at a distance. Ideally, coaching will provide you the framework & accountability required to be successful in achieving your desired fitness goals. Your coach will help you identify and set your goals, perform baseline measures that can be used to mark your progress, and educate you on the nuances of how to meet your goals most efficiently. The coach will then create your program, and will provide consultation and feedback by whatever schedule and format your coaching program has established.
Make no mistake, it's still up to YOU to put in the work and follow the plan as instructed. But one thing is for sure: If you follow the program, are honest with yourself & your coach throughout the process, and put in your best effort, there is no reason you shouldn't be successful!
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Thank you for stopping by the Athletes Physiotherapy Blog! Kristopher Bosch founded Athletes Physiotherapy in Las Vegas, NV. He is a Father, physical therapist, athletic trainer, pilates teacher, & perpetual student!
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