Among “fit pros” this time of year brings a mixed set of emotions. On one hand, most share the excitement of a New Year and opportunity for a fresh start, plus everyone knows that this time of year bring$ lot$ of opportunitie$ for tho$e of u$ in the fitne$$ field. Was that subtle enough? 🙂 The other side of it is the cynics and realists know that the mainstream fitness fervor tends to last about 2 weeks to 1 month before “aww geez this is too hard!” kicks in. The gyms are BUSTLING and crowded for about a month or two, then… it’s back to where it was before January 1st. So – how can you truly make this year different? Instead of the whole “THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT” routine where that phrase is said and then….. same old same old…. <—–Read More——>
What makes the difference? For most folks, accountability. You may or may not have heard that, depending on who’s blogs you follow or who’s “special fat loss reports” you might have downloaded. The cool thing is – there’s a lot of ways to make yourself accountable – the simplest is to just tell someone (choose someone supportive who won’t say negative things right off the bat) what you’re doing. Other alternatives are to get involved with a group effort – either locally (a friend of mine who runs a fitness boot camp is starting a challenge tomorrow – and I know for a fact her programs often work because of the daily interaction of the group in person, via email, etc.), or online like the facebook groups and forums. Many times, programs will have communities up and going – you can just jump right in – and when there’s questions about the programs etc. answers are often at hand.
The other thing that will help your success is to not pick a program that’s too much change at one time. There’s nothing in the world wrong with being a “beginner” honestly, I’m often even MORE excited for beginners than other people because I know what’s in store for them if they stick with a good program. Just realized that I referenced these two programs in last year’s New Year post – along with some other nice free and low cost challenges (no excuses because of budget!).
My biggest recommendation this year for all levels is something that I’m doing too! It’s a closer look at the Convict Conditioning programs – while using the Log Book. Part of this is “career focused” considering that I’ll be helping out at the new Progressive Calisthenics Certification Workshop this summer, but most of it is part of my on-going “perpetual maintenance project”. It’s not popular to talk about maintenance, and there’s not as much of a market for it, but… it is important especially for those of us in the fitness industry who like to keep fit for ourselves, and to inspire others on their way. Being able to maintain (and gradually increase) our strength, shape, and abilities over years and years without resorting to extremes is a feat in itself. Sure, it’s not hugely dramatic, but if you consider what *most people* want – to be healthy, confident, and able to life a full and fun life without having to dedicate hours and hours and hours each day to maintain their fitness, then the “perpetual maintenance” project is very relevant. Do I spend hours and hours working out and cooking each day? It may surprise you to find out that that answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! Over time I’ve figured out ways to integrate nutrition and workout strategies into everyday tasks. Sometimes, they’re so integrated that I feel like I haven’t done much of anything. Granted, I’ve also really revved my metabolism over time, and many of the exercises I now do were impossible for me about 3 years ago. BUT the ever elusive thing that the general public all wants (and you can even ask Dan John about this) is the ability to feel confident at the beach, or when wearing nothing – and it’s not only attainable, it’s MAINTAINABLE. But, be super certain of one thing, I did not get to this confident, maintainable state by self-starvation or by performing exercises that I “hate” or generally having session after session of “where’s the chuck bucket?!” style workouts. (More on this idea here)
Things to think about:
- It doesn’t matter WHERE you are when you start, only that you DO START!
- Is this something you want to do forever? Is it something you CAN do forever? (it may become that way, if it isn’t that way right away… wow that sounds like a rhyme)
- The gym isn’t always the best place for everyone, don’t feel like you MUST go there to get anything done. Parks, backyards, homes, etc can be just as effective for even extremely advanced training sessions.
- Don’t “check your identity at the door” if a system or program or instructor doesn’t jive with you then find someone or something that does. I have a big pet peeve with trainers who try to make THEIR goals YOUR goals. Your goals are your goals and that’s that.
- Gradual changes are great too! Don’t feel like you MUST do some kind of multiple day “cleanse” or “detox” to start out on a new nutritional plan or “diet” It doesn’t have to be “cold turkey.” That works for some people, but fails spectacularly for many others.
- Beginners are awesome, and everyone should check in to make sure they’re rocking the basics. That goes for training as well as nutrition
- Don’t feel restricted by the traditional “goal setting guideline” you’ll hear from about 1,000 different blogs, instructors, trainers, etc. today. I’m a bit of a loose cannon with my ideas of “its ok to have a few general goals in there too” Some goals – like moving better, or maintaining a consistent practice (of qigong, yoga, Primal Move), or discovery-based goals (seeking out different kinds of information, etc.) are less “specific and measureable” than others—that doesn’t mean these goals are irrelevant. If they are relevant to YOU, then they are relevant.
- Let your motivation be love not anger or hate. (No, I am not wearing Birkenstocks and tie dye right now, hush!) There’s a lot of weird negativity out there right now, and in my opinion (as stated on Twitter the other day… ) is “Excessive negativity is a sure sign of weakness.” Generally speaking, most of the people who know for a fact have their act together are very positive people who are constantly looking forward and upward. Not focusing on stuff they don’t like, they’re focusing on cool stuff and neat ideas. Frankly, I love to hear more about stuff like that. Complaining and constant baseless criticism is for the birds… and WE are HIGHER MAMMALS! Woohoo! So if you’re hanging with a hypercritical, negative, downer crowd, get outta there and find some new friends who are fun and encouraging.
- If you stumble or fall off the wagon, dust yourself off and get back on it, no biggie. Don’t use that as an excuse to quit. Call an encouraging friend or family member and get a motivational boost. Play a favorite motivating song, do what you need to do – we all make mistakes.
Anyhow, its time to get going over here, one of my other goals is to figure out how to use technology more to enhance productivity, organization, and my own mental and physical goals.
This came to me in the middle of the night – a little chart of ideas of program based challenges that might be fun to start for the new year. Please note that “beginner” programs often can progress very quickly to intermediate and advanced difficulties – and sometimes I love to do a beginner program or workout with a very heavy kettlebell, or to make it a very dedicated super duper strict form practice. The levels are just my opinion, so please use your best judgement too!
|Convict Conditioning 1 and Log Book commitment!||Convict Conditioning 1 and Log Book commitment!||Convict Conditioning 1 and Log Book commitment!
Commit to training for the PCC Workshop