I’m going to throw down the gauntlet and ask you one thing:
What do you REALLY want? What are your FITNESS GOALS?
If you don’t know what you want to achieve through exercise, you’re wasting your time. Physical training is not merely a random act of “going through the motions” to offset your daily calorie intake. Nor is it a temporary fix that’ll keep those extra pounds at bay. To truly work it requires dedication, consistency and, above all else, a sound plan of action.
Everyone – yes, I mean EVERYONE – is busy these days. We all suffer from the time crunch. Work. Kids. School. Life. So, it’s imperative we make the most of what little time we do have to workout by making it as fast, efficient and effective as possible.
Short vs Long Term Fitness Goals
Let’s not mince words here, folks.
Short term goals include: losing extra weight; toning up; running your first 5K, 10K or marathon; deadlifting a new personal best (PR); playing for your company’s co-ed softball team; or even as simple as just getting started exercising again.
Long terms goals include: maintaining an ideal weight for your body type; building a strong, lean muscular physique; achieving optimal cardiovascular health; or being physically fit enough to enjoy living life to it’s fullest.
Let’s face it – people want immediate gratification, yet fitness is not a quick fix solution. You can’t sustain a healthy weight and optimal fitness long term with some crazy 30-60 day workout program, nor from a 21-day cleanse. Yes, you’ll lose weight and feel better in the short term, but what do you do after you finish? How do you sustain your gains? Go back to your old ways of eating and exercising? I certainly hope not.
Understanding the difference between short/long term goals is important. It not only determines how you train, it also underpins your motivation to keep going even on your worst days.
Now, here’s the rub…
Fitness is a lifelong journey. What you do (or don’t do) today affects your health tomorrow and in the future. Why start with ridiculous expectations? Instead focus on LONG TERM solutions. Where do you see yourself in the next six months, year or even five years down the road? Putting things into perspective allows you to plan a fitness lifestyle that mirrors your personal goals and needs, making it a priority in your life, not just some ad-hoc “chore” you must schedule in from time to time.
Unleash Your Potential…What’s Your Game Plan?
First off, I truly believe we alone limit ourselves. We all have the potential to be athletes and it is up to you to embrace the mindset that anything is possible. Attitude is everything.
In saying that, though…don’t set yourself up to fail. Athletic capability is something we can harness, build upon, expand and finesse. It takes time and patience, as well as an honest assessment of where you are right now and where you want to be in the future.
2012 was a pivotal year for me. I decided to train as an endurance athlete; create the long, lean, strong muscular body I’ve always wanted; and achieve long term optimal health and fitness. As a single-working mom, this was not going to be easy, and despite being a lifelong athlete, I still had a long way to go…however, I knew with patience, planning and persistence…is was possible.
For starters, I didn’t just randomly throw on my running shoes and thrash out some miles to lose weight. Running is an integral part of my fitness regimen and I use both intervals and distance runs to achieve higher stamina, maximize aerobic and anaerobic output and build speed. To facilitate fat loss, increase my basal (resting) metabolic rate and improve muscle endurance, I perform high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions – cardio and strength. Rounding off my training, I lift weights at least three days per week, involving all major muscle groups, to increase power, physical strength and build lean muscle.
This is my personal Game Plan and what works for me. What’s yours?
Planning an efficient, effective workout program may initially require the help of a personal trainer to show you the ropes and establish a solid training program. One thing to remember, though, be absolutely certain what you want to achieve fitness-wise and provide photos of specific body types you wish to emulate. Optimizing your training in a strategic, methodical manner may seem like overkill, but it will get you the results you want much faster.
Lastly, it goes without saying that eating healthy is a critical component to any successful fitness regimen. You are what you eat.
Keep Focused ~ Keep Grinding