Superbowl Sunday was, beyond a great game and time spent with family, an amazing cheat day. Monday’s workout was hard with sweat induced. Here comes President’s Day and then Valentine’s Day. After dinner and chocolates, a trip to the nearest cardio machine, will be imminent. I’m sure that, soon thereafter, some unpronounceable foreign holiday will appear and be cause for gluttony once again.
Here in month 2 of 2012, gym memberships have more than made their first quarter’s numbers in new, and renewing, members. However, whereas in early January, an empty flat bench was as rare as a Unicorn’s Horn, they are now as barren as a buffet after a Celo Brown appearance.
Every New Year, trainers are approached with a burning query from would-be newbie clients, whom have every intention of starting a physical program. In the latter days of December, their minds flash off vivid pictures of egg whites, oatmeal, zero alcohol, hours of cardio per day, and a weight training routine so intense it might even make Arnold himself crawl back up into the womb.
“Slow it down. The car must hit 40 MPH before hitting 80,” is my usual reply. “Come in and we will go from there. Step foot in the gym, shake my hand, take in the sights, sounds and sometimes smells. Let’s formulate a plan and then hit it.”
Hard economics aside, no price can be put on health. If you have it, you are rich. Without it, flat line. I want you to come to the gym. You need not love it. You need not look forward to it. You may even view it the way I viewed Hebrew School upon growing up with a, “Why do I have to do this?” Just get it done.
Of course it helps to actually want to come to the gym and maybe set a new record, or accomplish something within its domain that you have never done before. In my competitive days it was to get an extra rep or lift a tad extra weight each and every week that kept me hungry. It was never for a trophy or punch line but rather the journey or day-to-day being in the trenches that drove me.
Maybe Nike has a new pair of sneakers that you know you’d look great in whilst running on the treadmill. Perhaps that fitted Under Armour dry wear would look great on you while performing lat pulldowns with more than your bodyweight. How about Dr. Dre or 50 Cent’s booming, thunderous headphones, amplified in your ears while curling until your arms are numb? An inspirational photo you saw in a fitness mag on the checkout line? The vivid image of an attractive body you glimpsed in the mall? Wherever, whatever, the motivation to get to the gym, make use of it!
The greatest way one can set one up for success, in the pursuit of a better body, is in maintaining a slow and steady pace rather than burn out like a NASA fuel pod only to plummet back to earth. Gaining bodyfat did not happen in one day, nor will it be removed in one day, (unless with a scalpel, but even then fat often returns with a vengeance.)
I want you to stay the course and better your physique over the long haul. Not merely to peak for an event, say a reunion or party, only to return to one’s former tubby state.
I want you to set realistic goals and adhere to them.
I want you to not make false promises to yourself, like no more alcohol, or a diet of seaweed and egg whites, followed by hours of cardio and training.
I want you to succeed and here is how you are going to FINALLY do it in 2012.
1. IF THE SHOE DOESN’T FIT, MAKE IT – Find a piece of clothing that once fit, but is now less than flattering. Your goal is to make it fit and fit well. Not in two weeks but rather in an 8-10 week slow cook-off fat melting campaign.
2. TOSS IT – All garbage foods, and empty calories, in the trash. Thusly, if you are having a split decision to cheat, you have to get dressed to do so. Or at least put on your underwear and hit the drive through.
3. TELL EVERYONE – The people close to you care to listen of your new goal. Guarantee they will not only keep tabs on your progress, you might even motivate them to make the shoe fit once again in their own lives.
4. IMAGERY – For me it’s the long and lonely journey John Rambo takes in the First Blood Movies. Nothing motivates me to adhere to my training goals moreso than Sly Stallone in ripped form battling some other entity. I am serious. If it’s not the Rambo movies, (on blu ray), it’s the movie scores or even the script.
5. GET IT DONE – We all have busy lives and all live within the 24-hour time parameters that is the day. While some of us may be fortunate to be in the gym most of the day and thusly easily able to hit the iron, make it your business to conquer that day’s workout. If I am not training a client, you will see me in the gym busting my rear.
6. NEGATE THIS – Someone doesn’t believe you will once again make the shoe fit? Great. I love it. Use that as motivation to stick that shoe right up…
7. CHECK IN – Regularly attempt to put that shoe on. It may not yet fit, but in the weeks to follow, whilst on your program, you will wedge in a toe, and that my friends, is progress.
8. MONKEY WRENCH – No-one is perfect. No one will eat and train perfectly all the time. If you are on the brink of overtraining, skip that day and come back tomorrow. If you are starving and would trade your right arm for a bowl of ice cream, do it, and then get right back on track.
9. ACCESSORIZE – Your old shoe may not fit but who says you can’t buy a new one, or a new gym outfit, and tan, or any number of things, that will instantly make you feel good about yourself, now.
10. GURU - See a fitness professional, those whose job it is to regularly get clients to fit into old shoes. If you've seen my business card, it says, "Training + Cardio + Nutrition = Results". Have a pro lay it down in a systematic plan that yields results.
Until the next Holiday and Gym Day,