For many the number 2010 signifies two things: a movie sequel not nearly as good as its predecessor and a few pounds beyond a ton. Yet here we stand (on the treadmill) mere days away from the actual year 2010. And it is during this time of the year that many of us shut, halt or at least slow down. That new proposal can indeed wait a few more weeks. Home renovations? Closed for the season (unless we’re talking about stocking up for the party!) And of course, the gym and your renewed commitment to it – see ya next year. There’s just too many sinfully sweet goodies around the house to stay gym committed at this time, sorry.
And so another Monday, one of the very last of the year rolls around, and you make good in at least arriving at the gym. Those of you with training appointments are extra thankful for otherwise too easy would it be to simply not show. Those on their own take a half-hearted attempt in pushing the boundaries of their workouts and instead refocus on two things: the need to embrace pleasure (goodies at home) and the need to avoid pain (working out.)
Thusly one missed gym day leads to another and before you know it, 2010 is here and the catalog for the disgusting and obese online store has been targeted for your mailbox - permanently.
What happened you challenge? What about all that consistent gym work and dinner restraint displayed this year? All those empty Dasani water bottles during cardio sessions, the endless Sashimi plates and Macrobiotics.
Why merely the same result that would happen if other aspects of our society were to shut down – negated progress if you will.
While it’s easy and understandable to relax the normal annual dietary and exercise disciplines around this time, it’s important to not completely curtail your gymgoing efforts. If it’s boredom that persists, simply change things up to provide renewed interest.
Personally speaking, I find myself currently in the best shape I’ve been in all year simply because I chose to get a head-start on my own new year’s resolutions (my 2010 goal list is already posted on my fridge – held up by my Transformers and GI Joe magnet set.) I’m tan, strong and actually have some semblance of visible abdominal definition and still have my two cheat meals weekly. And guess what true believers so too can you!
Since summer is far from around the corner, less skin is exposed at this time and most people generally sport higher body fat levels. Great. I say use this time for change and experimentation in the gym. If spin was your mainstay this year, perhaps use the month of December to strengthen your musculature and bone density via weight training. Sore joints from a solid year from pounding the weights? Implement a full body workout with lighter weights and higher reps in order to further strengthen the heart and enhance endurance.
Quite frankly, it’s all too easy to bypass our beloved gym during the holiday season. There exist too many excuses, so ignore them.
What follows are my Top 10 Fitness Commandments guaranteed to jumpstart you to an even better 2010. They are based into the three groups that I believe bring about true results: Training + Cardio + Nutrition = Results
1. Thou Shalt Train Efficiently – Attempt to hit the nail in the wood with one or two whacks and the job is done – less volume, more into a given set yields greater results.
2. Thou Shalt Avoid Overtraining – Lethargy, weak and flat muscles are signs of overtraining – the biggest two mistakes gym goers continuously make are too much exercise and not enough fuel.
3. Thou Shalt Use Resistance For Thy Appropriate Reasons – Weight training builds strength, lean muscle tissue and bone density. If you are seeking a leaner physique use cardio and food to shed unwanted fat pounds. Light weight and higher reps (for long periods of time) are akin to removing the nails from a house, resulting in implosion.
4. Thou Shalt Use Cardio For Thy Appropriate Reasons – Cardio is mainly for the heart and is defined as performing an activity without stopping for 20 minutes or longer. Unless training for the Tour de France, keep your pacing moderate lest ye burn muscle tissue and become ravenous which will lead to overeating. It’s not about calories burned; it’s about raising one’s metabolism and burning fat continuously.
5. Thou Shalt Incorporate Thy Cheat Meal – A well placed cheat meal at least once per week or twice weekly as I follow gives one something to look forward to. It is for this reason I can easily adhere to a lean lifestyle as every Wednesday and Saturday I have one meal of whatever I desire. Remember, one or two monkey wrenches (cheats) will not affect your physique for the worse whereas a monkey wrench per day will not lead to desirable results.
6. Thou Shalt Avoid Sugar Except Post-Workout – Sugar (simple carbs) is a poor source of long-term energy and is quickly converted to fat when not exercising. It is for this reason that one’s largest daily allotment of sugar should be ingested immediately after completion of one’s workout for these simple carbs, along with whey protein will immediately be shuttled into fatigued muscles and thusly begin the growth and repair process.
7. Thou Shalt Practice Thy Pit-Stop Existence – You are a running human NASCAR. Small pit stops or meals that are clean or low in sugar throughout the day will keep your engine running efficiently all the while maintaining low body fat levels.
8. Thou Shalt Keep Thy Protein Intake Up – Protein is what our muscles are made of. Its frequent ingestion throughout the day will help to keep your muscles lean, full and strong.
9. Thou Shalt Stretch During and After Training – As you would allow frozen chicken to thaw before cooking, one must allot the body time to thaw before stretching. Practice this both during and after training to keep your muscles pliable.
10. Thou Shalt Practice Consistency – Lay a brick every day and you will one day yield a house. Whatever your physique goal, take it from the Boy Scouts and do a good turn daily and you will soon love what the mirror and your clothes are telling you. Remember that the scale is but a number and does not reveal the true quality or composition of one’s physique. I do not keep a scale in my home and for good reason: it’s numbers I am not interested in.
I wish each and every one of you a wonderful 2009 Holiday Season, fabulous New Year’s celebration and even better happenings in 2010! I look forward to helping you to achieve and surpass your physique goals in 2010.