It’s finally come to the end of this harrowing year and many of us are preparing to embark on our New Year’s resolutions. According to this survey, the second most common New Year’s resolution is fitness based.

 

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Ofcourse, New Year’s resolutions aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but short term motivation tends not to be enough for long-term goals. Here are some mistakes to avoid that make your fitness resolutions more likely to slip away.

1. Not having a training program

2. Not having a nutrition plan

3. Not meal prepping

4. Neglecting recovery

5. Treating a marathon like a sprint

 

 1. Not having a training program

 

This point especially pertains to you if you’re a complete beginner. You sign up to a gym, excited to make a change and ready to go.

Walking in for your first session, you look around the gym at all the machines and have no idea where to get started – so you get onto the treadmill and start doing a mild walk/jog.

After you’ve done that for a few minutes, you get off and wander around looking for something that looks doable. The leg extension catches your eye.

You get into the leg extension which was adjusted for the person before you, but you’re too embarrassed to ask the staff how to change it so you just deal with the slightly awkward settings and do some reps.

You walk around and get into a pec deck which is set up to go backwards and do a couple of awkward reps that make your shoulders feel weird.

Once that’s done, you walk off and finish up with your first session.

A big barrier to consistently coming in to the gym is having no idea what you’re supposed to do when you’re in the gym, let alone correct technique and execution.

It’s not difficult to see why repeating this pattern for a few weeks would lead to a drop-off.

 

A beginner’s training program is one of the best weapons you can arm yourself with against awkwardness of not knowing what to do when you’re in the gym.

When you come in with a plan, you know where to get started, what to do next and so forth. This empowers you with purpose – you’re coming into the gym to follow the steps already set out for you.

A program will tell you which exercises to do on which days for how many reps and sets, but it won’t tell you how to perform the exercises properly which is why having some initial sessions with a knowledgeable personal trainer is a highly intelligent investment.

An alternate route to personal training is to spend hours on the internet doing your own due diligence, but not have the resources or motivation to do that.

 

If you have a training program, you know that you’re going to warm up for five minutes on the treadmill, do three sets of 12 reps on the leg press, 3 sets of 12 reps on the cable row machine, 3 sets of 12 reps on the chest press and then do 5 minutes of core strength work.

Compare this to the previous scenario with no training program.

 

2. Not having a nutrition plan

 

If your New Year’s resolution is fitness based, you’re probably aiming to gain muscle, lose fat or both. These goals are heavily reliant on nutritional factors, especially caloric intake.

If you embark on your fitness journey without a clear plan of what you’re eating throughout the day, you’re inevitably fall back into your old eating patterns which led to you to want to make a change in the first place.

Have a simple, realistic nutrition plan to follow so that you know how much to eat each day for your specific goals.

 

3. Not Meal-Prepping

 

This point mainly pertains to those who have particularly busy schedules.

As mentioned earlier, knowing what/how much to eat is going to have a huge impact on your fitness goals. Consistently having cooking healthy meals all throughout the day is much easier said than done- that’s why meal prepping can make or break your fitness goals.

Once you have your meal plan and know how much of what foods to eat, it’s very smart to prepare them in advance. Some people cook their meals for the next day at night and keep them in containers in the fridge.

Meal prepping is intelligent effort that saves you from having to cook multiple times throughout the day and makes it much easier to stick to your plan.

It’s much easier to opt for the healthy option when it’s prepared in the fridge!

 

4. Neglecting Recovery

 

The topic of recovery is often glossed over – all the tips on getting muscular and lean are usually about what exercises are best or what the hottest fad diet is so it’s no surprise that most people aren’t aware of it’s importance!

Recovery is simply your body repairing itself after exercise. As you may or may not already know, muscle growth occurs during recovery, not exercise.

If you don’t recover properly from your training, you won’t be able to reap the benefits of your hard work in the gym.

If you’re a beginner, here are some things you can do to improve your recovery-

  • Do full-body workouts three times per week
  • Try to have some protein and carbohydrates after you workout
  • Finish your workouts with a cool-down (eg walking on the treadmill for 5-10 mins) and some gentle stretches

These points are on top of maintaining a healthy diet and adequate sleep. The main thing is to make sure you feel just as good or better when working out than the week before.

 

5. Treating a Marathon like a Sprint

 

Whether you like it or not – progress takes time. Depending on your consistency and level of effort, truly noticeable progress is probably going to take around a year. Sure, you might try keto and lose significant water weight in a couple of months, but that weight comes straight back on as soon as you start eating carbs again.

The point is, fitness is a long-term lifestyle choice and results aren’t going to come without persistence.

Whatever method/training program you use to make the change you want, you need to follow it as consistently as you can over the long term to see any results.

Don’t worry if you slip up here and there – that’s completely normal. What really makes a difference is your overall progress throughout the year.

Good things come to those who wait!

 

Conclusion

 

Whether you like it or not – progress takes time. Depending on your consistency and level of effort, truly noticable progress is probably going to take around a year. Sure, you might try keto and lose significant water weight in a couple of months, but that weight comes straight back on as soon as you start eating carbs again.

The point is, fitness is a long-term lifestyle choice and results aren’t going to come without persistance.

Whatever method/training program you use to make the change you want, you need to follow it as consistently as you can over the long term to see any results.

Don’t worry if you slip up here and there – that’s completely normal. What really makes a difference is your overall progress throughout the year.

Good things come to those who wait!

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