We’ve all been there, you look at yourself in the mirror and say “I want to a better body”, “I want a sculpted six pack/toned stomach”, “I want nicer legs”.
Whatever your reason, whether its fat loss or muscle gain. The problem is always the same, where to start.
You may be thinking, Max, thats easy, join a gym and work until your sweating buckets. But is that the way forwards?
Are you going to jump on a treadmill for 45 mins or are you going to venture into the weight room? What’s the best way to get what I want?
First of all, ask yourself. Do I know what I want to achieve specifically? Weight loss isn’t good enough. You may lose 1lb, that could be classed as a success right? You’ve lost weight!
Ok that was a bit of a sarcastic example, but hopefully you see what I mean. If you are not specific with what you want to get out of it and in what time frame, then you are so much more likely to give up.
Trust me, unfortunately its something I see way too often.
But you’re in luck, as I am going to show you what I do with my clients, so that there is no confusion between us what they really want to achieve and why.
Step 1 – Be S.M.A.R.T
S – Specific
The first step towards your goal is knowing exactly what it is you want. It needs to be clearly defined.
Lets take weight loss as an example. I deal with this area more than any other.
Quick note: Those that come to me looking to lose weight, actually want to lose body fat. Yes there will be weight loss. But the difference comes with body shape. Take two 70kg people, of the same gender, one with 40% body fat and one with a body fat percentage of 20%. There is a massive difference in the way they look. The one at 20% will have greater muscle mass and they will appear much more toned.
Obviously you want to lose weight, but how much? Do you want to look a certain way? Get down to a certain body fat percentage?
Maybe your reasoning is more profound, I mean vanity and wanting to look good naked is a great reason on its own, but maybe thats your bi product.
I have spoken to clients that are getting in great shape, so they can enjoy the time with their children and play with them without getting out of breath. I’ve seen people on the brink of Type 2 diabetes, who have been told that if they don’t change their ways, then they will drive themselves into an early grave.
If that isn’t a good enough reason, then I don’t know what is.
Quick note: Plan smaller goals around your main target. Little milestones along the way that you can focus on short term.
M – Measurable
Now you know what your goal is.
Next up, is can you measure your progress? Can you track the different aspects of it?
If your goal is weight loss, then you will be stepping on the scales. How often? What time in the day?
If your goal is body composition, then are you tracking it with body fat percentage assessments? Maybe by taking progress pictures? Maybe both.
How are you going to track your workouts? Are you keeping a diary?
Is food being tracked? It should be! But how are you going to do it? App, food diary, both?
All these questions you need to be thinking about.
The more in depth your plan is, the less likely you are to fall off the wagon.
A – Achievable
So, you now know what you want to achieve and how your going to track it. What next?
Well you need to know that its actually achievable.
How can it be accomplished?
What are the steps that you need to take in order to achieve this goal?
Think about the end result. Everything you do should move you closer to that finish line.
Can you see yourself actually getting there?
Positive Mental Attitude is the biggest thing during this process. It will get tough, and some days you won’t want to train or you don’t feel like your making progress.
We’ve all been there, its difficult to keep yourself motivated all the time. But with every bad workout, there will be two great workouts.
R – Realistic
Is this goal within your capabilities?
If your plan is solid enough, then there is no reason it shouldn’t be.
Set yourself smaller goals along the way. These will help you to keep motivated, ‘carrot on the stick’.
You need these.
T – Time
How long are you going to give yourself to get there?
On average those trying on a weight loss journey tend to lose around about a 1lb a week. Not always consistently, it can be less, due to factors like ‘falling off the wagon’ or getting bored at some point.
Now at this point I must state that people who train with a Personal Trainer, tend to lose more on average. In fact, without sounding too big headed, one of our clients has just lost 13lbs in the last month. Thats just over 3lbs a week!
As you can imagine, she is pretty happy with that and we at uFit are immensely proud of her hard work.
If you fancy joining her and seeing the programme she is currently doing, then check it out here.
So back to the measuring.
Lets say that you want to lose 30lbs (14kgs), and take the average of 1lb weight loss a week. Your looking at 30 weeks of training hard and eating 80% clean foods in the right proportions.
Obviously this is just an example, it could take longer, it could not take as long. It all comes down to commitment.
But its important to remember that even slow progress, is still progress.
Don’t give up on the back of a bad week.
Step 2 – Plan
You now have your plan.
If you don’t, then go back up to the top and this time, actually get a pen and paper out and write it all down.
Don’t cheat yourself out of a better body!
Presuming you have done that. We will now start looking at your plan in more detail.
How many days are you training per week?
When during the day are you training?
Remember its all about consistency. If you have a regular routine, it makes things a lot easier and takes off the stress of trying to fit in gym sessions.
What are your sessions going to include?
How long is each one?
Your food choices, do they work for you? Have a read of my Facebook post, to get some idea on what to do.
So you have answered all those questions, but have you thought about whether or not you can actually fit it all in? Plus, can you actually stick to it?
Plans look great on paper, but you may need a trial week before you start.
Step 3 – Execute
Its crunch time people.
All the planning and preparing have come down to this.
No more talking about it, time to execute your plan!
Get yourself out of bed, make the right food choices. Go to the gym, work your socks off.
Have faith in your programme, after all, you created it and you’re awesome!
If you have a bad week, put it behind you.
Get out there on the front foot and go achieve that body, everyone else will be jealous of.
But most of all, be proud of what you have achieved.
Its not easy to step out of your comfort zone, but you’re doing it and I can guarantee that its not as bad as you thought. Am I right?
Step 4 – Evaluate
Each and every week, look back and evaluate.
Have you made progress?
How do you feel, physically and mentally?
Tired? If so, you may need more recovery.
Injured? Send me a video of your technique and I will take a look.
I also have an article on warming up before a session, so have a read of that.
Thats that ladies and gents.
Hopefully you feel a little bit more enlightened on the process of creating yourself a workable plan.
Any questions then let me know.
Apart from that, get out there and go achieve!