First of all... What is a resolution? A resolution is a decision to change your behavior, but it does not imply any action on that decision. So why don’t we set some ground rules for a successful New Years Resolution? Even if it is a few months off. Its never too late to make the decision to lead a healthier life. Summer time is right around the corner… 3 months to be exact. 3 months until Memorial Day. 12 weeks to get your butt in shape for the beach. 92 days to dedicate yourself to reaching your fitness goals. 2,208… you get the point.
Here are the steps you should take to set, accomplish and then surpass your fitness goals:
Find out exactly what it is you want to accomplish.
“I want to lose some weight” is just not enough if you really want to succeed in changing your habits. You really have to dig deep and see what it is that you truly want and are willing to work for. When dealing with weight loss, looking at the numbers on the scale just doesn’t cut it. You really have to look at what your weight consists of. Your body composition is the key. Body composition is much more important than just looking at weight compared to height or Body Mass Index (BMI). For instance, a person that is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds is considered overweight, when that person can be either 10% fat or 30% fat. If you know your body composition you can then calculate how much fat mass and how much fat free mass your body is composed of. So, a female who is 160 pounds with a body fat composition of 27% has 43.2 pounds of fat mass and 116.8 pounds of fat free mass. This person’s goal will be to increase her muscle or fat free mass by about 5 pounds and decrease her fat mass by roughly 10-15 pounds. If you find your true body fat composition then you can start setting some realistic goals.
Body Composition Averages:
Females- Minimal Fat: 10-12%, Athletes: 14-20%, Average: 21-24%, Acceptable: 25-31% Obese: 32%+
Males- Minimal Fat: 2-4%, Athletes: 6-13%, Average: 14-17%, Acceptable: 18-25%, Obese: 25%+
You should be able to get your body composition done at your gym or your doctor's office, by either calipers, hand held analyzers or a body fat scale. The calipers are the most accurate if used correctly, but the others are usually close (probably +/- 1-3%) and there are also some calculators online you can use with certain girth measurements.
Set measurable and realistic goals.
We can only manage what we measure. One way to measure progress is to take a before picture before you start your program. It's is always easier to show your progress with pictures. It's also very important to write down your measurements on the first day. Arms, chest, waist, hip and thighs are the most important girth measurements when concerning weight loss. If you are looking to gain size, then you should measure a flexed arm, forearm, and calves as well. Obviously you want to include your weight and your body composition if possible. From these measurements, you should compare yourself to the average numbers and see where you fall and then where you would like to be.
Oh, and make sure the measuring tape is facing the right direction... I dont think she has an 80 inch waist.
Common knowledge leads us to believe that losing 2 pounds a week is the only healthy way to lose weight. I think that statement is very limiting. Yes, if you follow a good diet and do not work out, then you will probably lose about 2 pounds per week. Also, if you follow a good workout plan and do not change your eating habits, you will probably lose about 2 pounds per week. But if you combine a good diet with a good workout plan, then you’re on to something. In this case, 2+2 does not equal 4. Instead, when these are combined and adhered to correctly, you can lose 5 to 10 pounds per week and maybe even more. This is a result of synergy and will jumpstart your metabolism and greatly changes body composition at a faster rate.
Set a timeline
So now that you know what you are able to accomplish, it is time to set up a timeline. I like to set goals one month at a time and check my weight once a week to see how I am progressing. You must always keep in mind that there are many reasons your weight will fluctuate from day to day. This is why you should check your weight once a week on the same day and same time (on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.) Also, remember that the scale doesn’t tell us body composition, so 2 pounds lost on may be 2 pounds of muscle gained and 4 pounds of fat lost.
Now is the time to get all your educated goals and write them down. You have your beginning numbers, your before pictures and your timeline. Write yourself a contract and tell everyone about your new fitness goals. Whatever it takes to get a fire under your tail! What’s your motivation? You can achieve it. Its time to put your plan to action!
Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.
So stop “trying” and start doing and be sure to check back soon for more fitness tips and how I transformed my body through great nutrition and tough training in just 11 weeks.
In Strength and Health,