Welcome back! If you’re late to the game be sure to check out last week’s blog (How to Make Your (Fitness) Dreams a Reality (Part 1)). For those of you returning, take a second to refresh yourself on the goals and vision you created last week, and let’s dive straight in!
After setting your goals, I hope you’re feeling inspired, but maybe you also feel a bit stuck. Bridging the gap between setting your goal and achieving it is all that work in the middle, but what exactly is ‘all that work in the middle’? It will look different depending on your goal.
If your goal is simple, for example: to workout in general 3 times a week for 30 minutes, or maybe to cut soda out of your diet, then that makes it easy! Just mark it on your calendar, and check it off when it’s complete!
However, if you’re looking to achieve something a bit more complicated - like losing weight, building muscle mass, or running a 5K- your game plan will need to look more specific than just getting moving 3 times a week. Whether your goal is simple or complicated you'll need to make a game plan- which is the fourth and final step of your prep.
3 Rules to the Game Plan
#1) Your Plan Should be Specific.
Spell it out. Which days of the week to workout, the activity on each day, the length of time for the workout, the amount of reps you will complete, the weight you plan to lift, the body groups you plan to train, specific exercises you will perform, when will you rest, etc. These things are important to define to ensure what you are doing is specific to what you are trying to achieve.
Let’s take weight lifting for example- If I was trying to increase my muscle size, but was doing the sets and reps to achieve muscular endurance, I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal. This is because different reps and sets of resistance exercise create different outcomes. (i.e. to build muscular endurance perform 1-3 sets of 12-20 reps, but to build muscular hypertrophy perform 3-5 sets of 6-12 reps with heavier weight).
Do your research, or ask for help to make sure your plan is specific enough to your goal!
#2) Your Plan Should be Progressive.
In order to achieve your goal, you will need to make smaller steps of progress towards it. For example, if your goal is to run a 5K, you won’t start by running a 5K on the first day, you’ll have to work up to it!
Don’t expect too much too quickly, or you might just lose hope and give up. In the same way, don’t do the same easy workout everyday for months and expect to see leaps and bounds of progress. As you train, your body will adjust to the activity and it will become easier with time. To make progress, add new layers of challenge (as tolerated) to progress yourself closer and closer to your goal.
#3) Stick to the Plan!
Alright this may seem obvious….but in order to achieve your goal, you must stick to the plan! I probably don’t have to tell you this, but if you’re skipping workouts and laying around on the sofa eating donuts at night, you most likely won’t achieve your goal (unless your goal is to be lazy and eat donuts at night, then carry-on).
Sticking to the plan may be the hardest part of the equation. Maybe it's just me, but when I fall off just one night, it seems that it’s so much harder to get back on the next day. So? Stick to the plan, and hey if you do miss a day, that’s alright, but don’t let it keep you away for another. Give yourself the day, and get back on it!!
Let's get fit,
PK Fitness Program Coordinator, CPT