5 Tips for Getting Fit & In Shape

There is a downloadable form to fill in at the end, so don’t worry if this article gets a bit confusing!

1 Set Goals

This is a good starting point – what do you want to achieve?

Be specific, for example, you might write down
“I want to lose 2 inches from my waist, by December 20th, 2016”

Make all goals “SMARTER”

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound, Evaluate, and Re-Do

Evaluate your goals once a month, tweak them if necessary but always make a note of why you’ve had to change them.

Have 1 or 2 “Target Goals” – these relate to the end result, e.g. having a 32 inch waist by December 20th.
The Target Goals are the “What”.

Have 3 “Process Goals” – these are the “How”

So you want a 32 inch waist – how will you achieve this?

3 Process goals might include:
1. Eliminate sugar from my diet completely
2. Go for a walk every day
3. Go to boxercise class every Wednesday

Personal Training chester

Finally, to keep motivated, write down why you want to achieve your goals.
For example, you may want to improve your health for the benefit of your family.

2. Prepare for & Eliminate Obvious Pitfalls

List all the potential hurdles, barriers & pitfalls; then list the solutions.

For example, your hurdles might include:
People offering you unhealthy food –
Solution – Say “no thanks” in a highly assertive manner

People not being supportive / making fun of your diet
Solution – Laugh and just see it as a bit of banter. If necessary explain that you are doing it for the benefit of yourself and your family and that their support would be appreciated.

Hurdles are things that will almost certainly happen, and you will have to jump or fail.

Barriers, you can sidestep these completely.
For example a barrier might be having unhealthy food in the house.
Solution – give it to charity.

Pitfalls are obvious things you shouldn’t do.
For example – Buying unhealthy food.
Solution – Make a healthy shopping list

Rex Kwon Do
Image Source

3. Have a Specific Plan

Unfortunately, deciding that you’re going to get fit, and leaving it at that, often fails.

You need a plan, with specific rules set out.

As outlined above, write down your goals and process goals.
These should form the foundation for your plan.

Write down what you need to succeed.
Everything essential – e.g. a chosen form of exercise, a set of diet guidelines, gym kit etc.

 

Get as organised as possible

Use a spreadsheet if you have to – write down a healthy main meal for each evening & plan what exercise you will do each week.
Leave an area to write comments and feedback for yourself.

How will you eat healthy? Get this organised.
Will you prepare batches and freeze food for each day of the week?
Will you cook fresh each day?
Will you prepare your own lunch?

 

4. Empower Yourself

Write down, and then answer these questions:

Do you think you have everything you need to succeed?
If not, what else do you require?

Do you think this plan will work?
If so, what is it that you like about the diet and exercise programme you have been given?
If not, what are you concerned about?

Are you convinced that this plan is worth your while? –  Is getting in shape worth the effort and commitment?

Accept Responsibility
This is your programme. Not your trainer’s programme. You must take ownership of the programme and be happy with it.
Is there anything you would like to know more about, or anything you would change before taking ownership? If so, write these down, research the answers or ask a professional

Finally, write down a positive affirmation or mantra that you will use whenever doubt starts to creep into your mind.
This could be something as simple as
“You can do this and it is worth it”

 

5. Access Expert Fitness Advice & Support

No, I’m not trying to sell you online personal training (not yet, but maybe down the road I will); you can get great support and information (although take it all with a pinch of pink salt), from Facebook groups and online forums.

Some websites and forums to have a look at:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Fitness/
http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/Bodybuilding-Routines-Training-Techniques-f17.aspx
https://www.facebook.com/groups/526231430864965/

Just beware of the groups and meatheads that share lion memes and selfies all the time. They won’t really help too much.

 

programme

Download a pre-exercise questionnaire here

Contact me if you do need any additional help (I changed my mind, ask me about online fitness training!).

You could also have a read of my free book and have a look at this infographic for some nutrition basics:

 

Fitness Infographic

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3 Fitness Misconceptions

1. You have to train for at least an hour, two or three times per week to ‘Get in Shape’

Not really.

Short, intense workouts can be just as effective.

In fact, many fitness professionals advocate workouts 30 minutes or less.

You can take this a step further –

Doing 4 minutes of exercise, twice a week, can improve markers of health & fitness significantly.

 

You can make drastic improvements in terms of health, fitness and body composition, with just 10 minutes of exercise per day.

The difficult part, is staying disciplined with your diet.

 

2. You Need Expensive Equipment to Build Muscle

Not true, in fact the trend at the moment, is functional, bodyweight exercise.

I personally like to use a door frame chin up bar, and some resistance bands – costing in total about £50.
These are not essential however, you can certainly make a start without them.

3. You Need Supplements to Look like the guys in the Magazines

Well, yea, kinda – you need lots of steroids, IGF-1 and HGH to look like the guys in the magazines and adverts.

That’s not me being cynical – ask any weightlifting veteran.

I’m not anti-supplements, but you need to ignore 90% of the claims and marketing jargon.  e.g. “peptide bonded” and “micellar” even “anabolic” are often used to imply something that people assume is beyond their understanding.

In case you are wondering:

Peptide Bonds – “…proteins are chains of amino acids held together by peptide bonds, as is the backbone of PNA.”
https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/peptide_bond.htm

Micellar (a term often used to sell “Micellar Casein” protein powder”)
All casein protein is ‘micellar’, it means it basically clumps together in a ball, releasing amino acids/nitrogen, bit by bit until the ball dissolves
https://www.uoguelph.ca/foodscience/book-page/structure-casein-micelle

I wouldn’t recommend any supplements to begin with.

If you are looking to build muscle, there is plenty of research around creatine, and whey protein too. I’d recommend, researching and perhaps including these in your diet, after 2 months of weight training.

Whole foods are generally largely superior.  In fact, I would recommend a hemp smoothie instead of protein powder, but I’ve found that people just want to take supplements.  So, if you do, research whey protein and creatine.  But make sure 90% of your food, is actually food!

How much protein you need is an aggressively debated topic, which I’m not going to touch with yours (or with a bargepole).