5 Secrets To Fitness Success - Tips To Reach Your
have been an active person my entire life, and I don't remember
a time where I was NOT doing a sport in school, training for an
event, or coaching individuals to help them reach their fitness
goals. I have a healthy lifestyle and believe that there is no other
way to get "fit" but to adopt some habits into your life
that will positively encourage this type of living. If you feel
good, you will look good, and who do you know that doesn't want
to do both of those things? If you have found yourself in a fitness
rut and want a foolproof snapshot of what you must do in order to
achieve fitness success, then I hope I can help you. I am not saying
that I know the secret to your success. However, I have picked up
on some recurring themes within the four walls of the gym that I
train at, which I recite to my clients on a daily basis. These themes
I refer to as my "Keys for Fitness Success" and I'm sure
they can help you reach your goals!
Secrets to Fitness Success #1 - Set Your Goals
This might seem cliché, but it is very true. In order
to achieve something that you set out to do, you must clearly visualize
what this "something" is and how you are going to go about
measuring it, your ways in which to get "it" and also
knowing when it is that you finally are going to achieve "it".
I always have a short-term goal and a longer-term goal, and I am
always writing my goals down with a clear map of how I am going
to achieve it which I plan along with it. The more you are inspired
to reach your goal, the higher your chance of achieving it.
What really drives you to lose 30 pounds? What is your reason for
gaining 5 pounds of muscle or losing 15 pounds of fat? If your reason
for the goal is not a strong enough fuel for you to grasp this pot
of gold at the end of the tunnel, you might find yourself on the
path to non-achievement. Get realistic about what you want to achieve,
draw out a path for how you are going to go about it, and keep your
plan visible so that you are constantly reminded of it. Sometimes,
I even tell my closest friends and family about my path to my goals
so that they can encourage me along the way.
Secrets to Fitness Success #2 - Develop a Routine
It is proven that if you develop a structured plan for your
daily workouts rather than deciding on a whim when and where to
workout on a day to day basis, then you will be more successful.
Lay out your workout plan a week in advance so that you are making
it a priority, and therefore can plan other events around it. For
instance, start waking up in the morning before work and head to
the gym at least 4 times a week. After two weeks, you will be amazed
that this routine you have developed has become second nature and
getting fit has become part of your lifestyle.
Secrets to Fitness Success #3 - Put "You" First
of the most common excuses I hear from my clients when it comes
to working out is, "I'm too busy". Basically, they didn't
make time to eat right or workout because life got too crazy. I
watch several people that I know train for Ironmans, who also have
families and full-time jobs. Training for this event can sometimes
add up to working out 3-5 hours in 1 day. And they find time to
fit it in. So, that just proves that the whole, "I didn't have
time" line is the biggest excuse in the book and I find it
super difficult to accept it. You have 24 hours in a day and for
at least 1 hour of that day, you can set aside time to enjoy some
time in the gym, in a pool, or on your bike. Exercise is important
because not only will it make you look better, but it will make
you feel awesome and improve your health. Wouldn't the chance to
ultimately live longer motivate you enough to mange your time better
throughout the day and make healthier decisions. If you can, workout
before you go to your job in the morning. Find time to fit in a
lunch hour workout if your job allows. Weekends are perfect for
family activities, in which you can join your spouse for an evening
walk or encourage your kids to play at the park while you run around
the nearby bike path. You are in control so take personal responsibility
and make eating right and exercising a priority.
Secrets to Fitness Success #4 - Think of Food as Fuel
Eating a healthy and clean diet is actually more important than
exercising when it comes to losing weight and reducing overall body
fat. Think of your body as a machine. If you feed your machine the
cleanest fuel, it will perform better, faster, stronger, and more
efficient. I tell my clients to think about the food that they are
putting into their mouth every time they eat a meal. If their food
choices are not getting them closer to their fitness goal, then
don't consume it, simple as that. I would venture to say that diet
is almost 70% of the weight loss battle, where exercise accounts
for 30%. You should have a good idea about what types of foods are
considered "clean" for which to fuel your body and which
ones are unhealthy and should be avoided. If you don't know, there
is probably a good chance that you are not losing weight because
of this reason. If this is the case, then make sure to read the
101 article for a huge list of clean foods to include in
your diet. Remember that it is human nature to overestimate the
amount of "good" food that a person eats and underestimate
the number of total calories that a person eats in a day. You can
try out this theory by keeping a food journal for a week and write
down everything you eat. If you like using the computer, then create
a free account on ShapeFit's FitTracker
program to easily track your food and overall calories online. You
might be amazed at just how many calories you are eating in a day,
or how few you are consuming.
One of the biggest problems that people have is that they don't
eat enough, or frequently enough. Most of my clients don't eat enough
of the foods that are going to get them lean or they are just uneducated
about the nutritional value of most foods. A great tip for how to
eat clean is to keep a balanced diet of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
A good split in a 2,000 calorie diet would include a breakdown of
40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. If you want to lose 1 pound
a week, you must eat 500 calories less than you burn for 7 days
which will total a 3,500 calorie deficit which equals 1 pound of
fat. You must always eat breakfast, and if you are going to eat
carbs, try to eat them earlier in the day and around the time of
your workout. Try to eat 5 to 6 small meals a day, each meal consisting
of 200-300 calories and increase the consumption of high density,
low calorie foods, such as fibrous vegetables.
I always have some lean protein and veggies for dinner, which is
completely filling and satisfying. Limit the amount of sugars you
eat, while also watching your consumption of alcohol. When I say
limit, I mean keep these servings to about 1-2 a week. Trust me,
if you cut them out, after a week or two your body will not crave
them anymore. Increase the amount of water that you drink and DO
NOT starve yourself in order to lose weight. The best "diet"
is one that is not called a diet, but that is seen as an overall
healthy nutritional program that includes all your fuel types in
moderation and in proper proportions. Moderation is key and there
is such a thing as "too much of a good thing", so make
sure to watch your portions!
Secrets to Fitness Success #5 - Start Weight Training &
Your body is composed of lean body mass, fat mass, bones and
other tissues. Your body fat percentage as a total of your body
weight is your fat mass (in pounds) and the remaining weight, in
pounds, equals your lean body mass. Most people who are trying to
lose weight are trying to decrease their body fat percentage, or
total fat mass. Therefore, you must increase your lean body mass,
or muscle mass, so that your body composition becomes less fat and
more muscle, plain and simple.
most effective way in which to do this is to start a weight training
program. The more muscle you have on your body, the greater the
amount of fat will be burned. In addition, with a higher amount
of lean body mass, the greater your resting metabolic rate will
be because of the fuel needed for these muscles to work and perform.
If you are spending endless hours in a gym on an elliptical trainer
every day without any weight training program at all, and you are
not seeing any results, I am not surprised. Long bouts of steady
paced aerobic workouts (whether it be running or biking at the same
pace for an hour or two) without any variation in speed or intensity
will not do much for making your body lean. You may drop some weight
in the beginning when starting this type of program if you are overweight
and have never worked out before. However, our bodies are smart
and will start to adapt to this long, slow distance and your results
will begin to plateau.
Keep in mind that you can get more bang for your buck at the gym
by lifting weights for 30 minutes rather than running for 60 minutes.
In fact, lifting weights 3 times a week for about 45 minutes each
time will get you the results you want. It will not only increase
your composition in favor of the lean body mass, but it will also
help you gain some overall health benefits, such as an increase
in core strength, increase in bone mineral density, and a higher
overall aerobic capacity.
I hope that I have helped motivate you to rethink your fitness
goals and start making a plan that puts you first and helps you
to prioritize healthy eating and intense weight lifting workouts.
Remember that time is truly of the essence for all of us, and that
you can get in a more effective workout in less time than you think
by doing more resistance training and less steady state cardio exercise.
Most of all, think of your fitness goals in the broader sense in
that you are adopting a healthier lifestyle. Exercise and healthy
eating are positive choices that will put you on the path to living
a stronger, more youthful life full of health and happiness. Now,
go out there and enjoy life!