If you look anywhere online now you will see a ton of articles on “getting that beach body” ready for Summer and a lot of these posts will be telling you how to achieve this “beach body” in ” just 6 weeks”!
Well, in this series of three short posts we are going to forget about getting you a beach body (I’m going to stop using that phrase now) and focus on getting you in the shape you want, in the right way, all year round.
Having been a personal trainer for over 17 years now, I have to accept that this is one of the key times of the year for people wanting to get in shape as we are more aware of our bodies when we are displaying more of them to the world during the next 3 months of what will hopefully be a gorgeously hot summer.
Whatever time of year you start or re-start an exercise programme, I think it’s important to plan in three main areas:
I put them in this order deliberately because, in my opinion, this is the order that they should be in with your mental approach being the most important, followed by having a good, healthy approach to your nutrition and then the actual exercise bit comes in third.
So, for the rest of this post I am going to look at the mental side of starting or boosting your exercise campaign so that you can gradually start a programme of health and exercise that you can actually stick to all year round.
Why do You want to Change?
In December last year, at Bodyline, we were lucky enough to have industry speaker and nutritionist Ben Coomber come along and present to us and our clients on the subject of building a great diet and lifestyle which was a presentation that I know we all got something from.
One of Ben’s introductory points is that before you start out on any kind of regime you have to know WHY you are doing it, what is your reason for starting this particular health and fitness campaign?
You need to have a clear reason for wanting to achieve your new level of health and fitness or else you run the risk of just wandering through an exercise programme without really knowing what you are doing.
Have a very precise reason.
This could be that you desperately want to come in under an hour on a 10k, or that you want to feel better about yourself for a particular event coming up. It doesn’t matter what the goal is but you must know your WHY for doing this.
In my experience as a personal trainer I have found that there is usually a deep emotional reason for why people want to change their lifestyle and you just have to dig deep to find yours.
Pick One Goal
Ben also suggests that you should just choose one main reason and don’t approach this lifestyle change with several reasons in your mind but rather just focus on the one goal.
I tend to agree with this reasoning, as I see so many clients during consultations who say they would like to ” lose a little weight and tone up and oh, I’d like to work on my abs a bit and the backs of my arms”………etc etc.
Let’s say that this client loves running in this example, so then he or she should concentrate on doing the running as it’s what they love to do and part of my job as their personal trainer would be to set them a programme that will help them improve on their best 3k time or 5k time or whatever it might be. The rest of the “other stuff” like the abs or the back of the arms will then take care of itself.
As a client, choose one goal and plan out how you are going to achieve it and work towards it but don’t over- think it or else there is a big chance you won’t achieve it.
Own Your Goal
Another thing that really resonated with me during Ben Coomber’s presentation was this :
What hasn’t worked in the past? Take a look at when you tried before to change your lifestyle and it didn’t work; what was your goal back then? Did you even have one?
Well, if you did have a goal and you didn’t achieve it, as Ben says : ” It was never YOUR goal in the first place!”.
If you didn’t get to where you wanted to be then the goal was wrong for you, and therefore, was never your goal in the first place and this could be for a number of reasons :
- The goal was unrealistic
- You didn’t plan properly in order to fit this goal into your life
- You had too many goals
- Your goal wasn’t specific enough
The list could go on……….
So, in conclusion to this first post in the series of three, I leave you with 4 main points :
- Plan for a healthy lifestyle change throughout the year but it’s fine to start now, in the Summer!
- Know WHY you are making this change to your life
- Set one main goal
- Own that goal, or else it isn’t actually your goal (it’s someone else’s)