Beginners Guide to Training and Starting the Year off Right

As we reflect on 2013, on our physical and mental achievements, accomplishments, mistakes and regrets I think it’s very important to remember where we’ve come from, where we are and where we strive to be.  At the start of every New Year I’ve witnessed resolutions come and go like the tides on the beach.  The biggest mistake I see people make is setting unrealistic goals for themselves which end up leaving them feeling overcome with self-doubt and regret.  I see it all the time, setting outrageous goals and expecting to see instant results whether it be landing the dream job next week or finding the perfect partner by Valentine’s Day or losing 50lbs and fitting into a size 4 by the summer.  Instead of putting extreme limits on our success, we need to think more about the big picture.  
How can I better myself in 2014?

Since losing weight and exercising are two of the most popular New Year Resolutions (and the fact that I’m a fitness enthusiast!) we’re going to take a look at some tips for success in 2014.  

1.        Set that goal and make sure it’s a SMART one! – Come on we all remember SMART goals from high school.  Make sure it’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.  Think who, what, where, when and why.  If you’re goal is to lose 10lbs, you’ll need to think about how you’ll achieve that.  Do you have a gym membership? What are you going to do differently in order to reach this goal (weight training/interval training)? When do you want to achieve this by (think realistically about timing…change doesn’t happen overnight!)?

2.        Write it Down! – Put it on the fridge, set it as the background on your iPhone and put it on your desk at work!  Oh and if you’re a nighttime eater, put it on your night table too!  Let’s face it, the more you see it the more you’ll be inclined to stick to it.

3.        Help?  – It’s not always a bad thing!  If your goal is to run your first marathon and you’ve never ran more than a half mile then you might need some professional help to achieve your goal.  A personal trainer or coach is your best bet.  A personal trainer/coach will look at the whole picture, each athlete is different and your trainer will create a specialized training regimen to help you succeed.

4.        Workout Buddy – Grab a friend with similar goals and get moving! A workout partner can really help to keep things on track and can be a great motivator.  

5.        Food Log – I find it extremely helpful (when trying to lose those extra lbs) to keep a food log.  Visualizing everything that goes into your mouth can be shocking but TREMENDOUSLY helpful.   A lot of the time distractions prevent us from realizing what we’re really putting into our bodies and downloading a fee app on your phone to help with nutritional tracking can really make a huge difference.  As a bonus, most of these tracking apps can calculate caloric intake so you can work with a trainer or nutritionist to figure out how many calories you need each day to maintain, lose and/or gain.    

6.        Pick up those weights! – Contrary to what many believe, incorporating weight training will not make you bulky; in reality it will actually do the opposite.  We all know that the only lift that will make us bulky is the lift of the fork to our mouth! So instead of spending countless hours on the elliptical machine (EW!) start incorporating weights into your routine.  For example, instead of jogging 3 miles on the treadmill, do 6 rounds of a half mile sprint then pop off and do 10 burpees or introduce yourself to the rowing machine (it’s magical!) and row for 400 meters and pop off and do 25 Kettlebell swings for 5 rounds. I promise that you’ll see more results with interval training than you’ll see by wasting your time on a stepping machine.

7.        Stick to the plan – Let’s face it, life can get pretty hectic at times.  Just when everything’s going as planned and you’re feeling great about your goals life can throw you a curveball.  What’s most important is that you stay positive.  Just because you had one bad day doesn’t mean you can just give up.  The ones that are going to succeed are the ones that have to work hardest for it.  Nothing that comes easy will last, remember that.  You are in charge of your destiny (as silly as it may sound it’s SO very true).

I hope you’re as pumped and excited as I am to start off the New Year on the right foot! Here’s to a stronger, fitter and healthier 2014!

-Danielle a.k.a “The Bar-Belle Chick”



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