You’re probably thinking to yourselves, “ Isn’t it a bit late to put out an article on goals for the year, two weeks into January?” It’s an antiquated thought that all resolutions need to take place on Jan 1st - everyday can be day 1 of your transformation process.
The obstacle the majority of people face is setting long-term goals without breaking them down into more manageable time frames. Long-term goals can actually have a negative effect on your motivation. If you’ve never been serious about training before, the thought of a year long transformation process would kill most people’s motivation before they even start. You need to break your progress down into 3-4 week blocks; that way you’re focusing all your efforts, a month at a time, on your specific goals.
Also Look out for is setting goals that are too vague, such as “get fit” or “lose weight”. Is your goal to change the way you look? Improve your posture? Drop that body fat so your abdominals become visible? Add more lean muscle and size to your frame or to drop your body fat mass? I know a lot of people that are “fit” but don’t necessarily look “fit.
This is because they spend too much time training in ways that aren’t always guaranteed to change their physical appearance, such as high intensity training, bodyweight training and using the try for example. You need to have a specific goal and then apply the most appropriate type of training to it. Changing one’s appearance will always require lifting weights; there is no way around it. If you went to the gym and just focused on watching the number on the scale drop, you run the risk of ending up with a super slim frame and zero muscle mass (this ain’t a good look). For all those ladies that set the goal of “toning up”, what you really mean is you want everything to feel firm to the touch, not soft and flabby. To increase your lean muscle mass you have to use resistance training to attack the muscle fibers deep within. Just doing plyometrics, banded side lunges and ankle weight exercises won’t cut it. These exercises will burn when you are doing them but won’t have any real long lasting effects.
Example goal : Weight loss ( more suitable goal would be weight loss and lean muscle mass gain )
I would focus all my efforts on using a 3x a week weight-based training program for the first 4 weeks. This would be a program that hits legs and the upper body in each session. You want to make sure you kill two birds with one stone :
drop that excess body fat while adding lean muscle mass at the same time. Slow the reps down and take your time. If you have been training for a while and haven’t seen any real change, it may be time to re-evaluate your technique and more importantly the quality of your reps. After the first four weeks you can look to specifically focus on certain body parts, such as adding width and size to the back and shoulders, or targeting the glutes and hamstrings for
leaner looking legs. Again, this would be a phase of training lasting for about 4 weeks. The difference is now you would be spending an hour targeting one or two body parts that you wish to improve.