I am already beginning to tire of the newcomers at the gym, because I see that the enthusiasm which brought them in during the holidays is already beginning to wane. Though I offer advice, encouragement, suggestions, and even refer them to the in-house trainers, it seems that my words are falling on deaf ears. There is NO WAY that a person has committed to a lifestyle change if unhealthy habits and a lack of motivation are already sabotaging New Year’s resolutions. Forget about the bodies that could use some toning or weight loss. What I see are attitudes that are flabby. Joining a gym at the beginning of a new year, while somewhat noble, isn’t going to work like a magic wand and bestow instant fitness to the new gym member.
Let’s break this down. Perhaps you are a new gym member and are interested in transforming your body and your lifestyle. The most important thing you need to do is to pursue these goals with INTENTION. If you join a gym with no plan of attack, it’s like trying to drive a race car when you haven’t even learned to drive yet. I firmly believe in the power of specificity, structure and accountability, because they provide a map or blueprint for you to follow. Here is a step by step guide to developing a successful fitness overhaul.
1. Convince yourself that you WILL reach your fitness goals.
2. Print out images of people who have the kind of body you want and put them on your fridge or another prominent place you will see daily.
3. Give yourself a deadline.
4. Make your goals REASONABLE. Don’t put down, “I will lose 60 pounds in 30 days”, but pick a more reasonable goal, like losing 3 pounds per week.
5. Develop a workout schedule and stick to it.
6. If you don’t have a clue what to do while at the gym, hire a personal trainer.
7. Take progress pictures every week to monitor your progress.
8. Follow a specific meal plan to keep you on track.
9. If you have a setback, pick up where you left off. We are all human and have “off” days.
10. Don’t be intimidated by seasoned gym members. Most people are willing to help you if you have a question about how to operate machines.
11. Learn gym etiquette. The pace of a gym is rapid, especially during peak hours, so you need to be aware of concepts like “working in” (people will ask you if they can take turns with you on a machine or station). Don’t sit on benches unless you are actually exercising on them. Wipe down equipment if you sweat on it.
Now get off your computer and get serious about your goals!