Despite common knowledge that exercise is healthful, more than 60 percent of American adults are not regularly active, and 25 percent of the adult population is not active at all. Moreover, although many people have enthusiastically embarked on vigorous exercise programs at one time or another, most do not sustain their participation.
The following are useful tips from fitness experts to help you reach your 2004 fitness goals:
1999 NPC Nationals Lightweight Champion & 2002 GNC Show of Strength Bodybuilding (5th Place)
"The best way to succeed with your fitness goals is to construct a routine appropriate to your situation and follow the plan consistently. Set each week's schedule in advance of that week, and make sure your time is allocated appropriately to all three areas of fitness. I call my approach to complete health the Yaz 3 Total Fitness Plan. My total three plan addresses proper nutrition, cardiovascular training and a prescriptive weight resistance workout plan.
All three components must be present in order to reach maximum results! Just like you would schedule lunch with a friend, or a meeting with the boss, set time aside for your aerobic exercise, weights, and food preparation. The best way to track progress and identify problem areas is to see it in writing. I recommend keeping a daily food and exercise journal each day to ensure consistency and building of a solid, lasting routine. Remember, fitness is a way of life!"
Contact Info: www.yazinc.com
1991 Arnold Classic (1st place) & 2000 Mr. Olympia (4th place)
"I have always started my New Year off with a small list of priorities that I want to start working on. Notice how I said, "Start!"
Generally speaking, starting anything is the first step to actually accomplishing something. So I set the bar low in the beginning and work toward my goals. The following are a few words of wisdom to help you reach your goals:
- Always be sure to warm up and stretch thoroughly.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Take multivitamin and multimineral supplements each day.
- Train as if tomorrow may not come, make every workout, set and rep count!
- Visualize your goals and try each workout to move closer to that goal.
- Surround yourself with positive goal oriented people that are grounded and health conscious.
- Read articles for the latest info that may be beneficial to your health training.
- Visit your local vitamin store and get informed on supplementation to help restore lost nutrients through training and perspiration.
- Never use phrases like "I can't" "It's too hard" "It's too heavy" "It's my light day" or "Take it easy."
- Be hungry for success, when eating think excess. When training think of being the best!
The first steps are the most crucial to actually get you moving in the right direction! Happy New Year"
Contact Info: http://www.shawnray.net
2002 NPC Emerald Cup Overall winner & 2003 GNC Show of Strength Figure (6th place)
"The best way to get into shape is to follow a few key points. First of all, eat 4-6 small meals a day.
Keep your protein intake about the same for every meal, and the portion sizes for carbohydrates moderate (approx. the size of the palm of your hand). Earlier in the day when you're more active, you can have some complex carbs with your protein.
Later in the day, when less active, you can switch to more fibrous carbs. Try to keep consistent and eat clean all week long, then have a good cheat day once a week. If you can get to the gym 3-5 times a week, train hard while you're there, and make sure you get in 3-6 good cardio sessions per week for 30-45. This is my recipe for cleaning yourself up for the New Year.
You can reach me through my website at www.elainefit.com for a lot more info, galleries and great stuff. Let's get in great shape for 2004!"
Contact Info: www.elainefit.com
Marvelous Melvin Anthony
2003 Ironman Pro Invitational (2nd place) & 2003 Mr. Olympia Competition (9th place)
"Keep it simple. I suggest having a protein shake the first meal of the day, mid day, and before bed--approximately 30 grams for women and 60 for men per shake. To keep a fresh supply of muscle building nutrients flowing through the body, consume three to four meals with high protein and a medium amount of carbs no more than 150 grams (total) for women and approximately 240 gram (total) for men.
Also set a schedule and stick with it. The following is my workout schedule:
Monday & Thursday - Chest (morning) & Biceps and Triceps (evenings).
Tuesdays & Fridays, Quads (morning) & Hamstrings and Calves (evenings).
Wednesday and Saturdays - Back (mornings) & Shoulders (evenings)
God bless and happy New Year!"
Contact Info: www.melvinanthony.com
1998 NPC Team Universe Runner-up (short-class fitness) & 2003 Jan Tana Pro Figure (12th place)
"As 2004 quickly approaches us, everyone needs to stay healthy. The following are a few helpful tips to get rejuvenated. First, set realistic short and long term goals with rewards as each goal is accomplished.
Second, take new, fun and motivating classes to reduce boredom, but more importantly to work your muscles at different angles and different intensities. Try kickboxing, boot camp or even yoga! Not only will you get in shape, but make new friends as well.
Third, get mentally focused. A great book to read is "The Inner Athlete," by Dan Millman. And finally, go to a local, national or even international bodybuilding/fitness/figure competition to get reenergized. Seeing so many bodies in great shape at once can be an uplifting, exciting and amazing experience! Good luck and stay focused!"
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Strength Coach & physical fitness educator.
"For me it's not about a new year, but a new you. If you want more out of your training in 2004 than you received in 2003 or before, you need to become the person who would receive those training effects.
Spend at least a day BEFORE the commencement of 2004 analyzing why you received what you received from your training this year and in the past. Ask yourself what changes you can make to the person you are so that you will do the things that will result in having what you want from your time on this earth and physical training during 2004. If you need guidance on this, spend as much time studying personal development material as you do training material. I recommend Jim Rohn or Denis Waitley as great mentors and teachers in this area.
The next step would be to assess where you have come from in a measurable way.
Identify your top goals, and determine a way to measure them. Set progressive, quarterly goals and reassess/reset your goals every three months. Make them achievable, realistic, and believable! Experience success in achieving your goals, as success breeds confidence and more success. Place these goals and measurements in a place where they become part of your every day existence. This keeps the focus. You will achieve whatever you consistently focus on. Success is a succession of small steps.
Finally, avoid overtraining as the emotional and psychological changes that come with this condition increase drop out rate. So take your recovery weeks, and find out why training less is more! Make the most each day in 2004, by making the most of yourself!"
2002 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Fitness (2nd place) & 2003 IFBB New York City Pro Fitness (2nd place)
"My clean up plan for the holidays is to eat small meals every 3-4 hours and drink plenty of water (a gallon). If you crave sweets, try using Crystal Light in your water to reduce those cravings. Chewing sugar free gum also works very well. Don't skip the gym even though you may be busy with holiday shopping and parties. Get in there at least four times a week and double up on body parts to ensure you train the whole body each week. Do allow yourself some fun and at least one cheat meal a week to help with those holiday cravings.
Good luck and happy health for the New Year!"
IFBB official & Owner of Strong and Shapely Gym, NJ
"The following are a few basic fitness tips to help reach your fitness goals. Consider the following:
- Practice good eating habits: There's nothing wrong with occasionally splurging, as long as you are aware of what good healthy eating truly is.
- Weigh in weekly: Weight fluctuates daily, so it's best to only weigh yourself once a week. You'll get a better idea of what progress you're making.
- Be patient: Sure, you want results. Whether you're trying to slim down or bulk up, understand that it takes time to achieve your fitness goals. Learn to make a long term commitment to changing your lifestyle and steer clear of quickie diets.
Have a great holiday season and happy New Year!"
Contact Info: www.strong-and-shapely.com
3x Jan Tana Classic Fitness Champion & 2003 Fitness Olympia (2nd place)
"When it comes to competing, always make sure you give yourself enough time to be completely prepared to do your very best. Stress from rushing around last minute can destroy a physique. Always surround yourself with positive and motivated people, so you yourself will stay positive. It is a fact in life that negativity is the center of all failure."
Beth Stringham Shepherd
Lead Astronaut Strength, Conditioning & Rehab Specialist, Johnson Space Center, TX
"My advice for maintaining a year round fitness program is consistency, moderation & pre-hab.
Be consistent in a complete program of muscle strength and endurance, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.
Moderation in your diet--no one is perfect and deprivation is a sure way to set you up for overeating or bingeing.
Pre-hab: Prevent rehab (from injury) by taking the time to work on flexibility for increase range of motion and decrease risk of injury.
Ensure muscle balance (minimize injury) by strengthening the anterior (front of body) muscles as well as posterior muscles (your backside) and bi-laterally (left side to right side).
For upper body, dumbbell (db) exercises such as db flat & incline bench, lateral raises, db shoulder press, upright rows, posterior deltoid, rotator cuff exercises, db rows, etc. succeed in working individual arms, anterior, posterior chest and upper back muscles. Single leg squat, step-ups, lateral lunges and lunges are good examples of lower body bi-lateral loading.
Be good to yourself and your body. Proper recovery is essential to achieving your fitness goals. Do your best to get enough sleep, fluids, proper fueling, and de-stress. Add that to consistency, moderation and pre-hab and make 2004 a fitness success!"
By taking charge of your fitness program and following the advice provided by the experts in this article, you will significantly improve your current state of physical fitness. Good luck.
Contact Info: Bodybuilding.com Interview
About The Author
Rob Wilkins, originally from Linden, N.J., is a Master Sergeant in the US Air Force stationed at the Pentagon, Washington, DC. Wilkins is also a Special Assistant for the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) and a recipient of the IFBB Gold Medal. To contact Wilkins e-mail him at Robifbb@yahoo.com.