What Is The Best Workout For Continuing Your New Year's Resolution?

Gyms have been filled with new members trying to achieve their New Year's resolutions. However, we all know that these new members don't usually last long. See some great workouts for beginners and some great ideas to keep going!


TOPIC: What Is The Best Workout For Continuing Your New Year's Resolution?

The Question:

Since the New Year the gyms have been filled with new members trying to achieve their New Year's resolutions. However, we all know that these new members don't usually last long. Even with a beginner workout some of these members just can't seem to keep up with it.

Why do these people seem to have such a quick loss of motivation?

What is the best workout for continuing your New Year's resolution? Be specific.

What are some ways to keep motivation high while trying to continue your New Year's resolution?

Can they be saved or are they a lost cause?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    New Prizes:
      1st place - $75 in store credit.
      2nd place - $50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - Mtguy8787
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Since the New Year the gyms have been filled with new members trying to achieve their New Year's resolutions. However, we all know that these new members don't usually last long. Even with a beginner workout some of these members just can't seem to keep up with it.


Loss Of Motivation
Why Do These People Seem To Have Such A Quick Loss Of Motivation?

Unrealistic Expectations:

    Many people who begin New Year's resolutions do so with the idea that they will transform from an overweight tub of lard into a lean, mean machine in only 12 weeks. TV, magazines, and the weight loss industry are largely responsible for this.

    Most people have seen commercials for products which claim to help you burn 2300% more fat, exercise machines which are 350 percent more effective than traditional weight lifting methods, or special diets which magically burn off the fat 6 times as fast.

    With this type of widespread influence, many people believe that all it will take to transform their body is a little bit of exercise and a few fat burner pills. When they do not begin to see a transformation a couple weeks into their program, they get discouraged.

    Solution:

      One must realize that transformations do not happen in the course of a single 6-week or 12-week program. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a program. The results will come, if you are patient and follow the basic fundamentals. Do not expect to lose 50 pounds of fat in 10 weeks; satisfy yourself with steady, consistent results. Once you are able to do this, sticking to your new lifestyle will be much easier.

Not Enough Desire Or Discipline:

    Many New Year's resolutionists simply do not have the desire to work hard enough to make a dramatic change. Thanks to the influence of the weight loss industry, magazines, etc., these people are led to believe that they can get maximum results with minimal effort.

    When it finally dawns on them that this is not actually possible, their motivation goes down the drain. Until they want to change themselves bad enough, these people will not be able to make any improvement.

Intimidation & Unfamiliar Environment:

    The gym can be a scary place for an out of shape newcomer. It is easy to feel as though you stand out like a clown at a professionals' meeting. It is easy to start comparing yourself to all the other people who seem to be in superb shape.

    This can lead to not performing exercises, or not doing cardio when the program calls for it, all for fear of embarrassment. This can quickly lead to loss of motivation.

    Solution:

      Go with another friend who is also looking to get into shape. Or, if you have a friend who is already into fitness, go with them occasionally, if it is possible. Going with someone who is already familiar with the gym is a great way to become comfortable with your new environment.

      Understand that there is not need to be embarrassed. As long as you do not do anything stupid to attract attention, nobody will pay much attention to you. Many people at the gym who are in great shape were once overweight and out of shape themselves.

      Do all your lifts, even if the weight seems embarrassingly light. Don't skip out on cardio just because your pace is half that of the guys next to you. Just remind yourself that if you stick with it, you won't always be using the light weights, or the slowest setting on the cardio machines.

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Poor Dieting Methods:

    Especially for people trying to lose a lot of fat, this can be a huge motivation killer. Most people who make a New Year's resolution have little/no knowledge of proper fat loss nutrition. As a result, the most common is approach is to follow the popular dieting method of eating low calorie/carbohydrate diets.

    These types of diets are nearly impossible to stay on for long, even for a strong willed person. I am sure any professional bodybuilder can attest to this. This is obviously an absolute killer for motivation. In addition, such dieting methods will actually make it much harder to lose fat in the long run, which will further destroy motivation in any future resolutions.

    Solution:

      Proper fat loss dieting is not an ordeal. You will, for the most part, have to give up things like junk foods and sugary snacks, but it is much easier than many beginners may expect. With a good fat loss diet, you will not have to deal with cravings or hunger pangs.

      Here are some basic fundamental tips to go by.

      • Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
      • Eat balanced meals. Don't eat a meal of only carbs, or only protein. Include a small amount of healthy fats with most meals.
      • Do not slash calories beyond a moderate amount. Cutting calories too much will not help you to get results faster. It can actually make things worse in the long run.
      • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
      • Stay hydrated at all times. Even mild dehydration will significantly slow the metabolic rate.
      • If you are not gaining weight, you are not eating enough. Period.

Getting No Results At All:

    Can you imagine working hard for 3 months, with solid dedication, and making absolutely no gains at all? Too often, I will see people who come to the gym every day, and work their heart out each time. Several months later, they have not gotten anywhere at all.

    It is rare for these people to stick around much longer. The problem in this case is not lack of desire or discipline, but proper know-how and knowledge. All the necessary effort is there, just in all the wrong places.

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    Solution:

      Read and do some research. Then read some more. After you have done that, do more research and read some more. Don't think that you are someone who just 'can't be fit, period.' This is most certainly not the case. Once you start to educate yourself of nutrition, physiology and training theory, you will be able to channel your efforts into getting the best results.


Workout
What Is The Best Workout For Continuing Your New Year's Resolution? Be Specific.

Workout Fundamentals:

  • Do not try to go all out at the start of your program. You will be much more likely to burn out, and this is a real motivational killer. Start out with less overall volume, and gradually increase.
  • Make consistent progression. Progression is important to ensure good results. Always do a little bit more each time. Use a little bit more weight, do more reps or sets, or perform your cardio at a slightly higher setting.
  • Record all workouts. Keep a log that records reps, sets, weight used and times. This is important to ensure progression. Without a log, it is easy to unknowingly do the same workload as last time, or even less.

Warming Up:

    Warming up is very important to prevent injury, and also to ensure maximum performance. Several minutes of moderate or hard cardio will get the blood flowing throughout your whole body. It is also important to get your nervous system warmed up. If you are planning on doing 5 sets with 200 pounds, don't try to do that right off the bat. If you do, don't be surprised if you are surprisingly weak.

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    Do an easy warm up set with 135 pounds or so. Next, you may want to do a moderately hard set with 185 pounds. After that, 2 or 3 reps with the full 200 pounds before starting on the full sets would be a good idea. You may even want do a single repetition with 215, or even 225 pounds to be full prepared.

Lifting Tempo:

    Always keep the weight under control. For the purposes of this article, always lift the weight at the maximum speed that you can, while maintaining good form. When lifting heavier weights, this will not be fast. When lowering the weight, do so in a slower, controlled manner or 1-2 full seconds.

Full Body Workouts vs. Splits:

    Workout splits seem to have become synonymous with a good routine. Most advanced bodybuilders can be seen using complex 4- and 5-day splits. Many beginners see this and assume that this would be the best option for them.

    The main advantage of a body part split is that it allows one to focus on certain body parts at a time. This allows a bodybuilder to bring up lagging muscles in order to perfect their physique. For a beginner, however, a full-body routine is much more idea.

    The main reason that this is so is simply because it will stimulate growth much better. The more muscles that are involved in a workout, the greater the muscle fiber recruitment, as well as the stimulation to the all important central nervous system. A full body workout program is also ideal for someone who does not have as much time.

    1 of 3: The Central Nervous System (CNS):

    CNS
    The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.

    This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known.

    The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.

    Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.


    Learn More... Back Next

Rest Time Between Sets:

    Keep the rest times short, from 60-90 seconds. You should not need more time than this. Avoid training all out to failure on this program. This will not help much in this case.

Workout Frequency:

    A beginner will not need nearly as much training frequency, nor should they use a program designed with high frequency workouts. High frequency training is a good thing, but it takes time to build up one's work capacity. Two full-body workouts can be plenty for a beginner trainee.

    After about a month, training frequency can start to be increased. The number of full body workouts should be kept at two for the first several months. Split-days can gradually be added.

    One might begin by adding 1 split-day workout in place of a rest day, during which a few desired muscles are targeted. Later, another workout, consisting of lighter, conditioning type work can be added. This will aid recovery, and will also do a great deal for increasing work capacity.

    After another month or two, a full-body workout can be dropped in place of a split-day. After 6 months - 1 year, a good week's routine might consist of one full-body workout, a lower body workout, an upper body workout and a specialization day to focus on lagging muscles.

Cardio:

    A moderate amount of cardiovascular exercise will not cut into gains. If you are gaining a little bit more fat than you would like, a few sessions of cardio each week can be a good option. A moderate amount of cardio will also help to increase recovery and work capacity. It will help to increase capillary density in the muscles, which will result in increased blood flow & recovery ability.

    For minimizing fat gain, exercise for at least 30 minutes, at a moderate pace. The harder the pace you work at, the more calories/fat you will burn. If fat gain is not a concern for you, and you want to promote recovery ability and work capacity, 10-20 minutes as a fairly intense pace is ideal.


The Full Body Routine

Day 1:

Day 2 - Off, Cardio Is Optional

Day 3 - Off

Day 4:

Day 5 - Off, Cardio Is Optional

Day 6 - Off

From here, start over with day 1.


High Motivation
What Are Some Ways To Keep Motivation High While Trying To Continue Your New Year's Resolution?

Keep Track Of Progress:

    This goes hand-in-hand with realizing that great results take time. Even so, it can be discouraging for a newcomer to look in the mirror every day and see no visible change. This is where tracking progress comes into play.

    By tracking progress, you will be able to see the short-term results that may not be apparent when looking in the mirror. Looking at your log and seeing that you gained seven pounds of lean mass in the past month, or lost six pounds of solid fat, can be very motivating.

    Workout Logs:

      Keep track of all lifts and cardio sessions. Record all weight, reps, sets and times. This is important for making consistent gains; without a log, you may end up using the same weights over and over! It will also help to create motivation by looking in the log from time to time and seeing that you have been getting stronger with each workout.

    Diet Logs:

      It is important to have a set of eating plan guidelines in place when you start your program. It is never a good idea to just wing it. If you have the discipline, pre-planning a menu is the best route. If you are not doing this, a diet log is the next best option. Record everything you eat, drink and the times you ate at. This way, you will be able to know if any loss of gains, lack of energy, etc., was due to your diet, or another factor.

    Recording Fat Loss:

      This is important for the best results, and it can also help to provide motivation. Tracking body fat levels along with body weight will tell you whether weight gains made were due to fat or lean mass.

      If you are trying to lose weight, it will tell you how much of that weight loss is actually fat. Even if you do not see much change in the mirror, knowing that you are losing .6% body fat each week can help to provide motivation.

      The best way to do this is by using a pair of skin fold calipers. One of the best cheap pair of calipers is the Accu-measure by Accu fitness. They are available from Bodybuilding.com for 14 dollars. Although skin fold testing is not 100% accurate, it will yield consistent results once you gain proficiency. Consistency is what is important for tracking progress, not accuracy.

    Using Skin Folds And Body Weight To Track Progress:

    • Measure and record body fat using skin folds once every 7 days.
    • Measure scale weight at the same time. Be sure to take into account hydration levels, and the amount of food in your system.
    • Measure in the exact same location, and use the same equations each time.
    • If you are trying to lose fat, you can tell how much fat you lost by comparing body fat to body weight. If your skin fold thickness has decreased, then you have lost fat. If you are losing weight, but your skin fold measurements are the same, then you are losing muscle mass.

      For someone trying to gain weight, the skin fold thickness will ideally increase, but the overall body fat percentage will stay the same.

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Write Down Goals & Benefits To Be Gained By Achieving Those Goals:

    Record all your goals on a piece of paper, and put it in a place where you will read them regularly. Your workout journal is a perfect place for these. It is also important to remind yourself of the benefits of achieving your goals. You may think that is silly - of course you know why you want to reach your goal. But constantly seeing these in writing and having them in your conscious thoughts as opposed to unconscious thoughts will make a big difference in your success and motivation levels.

    Perhaps you might write something such as, "I will lose 40 pounds of fat by next summer, that way I will be in great shape to impress at the reunion on the beach." It does not take much to do this, and you have nothing to lose by doing so.

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    Focus On Consistent, Steady And Permanent Results:

      It is most important to get into the mindset of making steady and consistent gains. If you do not, you will constantly be disappointed. Stop looking for the program that will make you huge and shredded in just 12 weeks. Those programs which claim to add an inch of muscle to your arms in 1 week are extremely intriguing, and just as unlikely. Amazing transformations are possible, but they take time - a lot more time than 6-or-8 weeks.

    Pictures:

      For some people, keeping pictures of athletes or bodybuilders who create inspiration is a very good idea. This may be someone who resembles one's ideal physique, or perhaps someone who overcame many challenges to achieve their current state. A workout journal is a great place to keep these, along with a set of goals.

    Training Partners:

      A training partner with similar goals and the right attitude can also be a source of motivation. Having scheduled workouts with another person will decrease the chances of skipping a session. The right partner can also help to make sure that you complete the entire workout, rather than calling it quits half-way through. There are good, great and terrible training partners. Be sure to find the right one, if you do choose this option.

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You Want Someone Who Can Motivate You.


Lost Cause?
Can They Be Saved or Are They A Lost Cause?

Nobody is a complete lost cause. Anybody, with enough desire, discipline and dedication can transform their body. However, there are many people who are close to being a lost cause. These are the people who would like to look better and be in better shape, but are not willing to put forth the necessary effort to do so.

Any program they would have to fit in with their current unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately for them, the two do not mix. Any time there is a new program that claims to burn more fat and build more muscle with minimal effort, all while making no diet or lifestyle changes, these people would be the first to try it.

Occasionally, something dramatic enough may happen to create enough desire to change. If that happens, and they are able to have enough discipline to create a new lifestyle, then amazing transformations are possible.


2nd Place - ManInTheBox
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Since the New Year the gyms have been filled with new members trying to achieve their New Year's resolutions. However, we all know that these new members don't usually last long. Even with a beginner workout some of these members just can't seem to keep up with it.

This is all too common of a problem. How can we motivate our friends, and/or family to continue working out and not giving up? Why do they give up anyway? Let's take a closer look.


Loss Of Motivation
Why Do These People Seem To Have Such A Quick Loss Of Motivation?

Results:

    If there is one thing that I tell someone before working out or getting serious about bodybuilding is the fact that they are going to have to have patience and dedication. The main reason that anyone quits bodybuilding at a young age is the fact that it's a slow process. You may not always increase weight every week. You may not gain that five pounds of muscle after one workout, it takes a lot of time and dedication. If there is one thing that the human race needs more of, is patience.

Lifestyle:

    The lifestyle of bodybuilders may often be seen as being boring or bland. Eating plain meals, going to bed at a regular time, and staying away from alcohol turns many average Joes away from the sport. The truth is, is that these are not the facts. The first thing that people think of when they think of bodybuilders may be milk or steak. There are many alternatives to these foods. Just like any new sport or experience, you need to find things that work for you! Not what works for someone else.

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Time:

    "I work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, I do not have time to get into shape." Well, though it may be tough, there are thousands of other people out there in the same situations or worse, who make it work. This is when we come back to the dedication factor. If you are dedicated enough, and want something bad enough, you can achieve your goals. I started bodybuilding as a full- time student at a skinny 135 pounds. I am still a full-time student and a muscular 205-pound bodybuilder.

Rumors:

    In past articles, I have definitely touched on this subject. There are a lot of people who may walk into a gym and see some muscular physiques and immediately assume that they're on steroids. You do not have to take steroids to get big! It's a sad preconceived notion of bodybuilders. If you are dedicated, and have a healthy diet and lifestyle, you will make progress!


Workout What Is The Best Workout For Continuing Your New Year's Resolution? Be Specific.

In order to begin a new workout for the year, especially if you are new to the sport of fitness or bodybuilding, you need to work into the program. There are three categories that I will elaborate on that will allow you fit yourself into what program you should go for.

Beginner:

    Never regularly exercised, never walked into a gym, and "What's that machine with the big black handles?"

    I will set up a program specialized for your needs. I will also elaborate what each workout will do for you, and what exercises you may want to do after you become more comfortable with your level of training.

    We will work off of a three- day split.

    Monday- Chest/Triceps:

      Today will focus on our chest muscles, and our tricep muscles.

    • Barbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Pec Deck - 3 sets of 12 reps
    • Tricep Rope Pushdowns - 3 sets of 12 reps
    • Machine Dips - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.

      Today's workout will be hit our chest and tricep muscles well. Always remember that when doing barbell bench press to ask someone to spot you, which means watch the weight and make sure that you can do it. Not doing this can cause serious injury or death. Always be careful!

      As you progress, you may want to try dumbbell flat bench pressing instead of using a barbell. The pec deck may be changed to using flat dumbbell flyes as well. Finally, once you get your machine dipping form down, you can try doing bench dips or parallel bar dips.

    Wednesday - Legs/Shoulders:

      Today will focus on our leg muscles, and shoulder muscles.

    • Smith Machine Squat - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 12 reps
    • Leg Curls - 3 sets of 12 reps
    • Machine Shoulder Presses - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 3 sets of 12 reps
    • Dumbbell Front Raises - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Wednesday.

      Today's workout will use our legs thoroughly, and also hit every part of our shoulder muscles. Doing the Smith machine squats will give you a good base of form for eventually doing barbell squats. Machine shoulder presses may change to barbell military press eventually as well.

      Always remember if you are not sure how to perform an exercise properly, ask a gym member or employee to help you out! It is always better to be safe than sorry!

    Friday- Back/Biceps/Traps:

      Today will focus on our back muscles, bicep muscles and trapezius muscles.

    • Wide Grip Lateral Pulldowns - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Seated Machine Rows - 3 sets of 8 reps
    • Back Extensions - 3 sets of 12 reps with bodyweight only
    • Barbell Curl - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Alternating Dumbbell Curls - 3 sets of 8 reps (per arm)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday.

      Today's workout is always a personal favorite. I love working out my back and arms, getting that "pump" and feeling strong. Today we will stimulate our back muscles well. In time you may want to try bent over barbell rows, or single-arm dumbbell rows as well. Our bicep work is basic, but may be continued for as long as your bodybuilding career lasts. Other great bicep exercises are concentration curls, and preacher curls with a dumbbell or barbell.

Intermediate:

Advanced:

    Been going to their gym for years, have set goals and targets for their future of bodybuilding, ready for a new program but not sure how to set up a new program.

    I will set up a program for those of you who know what your goals are and what you want to achieve. Though you may be experienced with equipment and exercises, you can't decide what kind of program you are wanting to do. Mass gain? Fat loss? Endurance? How about we combine all of these components into several grueling workouts?

    We are going to be working off of a five- day split.

    Monday- Chest:

    Tuesday- Legs:

      Today we will focus on our leg muscles.

    • Barbell Full Squats - 3 sets of 8, progressive sets
    • Hack Squat Machine - 3 sets of 12
    • Straight Legged Deadlifts - 3 sets of 10
    • Donkey Calf Raises - 4 sets of 8
    • Seated Leg Curls - 3 sets of 12
      *Superset With*
      Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 12
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Tuesday.

      This workout will provide you with huge leg gains. We will start off with the king of all exercises, the barbell full squat. As we move on, we will blow our quads up with the hack squat machine. After, we will focus on our hamstrings for a bit while we do a few tough sets of straight legged deadlifts.

      Following, we will do donkey calf raises to allow our quads and hams to rest, and also build our calves. For the end of our workout, we will do three supersets of leg extensions and seated leg curls to give our legs a huge final pump so we'll be staggering out of the gym!

    Thursday- Biceps/Triceps:

      Today we will focus on our biceps and triceps muscles.

    • Alternating Dumbbell Curls - 1 light set, hard squeeze at the top of the movement, 3 sets of 12
    • Lying Tricep Extensions - 3 sets of 8 reps
    • Standing Cable Curls With Straight Bar - 3 sets of 10 reps
      *Superset With*
      Standing Straight Bar Pressdowns - 3 sets of 10
    • Preacher Barbell Curls - 2 sets of 12 reps, 2 sets of 8 reps
      *Superset With*
      Parallel Bar Dips - 2 sets of bodyweight (shoot for 12-20 reps), 2 sets of added weight (shoot for 8-12 reps)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Thursday.

      Here is our arm workout. Just how I like small muscle workouts, short and sweet. For muscle groups such as biceps and triceps, there is no need to spend an hour and a half pounding away at ultimately breaking down good muscle tissue. Doing this will only set you back, and be counter- productive.

      We are going to start out with pumping a lot of blood into the entire bicep with the alternating dumbbell curls. Then give our triceps a superior pump with the lying tricep extensions. From there on, we will be supersetting, challenging our muscles to press past their ordinary workout potential and giving you a mind-blowing pump in your arms.

    Wednesday- Back:

      Today we will focus on our back muscles.

    • Barbell Deadlift - 2 sets of 8 reps, 2 sets of 5 reps, 2 sets of 2 reps
    • One Arm Dumbbell Rows - 4 sets of 8 reps
    • Hyperextensions - 3 sets of 12 reps (add weight if necessary)
    • Lateral Pulldowns - 3 sets of 12 reps
    • Seated Machine Rows - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Wednesday.

      In today's workout, we will be utilizing some huge movements, such as the barbell deadlift. This movement will use a leg power, along with great back growth and strength. We will then shuttle into 1-arm dumbbell rows, which will stimulate our middle, upper and lower backs. This entire workout will be sure to stimulate great muscle growth and strength.

    Friday- Shoulders/Traps:

      Today we will focus on our shoulders and traps muscles.

    • Barbell Military Presses - 4 sets of 8 reps
    • Barbell Upright Rows - 3 sets of 12 reps
    • Barbell Shrugs - 4 sets of 6 reps
    • Front Plate Raises - 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 3 sets of 15 reps
      *Superset With*
      Dumbbell Front Raises - 3 sets of 15 reps
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday.

      For our last workout of the week, we are going to blast our shoulders and traps. We will enter our workout with a great mass building exercise, the barbell military press. This will thoroughly warm- up our deltoids, and stimulate our entire shoulders.

      Following the barbell military presses, we will begin with upright rows. This exercise is highly controversial when it comes to the safety of the exercise. I think this exercise is one of the best that there is in the shoulder movements.

      The only way that this exercise is dangerous is when it is not executed properly, so always remember to execute exercises properly to avoid injury. We will finish our workout with a final superset, pumping our shoulders up so when we walk out of the gym, we will be walking out wide!

Overall Guidelines:

    For whatever level of training you may be at, there are a few guidelines that you must follow.

    Warm-up & Stretch:

      This is something that is often overlooked. I am even guilty, early on in my lifting days, I would walk into the gym cold and try bench pressing 90 percent of my 1RM. As I look back, I am fortunate that I never injured myself.

90% 1 REP MAX CALCULATOR
Weight Lifted Reps
Results
1 RM
90% 1 RM

      I will take at least 10-to-15 minutes to thoroughly warm-up and stretch out. Some may see this as overkill, but would you rather spend a little extra time warming up, or spend six months rehabilitating? I think we all know the answer to this.

    Perform Exercises Properly:

      This is what you would think is a given. But this also goes along with leaving your pride outside of the gym, and doing what you need to do. Too often do I see teenagers moving dangerous amounts of weight in a very dangerous manner. This goes along with stretching and warming up, the second thing is having good form.

      I would much rather move lighter weight than I might be able to do, and not have to rehabilitate and not workout for six months. Finally, always remember to have a spotter when doing large movements such as bench press and squatting. Exercises such as these do pose a threat to your safety, by asking someone to watch you, you are taking five seconds to save you a lifetime.

    Warm-Down & Finish Strong:

      I feel this is another very important aspect to when you finish your workout. At the end, I try to incorporate a high rep exercise, or superset to finish with my muscles feeling pumped and full. As you can see, at the end of many of our workouts, we finish with a superset, or a high rep exercise for volume and an increase in nitric oxide output.

Superset Video

WMV (7.9 MB)
MPEG (6.2 MB)
Video iPod (.8 MB)


High Motivation
What Are Some Ways To Keep Motivation High While Trying To Continue Your New Year's Resolution?

Many find themselves down in the dumps about something that has happened in their lives. Whether it be something personal, or even an internal battle with the bench press, you have to learn to channel that energy into something positive. It may easy for someone else to tell you, but there are things to keep in mind that will hopefully motivate you through whatever you are facing.

Family:

    No matter who you are, you have family who loves and cares about you. You should always try to remain positive and push on for them. Inviting them to workout with you is great motivation for the both of you, and will make you happier. Many studies show that working out regularly does increase your happiness and decrease stress.

Friends:

    Inviting your friends to workout with you is another great form of motivation. Just recently my best friend has joined me to work out with me. My gains have increased rapidly, and I am always anxious to working out now. Having someone tell you to push through barriers and go past failure will make you proud and will help you tremendously!

Self Expectations & Your Future:

    No matter what sport you are in, it is important to have goals and expectations of yourself. But the important thing, is setting reasonable goals. You cannot start out expecting to bench press 200 pounds. You must set reasonable goals, and remember that each week you are making gains!

    Starting out low will make you much happier. If the first week feels easy, you can increase weight slowly, by five pounds each week and you will see your progress!


Lost Cause
Can They Be Saved Or Are They A Lost Cause?

In Bodybuilding There Is No Such Thing As A Lost Cause!

If you are dedicated. If you are mentally prepared. If you want it bad enough, you can reach your goals!

As I have said before, you have to be motivated. If you want to be successful in bodybuilding, you cannot walk in with an attitude of depression. Depression plays a key role in bad health. Though it is challenging for many, you have to be mentally ready for the task you are about to complete.

If you are struggling or unsure about what your future is in bodybuilding, I hope this article has helped you out. After your self- evaluation, I hope you can decide what level of bodybuilding you are on. Everyone has their crosses to bear in life. Everyone gets stressed, have jobs and have a life separate from their bodybuilding lifestyle.

Through coping with these different levels of stress, I hope you can utilize one of these workouts to press on and reach your own personal goal. Day after day of entering the gym, you will continually find a new side of yourself, and always be climbing that mountain a little higher each time.

Kevin B.
BKevin89@aol.com


3rd Place - Xtrainer
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Those of use who are in the gym on a regular basis have all seen the phenomenon: Come January, the gym fills up with a bunch of people, people we've never seen before. They are unsure of what exactly they are doing, and it shows. A few curls here. A couple of leg extensions there. A few minutes on the bike.

Within a few weeks, they're not even in the gym at all. "They" are the millions of people who resolve to "get in shape" for the new year, but seldom succeed.


Loss Of Motivation
Why Do These People Seem To Have Such A Quick Loss Of Motivation?

There are several reasons why people fail in fulfilling their New Year's resolutions.

1. Superficial Commitment:

    It's one thing to "resolve" to do something. It is another thing entirely to actually do it. Ideas about losing weight or building muscle are fun to think about, but they take hard work and real commitment. If these people want to accomplish their goals, their motivation must be heartfelt, not superficial.

    The idea of losing weight to be like everyone else is superficial. If you are only pursuing weight loss for aesthetic reasons, you will soon find that it is probably not worth your effort. On the other hand, the idea of losing weight for the sake of health or to succeed at a career or athletic goal can indeed be heartfelt.

2. Lack of Knowledge:

    Some people simply do not know how to accomplish their goals. It does not matter how hard you work, no one will develop much maximal strength or muscle mass through cardiovascular exercise! People lacking knowledge may indeed have sufficient motivation, but they cannot apply that motivation. Frustrated by a lack of progress, they end up losing only their motivation, not fat.

3. Lack Of Planning & Preparation:

    Fulfilling a New Year's Resolution requires ample planning. What sort of routine will you follow? What kind of diet? What supplements (if any) will you take? What will you do if you get off track? These questions need to be answered ahead of time, to avoid the discouragement that comes when one realizes that he doesn't know what his next step should be.


The Best Workout

Ultimately, what defines the "best workout" is subject to the actual goals of the person working out. Having said that, here is a sample routine for someone involved in a "power sport" (football, wrestling, martial arts, etc):

Day 1: "Leg Day"

Day 2: Rest

Day 3: "Push Day"

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: "Pull Day"

  • 4x5 Deadlifts/3x3 Power Cleans (Alternate weeks)
  • 5x5 Pull-ups (If you cannot perform pull-ups, substitute lat pulldowns instead).
  • 3x8 Barbell Rows
  • Optional: Curls and grip/forearm training of any sort.
  • Core Training*
  • 5:00 Jog

Friday: Sport-Specific

    Today, do whatever exercise pertains to your sport directly. For me, that means martial arts drills.

Saturday: "Active Rest"

*Core Training


Nutrition

As I have suggested in my previous articles, follow John Berardi's Seven Habits. They can be applied to any goal. For example, if your goal is to gain lean muscle, follow the Seven Habits with a caloric surplus (eating more calories per day than you use per day).

If your goal is lose weight, do the opposite. It is that simple. In fact, if weight loss is your goal, you may find that simply by eating "cleanly" (following the Seven Habits) you lose weight without cutting calories, or at the least, a minimal caloric cut. Here are the seven habits, in brief:

  1. Eat every 2-3 hours, totaling 5-8 meals per day.
  2. Each meal should include complete protein.
  3. Eat fruits or vegetables with every meal.
  4. The bulk of your carbohydrate intake should come from fruits and vegetables, except for pre/post workout.
  5. 25-35% of your caloric intake should come from fats (a mixture of saturates, polyunsaturates and monounsaturates).
  6. Don't drink your calories.
  7. Eat mostly whole foods.

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Supplementation

Other than a quality multivitamin, fish oil, and maybe some whey protein, people just beginning a fitness regimen should not obsess too much about supplements. Diet and exercise should be top priority, and more specialized supplementation can be incorporated after those are in order. There are lots of quality supplements and supplement information available on Bodybuilding.com, so as always, do the research and consult with a doctor.


Keeping Motivation High

There are several steps one can take to prevent the onset of despair.

Make Realistic Goals:

    It is not realistic (nor healthy) to plan on losing ten pounds per week. Nor is it likely that one will be able to boost his squat numbers by 50 percent in the same period of time. It is far more realistic and healthy to plan on making small, incremental progress that killing oneself trying to accomplish unrealistic goals.

    Also, bear in mind that the kind of goals one makes should depend on the individual. A 150-pound woman cannot healthily handle losing weight at the same rate as a 300-pound man. Do your research, and talk to a doctor before you start.

Make Measurable Goals:

    "I want to look better," is not a measurable goal. The way one looks at oneself in the mirror is subject to a variety of emotional factors. It is important to have measurable goals because if one does not think he is making progress, he will begin to question why he is bothering to work out and diet in the first place.

    Here's a brief list of measurable and realistic goals:

    • "I want to lose a pound every week for x-period of time"
    • "I want to add five pounds to my squat every week for x-period of time."
    • "I want to gain (size regarding any muscle, measurable by tape measure)."
    • "I want to improve my mile time by a few seconds every week for x-period of time."
    • "I want to fit into (slightly) smaller clothes."
    • "I want to accomplish the health goal my doctor suggested for me." - This is the big one!

Enjoy It:

    Remember, trying to improve oneself is an admirable goal. It should be fun. No, most people won't enjoy a grueling run, but they should feel proud when they are done. They should enjoy being able to run faster and farther than before. They should enjoy the increased stamina they have. They should enjoy becoming healthier. Enjoy it!


Are They A Lost Cause?

Well, only "they" can answer that question. Barring a serious medical condition, no one is innately incapable of getting into better shape. However, they need to overcome their own inhibitions: The draw of television, junk food, alcohol, the couch, and so forth. They need to prioritize their lives, and "health" needs to be near the top of that list. They also need to take responsibility for themselves and learn what it takes to accomplish their goals.

There is not much the rest of us can do for them. We can offer our support and guidance, but in the end, only those who truly commit to their New Year's fitness resolutions will be able to accomplish them.

References:

While most of these were not directly used in this article, the principles within these articles form the backbone of the above routine and I strongly suggest reading them for further information. I would also suggest reading the references in my other articles, for the same reason.

  1. Berardi, John. "The Fiery Ab Workout." Bodybuilding.com 06 Dec 2002 13 Jan 2007
  2. Berardi, John . "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs." Bodybuilding.com.
  3. Mahler, Mike. "The Compound Solution Program for Puny Arms." Bodybuilding.com Jan 13 2006


3rd Place - Dallas68
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Since the New Year the gyms have been filled with new members trying to achieve their New Year's resolutions. However, we all know that these new members don't usually last long. Even with a beginner workout some of these members just can't seem to keep up with it.


Loss Of Motivation
Why Do These People Seem To Have Such A Quick Loss Of Motivation?

I believe we all have an impressive amount of initial motivation which stems from a restful month away from worrying about work and other stress related subjects. We have an excess of energy and the will to take away the damage done, in the holidays. Yet it all fades away. Why?

People are lazy. Don't like what I said, yeah thought as much. Stop being so lazy and get moving. People want results in a flash and are not willing to break through the pain and monotony to achieve their inner desires.

People don't manage their time well, or they do not manage their daily lives true to what they could do. Most of us have work or school in the morning and afternoon, and then may have to move on to a sport or continue with work at home. Sure that takes the wind out of your sails but look at it this way would you rather sit and watch a television series which is paying those actors obscene amounts of money everyday, or instead better your body and mental aptitude?

You can make your time work for you that is the biggest factor concerning our lives. Make time your slave and make it work for you. I hear people whine they don't have enough time to go to gym. Well I'm sure you can get up earlier in the day or you can find a time in the early evening to pound the weights.

I have been blessed with a home gym and use it as well as the commercial gym, but even if you do not have access to a personal gym, they are sprouting all over the place, there should always be a gym or fitness center at the least near you.

While I'm in my final year at school, with all the work I have to do and the sports I have to play I'm still doing gym and making good gains. Make time for it!

The biggest loss of motivation comes from again not seeing results! People will go for a solid four weeks and you may gain a pound of muscle and maybe lose half a pound in that time, which is a good result but people want more.

Most people I have talked to would want to look like men's health models or CK models. They have to realize that most of those guys although not as muscular as a true bodybuilder would want, work their butts off to look good for a shoot.

Read up on Anthony Catanzaro for his outlook on his modeling career.

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Additional Articles

Many people who have all the ability don't have their minds in the right place. They do not follow diets efficiently; they do not train with enough intensity and therefore see no results.

These people must look deep within themselves and want to really do this, change their lives and truly come out at the end looking 100% healthier, stronger and muscular.

A person with un-motivated people is not a recipe for success. A person with motivated people is a recipe for true successful changes. You may have to change your social out reach, I am not stating you have to live a sheltered life but refrain from drinking with the boys or having an all out hog party every weekend. Have fun, dance, socialize and simply stay away from the sustenance being provided unless it is water.

People all over the world have made huge changes and this can be from doctors giving fatal signs of death to the patient unless an ultimatum of health is reached, or a personal endeavor.

I just know that half the excuses people make that are un-happy with their bodies is a typical and un-valid excuse. Some people in the end want the encouragement for their own selfish ends without truly doing anything or actually following through.

This is for yourself, and if you do not want to look like a new person or younger than ever then stay how you are, weep in your own misery because there are thousands of those who have done it, in the worst of scenarios.


Workout
What Is The Best Workout For Continuing Your New Year's Resolution? Be Specific.

I believe by going with the principle of either one body part worked a week or the double body parts split.

The typical and widely used method is to go in the gym and pump up one section or part of the body, such as arms one day and the next legs. To clarify this I will list a typical workout which will allow rest and recuperation, which those new years' gym rats are best at.

Sunday: Arms

    Everybody loves to work arms especially those wanting to feel untouchable in the gym. Sunday is a good day, since you start your week off with a bang.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger himself stated that 4 sets is optimum to achieve total hypertrophy of the muscles. So of course 4 sets is the best to use.

    Barbell Curls
    (strict form, try to gently flex the abdominals to truly stay within a good mind-muscle connection.)
    4 sets
    Ranging from 12-15 reps, 8-10 reps, 8-10reps, and 6-8 reps
    This will ensure that you are eventually using a weight which taxes the muscles

    Superset this with:
    (keep in mind supersetting must be done in a quick time frame so if you have to jog quickly to the other machine or weight then do so)
    Close Grip Bench Press
    (This is an incredible exercise and truly builds the triceps muscles)
    Your elbows should be further out than your wrists for the movement to work the triceps, feel the muscle work
    4 sets
    Ranging from 12-15 reps, 8-10 reps, 8-10reps, and 6-8 reps
    This will ensure that you are eventually using a weight which taxes the muscles

    Preacher Curls (machine)
    (focus on the upward and downward movement at a slower rate to truly maximize the blood rushing into the muscle.)
    4 sets
    Ranging from 12-15 reps, 8-10 reps, 8-10 reps, and 6-8 reps,
    This will ensure that you are eventually using a weight which taxes the muscles.

    Superset this with:
    Triceps Pushdowns
    (can be done with a V-rope or a typical small bar, some machines offer you to place the bar at different heights. I suggest having it at a height which is around shoulder height.)
    4 sets
    Ranging from 12-15 reps, 8-10 reps, 8-10reps, and 6-8 reps
    This will ensure that you are eventually using a weight which taxes the muscles

    That is a typical arm day with easy to use exercises.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Sunday.

Monday: Legs

    Following the next day up with legs will allow the upper body to rest, because no matter how strict you are you will use the deltoids and lats to a certain affect.

    Now legs is a hard days training but can be done in a safe manner. Legs must be stimulated differently to respond. Most gym goers will use these exercises which I shall list.

    Leg Extensions
    This should comprise of a full range of motion and 4 sets to warm the legs up and prime them for strenuous exercising ahead.
    10-25 reps

    Hamstring Curls
    Many trainees to be injure themselves and this is possibly in the hamstrings if they are indeed incredibly weak. 4 sets of this exercise should efficiently protect one's hamstrings. A full range of motion with a squeeze at the top will work wonders.
    10-25 reps

    Back Squats
    This exercise must be read about before it is put into place in your regimen. This is not a cheaters exercise. One must keep precaution at full tilt especially if they do not have full depth and stretch in their body. 4 sets of this will leave your quadriceps burning. I suggest a full range of motion once again to truly hit the legs.
    8-15 reps

    You may want to leave the gym after this, but of course you have two last visits. That is correct.

    The Angled Vertical Leg Press
    This exercise will build stretch in your inner legs which will help with depth in your squatting. Do not focus on weight, instead focus on bringing the weights down to the bottom of the machine and pushing up once again. When you are able to do this while heaving impressive poundage your legs will be like steel.
    10-15 reps

    Calves is always a fun way to end a legs session.
    This is a tri-exercise but basically is what should be done.
    From seated calves' machine, to standing bodyweight toe raises, to standing calve machine, this must be done at a decent pace but will show results. Calves are the user's own decision on reps. I have done 100 rep sets to only 15 reps a time.

    You may take a rest day off but if you want to instead rest on the Wednesday then work out the day after legs.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.

Tuesday/Wednesday: Back

    This is a body structure which is crucial for safety and overall health benefits, in terms of posture.

    Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns
    Is always a perfect way to feel the muscle out. Now take note that you must bring the bar to the front at the top of your chest, do not bring it to the back of the neck. For a beginner trainee this could ruin you, because it is not a natural movement. Keep it simple, keep it to the front.
    4 sets with 12-15 reps will be sufficient.

    Close Grip Lat Pulldowns
    Will be a new dynamic to some, but this will provide an even better back pump in the lats. This is optimal to acknowledge a good workout and to full the muscles with needed nutrients. You can use a V-bar or a normal small bar. Either will be effective.
    4 sets of 12-15 reps will keep the rate of the heart up.

    Barbell Rows
    Are a simple and effective exercise which can be utilized even without excessive poundage added. You must instead focus on bringing the bar up to the waist and then bringing it all they way down. You must remember to use the back instead of the arms, imagine them as hooks and the back as the actual moving part.
    4 sets of 8-15 reps will work well.

    Pull-ups
    Will be added at the end to truly pump the back up and push you to true failure. If you really cannot push out a few good pull ups then please get something to stand on and start with half reps but still getting your chin over the bar. Close Grip With Palms Facing You ... and Shoulder Width Grip With Palms Facing Away are both needed to be used. These should each add up to 40 reps in total.
    The sets do not matter but you must use both exercises to get your pull ups to add up to 40. 20 on each exercise could be a suggestion.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Tuesday/Wednesday.

Rest on Wednesday or Thursday. So you will either be training or resting one of those days.

Thursday/Friday: Chest

    This muscle is either genetically well structured or you will have a tough time with it. That said you can still have a fantastic pump and have a great workout.

    Flat Barbell Bench Press
    Why do I recommend this? Not for ego that is for sure but it is a simple exercise to provide a pillar to show you where your strength is at.
    4 sets
    10-15 reps to provide a pump and keep the blood flowing.

    Incline Barbell Bench Press
    After that hitch the bench up to incline and then hit the bar with a slow pace to hit the upper chest hard, do not push your arms out fully. The emphasis must be on the chest not triceps.
    4 sets
    10-15 reps

    Flat Dumbbell Chest Press
    This is going to help you keep form and will provide even more of an incredible pump. I say you should use flat again because it is the simplest.
    5 sets
    10-15 reps

    Pectoral Deck Machine
    Now it is time to finally pump the chest until it is too full to move your arms around.
    6 sets
    6-20 reps

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Thursday/Friday.

Friday/Saturday: Shoulders

    This workout is definitely one which can be fantastic based on the willingness of the trainee.

    Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
    Palms facing forward and dumbbells on your shoulders move out fully to the top of your motion.
    3 sets
    10-15 reps

    Sitting Barbell Military Presses
    This exercise is safer done sitting down perhaps resting on the back of something. This is a powerful exercise and you must use a wide grip for it.
    3 sets
    10-15 reps

    Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises
    This will build your medial head of the deltoids. Bring the dumbbell as high up as possible and then control the motion downwards.
    3 sets
    10-15 reps

    Barbell Shrugs (for trapezoids)
    This is an exercise which you must truly squeeze with at the top of the movement.
    5 sets
    8-15 reps

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday/Saturday.

This is a typical workout week which you may follow.

Simple, straightforward and easy to utilize now the double body parts split is quite simple. You shall use the same exercises and workout principles except you will have more rest days simply from the volume. This will be an ideal workout routine for those who want to train hard but don't have as much time.

Simply pair Chest/Back together and Arms/Shoulders and keep legs on there own day. Keep the volume of repetitions the same and exercises. This will have you sweating much more than usual.

Good luck, these are good workouts!


High Motivation
What Are Some Ways To Keep Motivation High While Trying To Continue Your New Year's Resolution?

Repeat the resolution, which I prefer to call a new beginning in your head whenever you have the time to. Imagine yourself achieving and maintaining your goals, set out to keep believing in yourself. You should acknowledge it will be hard but this makes it worth it. The mental fortitude will keep you on alert and mentally healthy.

Keep simple reminders on your fridge. At work or wherever you are the most in the day. Keep alarms on your cellular phone to keep you remembering to do certain different things each day.

Make sure you smile at yourself in the mirror, keep happy. Most of all bring laughter to your everyday well-being. This will keep you ready to do everything set before you.


Lost Cause
Can They Be Saved Or Are They A Lost Cause?

They can always be saved; Bodybuilding.com's transformation gallery is chock-a-block full of success. Every one of those people had lost hope but turned that around and achieved. We all have the courage and discipline to change ourselves locked away. We need perhaps a simple gesture or admittance of change to make us realize our worth.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have all the best.


3rd Place - fblead40
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Since the New Year the gyms have been filled with new members trying to achieve their New Year's resolutions. However, we all know that these new members don't usually last long. Even with a beginner workout some of these members just can't seem to keep up with it.


Loss Of Motivation
Why Do These People Seem To Have Such A Quick Loss Of Motivation?

First, let's quickly examine what motivation exactly is and where it comes from - There are many different studies on motivation out there and everyone has their own perceptions on and definition of the word "motivation." Let's use Mitchell's study as an example.

In a theory about motivation, in which motivation is described by a few characteristics, Mitchell defines motivation as, "The degree to which an individual wants and chooses to engage in certain specified behaviors."

So in this concept there is some driving force in individuals that have them try to attempt to achieve a certain goal in order to fulfill a need or expectation. Applied to a fitness goal, this brings us to the following model:

Figure 1
Click Image To Enlarge.
Figure 1: A Simplified Illustration Of The Basic Motivational Model Applied To A Fitness Goal.

Looks pretty easy, huh? Well, actually it is. In order for this continuous cycle to work, all of these stages (or beacons) and chains have to be available. So if one stage is incomplete, the model doesn't apply. For beginners, this is often the fulfillment chain [that's missing] for example.

New gym members have their goal set and have their own expectations, they have changed their lifestyle (the diet and training are altered and cardiovascular activities added), but the one thing that they are still missing after a few weeks is fulfillment.

These new gym members look in the mirror and still can't see any results (usually because visible results appear after about a month or a little less). Or they have been so dedicated the first few weeks, they expect to see results that they couldn't have gotten yet.

In addition, some people that are as motivated for the first 2 weeks as just described, and that have changed their diet so radically that they cut out on things rather than eating less of it they can't resist the temptation of the food again after a while and therefore start eating it again and lose motivation.

Just discussed is the most common problem among new gym members that lack motivation after a while. It could also be that people don't even have an appropriate driving force or a realistic goal.

Let's have a look at the following quotes:

"Kreitner et al. Suggest that although motivation is a necessary contributor for performance it is not the only one. Along with ability, motivation is also a combination of level of skill; knowledge about how to complete the task; feelings and emotions; and facilitating and inhibiting conditions not under the individual's control."

Let's say that the inhibiting and facilitating conditions are under this new gym member's control, however, the level of skill and knowledge about how to complete the task aren't. In this situation, the new gym member doesn't even pass the second stage of the previous mentioned model just because he/she doesn't possess the knowledge of how to reach the goal (they haven't of heard the website bodybuilding.com yet!).

Finally, it could also be that the needs or expectations or desired goals stage is unrealistic. An example would be that this "new gym member" wants to lose 50 pounds in 2 weeks. This is also a fairly common problem, however, there are ways to make a more realistic goal.

SMART:

    SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound) is one of those methods to set up a realistic and achievable goal. Ask yourself these questions:

    Specific:

      WHAT are you going to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build etc. WHY is this important to be done at this time? What do you wish to accomplish ultimately? HOW are you going to do it? (By ...) Ensure the goals you set are specific, clearly defined and easy to measure. Instead of setting a general goal such as: to lose weight or be healthier, set a specific goal such as: to lose 2 cm off your waistline or to walk 5 miles a day at an aerobically challenging pace.

    Measurable:

      How do you know, if a goal is completed? If you formulate a goal, you should state how you are going to measure it upon its completion. Measuring can be done according to certain standards and these standards, in turn, can be quantifiable (e.g. number of mistakes made, time needed to complete an assignment) or qualitative (e.g. good quality of a presentation).

      Quantifiable standards are relatively easy to formulate. Qualitative standards are far more difficult to formulate, as these need to be defined in advance. You could impose a scale system where 1 is low and 10 is high. For example: if your goal is to put the fun back in something you used to enjoy, give yourself a fun rating prior to the exercise and a fun rating afterwards.

    Achievable:

      Goals you set that are too far out of your reach, you probably will not commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, knowing that it is too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best.

      A goal needs to stretch you slightly, so you feel it can be accomplished, but it will need a real commitment on your part. For instance, if you aim to lose 20 pounds in two weeks, we all know that is not achievable, however, setting a goal to lose one pound is. When you've achieved that, aiming to lose a further one pound, will keep it achievable for you.

    Realistic:

      This is not a synonym for "easy." Realistic, in this case, means "do-able." The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment. A goal of never again eating sweets, cakes, crisps and chocolate may not be realistic for someone who really enjoys these foods.

      For instance, it may be more realistic to set a goal of eating a piece of fruit each day instead of one sweet item. You can then choose to work towards reducing the amount of sweet products gradually as and when this feels realistic for you.

      Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult a goal, and you set the stage for failure, but too easy a goal sends the message that you are not very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!

    Time-Bound:

      You should specify a time during the day/week/semester when you will work toward fulfilling your goal. If you do not set a time, you commitment might not be a priority and there is no urgency to start. If necessary, you can break up a large task into smaller steps and consider whether each step should be a goal in itself. Do not forget to monitor your progress in this case.

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Just because we love models and theories, here are two other ones:

Figure 2
Click Image To Enlarge.
Figure 2: Representation Of Herzberg's Two-Way Factor Theory Applied To A Fitness Goal. The Satisfiers Should Weigh More In Order To Stay Motivated.

Figure 3
Click Image To Enlarge.
Figure 3: When The Driving Force Stage From Figure 1 Isn't Filled In Properly, It Could Lead To Frustration. This Frustration Might End In Aggression, Regression, Fixation Or Even Withdrawal From Trying To Achieve The Goal. Applied: People Aren't Motivated To Stick To Their New Year's Resolution Anymore And Should Therefore Modify Their Goal (Or Set Up A New Goal Using The SMART Method). .

Without further elaborating on it, it is clear that motivation is a complex process. Though it can be influenced by the environment, it is mostly a internal process.


Workout
What Is The Best Workout For Continuing Your New Year's Resolution? Be Specific.

The best workout for people in order to continue their New Year's resolution is a workout routine that people like to follow. Though it is important to once in a while change your workout routine and to try different things to stimulate muscles in a different way, if one has been trying out a new and completely different workout [from their first] there might be a possibility that the person will be less motivated (depending on how they liked their first workout routine).

However, there are some factors that might influence the motivation for doing a certain workout. Some people are more convenient with using machines, and in that case they should stick to them. Others, e.g. people that are more into powerlifting, might feel better with compound exercises with free weights. This really depends on the person.

Another factor to consider is time. If you're the kind of person that likes to be in the gym a little longer, then do that. If you, however, like to get it done quick, then just stick to a short workout routine. Either way, keep it between 30 and 60 minutes in order to have an efficient workout.

Here's a sample routine (5-day split) from which some people, including me, have gotten some good results of.

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Whether your goal is either to bulk up or to shred of fat, this cycle can be used for both. It's a misconception that you are supposed to do more sets with more repetitions when in a cutting cycle and that strength is minimal in that period (some people break their PR while they're in a cutting phase).

Do some research and read some articles about your goal. Here is a link to a huge collection of training articles.


High Motivation
What Are Some Ways To Keep Motivation High While Trying To Continue Your New Year's Resolution?

If your current workout routine is boring and you feel (and know by keeping track of your measurements and stats!) you're not really making progress, then it's not wrong to properly change things up a little bit.

Here are a few other things that I recommend:

  • Keep track of your stats in a logbook or agenda (you can make your own workout logs here). With this I mean the stats of your lifts. This way you know if you're progressing e.g. strengthwise.

    Also keep track of your fat percentage and your body part measurements. Taking pictures is also an easy way of analyzing your progression. (A nice article about measuring).

  • Buy and read bodybuilding magazines, visit the Bodybuilding.com supersite, watch bodybuilding movies; do whatever that motivates you to go to the gym or to reach your goal.

    Fit Show Episodes.

RELATED ARTICLE
The Fit Show! The Fit Show!
Chapman Media Group and Bodybuilding.com partner to produce the first ever Bodybuilding and Fitness video program on the web.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

  • Since everybody is different, you might have try out different things but this is the only to find out what's best for you. This goes for both supplements as well as training.

  • Talk to fellow gym members. Find out how they (have) reach(ed) their goal. Take everybody's advice into account when setting up your goal.

  • Make going to the gym more fun; listen, for example, to music during your time at the gym or find other non-related things that motivate you.

  • When necessary, take supplements to make it a little easier on you. Just remember, supplements are no replacement for a healthy diet!

  • More motivation articles right here.


Lost Cause
Can They Be Saved Or Are They A Lost Cause?

You're never lost and it's never too late. Get back on track and set up a realistic goal!

Visit Bodybuilding.com and other fitness related websites often and get knowledgeable about how to reach your goal. Once again, if you know how to reach your goal and if you're able to stick with it, you will definitely achieve the results you want (Performance = function (ability x motivation). Like one of the sayings that appeared in one of the movies of Ronnie Coleman:

"Knowledge Is The Key To Success!"

Tammo V., bb.com member name: fblead40
Emmen, The Netherlands.