TOPIC: What Tools Can Help New Year's Resolutions Become A Reality?
The time for New Year's resolutions is nearing. Now is the time to let loose the energy and motivation needed for getting started and succeeding in your health and fitness related goals. Get prepared for that fateful New Year's Day when you will change your life forever!
What tools and strategies can be used to kick start your New Year's Resolutions?
What are some steps you can take to keep those resolutions going once you start?
How can we help others who may not have the motivation or interest to live a healthier lifestyle?
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1st Place - Spaniard00
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It is finally that time of the year where you are given the chance to make up for your mistakes. You have been given a clean slate and have a chance to repent. It is time for your New Year's Resolution!
While you probably have more than one New Year's resolution at least one of them has to be fitness related. Most new year resolutions involve losing fat or gaining muscle. Regardless of what you pursue there is only one thing you need.
That one thing you need is discipline. You must have the discipline to lose fat or gain muscle. In order to accomplish either of these a solid diet, weight training and cardio program will be needed.
Tools & Strategies
What Tools And Strategies Can Be Used To Kick Start Your New Year's Resolutions?
Not All Tools Go In A Toolbox:
Only a poor worker blames his tools. Unfortunately you won't have this excuse because you will buy the best tools you can which will be cheap and effective. The first things you need to buy are a bike and a treadmill. Both of these are needed for cardiovascular training.
You would also be wise, if you will be training at home, to buy an Olympic barbell and a bunch of dumbbells. Make sure that you already know your strength range and how many reps you plan on doing. Since you are going to be monitoring your progress it would be wise for you to buy a caliper. This will allow you to keep track of your progress.
If you want to gain muscle then there are many great products out there which will help aid you in your goals. If you are at least 21 years of age I strongly suggest you buy Jungle Warfare or X-Factor. These two products have given many people (Me included) amazing results.
I also believe products containing Creatine Ethyl Ester are very important. It is crucial to have protein shakes for after your workout and when you do not have time to make a normal meal. Other good products are things like ZMA, Essential Fatty Acids and BCAA's.
If you want to lose fat than a few supplements you should be looking at are things containing caffeine, green tea extract or any type of thermogenics. These products are only as good as the diet and training that collaborates with them. At no time should these products ever be taken to compensate for poor training.
Establish A Goal:
The best thing you can ever do when you want to achieve something is to visualize your success. Close your eyes and picture yourself accomplishing your goal. This is very important. If you do not believe your goals are achievable then you are destined for failure.
|WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?|
It is crucial that you set a goal that is reasonable and safe. I don't have enough fingers to count the amount of people I know who have tried starvation diets as their new year resolution!
On the other hand I have many friends who wanted to gain a lot of muscle for new years and they decided to eat pizza, cheesecake and beer until they were blue in the face. You must be reasonable and know that rapid fat loss and muscle gain is nothing but a dream.
All good things come with time and that includes muscle. So after you visualize and decide your goal you must than prepare yourself with the tools necessary to accomplish your goals.
Prepare For Your Goal:
You can have the will of a legend like Arnold Schwarzenegger but without knowledge you are doing a lot of effort and receiving no reward. Once you have a goal in mind you need to have information in order to understand how to execute your goal. Regardless if you are trying to pack on mass or lose unwanted fat you must be on some type of a diet.
Nutrition is the best weapon in everyone's arsenal. If you eat properly the benefits are guaranteed, however if you eat poorly you have failed before you even started. It is important to go on Bodybuilding.com and read all of the articles related to your goals. You must do the exact something for Anaerobic and Aerobic training.
Once you have done your homework it is time to put things into motion. You must create a schedule. This is best done (especially if you are a beginner) with a trainer. A trainer can analyze your goals and give you his experienced opinion.
You must select what days you are going to run, lift and rest. This is very important because if you are overtrained you can't gain muscle and you can't lose fat. You must also select a diet, which will suit you best.
On the first of January you will begin a big change so it is best to start slowly on your diet and take baby steps. Begin to slowly eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Than begin to cut out all of the sweets and eat more nutritionally dense foods like chicken, brown rice, Olive oil etc.
New Year's Resolution Forum Threads:
In order to make a good program you must be doing some trial and error first. If you are trying to gain muscle mass then it would be best to do a weight training routine with 3-5 sets each set ranging from 8-10 repetitions. Your workouts should not last much longer than 1 hour and you should not train more than 5 days per week.
Now, if you are trying to lose fat you must learn how to balance cardiovascular with weight training. This is something which takes many years to master. You must study your body's ability to recuperate. If you begin to feel unusually irritated, tired or experience anything odd then you are overworking yourself. Every time this happens you must analyze what you have done and change it.
While you are resting you can use this time to buy the materials you need in order to be successful. First off you must analyze exactly where you will be training. Will you be training at home or at the local gym. If you are going to be training at home then you will need to buy some dumbbells and barbells.
If your goal is to burn some fat than it would be wise to buy a treadmill. You would also be wise to buy some running shoes in order to be more efficient with your cardio training. Nothing is more irritating and dangerous than running in shoes that are not made for running.
If you will be working out at a gym than you must first join one. Take your time and look at the facilities. Study each one and figure out which one is more conducive to your goals. Once you have made the selection you will need a gym bag. In this gym bag you will need a towel, a bottle for your protein shakes, wrist straps for heavy weights and of course an iPod.
While physical strength is great I would trade it in for mental strength any day of the week. If you are not mentally strong once you begin your New Year's resolution it will be another failure. You must come to grips that this will interfere with your life and it will consume a lot of your time. However, you will be happy when you go to the beach and people just stare at your body as if they were hypnotized.
This time failure is not an option and this is going to be your main priority. It is important that you stay relaxed and don't get frustrated when you don't see results after a few days. Keep your composure and keep your eye on the prize. I promise you once you begin to see results you will be exhilarated and will have more will to continue.
Keeping On Track
What Are Some Steps You Can Take To Keep Those Resolutions Going Once You Start?
Maintaining Your Composure:
What separates people with decent bodies from people with great bodies is dedication. If this is your first time really hitting the weights or sticking to cardio then this will be a test of what you are really made of.
If you have the will than you will always find a way. January has begun and you are already getting doubtful of your abilities to accomplish your goals. There are many things which you can do to keep yourself on track.
Family & Friends:
Everyone knows that misery loves company. So what you need to do is leave the miserable alone. It is so crucial that you surround yourself with optimistic and supportive people. Nothing is more dangerous than a person who has nothing better to do but to degrade your goals and dreams.
As humans our dedication thrives on enthusiasm and erodes when it is put against pessimism. You must tell your family about your goals and what you want to accomplish. Your family loves you and will be thrilled that you want to take control of your life and do something productive.
Make sure to tell them about your workouts and brag to them about how you are eating so well. It is also important to tell your friends about what you are doing as well. You might even convince a friend to workout with you. A training partner is an excellent way of keeping your focus and sticking to your goals.
Eat What You Want To Eat:
Just because you are on a diet does not mean you need to be eating tasteless food. This is the worst possible thing anyone could ever do. You must eat foods that are absolutely delicious and filling.
Buying healthy alternatives to things like butter and mayonnaise (Both have a Essential Fatty Acid version) is a great idea. You can eat things that are delicious and good for you! Be sure to mix things up and not to eat the same things over and over again.
Whoever said a photo is worth a thousand words knew what they were talking about. A picture can be the most important aspect in determining whether you will stick to your goals or not. It is crucial to have a picture of someone who has a body, which is close to your goal.
Erik "The House" Fankhouser
NPC Competitor & Animalpak.com Writer.
Photo By Animalpak.com.
Week #38 - 11/28/2006
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Helki Soraya Weber
Active BodySpace Member & Model.
Photo By Ashton Ebanks.
Week #38 - 11/28/2006
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You should put these pictures on your fridge and on your mirror in the bathroom. It is important to be constantly reminded of what you are doing and why. If you begin to think this has no purpose just look at the picture and remind yourself why you are doing this.
View The Bodybuilding.com Photo Gallery Here!
Keep Your Training Fun:
Most people don't consider their training fun. Unfortunately you better learn quickly how to make your training exciting. If you like training it is like being paid to do your favorite hobby. Training should be fun and enjoyable. You should do the movements you want to do. Remember how good you feel after a workout when you feel those endorphins being released in your body.
It is crucial that you keep track of your progress with a journal. If you have not been training for awhile then you will probably see some very quick gains. It is important to have a journal in order to help you see these gains. It will be invigorating when you realize that you are lifting 20 pounds more than you were just one month ago.
Forum Workout Journals:
Your journal should be compromised of your eating and lifting habits. You should try to be as perfect on your nutrition and lifting in order to see what is giving you results. If nothing is giving you results than you can look at your journal and looking for errors in your training.
One thing that all humans have in common is that we all make mistakes. Even the best bodybuilders whoever walked the earth have made an error of some type in their career. When you get a craving that you can't resist and you satisfy yourself don't get all depressed and give up.
Many people have some sweets then go on an eating frenzy and eat all of the junk in their house. People go on a massive binge then decide to give up because they think that it's too late. The worst thing you can do is to give up. It is important that you forget about what happened and concentrate on doing the best that you can do. Just get back on track with your diet and you will be fine.
We all have someone we care about. What would be better for keeping you motivated than dedicating your goals to someone? Everyone has a family member, a hero or an idol. I personally dedicate all of my training and nutrition to my grandma who passed away a few years ago. Nothing has helped me stay on a clean diet more than that.
I first did my New Year's resolution when I was 15 and I began with a personal trainer. Unknowingly at the time my trainer had a major impact on my life. I began to eat properly and lift with good form. I suddenly realized that I was studying more and was becoming more disciplined in everything I did. My trainer gave me the discipline I needed to stick with my goals.
How Can We Help Others Who May Not Have The Motivation Or Interest To Live A Healthier Lifestyle?
People all around you are in desperate need of motivation. We live in a country where people are not motivated and believe that they can't change. You need to be that person who breaks the mold. You must tell people what you are doing and how you are having so much success.
You should offer them to train with you. You can also give people some helpful hints on how they can also change their lives. You need to be positive about what you are doing so that they will want to do it also.
If you are dieting and you are losing a lot of fat yet you look like you are about to collapse, people will not have a good impression on what it is that you are doing. You want people to look at you and be inspired to be like you and not the other way around.
Remember that this is not a sprint. This is going to be a very long marathon with many obstacles that will be thrown in your path. You will have to realize that things will happen that are out of your control. Regardless of what happens you must remember that someone without dreams is someone without hope.
I hope you enjoyed the reading.
2nd Place - Xtrainer
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New Year's Resolutions! Most people give them a shot at least once. It seems like a good idea in mid-November. You're going to lose weight. Yeah, you're finally going to do it and you're going to keep it off!
Fast forward a few weeks. It's New Year's Day. Great party last night ... and what have we here? Some leftovers! Potato chips, dip, the chocolate fountain ...
Well, maybe I'll lose weight next year ...
Know Your Goal:
The first step toward fulfilling your New Year's Resolution(s) is making intelligent and realistic goals. You also need to make sure your goals are safe and healthy. It's seldom a good idea to try to lose a lot of weight over a short period of time.
For example, it is not very healthy for a 5-foot-5 150-pound woman to try to lose 20 pounds in a month! Rapid weight loss like this is known to cause many health problems. Similarly, weight gain goals should not be made too fast, lest you pack on too much unwanted fat.
So how do you know what a "good" and "safe" goal is? That is a personal decision. People respond differently to different diets and strength training programs, even different foods and exercises. You need to do the research for yourself. A great place to start is Bodybuilding.com. Also, do not forget to talk to your doctor!
Prepare For Your Goal:
Don't wait until January to put your resolution into motion. Even if you don't plan to actively pursue your goal until then, you still need to prepare. First, you need to learn what it will take to accomplish your goal. What will you be eating? What will your workout program look like? What if you fall behind schedule? What if you go ahead of schedule? Figure questions like this out ahead of time.
It's also a great time to purchase some of the things you'll need. Are you going to be working out at home? You might need a treadmill or a set of weights. If you're going to be running, get fitted for some quality running shoes. If you prefer to work out at a gym, now is a good time to do a little "gym shopping."
Check out gyms in your areas and learn everything you can about them, from prices to clientele. Figure out how and when you will purchase a gym membership, if there will be a contract, etc.
November is also a good time for some trial and error. Say you've selected a 5x5 lifting program. It's not going to do you much good if you walk into the gym the first week in January and find out you can't bench because of that shoulder tear you got in wrestling and can't squat because that old football injury in your knee is flaring up again.
Figure these things out ahead of time so you're not stuck when January comes. If the plan you picked doesn't worked, you still have time to go back to square 1 and put together a new one.
You also need to take mental preparation into consideration. Making a drastic change in your physical fitness or body composition is not easy. Chances are you know this because you've failed before. You won't fail this time, though, because you're going to prepare.
If you want to truly change yourself, you need to make your goal a priority. It WILL interfere with the rest of your life. There will be lots of things you don't WANT to do that you MUST do, and vice-versa. Accept that. Right now. It will be rough at times, but if your goal is truly important to you, it will be well worth it in the end.
Sticking To Your Goal
So it's January 3rd and you're already feeling the pressure. Maybe you're overweight and starving. Maybe you're a hardgainer struggling to choke down that last spoonful of cottage cheese before bed.
Loren Christensen and Wim Demeere, authors of The Fighter's Body, give several great ideas to keep you on course. Here is a summary of a few of them:
Journal: Keep a log of your eating, training, and progress. When you can see the results you're getting, it will help keep you motivated. If you're not getting results, it will help you find what you're doing wrong.
|BODYSPACE: ONLINE JOURNAL|
Friends/Family: Surround yourself with supportive and helpful people.
Pictures: Post motivational pictures around your house, especially on your fridge. They may be of someone else, or of yourself (back when you were in shape).
Slow Down: Stop and think before you eat anything. Ask yourself:"Do I Really Need To Eat This
To Help Accomplish My Goal?"
"Relapses": You won't be perfect. The important thing to remember is that you can always return to the pursuit of your goal, even after a monster binge! Don't let yourself be defeated by your own mistakes.
The most important thing you can do to help others live a healthier life is to set a good example. This means not only living healthy yourself but having a positive attitude about it. If you lost those 10 pounds but walk around like a zombie, you're not giving people a positive impression of "healthy living." People should look at you and be encouraged to live like you. They should look at you and be inspired, just as you have probably looked for inspiration in the past.
In addition, show interest in conversing about health related topics with them. Break the ice by bringing up an interesting study you heard about on the news or an article you read. A lot of people are shy about discussing health related topics, but these same people are often the least well-informed and most willing to learn.
Most importantly, achieving your own goals and helping others is about commitment and dedication. This isn't a sprint. It's a marathon. It's hard work, but the satisfaction of overcoming yourself and fulfilling a New Year's Resolution is worth every drop of sweat.
Christensen, Loren, and Demeere, Wim. The Fighter's Body. Wethersfield, CT: Turtle Press, 2003.
3rd Place - justinc911
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There are many things that can be done to reach your goals for the New Year. First and foremost, remember that you can do as many crunches as you want, but if you don't have a proper diet you will never shed fat. If you don't eat you will not gain size, and if you can't stay motivated you will never be able to stick with anything you do.
Anything is possible if you work hard and use discipline. The best tools are weights, diet and cardio for achieving any resolutions you may set, as well as having support and motivation in many different forms.
Fat Loss Tools
First and foremost a proper diet is the most important thing. One approach to this is macro nutrient cycling, in the simplest from there are three parts per week, which is at the end of the paragraph. Also remember spacing out meals and lowering portions per meal can aid in fat loss, such as 5-to-6 meals per day every two hours.
As far as weight training goes, doing something like 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps (would prove beneficial), but try to keep rest to 45-60 sec to keep the heart rate and metabolism up so you can burn more calories. You could also try drop sets, which have no rest in between; for example do curls choosing a weight you can do 15 times, and then after that set immediately grab a weight that is about 10 pounds less, and so on until you can't go anymore or feel that you have achieved your desired pump.
I usually stick to 4 sets at most, and don't do drop sets for all exercises; it is a taxing method, so should only be used occasionally, although an alternative would be super setting exercises. Anyway back to the diet, which is listed below with notes:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday:
On these days try to keep carbohydrate intake to under 50-60g per day - best to also consume this post workout to prevent muscle breakdown and provide a more anabolic environment for growth. Doing this will also help to limit flattening of the muscles, or distended muscles.
Consume between one to two grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, as well as do 15-20 min of medium intensity cardio on this day. Meat such as chicken or lean ground beef is top priority on any days and white kidney beans can also help aid in the blocking of the carbohydrates to fat storage ratios.
- 4 min at 60%
- 3 min at 65%
- 2 min at 70%
- 2 min at 75%
- 1 min at 90%
- 2 min at 75%
- 2 min at 70%
- 3 min at 65%
- 4 min at 60%
On these days you can increase carbohydrates to about 100-200g. Protein intake can stay about the same at one to two grams per pound of body weight. The reason being is that since carbohydrates are depleted on pervious days to increase fat burning, we need a day or two to replenish them.
Try to keep with good or complex carbohydrates on these days, veggies, fruit etc. Cardio will be upped to about 25-40 min of interval cardio. A pyramid style interval training session is best, something like this:
This equals about 23 min of cardio, which is more then beneficial. Feel free to change it to suit your needs.
On these days carbohydrates will be around two grams per bodyweight. Protein intake will be one gram per pound of bodyweight, because of the increase in carbohydrates, no cardio is required on these days as you need time to rest from pervious weight and cardio sessions, this may also be the day to sneak in a little dessert so you don't end up going on a crazy binge eating frenzy.
The reasoning behind these days are to protect muscle and provide essential building blocks, because of such low calorie intake on other days and the diet in general, remember you still want to keep muscle, so carbohydrates are essential.
For weights - a 5-day training split would be ideal, with a day like Wednesday off. You can find many great sample splits on the forums, or previous topic of the weeks, or even articles from the pros.
Cardio in the morning on an empty stomach is best for fat burning and weights at night.
Muscle Building Tools
So what if your goals are to build muscle for the New Year. Well if this case you will want to obviously eat more, still trying to keep to healthy food choices so that you don't store extra unwanted fat. During a bulking stage, plenty of carbohydrates are essential, about 2.5g per pound of body weight and the regular one to two grams of protein per pound of body weight. A sample calculated total may look like this:
50g of fat
If you do fewer reps carbohydrates can drop by about a third and fat can go up by about 50g. So here is how I would setup my weight training phases:
Month One - Ten reps for five to ten sets, decreasing amount of exercises performed and at a lower intensity, medium weight
Month Two - Five reps for five sets, heavy weight
Month Three - Six reps of six sets, heavy weight
Not really much to say besides: make sure you eat your meals, lift your butt off, and commit yourself to every set.
There are many supplements that are great for fat loss, caffeine, protein powder, nitric oxide, thermogenics, test boosters, the list goes on and on. One thing is certain - no matter what your goal - vitamins and fish oil are essential to a healthy body. ZMA and chromium are also good choices.
Now that you have insight into the proper diet, weight training, cardio and supplements, you also have to have the motivation to achieve the realistic goals you have set. Instead of me giving a little speech, I have included a list of tips that can keep your motivation:
Tips & Information For Motivation:
Determine an attainable goal. Creating realistic goals will set you up for success. If your goal becomes too easy, you can always design a new one.
Create rewards for achieving your goal. The reward can be a massage, a new workout outfit, a new CD, a session with a personal trainer, or a new piece of sports equipment - in most cases it may be your favorite food.
Partner with a friend, co-worker or loved one - someone who will support you and your goals without sabotaging them.
Subscribe to Muscle and Fitness or Flex. New tips and exercises can be inspirational and alleviate boredom.
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Create a challenge against co-workers to see who achieves their goals.
Erase the concept that if you can't do at least 30 minutes you're wasting your time. Exercise burns calories, increases energy, and improves your health - even in small doses.
Try a new sport or class. Adding variety, group support and competition can increase your likelihood of exercising. Something like spinning or palates.
Look for ways to incorporate activity into your day, even if you can't do your normal exercise routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go bowling instead of to the movies, or use a push mower instead of a power mower.
Join a gym. For some, paying for a membership increases the likelihood of compliance. It also eliminates the bad-weather excuse.
Exercise in the morning. Research shows that people who make exercise a priority first thing in their day are more likely to stick with it.
Every person goes through periods of time when it's incredibly challenging to maintain an exercise program. Acknowledge it when it happens, recognize that it's just a brief period of time, and restart your program as soon as possible.
Choose things that motivate you - not what others want.
Remind yourself of the many health benefits of an exercise program.
Always consult with your health care provider before beginning an exercise program.
In short - Tools that can help are:
Diet, gym membership, personal trainer, friends for support, supplements, Bodybuilding.com, quotes, and your mind.
Below is a quote to get you started:
Is By Going Beyond Them Into The Impossible."