Staff night out. Night out with the other half. Lads only night out. Night with family. Cousins get together. Grandparents over for dinner. Dinner in the parents. Drinks with the in-laws. Gym buddies night out.
The list of nights out can seem endless over the festive period and for most people the over indulgence in rich foods, alcohol and a lack of regular exercise can all lead to weight gain, sluggishness and a general feeling of “ugh”.
In the New Year we will welcome a new batch of overweight, energetic, positive, guilty and hopeful persons into the gym. Unfortunately, in February we may not see a lot of these people because they may have not lost weight, lost their energy, turned negative, ditched the guilt and lost all hope. Sound like you? Determined that it’s not you this time? Read on………
I’ve put together a few tips that can make your transition from overeating, over drinking, TV watching, belt loosening to healthy eating, no drinking, TV ditching and belt tightening in 2016. It’s a list of what you need and what you don’t if you plan on getting healthy and fit in January.
Here’s what you DON’T NEED
A weighing scales – not an accurate representation of fat loss, muscle gains or increase in fitness, it means nothing!!! Check out my blog on “weight loss” HERE. DITCH THE SCALES!!!!!!! Get your body fat tested instead. It takes 5 minutes and gives a more accurate representation of how much body fat you have to lose and how much muscle mass you currently have.
Unrealistic expectations – Don’t start out in January with the goal of losing 3 stone. This may take a year – shocking! But that’s the truth for most people. Instead aim to exercise 3 days per week for January. Simple. If you do that, you’ll see changes in your mood, sleep patterns, energy levels and maybe body shape and composition. You might even continue into February. You don’t start Day 1 in a new job with the aim to be CEO by the end of the month so while this may be your end goal, setting short term ones leading to this is a better way to work.
Junk food – ditch the leftovers from Xmas. All those tins of Roses (with just the toffee ones left), the packets of biscuits, the heap of beer left over because nobody called around, the soft drinks you bought in their quadruple special packs – GET RID OF THEM!! Down the drain, in the bin, charity shop food drive etc. Just realise 1 thing – they will not get you closer to your fitness/health goals.
Ditch the Apps – you may well use your phone for music or for a timer depending on the program you’re doing but it’s a massive distraction. Use an mp3 player and buy a cheap stopwatch. If you INSIST on using your phone, put it on airplane mode to avoid notifications from 44 different apps. Update AFTER the gym not during it. If we see you taking a selfie we will make you post it on Spirit’s page or jump in with you. Harsh but fair. This is YOUR gym time, use it to do gym stuff!!
Here’s what you DO NEED
A Program – Don’t wing it. Don’t use a program downloaded from the internet. Don’t copy the idiot in the corner who’s about to hurt in his back. Get a program, OR just speak to a trainer on how to maximise what you are doing. If you download a program have one of our trainers proof it for you! Either way make sure when you step inside the door you know what you are about to do will help you achieve your goals and not be a step backwards, of no benefit at all or may cause you an injury.
A Plan –I’m going to the gym 3 times a week – WHEN? Plan the week. If you had no time before Xmas, what’s changed? You’ve still got kids, a job, a social life, a lazy disposition. Don’t waste time making promises to yourself that you can’t keep!!! Many people baulk at the idea of 7am gym sessions, but for many it’s the only time of day where they have the time. GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED!! If you have 4 hours to watch TV at night, you can make 1 hour to exercise! Record your favourite shows and binge watch on Sunday morning instead. Small changes make the biggest difference.
A shopping list – meat, veg, fruit, nuts, eggs, fish, good stuff basically! Going from doing nothing to doing a lot of exercise is a shock to the system. Fuel it right! Cut the sugar, plenty of water! Check out my nutrition advice HERE.
Stopwatch – if a trainer asks you to do 30 seconds plank, you’ll count too fast or too slow in your head, get a decent stopwatch and figure out how to use it before starting your program.
New clothing – Use the vouchers you got for Xmas, buy some in the sales. It’s a sure fire way to make you feel bullet proof the first time you walk into the gym! PS – Got big boobs? Get a well-fitted sports bra for maximum comfort – or so I’m told)
Music (your own playlist) – not a necessity, but filling a playlist with your favourite tunes can push you that little bit extra when it’s needed. No Adele though, we don’t need a blubbering mess hogging the benches. Rocky training montage? Yes! Now to lift heavy shit.
This is not an exhaustive list and if you have any other ideas that worked for you let us know by commenting below or on our Facebook feed. I hope you enjoyed reading this and, as always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.
So there you have it – everything (almost!) you need and don’t need to start AND finish this year having kept all the promises you made yourself when eating that last slice of Christmas pudding and tin of roses, and cans of Heineken on Sunday January 1st. New regime starts on Monday 2nd.
Wait, that’s a bank holiday….
Have to start on a proper Monday right? It’s the rule.