Training without a goal is a setup for failure.
At least, that’s what all these top personal trainers seemed to say when asked for their fitness advice for 2017. And if you’ve spent sessions aimlessly wandering around the gym, using any machine that was free, you’d probably agree with them.
There’s nothing more disheartening—or unproductive—than working out without intention. Doing 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical every day, seven days a week will get you nowhere. Sure, it might mean you can enjoy that glass of wine after work without feeling guilty, but don’t expect to see any real results.
“One of the most important things when you’re training is to know what your training goal is. Each and every workout should have a purpose and fit into your overall training program so that you can ensure everything you’re doing is working towards your goal not against it,” says Nike Master Trainer, Kirsty Godso.
Goals can be big or small but the important thing is to have one—what do you want to achieve? Whether you’re hoping for toned buttocks, to run a half marathon or simply improve your swimming, having a goal—and therefore a plan—is essential.
“Training and eating for fat loss are very different to that for hypertrophy and are different again for sports performance,” says Alexa Towersey. “If you don’t know what you are trying to achieve, then how will you measure your success?”
Once you have a goal in mind, you can build a workout program around that, track your progress and really see a change. Who knows, soon enough you might not even feel bad about drinking the whole bottle. And if you don’t know the first thing about crafting a workout schedule, seek help from a personal trainer.
Tegan Haining suggests starting with a two-week split that you can easily repeat.
“This might mean picking which days you will go to the gym, and writing out what your workout will be. Checking yoga or Pilates timetables to see when your favourite classes are on, and writing them into your own calendar so you stick to it. Make sure you keep variety in your program and allow two rest days a week so you don’t overload your schedule,” she says.
Now you’re ready to take your fitness to new heights, scroll down for a little extra motivation. Personal trainers shared their top fitness tips for BodyScience’s ‘Good Enough For Me, Good Enough For You’ campaign and these are the ones we loved.
“Everyone makes empty promises for their New Years resolutions. Are you going to be the same as them? Why are they empty? Because unless you bring awareness and understanding to why you aren’t where you want to be, you’re essentially setting yourself up for failure.
It helps if you write down the habits and mindset blocks which are stopping you getting from where you are now, to where you want to be. “What are the things I am doing right now which are preventing me getting from A to B”? Until you are super clear on these, you can’t expect the result to be any different to what it is now.”
“What you enjoy is the best place to start! If you enjoy Weight training, Crossfit or whatever you enjoy then work out which gym/box or training group is best for you personally ask friends and family first then contact a trainer or coach and interview them about what they do and how they can write the program to suit you!!
Try new things each week or at least each fortnight. Our bodies are made to move so try activities that you can have fun with. Take a surf lesson, learn to sing or go horse riding. Challenging our Central Nervous System (CNS) with new activities stimulates hormones in our body to repair, renew and rebalance our endocrine system, which is important in our high-stress lives.”
“Measure and track your workout. What did you lift? How far did you run? Where’s your Body fat at? Get competitive with yourself in order to get better.”
“To increase your motivation and performance when training, partner up. Training with a partner keeps you accountable to your session, increases your intensity, maintains your focus, and if you pick the right partner, can motivate and push you towards your fitness goals. But be selective in who you train with. Make sure that you’re always training with people who lift you up, inspire you, and push you harder.”
“Get out of the city on a hiking adventure. It’s great for your body and mind. Although walking 10km takes longer than running 10km, it burns a similar amount of calories. Walking is much gentler on your body so you can go on a big hike even on your rest day and use it as a form of active recovery. Furthermore, walking in forests, or so-called forest-bathing, has many physiological benefits such as improved immune system and healing.”
“Do a coaching seminar for your own knowledge. Learning a new skill improves our cognitive ability and our emotional state. Invest in yourself and your training and you’ll never have a wasted day in the gym or on the field. More knowledge is never a bad thing.”