There are many places where a plan can fall apart. From the plan itself to the execution of that plan, we’re not all the most skilled doers. Planning isn’t something with which you are born. Someone has to teach you.
This is why many people choose to hire a trainer for their planning.
While trainers make a great option for education, nobody but yourself can execute your plan. If you’re relying completely on your trainer to plan your program, you’d be better off flushing your cash.
Instead, go through the steps outlined below.
Identify exactly what you want to get out of your workouts. Make a loose plan, update your progress and reward yourself. When you’re working out, give it your full attention.
If you manage these parts of your plan, then you’re finally ready to hire a trainer.
This is step one and the number one reason your fitness program is off the rails. You haven’t pinned down your goal.
You’ve identified that this part of your body has too much fat, which you hate, and this part of your body doesn’t have enough muscle, but that’s it. That’s not a goal.
A goal is one thing. It has a deadline.
I’m not a big fan of jumping straight into weight loss as a goal, but if that is what you need (either for emotional or medical reasons) then make it specific. “I want to lose x-pounds by x-date.”
Then make a plan.
From a clear goal with a timeline, you can backfill a plan. The more easy it is to follow, the better.
Complicated plans are the first thing to go, especially if you’re just getting started. They are the excuse-hole in your plan that widens to swallow your goals.
“I just couldn’t stick to it,” you’ll explain.
Don’t do that. Make a simple goal, which includes how often you will workout, which days, then what you will do to reward yourself each time.
“Don’t get on that evil, lying scale,” is broad, sweeping advice that assumes you lack the emotional maturity to handle the tough news.
The scale reading is not your self-worth. It’s a metric, one that gives you a baseline from which you can make assumptions.
Still, don’t like it? Relax, you don’t have to use it.
Use a calendar to mark the days you stick to your plan. Get your body fat tested once a week. Track your weights to see if you get stronger. Do anything to track of a metric related to your goal
Whatever metric you pick, try to update your data at least once a week. Don’t let more than three weeks pass without progress, but don’t panic just because the needle didn’t move over last week.
Your focus in your workout is everything.
Distractions from your devices are a no-no. Anything coming from your smart devices which do not contribute to your workout, eliminate.
This means no texting or emailing once the workout starts. No calls. No social media. Just health tracking and tunes.
You can measure your perceived workout intensity on a scale from one-to-ten, ten being the most intense; like you’re gonna collapse if you go for more than a minute.
Don’t max out your intensity every workout. They cannot and should not all be a ten. Shoot instead for something between a seven and an eight for most workouts.
That said, workouts at a six or below are fine, but shouldn’t be the goal. A six only maintains your habit. It beats a zero, barely.
If you are only slugging it out in the gym, then running straight to home or work, you are skipping the best part.
Find a system of reward to make your brain not hate you. A small square of dark chocolate (not cake), while counterintuitive, is a body hack that teaches your brain this activity is worth repeating.
An entire bar of chocolate does the same thing, but floods your body with calories that may throw you off your goals. Don’t be silly.
If you love fruit, maybe a banana will work. A dip in the hot tub before you leave may also do the trick.
Find something you enjoy, then make it part of your plan.
For better or worse, nobody is gonna fix you. In truth, you’re not broken, but you are the master of your own wellness destiny.
If your course of wellness needs correction, it’s all you. Executing the above aspects of your program won’t guarantee your results, but you can bet skipping them will guarantee poor results.
Take the time to write down your plan. Keep it somewhere you can see it.
I’d wish you good luck, but you don’t need it.