Written by Simon Cushman
The Perfect Plan
More than ever before, this whole “getting in shape” thing can seem like some kind of advanced algorithm. This is especially true if you’re standing at the front end of the journey trying to find a way through all the information online.
One scary-sounding study says your health depends on x, but another says it depends on not doing x. One writer says CrossFit kills people, but the people in those pictures all seem ripped and happy. But so does that woman in yoga class. And, let’s be honest, so does the Shake Weight guy! So does that online writer guy shouting at you about intermittent fasting, high reps, low reps, high-carb, low-carb, no-carb, steady-state, or HIIT.
Sigh. It’s no wonder that so many people can’t figure out how to get from where they are now to the promised land of their New Year’s resolutions. There’s too much mental clutter. Therefore, I am writing a quick guide to suggest some different methods for training.
#1 Ask An Expert
Not only are most trainers well-read and based on a scientific front, they are all highly experienced in applying those theories to people just like you, from the fitness trainer, to the wedding ‘prepper’ to the elite athlete, each with different goals and each taking a different route to get there. The expert will take into account where you are right now, where you want to be and what might get in the way of your journey to your goal.
#2 Set A Specific, Measurable Goal
No matter how much you want to, saying you’re going to lose weight can come from a combination of things, from being dehydrated, to losing bone density (not desirable or healthy) to losing muscle mass (reducing your metabolism) to losing fat. This runs true for gaining muscle mass, strength, power and athletic performance. If you can measure exactly what you want to achieve, you will know how far away you are of achieving as well as when you have reached it and when you can set a new goal.
Once you know where you are now and where you want to be you can set a time frame for yourself and chose a program that will help you achieve your specific goal. If in doubt, always ask the trainer. No questions are stupid, education is essential for you to continually improve your body so start learning why things will help so you can take the best route to your success.
So try to take everything you hear with a pinch of salt and question how and why people have come to their conclusions. If they have just decided they know best because one time they tried it and it worked, it may not work for you as well and there may be something better out there for you. Keep asking the questions of all of the things you read everywhere and ensure that if nothing else they make sense to you!