If you’ve ever experienced a setback on your fitness journey, you’re certainly not alone. We all mess up every now and then. Did skipping a day in the gym turn into missing a month? Maybe one cheat meal turned into a cheat week? Perhaps you are just beginning your new lifestyle. Regardless of where you’ve been or where you’re at, it’s never too late to get back on track. These words of wisdom from a personal trainer will help you reevaluate your habits and start anew!
Words of Wisdom from a Personal Trainer
Set specific, realistic goals.
Trust me, I’ve seen it happen too many times. Setting broad, unrealistic goals for yourself will only end in frustration and failure. Take a moment to take a step back. Ask yourself these two questions: What do you want and how are you going to get there? Be specific. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to increase endurance.” Say “I’m going to lose 10 pounds per month, over the next 5 months by eating right and exercising 5 days per week.” If you want to improve endurance, say, “I’m going to commit to participating in this Running Program for Absolute Beginners in order to build up my stamina.” When you set specific, realistic goals, you give yourself something to work towards.
Never set an “end date”.
Another mistake that many people tend to make is looking at their fitness plan as temporary. It’s good to have a goal like a wedding or vacation, but that motivation won’t last forever. If you go back to your old ways, the weight will come back too. One of the best ways to avoid this is by finding a diet and exercise routine that you enjoy! When you love your lifestyle, you are much more likely to follow-through, longterm! Plus, when the next big event or vacation rolls around, you won’t have to stress!
Correct form is priority number one.
Sometimes we can get so carried away with speed, intensity, or the amount of weight that we’re using in a workout that we forget about the most important factor of all. Learning proper form is imperative to reaching your goals, not only because it will help you avoid injury, but also because it will enable you to get the most out of the exercise. Focus on the movement first, then worry about speed, intensity, or weight!
Don’t underestimate the power of a proper diet.
Changing the way that you look and feel is about more than just eating healthy food. People have different body types and goals, which means each individual also requires different amounts of nutrients and calories. Figuring out how many calories that you need daily is the first step to reaching your goals. Understand that even if you’re eating 100% clean food, if you’re eating too much of it you will gain weight. The only way to shed those excess pounds is to put yourself in a caloric deficit. Again, just because it’s “organic” does not mean that it’s void of calories!
Trust the process.
You have to burn 3500 calories to lose just one pound of fat. The general rate of weight loss for the average adult is one to two pounds per week. Now, 2 pounds may not be noticeable in the mirror, but 10 pounds definitely will be. If you remain honest and consistent with your diet and exercise, the results will come. Don’t give up just because you don’t see it! The process works… trust it!
Keep in mind that your body will adapt to the stresses placed upon it.
After a few weeks (or possibly even months) of working out regularly, you will eventually experience what we refer to as a plateau. This is where you’ve consistently been making progress, seeing results, and then suddenly, nothing. While it can be discouraging, it happens to everyone! Your body is extremely adaptable. It will get used to the same exercises and movements. When this happens, it’s especially important to change up your routine. If you’ve been using light weights and high reps, try using heavier weight for less. If you’ve been performing steady state cardio for a while, consider throwing in some HIIT. By switching up your routine, you will shock your body, and begin progressing again.
Don’t neglect the stretch.
It’s extremely common to want to jump right into your routine and head home the second your workout is “over.” Forgetting or neglecting to stretch can have dire consequences. It’s important to work on your flexibility, not only to prevent injury but also to make sure that you can get full range of motion in your exercises. As mentioned above, this will help you get the most out of your effort! You may see it as an extra step right now, but once you begin stretching routinely, you will realize it’s an integral part of your workout!
Success isn’t all about the scale.
Weighing yourself is one way to measure progress, but it’s certainly not the only way. Believe it or not, your weight can fluctuate up to 8 pounds per day! Things like water intake, sodium consumption, and digestive issues can all contribute to weight gain and weight loss. Circumference measurements, improved performance, the way your clothes fit, and the way that you feel in general, are all great ways to measure progress! Just because the scale hasn’t changed much, doesn’t mean that you aren’t changing!
Remember, it’s not supposed to be easy.
One of the biggest reasons people give up on getting in shape is simply that “it’s too hard.” While I empathize, I must also point out that if it were easy, no one would be overweight! Eating right and exercising often can be challenging, but pushing yourself through those challenges is what changes you for the better!
And finally, never miss a Monday!
For many of us, Monday’s are the beginning of a new week. While each day is important, it’s especially critical to get started on the right foot. This is why we highly recommend training every Monday! On the days that you workout, you’re more likely to make healthy eating choices. The more often you can do this, the faster you will reach your goals!
There may be times in the future where you experience another setback and that’s okay. You can always get back on track. You’ve got this! Be sure to pin these words of wisdom from a personal trainer to Pinterest for future reference, just in case! 😉