By Raphael Calzadilla
Here we go — ready to storm into 2012 with great fitness resolutions. Is your resolution to get fit? Lose weight? Feel more energetic?
In my 16-plus years of personal training experience, nothing sets a person up for failure as much as an open-ended, generic fitness resolution.
Resolving to lose weight is sort of like asking you what your career aspirations are and you answering, “to become famous” or “to do well on my job.” There isn’t an action plan or any real goal you can sink your teeth into.
I’m not a big fan of lots of resolutions and goals. If you have 1-3 resolutions, you’re on the right track. Focusing on a few fitness goals will bring greater results than a list of 10 that make you feel overwhelmed.
Limiting the resolutions, being focused and maintaining consistency is the key. I’m going to help you by providing 10 resolutions. All you have to do is fill in the blanks where necessary or modify the resolution based on your fitness experience.
Remember, don’t choose all of them. Just 1-3 resolutions is all it takes.
Let’s start with a contract. Yes, that’s right; you have to make a written commitment.
I (place your name here) hereby resolve to implement the following fitness resolutions:
1. I will lose 4 pounds per month for a total of ______ pounds by (place the date here).
2. I will work out three times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes for the months of January to March. If my schedule allows, I will add a fourth day in April. (If twice per week is more realistic, than go with that. The key is consistency and what’s realistic based on your lifestyle.).
3. I will increase my endurance by two minutes per week so that I can powerwalk an additional 16 minutes per workout session by March 1, 2012. (You can choose any form of cardio, but there must be a realistic time increase and a time frame goal).
4. I will perform resistance exercise twice per week for 20 minutes using a whole-body workout routine.
5. I will find a video tape that I find fun and will do it twice per week for the months of January and February. (This resolution is for those who dislike working out. It provides a fun element and a short-term goal. I’m positive you’ll want to continue after February, but the short-term goal takes some pressure off.).
6. I will find a group exercise class such as spinning, aerobic dance, jazzercise, etc.; sign up for the class and commit to two days per week for 30 days.
7. I will increase my flexibility by stretching three days per week for 7-10 minutes (flexibility is important and it doesn’t take all that much to improve upon it.).
8. I will go for two 15-minute walks per day from Monday to Friday. One walk will be at lunch time and one walk will be after dinner. (This fitness resolution is for those who are so busy they can’t make it to the gym).
9. In early January, I will hire a personal trainer for two sessions per week for a total of 20 sessions. (This resolution is for those who need a good push and some teaching and motivation to go along with it).
10. In early January, I will join eDiets and sign up for the fitness and exercise program (then choose two additional goals above).
I know you can do this. Now, how bad do you want it?
As always, please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
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A drug-free competitive bodybuilder and winner of the prestigious WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) Pro Card, Raphael Calzadilla is a veteran of the health-and-fitness industry. He specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation, nutrition programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in communications from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program based on biomechanics.