Get in shape for the festive season Everyday athlete John Valbonesi
CRAZY as it is to even think about in September, a certain number of large chain shops have already started putting out items for sale for Christmas. Now, I’m going to be a bit bah humbug here and say that for me, thinking about Christmas usually happens about a couple of days before with some panic buying.
However, in terms of your fitness and physique, now is a perfect time to make sure that you’re in the best shape of your life for all the social events coming up. With numerous parties, work dos and family gatherings there is certainly cause to make sure the clothes you’d like to wear in December are the ones you actually get to wear.
With that in mind, if you haven’t been training with a purpose then this is a perfect time to get some goals down on paper. Setting a 12-15-week exercise plan is perfect as it will build consistency and healthy habits.
To get an idea of where you are fitnesswise try out the following fitness and endurance tests in the gym.
2000m row for time Max push-ups in a minute Max squats in a minute Max sit ups in a minute
THIS will create a baseline that you can improve upon each and every time you train. Next, put pen to paper and create a roadmap to your new fitness regimen.
Firstly, come up with a realistic set of goals. These can be dedicated to your physique, such as dropping a dress or T-shirt size, running a 10k or lifting a certain amount of weight in the gym.
Next, come up with a plan of how best Test yourself to establish your level of fitness before starting a program to carry out your training, either at home or in a gym setting. Working with a dedicated fitness coach helps you get your plan down on paper whether you are training inside a gym with your trainer in person, or they are programming your workouts online. The plan will help keep you accountable with regular check-ins and assessments to make sure you are on target.
Setting mini targets every two weeks that complement your main goal is an ideal way to keep you on track and make sure you are on target. Breaking your big goal into manageable pieces such as to lose a stone in 14 weeks means a mini target of losing a pound a week – and suddenly, your main goal doesn’t seem that scary.
Now for the physical training that will get you to your goal. You need to make time for yourself to carry out your training. We all have busy lives and making time to train isn’t always easy. However, forward-planning can help enormously. Be strategic with your day. For instance, if you know that you are constantly staying late at work, then getting up an hour earlier might be the best way for you to fit in your workout. Alternatively fitting a class into your lunch break may suit you better. At Everyday Athlete we time our lunchtime classes to be 40 minutes long, allowing people to shower and get back to work easily.
Combining different training methodologies such as mixing strength training, highintensity interval training and multiple cardiovascular conditioning sessions is the ideal formula, especially when you combine these training sessions with recovery practices such as yoga and Epsom salt baths.
Having some contingencies in place for if you can’t make your training session throughout the day is a great way to ensure you don’t miss out and your trainer can program your home workouts, and if you’d rather have the use of equipment then a number of online retailers will allow you to rent gym equipment for however long you like.
Lastly it’s important to choose your nutrition to help with your training regime and to ensure your getting the best out of it. This doesn’t need to be the strictest eating plan on the planet and personally I recommend with my clients an 80:20 split meaning that at a minimum they stick to healthy eating habits for 80 per cent of the week, with a 20 per cent allowance for living life. Not only does this help with adherence, it’s also quite effective at stopping binges – especially those associated with strict dieting.
As for getting started, there is no time better than right now. Look for gyms in your local area that are coach-intensive. Coachintensive gyms such as Everyday Athlete in Glasgow are more effective at getting you to reach your goals. Constant coaching supervision ensures you are carrying out your training safely and effectively among like-minded people who are also working towards their own goals.
Everyday Athlete gym is located in the heart of Glasgow and provides a unique, fun training environment geared towards helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals. Unit 18B 100 Borron Street, Glasgow, G49XG; www.everydayathletegym.com