Get in shape for the fes­tive sea­son Ev­ery­day ath­lete John Val­bonesi

Sunday Herald Life - - MIND & BODY -

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.ev­ery­day­ath­let­e­

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