3 New Year Resolutions For 2011

Happy New Year everyone!

As we usher in a brand new year with an exciting 12 new months ahead of us, here’s 3 new year resolutions for 2011 which I hope you find useful 🙂

1. Set Goals to Focus On Your Performance

Nothing is worse than treading through the next 12 months without the slightest inkling of what you should expect. Walk into a gym and not know what to do?

You need to have a purpose in life. Make that a goal.

We all know goal-setting is the most important as it helps us make or break our new year resolutions. Similarly, before you start your training, you need to set goals. And these goals must be as specific as possible. 

“I want to get back in shape” is NOT a specific goal. Getting back in shape means different things to different people. Are we talking about weight loss? Weight gain or simply toning up?

For example, if you want to lose 10 kilos, then a better specific goal would be “to lose 10 kilos by ______ (insert date)”. After writing your one big goal down, you can now break it down into mini goals. Remember the first step you took while learning to walk as a child? Yes, a few mini steps will get you there to the one big goal.

Thereafter, write everything down. For those of you familiar with my life story, that’s what I did too when I started training myself. Track your progress. Assess what works and what doesn’t for you. For things that work, keep them. For things that don’t work, tweak them. This includes recording every workout , every meal and the amount of rest you have each day.

2. Do Not Overtrain As Less Is More

As the saying goes “less is more”. Some people spend hours in the gym thinking the longer they spend there, the faster their muscles will grow and their fats will melt away. Wrong! Unless you are a professional bodybuilder (which I doubt you are), you should not spend more than 1 hour for each workout session. Train beyond the 1 hour mark and be ready to subject your body to a catabolic state. Simply put, catabolic means your body is experiencing muscle wastage…in other words, not only are you not achieving your aim, you are also wasting your time.

Muscles do not grow in the gym. Once you have torn the muscle fibres during each workout, they need time to repair and it is during this repair period that they get stronger. And the repair period, unfortunately happens, outside the gym while we are resting. Having or doing more is certainly not the answer!

If you workout religiously during that sacred 1 hour period, you would have maximised your gains. Our bodies only need a specific amount of stimulation in the form of exercises in order to achieve its goal. Anything over and above that is considered excessive. What’s more – overtrain and risk the possibility of injuries. That’s why if I were you, I would focus more on compound exercises, rather than isolation moves.

3. Consider “Weighted” Bodyweight Exercises

Before you started walking, you must have tried crawling. Similarly, before one progresses to free weights and machine weights, you would certainly have tried out bodyweight exercises.

Bodyweight exercises are one of the best form of exercises as you can do them anytime, anywhere without any excuse of having no time, money or experience. My all-time favourite bodyweight exercises include squats, lunges, chin-ups, push-ups and dips. In fact, all of my clients revisit bodyweight exercises at some point in their fitness journey with me.

If you are already a fan of bodyweight exercises, challenge yourself by adding weights. For instance, if you can already do 15 standard chin-ups at one go, what’s the point of continuing with the 16th – nth rep? You’re probably not going to get any stronger. Instead, try grasping a dumbbell between your legs and go up the chin-up bar again. Now you will see things with a completely different perspective. It’s fun, challenging and most importantly, forces your body to get out of its comfort zone to grow, grow and grow!

Follow my 3 New Year Resolution tips for you and have fun for the next 12 months! Remember, I’ll be most happy to hear from you and your progress 🙂