Life is busy. I really don’t think I need to harp on that topic. It’s just fact. And this is the number one excuse I get for why my clients didn’t do their homework or are not seeing results. You may see your trainer 1-2 hours in a week. That is 166 hours left that are up to you. To be successful in a hectic and demanding world, there must be consistency and efficiency. This means sticking with a program. Take it from a busy athlete! It’s been assumed that I spend hours every day on my workouts and in the kitchen prepping healthy food. Well, that’s funny because I’m pretty sure I have a 40 hour or more work week, get plenty of sleep, and have a few hours left for my social life as well.
Summer is right around the corner and it’s time to get your butt in shape. I’ve laid out some tips for coming up with a successful formula for planning your workouts and healthy eating habits. You don’t have to be an athlete to train like one. You just need the proper program!
Tip# 1 Time Block! Use a calendar that you view often. Have a copy on your smart phone and a copy on your fridge. You wouldn’t skip an important appointment would ya? Make sure those workouts your meal prep time is blocked off just as your important meetings and appointments are. Allot enough time to warm up, cool down, and get in your pre and post workout snacks. Also use your calendar to block off rest.
Tip #2 Make it enjoyable! This component is super necessary to reach your fitness goals. Find exercises and activities that are fun or make you feel great when you are done with your session. I find in general, most people I meet outside the fitness industry hate exercise. In fact I’ve been called a freak for how much I love it. You don’t have to be a freak to stick with a plan, you just have to do what makes you feel good. If you aren’t sure what you like, try new things! Maybe attend a yoga class or a spin class and you just might fall in love!
Tip #3 Commit yourself! Decide how much time in a week you will make health and fitness a priority. Maybe you will weight train 2 days and week plus have 2 group fitness classes you enjoy. That is 4 days of workouts to plug into your calendar. If you are one of those odd ball workout-a-holics like myself, commit to a rest day as well! For meal prepping I find it best to pick 2 days during the week because most of my foods are fresh and I don’t like them sitting in the fridge more than 3-4 days. If you only have time for 1 meal pep day, plan items that you can portion and freeze.
As a side note-Ask your trainer if you need help formulating a workout split that will target your goals and allow proper muscle recovery. I always recommend 2-3 weight training days weekly for beginners and each workout should target different muscle groups from both lower and upper body and all would include some core focus.
Tip #4 Keep a journal or workout log. Not only is it helpful to see your progression as the weeks go on, but it is super motivating to read! I suggest picking specific goals for this such as pounds lost, weights used, heart rate changes, sleep changes, distance ran, etc. Maybe 2-3 indicators that your fitness is improving. When you make an entry, be sure to write down how you felt before and after workouts, as well as where your energy levels are.
Tip #5 Keep a food diary. This coincides with Tip #4. Diet is 70% of the battle in most cases when it comes to weight loss or gains. I use My Fitness Pal for my own logging, as well as my Diet Coaching clients. Eating around your workouts is important and food can surely effect your energy levels. You may not be well versed in nutrition, but you can present this to your trainer and get feedback on where to make changes. It will help you become more in tune with your body and what food types and portions work or don’t work for you.
*Keep in mind this program is specific to me. Make your workout frequency match your current fitness level.
Glory Billman, RN, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, WNBF Figure Pro, Diet Coach