We’ve all been there before on New Year’s Eve; making slurred promises to ourselves, that we’ll do Dry January, eat properly, start running or get to the gym more often. Whether you cracked on day one, or caved in to a big night out with the guys, this guide will help you revaluate and get your 2018 fitness goals back on track.
Set Realistic Goals
New to the gym? Instead of promising yourself a six-pack within a month, focus on getting to the gym at least 3 times a week and put in some great workouts. Focus on form when lifting and set yourself a mixture of short and long term targets. For instance, steadily increase the weights you lift, the distance you run or the amount of reps you perform on a circuit etc.
If your gym has a body composition machine, check your body fat/weight/muscle percentage etc. and then depending on your goal, look to cut body fat, lose weight or add muscle over a few months. Check back every couple of weeks to assess your progress.
For instance, I’m trying to gradually add 5kg over the next few months, which should be achievable with the right diet and approach to training.
If you hit the gym like a madman, you’ll risk injury and that will only delay the achievement of your goals.
Meal Prep like a Boss
Nutrition is vital; you can work out as much as you like, but if you’re diet isn’t on point, regardless of your fitness goal, you won’t succeed.
Ditch the tragic meal deal sandwich at lunch time. You’ll save a fortune and you’ll look and feel better if you put in a bit of time at the weekends or one night a week to prep a few simple meals.
We’ll share some of our favourite recipes over the coming weeks for some inspiration. If you can’t wait that long for motivation, we’re big fans of the Body Coach. You can’t go wrong if you look at a few of his video recipes or check out one his many books with recipes, workout guides and handy tips.
Remember you’re only human
If you fall off the wagon with booze, junk food or any other indulgences, forgive yourself and get back on it the next day. It’s tough to turn down a beer with the lads or a takeaway late at night (even if you’re drinking lime and soda throughout January!)
If you let it go and then motivate yourself to do better the next week, you’ll still make improvements. If you think you’ve blown it on a Friday night by drinking enough rum to sink Captain Jack Sparrow, then don’t continue on that downward spiral that ends up in two Domino’s Pizza deliveries in a weekend!
Ask if you need some help
One of the biggest reasons for people quitting the gym is that they don’t know what they’re doing. Gyms can be intimidating places for newbies; there’s lots of equipment, many gym-goers are not welcoming and you feel self-conscious if you don’t know how to use kit properly. Sadly Lad Bible and many other blogs are encouraging bulling in gyms, people are filming newbies in the gym doing (admittedly ridiculous things), but this is only putting people off.
Pluck up the courage to ask a PT or friendly fellow gym-goer to show you how to use equipment you’re not familiar with. It might seem embarrassing, but then you’ll be able to smash your fitness goals and avoid injury or looking like an idiot, so that’s much better, right?
It’s simple, but if you’re not enjoying your workouts then you’re less likely to stick to the routine and you’ll lose motivation. Try something different, mix up your routine, try a class, watch some workout videos on YouTube that inspire you. Whatever it is, enjoy it, eat well and keep going!
Keep an eye out for Dapper Chapper Tries – where we try some of the best fitness classes and products out there. Good luck chaps!