Rebell of the Month: Dylan Criquet-Danielson

Dylan is our Rebell of the Month for May! Dylan has been training with us now for a few months and since then we have been able to see significant changes in his size, strength, and his athletic ability. Hard work is not a unknown term to Dylan, he is one of the hardest working rebells here at the jungle. There have been times that Dylan has shown up before me at the jungle, this athlete knows what it takes to get better and puts in the work. Here is his story!

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Home run swing against JCC in the Big South Section Championship game.​

 

Your Background

I currently graduated from Marshall High School. My future plans are to attend the University of Oklahoma to major in health and exercise science and play baseball for the Sooners. I’ve always had a love for athletics and want to have it involved in my daily life.  I look to eventually become a chiropractor. As I’ve grown up playing hockey and baseball, I’ve been in the weight room to get bigger and stronger. I’ve worked mostly on my own throughout my years of weight training, but I once worked with another trainer for a short period of time.

 

Thoughts about strength training before & after

Since I’ve been lifting for many years, I had a pretty good background to strength training. I was very familiar with squatting and benching with dumbbells and barbells, but when I got to Restored Strength all I saw were kettlebells. At first I was shocked to see that, because I’ve never thought of lifting with kettlebells before. As I started working with them I learned a lot about them and that they can be just as impactful as dumbbells and barbells.

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Kettlebell Swings with the 32 kg bell 

Challenging barriers you overcame

Like I said before, the thought and training with kettlebells was a new thing to me. I wasn’t used to it at first and some of the exercises were difficult. I struggled a lot with the bottom up press at first. I couldn’t keep the kettlebell up for my whole set but as I got stronger I was able to keep it up.

Greatest achievement

My biggest achievement while being at Restored Strength is no doubt my increase in deadlift. When I first started working out there my deadlift was at about 275lbs. After about 3 months of working out I’ve increased it to 340lbs. Another big achievement is that I’ve put on 15lbs as well. The main reason I went to Restored Strength was to put on weight because I was struggling to do so on my own. I’ve done exactly what I wanted since working with William.

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340 pound deadlift 

Changes your family/friends noticed

Weight gain has been the most noticeable change, as I have filled out my body with lean muscle mass.

What do you tell people about our training

I would recommend them to do it. I would tell them that if they’re trying to take their performance to a whole new level I’d suggest working with William. The knowledge he has about training, recovery, nutrition, etc. can do exactly that. The customer service there is great and makes the experience that much better.

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Me signing my NLI to the University of Oklahoma.​

What do you enjoy about training here

 I have enjoyed being able to work with a trainer one on one.  This has been a key factor in the progress I have made. William cares about his clients and their goals, and encourages you to keep working towards them.  He personalizes every workout, tailoring it to what you need to get to the next level.

3 benefits you’ve noticed

  1. Weight gain
  2. Increase in deadlift
  3. Improved mobility and strength.

All these things have helped me to feel stronger, and has improved my game of baseball.

What makes the difference

The biggest difference is the personalized programs, along with William’s energy and motivation. He is passionate about his work and wants to see me make improvements.  He continues with his own training and learning in order to further benefit his clients. I personally have benefited from his knowledge and feel that I have a greater understanding of strength training.

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My parents (Carlos and Jennifer) and I vising Pepperdine in Malibu, CA.

Additional words

Marshall is lucky to have a place like Restored Strength. I highly recommend working with William if you have specific goals you want to reach, or if you just need someone to keep you motivated.

It is an honor to be working with such a young talented man like Dylan. I see nothing but success in his future and his career. I have learned so much from Dylan about sports and about his different experiences with teams and coaches. As Dylan prepares his transition into playing division one baseball for Oklahoma State, I have no doubt that he will be great addition to the team. Seeing Dylan grow and mature through these past few months have been very rewarding, I look forward to seeing all of the accomplishments this young man is capable of doing.

Watch Dylan’s Story 

 

 

 

 

Rebell of the Month: Kevin Knight

Kevin is our Rebell of the month for April! From teacher to student, Kevin used to be my tae kwon do instructor, so when he came him into the jungle to become a rebell it was a very exciting moment for me. Kevin comes in with such a dynamic background of being a tae kwon do instructor to being a high-level endurance athlete. Since working with Kevin it’s been such a pleasure to get to know him on a personal level, his sense of humor and love for unique foods is always a topic of discussion. I am excited to share with you all the hard work that Kevin has put in these past few months!

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Kevin

Your Background

I’ve always been active, from playing high school sports and track in college.  Once out of college I started taking tae kwon do classes at Lee’s TKD as a means to stay in shape.  About 5 years ago, I started competing in triathlons and running races.  But during this time, I’ve never incorporated strength training as part of my training routine.

Thoughts about strength training before & after

I’ve never had a strong interest in strength training in the past. But I knew that it was something I needed to address, especially as I aged.  During the off-season, I wanted to address some weaknesses, specifically in my swim and run.  By communicating those goals to William, we’ve setup a program that will target those areas of the body.

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Mastering the pull up

Challenging barriers you overcame

 The main barrier has been balancing strength training with my triathlon training.  It took a few weeks for the body to adapt to adding strength training to the endurance training. 

 Greatest achievement

Within the first three months of training at Restored Strength, I have already noticed significant improvement in my swim.  I’ve also noticed less fatigue and soreness in my feet and quads near the end of a long run.

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Kevin and his nephew after the Minneapolis Life Time Tri.

 Changes your family/friends noticed

 I’ve noticed more size and definition in my muscles, especially in my shoulders and lats.  But most importantly is how I feel.  I’ve had a lot less aches and pains in my legs and back as I teach every night.  Typically, by the end of night, my low back and legs were achy and all I wanted to do was sit.  With the increased strength in my legs and lower back, I’ve noticed a decrease in this soreness each night.

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Wife Kristin

What do you tell people about our training

I would encourage anyone to not be afraid or shy about their current fitness and to just start.  William will work with you to set goals and a plan to make improvements in your health.  It doesn’t matter if you’re already an athlete or someone who has rarely worked out.  It’s all about your goals and feeling good about yourself as you make improvements.

What you enjoy about training here

I like the approach that William has in developing training programs for his clients.  It’s not a cookie-cutter approach where everyone is doing the same exercises.  Plus, I like that he is regularly asking for my feedback in regards to whether we are meeting my goals.

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Focused during bent rows

 3 benefits you’ve noticed

  1. I’ve gained a better understanding of how the body works together, whether it’s lifting a kettle bell or walking down the street. This body awareness helps me analyze how my triathlon training is progressing.
  2. I’ve also noticed that my body recovers quicker after hard training.
  3. The increased strength helps, but also being more aware of proper nutrition and hydration and how it affects your recovery.

What makes the difference

 This is the first time I’ve used a trainer for strength training.  In the past I’ve tried following strength plans from magazines or online, but I didn’t enjoy it so I never stuck with the training plans for more than a month or two.  For the first time, I’ve enjoyed strength training and look forward to the workouts each week.

 Additional words

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working with William.  He has great knowledge and has the ability to get you to work to your best abilities.  He makes training fun and when training is fun, it’s something you’ll continue to do.  We only have one body and we should strive to keep as active as we can as we grow older.

Kevin has improved his strength in many ways, his mobility has improved significantly as well. One thing that has really been noticeable about Kevin is his work ethic, he refuses to give up when things have gotten tough. We enjoy sharing exercises that will not only help benefit himself, but his students as well. There have been many times we have discussed movements that he can begin introducing into his classes, something his students have learned to love :). Kevin takes the time to fully understand and master the movements we go through. It’s been a pleasure being the teacher of someone who once taught me how to move.

Watch Kevin’s Story

 

Rebell of the Month: Jordan Roedl

Jordan is our Rebell of the month for March! Jordan joined us soon after we opened, since then she has done nothing but crush PR’s and make great progress. Jordan is a very fun and upbeat member of our tribe, she brings a lot of character and excitement when she comes in for her training. Hard work and commitment to getting better is what has contributed to her success at the jungle. Here is her spotlight moment!

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Jordan

Your background

Can you tell me a about yourself and your background of training?  I played some sports throughout my earlier years of high school. Later I came to love spending time strength training at the gym every day.

Thoughts about strength training before & after

I have always liked to train and watch myself grow stronger, but had very little knowledge of how to efficiently train. I used to spend hours and hours working hard to see mediocre results. Now I understand that there are more efficient ways to work out and that you can see better results from using good form and not putting so much strain on the body.

 

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Jordan focusing on the Turkish Get-Up

 

Challenging barriers you overcame

I feel I have really overcome a lot of insecurities. Before I started training at Restored Strength I looked at their Facebook page every day for almost a month trying to work up the courage to contact them and after I did I barely had the courage to actually show up. Now I look forward to going there every week because it’s the place I really feel my strongest.

 

Greatest achievement

When I first came in for training I could barely press 10lbs. Now after a couple weeks I have seen a ton of improvement. I don’t know the exact numbers but it’s a considerable amount more.

Changes your family/friends noticed

I think they have all noticed how much stronger I have gotten and how much more confident I have become.

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Boyfriend Gage & Pet Hedgehog Nut

 

What do you tell people about our training

I would tell them that I can’t explain how much it will actually change their day to day life and how worthwhile it is . Everyday aches and pains start to fade, your confidence level increases, you have more energy, it’s just so worth it.

What you enjoy about training here

I like that William makes training so fun and easy. He’s super encouraging and able to push you to your limits, but never pushes too far, all while ensuring you’re using correct technique and form.

 

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Enjoying the beautiful outdoors!

3 benefits you’ve noticed

  1. I have notice a huge decrease in my chronic low back pain and migraines. Before this would keep me from sleep as well as performing daily activities to the best of my ability or even not at all.
  2. I have so much strength in my arms I never had before. This definitely improves my life and performance at my job as a Massage Therapist.
  3. I have also seen a huge increase in my confidence. This has improved my life in so many ways there isn’t enough page to describe it.

What makes the difference

Training at restored strength is different because your fitness plan is so personalized.  Whatever mountain your personally trying to climb at the time, your fitness plan is right there to map out your path to success. When that mountain has been climbed, your fitness plan is just altered to stay above your old challenge and to fit your new challenge.

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Rocking the awesome cat shirt

 

Additional words

I just want to say if you are thinking about trying out Restored Strength just do it. Try it out. It’s a great gym with a fun environment and an excellent trainer. It will improve your life in ways you would not expect and it’s worth it. Don’t be afraid to better yourself it’s always a good day to take a step in the right direction.

Jordan has really grown since starting here, her strength and confidence has grown immensely. There is a great sense of pride when it comes to the achievements she has been able to accomplish here. One of my favorite things about working with Jordan is when we get to nerd out on our favorite show The Walking Dead, we have a mutual agreement not to spoil the show for each other if we fall behind on episodes.  Jordan has taken herself out of her comfort zone and has crafted her skills in strength. I am excited to see what the future has in store for her as a student of strength.

Rebells of the Month: Kaleb Welvaert & Mason Plante

With great pride and pleasure I would like to introduce everyone to our first Rebells of the month! Kaleb and Mason have been members since we first opened, they are the first ones to have joined our tribe. Both Kaleb and Mason are amazing athletes, they excel in hockey, golf (Mason), and baseball (Kaleb). Both of these young talented athletes have taken their performance to a whole new level since beginning their training here at Restored Strength. Here is their spotlight moment!

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Kaleb & Mason

Your background

Kaleb: I personally love training. I have been lifting weights since 6th grade and have not stopped. I more so train in the summer because that is offseason for hockey.

Mason: I am an athlete year-round, whether its hockey or golf, I’m always trying to find something to do. Coming to the jungle I looked to gain my speed for hockey and work on my hand-eye coordination for golf. I don’t have much of a background in training, I went by what programs my coaches gave me that’s about it.

Thoughts about strength training before & after

 Kaleb: Before training at Restored Strength I had no clue what I was going to do this summer for training. I am fortunate enough to have family members that support me in everything I do. My grandma notified me about Restored Strength and suggested I get into it.

Mason: My thoughts before I started training were that I was ready to get after it, I plan on furthering my hockey or golf career into college and I was ready to start getting after it! After training I feel so comfortable, it’s like I’m on my own cloud now, it has helped me so much, golfing is just starting and my swing is near perfect!

Challenging barriers you overcame

Kaleb: The only challenge I have had while training at Restored Strength is the early morning wake ups. I finally mastered the IT band while foam rolling! Through very tough mornings and awful facial expressions, I have finally been excited to work my IT band.

Mason: We train in the mornings, I’m not much of a morning person, but doing this made me stronger too. It forced me to make sure I get up because I can’t pass this amazing offer on making me a better athlete.

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Mason & Grandpa Harold

Greatest achievement

Kaleb: My greatest achievement would have to be my balance. At the beginning, I had a very tough time staying sturdy on the ice. I told William my biggest goal is to get better balance, he has done nothing, but excel me in this particular area. 

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Mason

Mason: I think my balance and speed have been there along with my willingness to not give up, something that I know has helped me is drinking a lot of water. I never really drank water until I came to the jungle, but when William told me the effects it can have, I started drinking a lot more.

Changes your family/friends noticed

 Kaleb: I didn’t tell my family my goals because I wanted them to see if they noticed any differences. After one of my hockey games, my family members asked me if I was working on my balance at the gym and I was proud to say YES! I am happy when people notice that I am improving. I hope to do nothing, but excel from where I am now in the future. 

Mason: They have mostly noticed how much I take care of my body. I am starting to get proper food and water, and most importantly sleep.

What do you tell people about our training

Kaleb: You tell William your goals and he will help you achieve them, that is the moral of the story. I have done more than exceed from his exercises and I hope to continue to do so. I love the way he teaches and coaches us through everything. William knows his stuff, if I have a question about “What this exercise is working” or “What this exercise will do for me”, William always has an answer for any questions I have.

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Kaleb warming up for deadlifts

Mason: William knows exactly what he is talking about here, he knows what you can do to achieve your goals, and he knows how to help you achieve them. They treat you so good here!

What do you enjoy about training here

Kaleb: I personally am a huge fan of the new programs every four weeks. I have only done 12-week program workouts in the past and I would become bored with them after a while. I like that each person has their own individual workout that is specific to their goals.

 Mason: I like the amount of confidence William gives us, he understands how good of athletes we can be, and he wants to make us the best athlete we can be.

3 benefits you’ve noticed

Kaleb: 1. Balance- I have improved my balance x1000 since training at Restored Strength. 2. Mobility- I am now able to move faster in change of direction. This has helped so much in hockey, which is my focus. 3. Explosiveness- William has me doing sprinting drills and change of direction drills that have helped a ton. All 3 of my benefits work together as one to help me exceed in my hockey career.

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Kaleb 

Mason: 1. I noticed my eating and drinking habits have gotten better. 2. I noticed that I have more confidence in myself and I’m working to the best of my ability. 3. My mobility is way better and I have a steady structure.

What makes the difference

Kaleb: I have not had any other trainers, but I have done many workout programs unlike the ones at Restored Strength. They both have their ups and downs, but I like Restored Strength more because William applies plyometric exercises in with muscle building lifts.

Mason: He treats us as an individual, he understands what WE need to work on and he puts that into his plan to make us the best we can be.

Additional words

Mason: Treat him well!!

Kaleb and Mason have serious passion and commitment towards achieving their goals and becoming the best athletes they can be. I take great pride in working with such great and talented youths like themselves. They arrive early and put in the work without being asked to do so. I have enjoyed working with these two from our training sessions, watching their games, and just enjoying their company. These boys will do great and amazing things in their future as athletes, I am proud to be a part of their journey to greatness.

Fxck the Scale

When people begin their weight loss journey or their new approach to a healthier lifestyle they usually begin by weighing themselves. That isn’t a bad thing, I often weigh my Rebells as part of their assessments, as well as body fat percentage and measurements. This is just to get an idea as to where they are starting at before they start training with me. After our first initial weigh in we don’t talk about the number on the scale, we focus more on how we are feeling and what’s changing in our lives.

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The reason I say fuck the scale is because of how little it tells you. The scale shows you a number, it doesn’t take into consideration your fat free mass aka your muscle, bones, organs, etc. it just shows a number. We get so heavily consumed by what this measurement is showing us that we forget what we’ve accomplished. Let’s say you weigh 200lbs and you start training, three weeks later you are now 197lbs, you’ve made progress and you are still not happy, why? The scale didn’t take into consideration the hard work you put in, it didn’t measure the early mornings, the self-discipline you taught yourself, how more energetic you are, and it sure as hell doesn’t measure the strength you’ve gained. All of these great accomplishments are taken away by taking a step on the scale and seeing a number that you were anticipating, but didn’t see. Some benefits that the scale isn’t able to measure is how you can fit into those old pair of jeans again, shirts begin to fit loosely, you gain more confidence in your appearance, and so much more!

There are a number of reasons why we should lose weight and maintain a healthy body composition, but the public is sadly misinformed about weight loss, and believes that it only happens with high intensity workouts and tons of cardio. Weight loss is achievable with strength training, which is often a misunderstood form of training to lose weight. Another popular myth about weight loss is that you need to do fasted cardio to target fat loss. Those concepts hold some truth, but I would like to explain a few things about weight loss. Weight loss happens with strength training, wait what? Weights get a bad rep because people believe that it will make them bulky and huge, and that is a big LIE. It takes years of serious strength training and a big emphasis on your nutrition to get “Big & Bulky”.

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Free weights are a far more efficient way of making weight loss happen. You strengthen the bones, joints, muscles and much more when you begin to use weight-bearing exercises, this also allows for you to build muscle, and the more muscle you have the more calories you burn because your body will be using more energy to move. Incorporating strength training will also help you with increasing your metabolism, your muscles become denser and require more energy to fuel them. As you increase your caloric intake to fuel these sweet new gains, your metabolism will be working harder as well, which means your body will be burning calories faster.

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Using cardio for fat loss is achievable, but to get quicker results you should start moving some weights around. When people think of cardio and fat loss, they believe that fasted cardio is the best way to go. The reason fasted cardio isn’t a good idea is because your body needs fuel to function and move. When the body is depleted of fuel it goes straight to the muscles for that energy. The body takes away from what it thinks it doesn’t need, as much as we wish we could tell our body to use our fat as fuel, it uses the muscles. The body will take away from the muscles because it requires more energy (calories) to have, so it’ll store fat because it’s easy to store and it holds energy. Do your best to avoid fasted cardio to maintain your muscle mass.

Where should our focus be when we want to lose weight, and start our journey to a healthier life? We should focus on what our goals will be, but the most important thing to do is change our mindset in a different direction, rather than being an “ideal weight” or “ideal size”, let’s focus on being the best person we can be for ourselves. YOU ARE MORE THAN A NUMBER!!! No matter what that number says on the scale, it doesn’t determine who you are as a person, again fuck the scale! Your mentality should be on your health, both physical and mental aspects of health. This will allow for you to have a clear mind of what exercise can do for you, it’s not about beating your body up because you want to look this way, it should be about loving yourself enough to make your life better.

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Focus on the journey, look at the small strides of where you started to where you will be in a month, six months, a year, etc. An example of thriving on small strides could be walking up a flight of stairs that used to be taxing and embarrassing because of your lack of breath, but now you have the energy and strength to conquer them with pride! Another example is having more energy to play with your kids, you no longer have to watch from a distance, you get to actually join them! Weight loss will happen when you start strength training, don’t let this amazing journey of self-care and love be consumed by what the scale said, you are more than that. Training should make you feel strong, beautiful, confident, proud, empowered, and so many other great things! When you let go of the idea of this ideal weight, you see what training can really do for you.

Being strong is something everyone should feel; this is possible with a health mindset of knowing that the scale is not determining who you are. You should notice how day to day tasks are getting easier, carrying groceries is not as hard, you can put a shirt on pain free, tying your shoes without having to prop your foot up for support, these are the key winners here! Training is caring enough about yourself to take care of your health, not being a certain size. I am not against weight loss, I am all for it, but only if it is done safely and with more intent on improving the quality of your life.

Strength Training for Runners

Let’s clear this up right now, strength training and running go together, it’s not one over the other. Many runners avoid weight training because of the fear of being bulky or decreasing their run time. What they need to know is that strength training can improve your run time and increase your work capacity. As much as you work your aerobic capacity your anaerobic capacity should be complementing your aerobic training.

 

Why- Strength training can increase your muscles work capacity, which can improve your running technique. You’re less likely to fatigue when your muscles are stronger, they are able to maintain proper mechanics for longer periods of time. Maintaining stronger muscles will decrease the likability of fatigue during a race, also you will be able to increase the type 2 fibers that are the fast twitch muscles. Being able to focus on the big five areas of running will make strength training less daunting. The big five are knee, hamstring, glute, trunk, and back dominate exercises. These are the major muscle groups utilized when running.

 

Glutes- Glutes are your key muscle group when you look at the mechanics when running. The glute medius will be the main focus, this muscle is the rotator cuff of the lower body. It’s the first muscle to contract quickly when you move, it stabilizes your body when you are on one leg. Running is a unilateral activity, meaning, there is a single leg that is in motion, this is why it’s crucial to strengthen and stabilize the glute medius in unilateral exercises.

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Hamstrings- These bad boys are what strengthen your lower back. They are also the reason your knees flex, which is a repetitive motion used when running. When you look at the mechanics of running, your heel should be reaching your glutes during the back swing motion, this allows for greater power output when running. The stronger you are through the hamstings, the greater force output you will be able to produce when you are running. Having strong hamstrings will complement your glutes, having these two areas strengthened will prevent low back pain and allow for your running to become less strenuous on the posterior chain.

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Quadriceps- Runners usually have over developed quadriceps, but this doesn’t mean it’s not worth training. The quadriceps are responsible for two major movements in running, the first movement is knee extension and the second action is assisting in hip flexion. These actions are important because they cause the leg to swing forward when running. The insertion of the quadriceps is located on the tibial tuberosity, the boney projection below the knee, this is essential because having stronger quadriceps will assist in maintaining the knee in it’s position. One of the muscles in the quadriceps is known as the vastus medialis, which helps with stabilizing the patella and the knee joint during your gait when running.

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Trunk-The trunk is a fancy word of saying the abdominals, the trunks main role is to maintain your posture, it keeps you upright. When we look at running we want to maintain a tall position, making sure that we are as tall as we can get, will allow for us to get a greater range of motion through the hips. We will not be able to maintain that tall position when we run if our trunk is weak, being able to focus on strengthening the abdominals will allow for greater stability. When you strengthen the abdominals you are able to reduce the wobbly feeling you have when you run, if you are wobbling form side to side when you run you will have an energy leak, which will slow you down.

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Back-  The back is the last key player when running strong, the back piggybacks off the same role of the trunk which is keeping your body upright. Having a stronger back will help with retracting the shoulder blades back, which prevents the shoulders from rolling forward. Good posture is what carries over to proper mechanics when running, if you find it difficult to maintain your posture then you will need to improve your back strength. The way you are carrying your arms are affected by how strong your back is, a strong back is what can prevent energy leaks through the upper body. A strong spine that is complemented by both mid and lower backs help to stabilize the spine and the pelvis.

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Apply- Now that you have a better understanding of why strength training is important to running let’s talk about implementing it in your program. I have included a three-day program that revolves around the areas that are important when improving your running with strength training. Allowing yourself to strengthen these important areas will allow for you to begin making big strides in your sport of running. Focus on the importance of strength training to not only to reduce your race time, but to also reduce your potential risk of injury.

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How to Successfully Accomplish Your 2017 Fitness Goals

New Years is right around the corner and everyone is ready for a fresh start. Everyone that begins this new journey has great intentions in improving their lives, unfortunately many people do not succeed because they take on too much at once. Overloading yourself with too much can lead to more stress and unsuccessful goals, though we want to own the new year and get summer ready, we lose track of our goals or end up balancing one too many plates in each hand. I will provide you with five tips that I have used for the past few years that has helped me and many other people become successful in their goals.

 

Start small

 

When you see a beautiful large home, we look in amazement of the structure, size, and the beauty of it, we don’t think about what it looked like before, we only see the finished product. We neglect the idea of all the work that was put in to build this house and the investment it took for it to look this way. This goes hand in hand with fitness goals, we often want to see the bigger picture before we even have our paint brushes ready. Remember that the house we are admiring was not built in one day, so take the time to start slow and learn that the process is long, but rewarding once it is finish.

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When you begin to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle remember that small wins will lead to bigger victories. If you haven’t exercised in a long time and decide to join a gym and intend to go five to seven days a week for an hour or more, you will end up burning yourself out far too soon. Instead make it a goal to go two days a week, once that begins to become easier then move forward to going three, four, maybe five times a week. Start with only a half hour maybe even 20 minutes, the easier you make it for yourself to get to the gym, the easier it will be for you to stay more committed.

 

It’s challenging to start off small because we are eager and filled with high energy to crush our goals for the new year, but keep in mind that you need to meet yourself where you are at. Taking the time to check your ego at the door and not compete with others will help you own your fitness goals for 2017. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, they all have different goals and backgrounds compared to you. The hare lost the race against the tortoise because he went too fast too soon, be the tortoise and take your time, so you can also be victorious.

 

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals

 

Smart goals are an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. This is how you specifically determine your goals and when you are going to achieve them. Understanding the importance of smart goals will help guide you in understanding what your goals are and more importantly what time frame you have to meet these expectations. Smart goals are what lead to healthy and realistic successful outcomes, knowing how to use them will be crucial in the longevity of staying committed.

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Let’s say you want to lose weight, well how much weight do you want to lose, give a specific number you have in mind that way you know exactly how much you want to lose. Tracking the progress of achieving this goal, is how you know it’s measurable, this will allow for you to track the amount of weight you lose each month. Having a goal that is attainable will make it easier for it to be achievable, it should be something challenging, but something within reach. Saying you want to lose 20 pounds in a week is not a realistic goal, but saying you are going to lose five pounds a month is a realistic goal; make sure you goal is within reason. Lastly, when will you achieve this goal, having a specific date in mind will help you with being timely on your goals.

 

Avoid quick fix schemes

 

I cannot stress this subject enough, there are a lot of people who will try to sell you magic pills, wraps, life changing supplements, and cleanses that’ll leave your body purified from toxins, that aren’t going to help you longer term. A majority of these companies and distributors are in it to make money, they use different marketing schemes to draw you in. Often times these quick fixes are harmful towards the body, and are very expensive, with little to no long-term results. The distributors of these products usually have names such as “wellness coach” or “cleanse coach”, there are credible wellness coaches out there with credible certifications, but the “wellness coaches” that are offering you a 30-day cleanse, usually aren’t.

Closeup of an old fashioned pill bottle filled with Magic Pills.

These quick fix schemes get your attention by saying “I lost this amount of weight in my first week” or “I made over six figures this year by selling this product”, both of these are red flags for you to avoid. Though both sound very appealing, it usually does come at a cost either your health or your finances. Having the fitness market flooded with all sorts of products and companies make it overwhelming to try and find information on proper nutrition. I highly recommend visiting www.precisionnutrition.com and checking out their blog, they provide information on healthy eating, habit changing, and a lot of great content revolving real nutrition advice.

 

Instead of having these quick fixes consume you, try making it a goal to fix the problem, rather than to put a band aid over it. Begin to slowly introduce small habits into your daily life, one that I always love to use when people ask me about nutrition is to have them start by eating one cup of vegetables a day, they can anything else they want, as long as they have that one cup a day for a week. This introduces something that they are not used to, but it doesn’t take anything away, as time goes on we build off that one habit to form other habits. A book I highly recommend getting is called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, this book covers the way habits work, and how we can fix them.

 

Train Smart

 

When you begin to start going to the gym again, do not overload yourself by going every day, instead try going only two or three times a week. This will help you get started with forming the habit of going to the gym and it being less daunting. You want to make sure that your training sessions only go for about an hour, a little over is okay, anything more than that you begin to over tax the nervous system, become more fatigued (technique isn’t as good), you lose interest in training, and it just becomes too time consuming. We want results that will stay long term, so make sure that you don’t over train by spending too much time at the gym.

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Do not punish yourself with exercise ever! Exercise should be a fun and rewarding, not an act of punishment because of what you ate. Your goal is not to beat yourself until you are a pile of sweat on the floor, instead your goal should be to leave the gym feeling better than when you came in. Muscle soreness is not a good indicator for measuring the success of your training session. When you begin training, don’t make it a goal to push yourself to extreme limits, make it a goal to move better and be stronger.

 

Journal

 

Keep a journal for your fitness goals and your nutrition goals. This is a big player for tracking your progress as you reach your goals for 2017. Journaling will help to keep you motivated and also to look back at how far you have come from when you first started. Having two separate journals will help you with tracking exactly what you are eating every day and your other journal for tracking your progress with your training.

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Writing down what weights you used and the number of sets and reps will help with keeping track of how you are improving at the gym. If you are just aimlessly just going from exercise to exercise without tracking your improvements, it’s hard for you to determine if there is progress that is being made. You can track the great days you had at the gym, like when you finally did your first push up, you can also write about why you weren’t so successful in the gym today maybe it was stress from work, either way you can track the good and the bad. Having something physically written on what you’ve accomplished is a very rewarding feeling and something you can take pride in.

 

Hopefully this has helped you get a better picture in mind for when it comes time to start that new year. Review these tips when you begin to contemplate what you hope to accomplish in 2017. Remember that it takes time to make big changes, so start small and finish big. I wish you nothing but the best for the new year and your goals!