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!

What MovNat Has Taught Me

If you are unfamiliar with MovNat, let me explain it to you in my own perception. MovNat is a system that approaches fitness in a unique way, we look at reestablishing movements such as running, balancing, climbing, crawling, throwing, catching, lifting, and many other things that we are capable of doing and integrating them into a fitness program. This system isn’t new, what we teach are fundamental movements that we have been doing for a long time, but as we age we have a tendency of finding ourselves further away from these things. What makes this approach so different from any other system, is how it approaches fitness in a unique way.

 

I attended my Level One MovNat certification April 2015, and fell in love with what they taught and spoke about. I would then pursue my Level Two and Three in 2016, furthering my knowledge on the system. During my Level Two I had a talk with instructor Kellen Milad, on the practical approach of the system. One thing that stuck with me during our conversation was Kellen saying “MovNat is more than just going through the motions and getting a workout, it’s about creating a relationship with movement.” This would forever change my approach to applying MovNat to my training and philosophy.

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MovNat Level One

Being Prepared- At our level three course one of the tests was to carry our partner for period of time, this would mean crossing through water and making our way up hills. Having the knowledge on how to properly carry someone, would make this task less daunting. We look at training for life, not just physical appearance, we want to be strong to be helpful. This is what allows for our training to have a purpose.

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You may never know when you may need to save someone from drowning or having to chase after your child after they run towards traffic after a temper tantrum. Having the skills and the ability to complete these tasks make life easier. The likelihood of us being exposed to these situations are low, but it’s always good to be prepared. We live in uncontrolled environments, we never know when we will need to save a life or be in a situation that requires us to be strong, so why not be prepared?

 

Mindfulness- When we get comfortable, we go through the motions, we lose our connection with what we are doing and kind of, just do it. Once we begin to own a technique or a skill, we know what’s expected, we anticipate what it will feel like and how it will be done. We blindly move and forget to take into consideration the fact that our mind is a large component when it comes to moving. MovNat has a big emphasis on mindful movement, this allows us to feel, think, move, and have control of what our body is doing, rather than just moving to move.

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Since I began my practice of MovNat, my kinesthetic sense has increased immensely. Taking the time to control your breathing and mindfully moving has carried over to other skills. I take the time to think over what I am doing, if it’s crawling on a 2×4, swinging a kettlebell, squatting, etc. the concept of mindfully mastering the skill is always there. Once you begin to engage your brain in training, you will begin to see new changes in both your physical and mental state.

 

 

Balance- MovNat took me out of every comfort zone I could hid in, and exposed to me new areas of fitness I would never have found myself in. This has helped me balance out all areas of fitness, MovNat takes into consideration mobility, strength, conditioning, balance, precision, and many other areas. Many people ignore some of these areas, they put a greater emphasis towards one area and develop deficiencies, that in time could lead towards potential injuries. All of these areas of fitness are covered by the MovNat system, having balance in all these areas makes for a well-rounded mover.

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Prior to adopting this system, I would admit that I neglected a majority of these areas, I was heavily focused on power lifting and would put everything else aside. Once I began to train for level two, I started to change my focus towards kettlebells and movement. Since then I have picked up running (something that I had never done before for fun), climbing, balance work, mobility, and variations of exercises that I wouldn’t have ever done. MovNat took me into new areas that have made my fitness more well-rounded and has improved my overall strength.

 

Mental Health- Gaining new health in a mental aspect is something I didn’t expect to happen. There is something about being in the woods, out in the middle of nowhere, it gives me peace and balance. I look forward to sessions that I train outside for the fact that I am by myself in the quiet wilderness, nature is your music, and animals moving freely through the woods are the other members. There is no pressure of other people staring at you, or getting in the way of your training, it’s just you and your environment.

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I always have been an outdoorsy kid growing up, I spent a lot of time playing in the woods at my parent’s house. When I found MovNat it brought be back to a nostalgic time of my life, where I would unintentionally be training, while having the time of my life. Being able to train your brain to find new ways to train outdoors, allows for you to engage some critical thinking, it’s a way to challenge yourself on how you will do a movement in a different type of environment.  I have found that training outdoors has given my mind peace, it allows for me to unload the stress of a busy environment and brings me to place that allows me to relive my childhood.

                                                              

Community- This has to be my absolute favorite part of being in this amazing organization,the community. Every MCT I have met either in person or online has been so helpful, from supporting content, giving tips on how to pass your certification, to cleaning up technique, or just giving out advice, the MovNat Tribe is there for you! I was so excited to have attended my level three with the people I did, it was a life changing experience that bonded us all together. I cherished every moment I spent with these amazing people, and soaked in all the knowledge they had to share.

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MovNat Level Three

The dynamic duo of Danny and Kellen leading the workshop made for a memorable experience. The workshop they lead was something that I had never experienced before. Watching Abby Clark (First Female Team Instructor) work through the rigorous tests was very inspiring, having Aaron Baulch give advice on respecting your body and knowing your limits to prevent potential injuries was important, the support of Tom Brady who helped with keeping motivated throughout the weekend was encouraging, and just the unconditional love and support from everyone else there was extravagant! All of these great people have really helped me understand what MovNat really is, a Tribe, a family, a community of movers.

 

If you would like to find out more about MovNat, please contact me or visit www.movnat.com for future workshops and certifications. MovNat is more than working out, it’s not about cool fancy tricks or training outside just to be different. It’s about having a holistic approach to fitness that embodies all modalities of training. It’s about becoming a member of a tribe that values and cherishes people’s full potentials.

 

 

 

Rebell Spotlight

MADISON LUTGEN 

 

Madison was the original Rebell!! She was the one who actually helped me come up with the name. I met Madison two years ago online and had offered to help her with her training, we met on a very snowy day in a beat down gym. This was a half way point from where we both lived, we knew nothing about each other and just trusted that we would meet and train. This would only be the beginning of an amazing friendship.

 

We spent a good two and a half to three hours at the gym going over warm ups, mobility, regressions and progressions, understanding the importance of proper training, and so much more. I can specifically recall how nervous she was with a barbell squat, after a few modifications she was confidently squatting. Since then we meet about every four months or so to go over techniques, new exercises, and to hang out. Madison has been such a good friend to me since, and it’s been an amazing experience watching her progress from a shy quite girl to the proud confident woman she is today. Here is her story about her transformation!

 

Your Background- I wasn’t that much of an active child growing up, I didn’t enjoy sports (as an adult, that hasn’t changed one bit) or being active. I didn’t spark an interest into training until I took an aerobics level 2 class in high school, I occasionally worked out but nothing serious. Then years later, I got in touch with Will and my passion for an active lifestyle and fitness really took off my junior year of college. I found powerlifting and made a comfortable transition from the machine side of the gym to the free weight side all while gaining knowledge in natural movements that Will coached me in. Now, almost two years later, I’m lifting a minimum of 4 days a week and taking a variety of group fitness classes ranging from spin to CrossFit, a venture I wouldn’t be able to do without gaining a background in fitness.

 

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“I spent a good amount of time hiking on both trips to Colorado, no slips, trips, or breaks needed. My time in the gym immensely helped my life outside of the gym!”

Thoughts about strength training before & after- I was terrified of the free weight side before training with Will. I knew sooooo little about building muscle and nutrition and how what you do inside the gym should be able to benefit you outside the gym. I worked out but never mindfully. Once I started with Will, I learned how to track my progress by taking notes and writing down my lifts, as well as seeing improvements outside the gym (carrying more weight at work and increased stamina).

 

Now, I’m incredibly comfortable with free weights and challenging myself to push heavier weights and testing my boundaries. Will encourages me to try new movements and that nobody is a master at anything their first time. He’s wonderful to work with as he’s patient and understanding (My life is usually flooding with school and work, and when I told him I shifted from a 5-day spilt to a 4-day split, he was supportive and understood where I was coming from.) The biggest take away from training with Will is my new-found confidence to branch out and try new things. Now I’m excited to try new workouts and go outside of my comfort zone, if you would have told me I’d be doing CrossFit three years ago I would’ve said you were crazy.

Challenging barriers you overcame- The biggest barrier I had to overcome while training was to let go of the awkwardness of trying something new. I used to be scared doing something new and I’d be anxious if somebody saw me do something that I wasn’t a pro at. Now I love coming out and saying I’ve never done something before and I’m eager to learn from people and ask for tips. It’s been a life changing experience, learning to leave my ego at the door and be open to learning new things.

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“One of the first times I started to notice the muscle I’ve gained in my tricep. Incredibly proud as my arms are the most difficult part to gain muscle of me”.

Greatest achievement- My greatest achievement has been my change to an active lifestyle. For a majority of my life, I hated working out and didn’t see the point to eating well. I was just over 20 when I finally had an epiphany that we only get one body and we should treat it like that. Living life by taking drugs and feeing crappy is not a life I want to live. Training with Will exposed me to a life of balance and a love for training not only because it’s fun but because it’s what my body needs. Living an active life and putting thought into my nutrition is beneficial now and in the future. I’m excited to see what my future holds from the work I put in today. That by far, has been my greatest achievement since training with Will (pulling a 225 deadlift was pretty sick too).

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“Core transformation between my first cycle of bulking and cutting!”

Changes your family/friends noticed- The biggest change my friends and family have noticed is my attitude. Prior to getting into lifting and nutrition, I wasn’t a positive person and had a negative outlook on many aspects of life. I get told often that my positivity and excitement is contagious and I seem more excited about life than I was ever before.

 

What do you tell people about our training- I’m constantly referring and talking about Will to friends, coworkers and people at my gym. My favorite thing about him is that he doesn’t bullshit you. If you’re training without reason, he’ll put you in your place because he cares about you and your progress. Will was quick to check me when he found out I was overtraining and I couldn’t thank him enough for that- rest days are crucial!

 

What do you enjoy about working together- The best part about working with Will is that it isn’t only a coach/client relationship, we’ve become great friends over the course of nearly 2 years together. He isn’t the type of coach that is so focused on fitness that he negates every other aspect of your life, Will’s congratulated me on promotions, classes and tells me how derpy my dog is (who doesn’t love that?). He builds a personal connection with you that makes training and asking for help/advice so natural and easy, it’s one of my favorite things about him!

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Me and Shelby- “I LOVE HER!”

3 benefits you’ve noticed

  1. I’ve gained an immense amount of knowledge about training and fitness. Knowing proper form and how movements should be done as well as why we do them has been incredibly beneficial for me. The strength I’ve gained inside the gym has benefited my ability to do my job, I can carry more boxes and more tubs of ice than I could prior to training. Being at work and knowing how to lift with my legs instead of my back is something I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t worked with Will.

 

  1. People frequently ask me about my journey and how I stay dedicated and consistent with working out, and I always tell them it’s Will and the fact that I truly love training. Will makes training fun for me, switching up movements and incorporating new movements fuels my love for training.

 

  1. Additionally, when Will asks about my goals, we plan out steps to reach them, and when I accomplish my goals it’s fulfilling and rewarding. Through training with Will, I’ve learned so much about goal-setting and taking the necessary steps to achieve my goals. Also, figuring out my goals and what I want has been a refreshing and humbling take away from Will. Assessing my life and identifying what I want, inside the gym and outside, whether it’s hitting a 225 back squat or buying a new car, Will has granted me with the skills necessary to properly goal set and plan.

 

What makes the difference- What separates Will from other trainers and fitness plans is that you gain experience and strength within the gym that benefits you outside of the gym. So many fitness plans and trainers promoting all these weird fads and movements that you wouldn’t ever be doing if a machine wasn’t invented to do so, and it’s counteractive to go hard in the gym to these programs and have no benefit to your daily life. Training is a passion and hobby of mine, but it isn’t my whole life and Will accepts that and understands. The work Will has me do is beneficial outside of the gym, it makes kicking my ass in the gym easy cause I know I’m not just training for the gym, I’m training for my life- to make moving boxes at work easier, randomly doing crossfit with coworkers fun and chasing my dog around easy and not a daunting, difficult task. 

 

Additional words- There’s no denying that Will has completely changed my life. I have no idea where I’d be if I didn’t meet up with him during a winter storm at a small snap fitness. He’s a truly fantastic trainer and friend, I trust him and I know he would never misguide me or not have my best intention at heart.

 

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Recent- “It’s small, but when I saw this picture I loved how I looked- happy, healthy, and strong. Being able to look at a photo of yourself without picking it apart is a wonderful feeling! Strength gains and mental gains.”

Madison is the original Rebell, the amount of hard work that she has put forth towards her goals has been admirable. Her sense of humor fills the room with laughter and her courageous efforts to break the stereotypes of women is contagious. Madison is one of a kind, she excels in crushing PR’s and boy’s insecurities. She is a great friend and hard working woman; I’m honored to know such an amazing person!