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!

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!

 

 

 

The Biggest Mistake People Make with Weight Loss

 

With the rates of obesity and type two diabetes at an all-time high, many people begin to look for ways to lose weight. Weight loss is always an area that most people tend to focus on when they begin training. Though this is such a broad topic to discuss because of all the components that make up weight loss like exercise, nutrition, habits, etc. Many people make this one simple, yet crucial mistake when they begin their journey on a healthier life.

 

What mistake is it that everyone makes when they start? Comparison. Often times people compare themselves amongst others. This is a large mistake that people make when they begin training or better eating habits. They go on social media and see all these “Fitness Guru’s” doing insane exercises and having strict diets. This seems very appealing to those who are new, yet they aren’t ready for these types of exercises or nutritional habits yet.

 

Comparison is such an ugly thing, you often hear phrases such as “I saw on Instagram (Insert IG fitness person) doing 48-inch box jumps followed by 100 crunches finished with 45 minutes of high intensity cardio, so I’m going to do that today also”. If you are new to training or haven’t trained in years, this is going to be very challenging to do. Trying to imitate what you see on social media is very difficult, because most times you just aren’t ready for such activities.

 

When we see fitness based accounts on social media it’s usually very fit people who are barely wearing any clothes (I’m guilty of the last part). We see these people doing crazy exercises or looking at what they are eating and we try to imitate what they are doing. We try to compare ourselves to them, not taking into consideration that they have put hours and years developing these skills and habits. So with human nature we try to imitate what we see and most times become unsuccessful.

 

We must remember that when we are beginning a new journey that we are NEW to it, we have not been doing it for as long as these other people have. We cannot compare ourselves to someone who has been running marathons their whole life, and get upset with running a 13-minute mile. We have to meet ourselves where we are, meaning if we haven’t gone on a run in five years, we cannot expect ourselves to finish a mile in under 10 minutes. Comparison is the unnecessary weight that holds us back from accomplishing our goals.

 

I am guilty of making this mistake also. We are human, it’s easy for us to want to be like someone who is where we want to be. We all have different genetics and different backgrounds. I made this mistake myself and saw my flaws in it, I am happy to accept who I am and where I am. I know that there is a lot of work that must be done to reach the goals I would like to accomplish and the way I can reach those goals is by making the appropriate steps.

 

 

Step One- Stop comparing yourself to people you see on social media. They have been doing this a lot longer than you have. This doesn’t mean you will never achieve what they do, this means you’re not ready yet. Take the time in learning easier exercises and simple eating habits, you must learn to crawl before you walk.

 

Step Two- Be proud of who you are and the fact that you are willing to make a change to better your health. People really miss this part, you’re doing something for YOU, be proud of going out of your comfort zone and wanting to live a healthier life. It’s a very challenging time learning to get into a fitness routine and new eating habits. Take your time and reward yourself with accomplishing small goals.

 

Step Three- Whether your goal is to weigh a certain amount or have a certain physic, love yourself. You are capable of accomplishing anything you want with a positive attitude and hard work. Don’t talk yourself out of going to the gym because you think people will judge you, be brave and experience new environments. EVERYBODY started the same way you did, scared and shy, no one was born in a gym knowing exactly what to do to get to their goals.

 

Hopefully this can aid you in the right direction of health and fitness. Remember you are unique in your own way. Look up to people and avoid trying to compare yourself to others, be proud of who you are and what you are doing. Love yourself and be patient, this is a long journey with no end point, just small stops.