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New Year’s Resolutions Are a Waste: A Workout Guide for Newbies

January 2013 calendar

Now is the time to set some goals for the New Year. No, I’m not talking about New Year’s Resolutions because those are pointless and overrated. Why? Because setting a fitness goal tied to an irrelevant date like the 1st of the year is meaningless. You should set real goals TODAY because it’s the right thing to do.

There is an adage which states that you should “never put off till tomorrow, what you can do today” and this especially holds true for things like getting into shape.
Think about it. How many times have you or your friends made one of the following statements:

  • After the New Year, I’ll start my diet
  • When my child gets a little older I’m going to get back into the gym
  • I will join the gym…next week
  • I plan to eat whatever I want during the holidays, because I’ll work it off after the New Year
  • Just as soon as the semester ends, I’m going to start working out

And, how many times have you or your friends actually followed through on these well-laid plans to get into shape? I would venture a guess that the answer is very few. Why? Because goal setting should be specific and non-arbitrary. (Read my article on goal-setting for more tips.)

According to Statistic Brain, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions; however, only 8% of people will be successful in achieving their resolutions.

Rule One: Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution; Create a Goal

Each and every year gyms and fitness clubs are inundated after the first of the year with people that have made New Year’s Resolutions. You can almost always tell who they are because they show up in new gym shoes and workout gear, almost always have bad form, or bounce from machine to machine without rhyme or reason.

Worst still, most of these enthusiastic people will peter out after a few weeks because they don’t have a plan.

Rule Two: Have a Plan.

You can’t just show up in a gym and start exercising. Well technically you can, but you probably won’t see results, which means that you won’t stick with it very long. So, have a plan. First, figure out how many days you are going to workout per week. Once you determine this, you can figure out your training split. For example, if you’re going to workout 4 days a week, your training split might look something like this:

  • Day one: Back
  • Day two: Legs
  • Day three: Chest
  • Day four: Bicep / Triceps / Abs

The training split outlined above is just a sample, as you’ll need to determine the best split for your body. You will also want to consider your schedule. Some body parts like legs typically take more time than biceps and triceps, so instead of rushing your workout you should plan to train legs on a day when you have ample time.

Tip: If you’re not sure where to begin, start looking online for athlete profiles—there are a few on this website. Find a few profiles of people that have a similar build to your own (i.e., height, weight, etc.). You can use these profiles as a template for building your own training split and workout.

Rule three: Do your homework

Once you determine your training split, you should write out which exercises you plan to do, along with the number of sets and reps.

Bodybuilding.com has an amazing feature called “Find Exercises by Bodypart.” This feature, which is located in the Workout section, allows you to identify exercises for specific body parts. In addition to providing detailed information regarding each exercise, the site features demonstration videos to ensure that you are performing the movements accurately and safely.

Fitness magazines like RX Muscle, Iron Man, Oxygen, Shape and Muscular Development, just to name a few have helpful sample workouts that you can also leverage.

My point is that there are ample resources available to get you started.

Rule four: Consistency is Key

Getting into shape isn’t something that happens overnight. There is no magic pill, no quick fix. There is however a solution. And, the solution is consistency. So be patient, have a plan, and execute that plan.

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2013 by in bodybuilding, bulking, fitness and tagged , , , , .

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