Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A New Hope

Welcome to the New Year. I hope you all had some relaxing time off and are back and ready to hit your goals.

Yeah yeah, I know you are probably tired of all the ridiculous resolution topics we see in the media, but nevertheless goal setting is important so please bear with me.

Whether your goal is to get stronger, lose weight, improve joint health, or look better nekkid the most efficient way to do this is to think it through and come up with as specific a goal as possible. Then write it down.

If you want to lose weight then write down how many pounds of fat you will shed and by when you'll do it. Not doing this will only make it easier to cheat on your nutrition and training.

Having a concrete goal on paper makes planning a whole lot easier, both on you and your trainer *wink*. And make no mistake you do need a plan.

Have you seen all the new members wandering around your gym moving from machine to machine looking rather confused? If they don't hire a trainer or otherwise start working from a program, odds are they won't achieve much if anything and thus won't be there a few months from now. That is a fact, and one the big box gym industry banks on. This is why you see so many membership specials going on now.

But back to planning, let's say you decide you want to lose 10lbs of fat. Give yourself a timeframe, because nobody wants to keep trying to lose weight forever - it isn't much fun.

Let's be generous and give yourself until the end of February. That's roughly 8 weeks, which boils down to 1.25lbs per week. A very doable amount. In terms of nutrition 1lb equals 3,500 calories, which means that you need to burn roughly 4,375 MORE calories than you take in each week.

Break that down and you get 625 calories per day.

Now calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate. Just subtract 625 from your RMR and that is how many calories you should be taking in each day.

Of course training will impact this, so let's say you are getting in the gym twice a week do do weight training. Using a calculator will give you a rough estimate how many calories you burn, then figure that into your plan.

Though with a BIG caveat. Working at a high intensity for an hour from a program designed for fat loss will have a much bigger impact than just going in to the gym and doing some chest, arms, and abs (useless).

Figuring out your plan of action won't take any more time than reading this so what are you waiting for?

And remember to have fun in the process - exercise should be enjoyable and make you feel good.

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