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‘New year, new me’ – how many people that make that pledge actually succeed?
Some do, but many don’t and particularly when it comes to fitness transformations the mistakes are so simple.
We spoke to the professionals at Ultimate Performance to find out what these pitfalls were, and how you can avoid them.
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Mistake #1: Setting Unrealistic Goals
Having an end goal is incredibly important when it comes to getting in shape, but arguably one of the biggest mistakes people make in January is setting an unrealistic fitness goal.
If you’re 45 years old with 30% body fat, and have been eating a poor diet for 25 years, then aiming to drop 20% body fat in 10 weeks would be a little far fetched, and only serves to set you up for failure.
Extravagant goals like these aren’t uncommon when speaking to people in the first week of January.
Instead, a better goal would be to lose 10-12% body fat in that same time frame. And by doing so, you’ll stay motivated as you begin to lose the required (and very achievable) ~1% body fat per week.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CHEST TRAINING IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS Here are a few tips on chest muscle recruitment to help you improve your performance during your next chest session. 1. When setting up on the bench, pull your shoulder blades together and push your chest up. 2. As you bring the bar down, pull your shoulder blades even tighter together which will create a greater stretch in the pec, the greater the stretch the greater the contraction. 3. As you push the bar back up, engage your chest and imagine you're driving your upper arm to the center line of your body; this squeeze will recruit more pec. So when you next get on the bench press think – STRETCH AND SQUEEZE
Mistake #2: Not Having A Plan
As the famous saying goes, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ When it comes to body transformation, nothing could be truer – especially if you want outstanding results.
The mistake we so many people make is this:
– Wake up on New Year’s Day.
– Set an unrealistic fitness goal
– Train and diet all out from the start (think weights and cardio, white fish and salads, every day).
– Do well for a few weeks while motivation is high, get exhausted, crash and fall off the wagon.
This is completely unnecessary. Instead of going from zero to 100 on your training and diet, start by doing the minimum required for maximum results.
For the majority of people reading this, a plan like this would be far more sensible:
– Strength train three to four times a week (read here to learn more about how often you should be working out a week).
– Take 10,000 steps every day.
– Perform one to two HIIT sessions a week.
– Eat ‘from the land’ three to five times a day, emphasising protein, vegetables and healthy fat.
– Drink three to four litres of water a day.
The added beauty of starting so simple is that when you do hit plateaus, you can add other variables into the mix easily, without overwhelming your body.
Mistake #3: Falling At The First Hurdle
Nobody is perfect and mistakes will happen. Even the the most dedicated gym goers will fall off the wagon at least once. The key is, how you manage it, and what you do after.
The people who gain the best results are those who may mess up on one meal, but get right back onto the diet by the very next.
That’s the key. Remember, you won’t gain a lot of weight from one cheat meal, but if that one bad meal rolls into seven, then don’t be surprised if your body fat begins to creep up again.
What will happen with many fitness enthusiasts in January is they’ll eat perfect for three weeks, and then have one bad meal. After this, they’ll think ‘screw it, all the hard work’s undone now’, and resort to completely falling off the wagon.
Mistake #4: Crash Dieting
January is a month known synonymously with the ‘crash diet’ in the fitness world.
The search for the latest fad diet will soon be underway, as the chase for rapid weight loss has led to a surging rise in the popularity of deprivation diets, and more specifically – liquid diets.
The liquid shake diet industry is now a multi-billion pound business, with leading companies exploiting the short-cut mentality many dieters are driven by, with claims promising a healthier and slimmer body – nothing could be further from the truth.
All the popular liquid diet fads are centred on two concepts: extremely low calories (think 400, up to 800 calories a day if you’re lucky) and brand-specific shakes and soups to make up the calories. Depending on the ‘stage’ of the diet, a select few will have a solid meal during the day, too.
The problems surrounding liquid diets could be an article in itself. In short, they’re a recipe for massive weight rebound, totally ruined digestion and hormonal catastrophe!
Mistake #5: Not Thinking Past January
All of the mistakes we’ve talked about so far all revolve around one thing: short-term fixes.
We’re all for fast results. However training and dieting needs to be done safely, and in a manner that leaves you feeling healthier and more vibrant, not starving, fatigued and demotivated.
For successful, long-term results, you have to think past January. Starting January on an all-out assault to get the body you’re after in 4 weeks is asking for trouble.
Instead, set a SMART goal for yourself, and then break it down into small mini-goals to keep yourself on track and motivated. It could mean 10 weeks of work, or it could mean 24 weeks. There’s no right or wrong; it’s all about objectively assessing where you are right now, and where you want to be.
And if you are struggling for motivation just think back to what led you to want to make a change in the first place.
If you want professional help achieving your goals and seeing maximum results in 2017, head over to UP Fitness and check out some of their online personal training plans.