- 1st December 2016
- By Matthew Fever
Things to consider before you begin training in 2017.
1) Define your goals
What is it you are trying to achieve? What do you need to do in order to get it done? This sounds obvious but I meet so many clients for the first time that really struggle to answer this question.
“Get fit”, is too general as a goal. Fitness takes many forms. Take a look at the 10 components of fitness below and begin thinking about what aspects of fitness are important to you:
Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen;
Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilise energy;
Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force;
Flexibility – The ability to maximise the range of motion at a given joint;
Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time;
Speed – The ability to minimise the time cycle of a repeated movement;
Co-ordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement;
Agility – The ability to minimise transition time from one movement pattern to another;
Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s centre of gravity in relation to its support base;
Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Define what it is you would like to be better at! What do you want your body to be able to do? If it is simply to look and feel better, great, but that will be a product of your training and a result of you improving in some or all of the above. Look at athletes across a range of sports, they will no doubt have a great physique, this isn’t the primary focus of their training but represents the adaptation of the body in response to trying to perform better.
2) Do you have the right training programme?
Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle, but it’s not the same as training. Training is a process that requires you to work towards a specific goal. It is not the same as performing a random selection of movements at the gym or attending a general exercise class. Training requires progression. Whatever your goal is, I am certain, you will not be the first person who has wanted to achieve it. Take the time to read books, research on the internet or better yet find a coach who has done it and helped others to do it and can offer you their experience. Source your information carefully and find the right programme. Make sure the time and hard work you invest at the gym is consistent with your goal! If you are starting in January, ask yourself openly on February 1st if you are closer now then you were at the beginning of the year.
3) Do you have the necessary support of those around you?
Support is an integral part of any training programme. It is often the relationships we build and the connections with the people around us that make the challenges we overcome in life special. Having the support of your family, friends or a coach will mean that you are more likely to succeed, they will also be there for you when times get hard. The support may come in many forms, guidance from a coach, encouragement from a friend or just team work with your partner so that you can actually fit in your training sessions around a busy family life. Begin to think about who you might need help from and try to get them on board.
4) Anticipate a few set backs
The path to success is never a straight forward one. There will always be a few problems along the way, anticipate it, embrace it and learn from them. It’s ok to fail sometimes! Here is one of my favourite quotes from one of the most successful athletes of all time:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”Michael Jordan
5) Be consistent
If something is important to you make time for it, each day make a positive step towards achieving your goal. Consistency is key whether you’re working on a physical goal, learning a musical instrument or studying a new language. Regular practice is required in order to succeed.
Being consistent also requires good time management, schedule in time to train and view it as you would any other appointment. This can be difficult if you have a family or a busy work schedule, but it all starts with you! Make the time to look after yourself.