Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Eve/Day are a traditional time for making resolutions. Promises to yourself, to your family, to whoever, to improve yourself.

Lots of these are about diets if you believe the papers and magazines.

Here are three resolutions, strength training style.

1) Work Hard. They say a bad workout plan done with real effort will give better results than a great workout plan done with less effort. Whatever your workout plan is, get yourself focused and take each workout seriously. Don't waste time in the gym - those are precious moments of your life gone forever. Get a short, hard workout in and go home. The results will be better, and you'll spend less time working at it. You still can't out-train a bad diet, though, so...

2) Eat Better. Not "eat right" or "eat less." Or "less fat" or "no more dessert." Those are impossible to maintain or impossibly vague. Just work on eating a little bit better each day. You know sugared sodas aren't as healthy as water, so make the switch. Maybe you have a habit of skipping breakfast - prepare something the night before or just blend up a protein shake and get the day started right. It's not so hard if you keep it small. Which leads to...

3) Take small steps. A big problem, whether it is losing 50 pounds or adding 200 pounds to your deadlift or cleaning up your diet, is too much to deal with all at once. You can't just slap 200# on a bar and lift it, or drop that weight, or switch from bad food to a healthy diet in one go. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So take it step by step. Don't try to make changes in one big go. Break it up into many small steps and work from there.

I gave these as practical advice to a friend of mine looking to get control of her diet and fitness. I said "Find something physical you like to do, and do that. When you eat, eat a little bit healthier each time. And when you do your physical activity, put effort into it - you'll get better results and enjoy it more."

I hope that helps you.

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