Today some argue that no person can reach their potential in life without taking care for their health and fitness. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you need to look like someone who would be on the cover of Men’s Health, but simply taking care of your waistline and cardiovascular adaption can help you live more confidently, with better mental health, and more to give the world.
Take two variants of the same person, one in shape and one out of shape, and you can tell who would be more successful in their career, in their free time, and in the social scene. Staying in shape is more than just looking or feeling good, it’s about the whole philosophy with which you live your life. However, absolutely none of this happens in a vacuum. Fitness is not just something you can fall into, unless you work a physically demanding job. It’s something that must be decided. It something that must be tracked and adapted over time. More importantly, it needs to be achievable. Looking like Arnold in his day in one year is simply not possible, even with the best questionable methods at hand. But being the best version of you? Now, we can do that.
Let’s consider how:
Keep Track Of Your Efforts
It might seem like your fitness progression is easy to keep in your mind. This is because if entering a training program, such as building a fundamental strength base by lifting weights, we might only attend the gym three times a week for the first year. We might think that this is so infrequent that we needn’t keep a log or diary. But this is where you’d be wrong. It’s not always easy to keep every little relevant market in your mind, particularly if you live an otherwise busy life.
On top of that, it can be good practice to reflect on your progress and how well you have been experiencing this effort. If you’re unable to strike your best attempts and keep yourself on the straight road, you might struggle to keep things together and to better your approach. We’d recommend installing a note taking program, or a dedicated fitness tracker. Divide this into days. Then note exactly what you hope to accomplish, how you performed in the session, and if you met your goal. Also, make notes. What happened in that session? Did you feel an odd twinge in your back? Did you feel as though you improved your form? Did you manage to go up a weight, even though you feel you strained yourself? Make a note of it. Remembering these things could help you apply yourself in a more intelligent manner next time round, or seek the information you need between sessions. If you keep this only segmented in your mind, you can often forget the necessary steps that might come your way in the meantime, and this can lead you down incorrect paths.
On top of that, it feels good to objectively see yourself moving forward.
Form Over Performance
Which do you think is better, handling more weight in a compound lift, or performing it perfectly, moving your body in exactly the right way to promote your personal safety, ergonomics, and correct development? Is it more impressive to run ten miles on a treadmill, or to run two miles with correct form and at a stimulating pace? Is it more impressive to have to crawl out of the gym at the end of a session, or to achieve a ‘next-one-up’ small goal, to return later in the week? The answers to these questions are quite obvious, and so we needn’t insult you with giving you them.
Unfortunately though, many might feel that performance is always more important than form. Some people believe that hitching up a weight in a squat, swinging their knees up in a chin-up, or simply gritting their teeth and bearing horrible torture on a cardio machine to reach some ‘impressive’ goal is the best way to fitness – but it isn’t. Consider how you might paint a masterpiece. It isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time, dedication, attention to detail, and more importantly, the willingness to show up every day.
People often feel that exercising or ‘getting fit’ is akin to just showing up and performing your activity, but it can be much more than that. It’s not only a hobby and a lifestyle choice, but a craft. Every training regimen you take part in will have a right and wrong way to do it, no matter if that’s something as simple as breathing technique, or as complex as performing a perfect Olympic clean and jerk. Always choose form over performance, even if that means you make slower progress than the person next to you. It will help you much more in the long term than you might realise.
Define Your Goals
Simply showing up to the gym or your place of exercise is a good idea if done frequently. But it’s not always enough. To make real progress, progress you care about, you need to know how to put your best foot forward and define your goals. Do you wish to learn more about muscle toning? Do you wish to become fit enough to pass a military fitness test? Do you wish to lift a certain weight, or perhaps lose a certain amount of inches from your waistline?
Are you training for a particular sport? Perhaps you simply wish to attend the gym for a thirty minute cardio session four times a week for the next month, something you have never managed to achieve before. Goals should not be totally static, but specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
If you have your goals defined, each day you walk to the gym you will walk with a purpose. This is a powerful feeling, and a comfortable one too. When you have a direction, you’ll be all the more likely to achieve it.
With this advice, we hope you do.