The biggest fitness obstacle in my opinion seems to be time, or lack thereof. Family gatherings, school plays, and holiday parties are all obstacles that can hinder your abaility to train consistently during this time of year. I want to briefly give you a few tips I personally use to help me stay on track.
First of all, let’s talk a little bit about goal setting.
This time of year is the most important time to have a goal! Set it before the New Year! One of the best sprinters in American Track and Field history, Michael Johnson, wrote a book called “Slaying the Dragon”. It is a book about his career and some mental techniques he used to reach his goals. The most important point I took from the book is to WRITE IT DOWN. There are often times when you are super motivated and have all these grand ideas until they slowly fade away. At that moment write down your goals and even share them with a friend or better yet put out a post on social media on what you are trying to do. If you put it out there you MUST do everything in your power to reach the goal.
Once you have the goal you must find the proper program to try to reach the goal. This is all for another article but now you must carve out time to implement the program. Schedule your workouts in a weekly manner. It is too easy to miss a workout because of an extra night at the office or a child’s sporting event. Use the weekends to train! Not only do you have more time on the weekend but you shouldn’t be tired at the gym on a Sunday morning. Schedule at least one training session during the weekend and take your rest days during the week. You will love having two rest days during the work week, trust me! The other benefit of training on the weekend is that the gym is usually empty on Saturday or Sunday mornings!
As important as writing down your goals is, it is more important to plan out your workouts prior to going to the gym. If you write it down before you step foot into the gym there is a better chance you will complete the workout. Keep track of your workouts. Write everything down like you would in a diary or journal. This will allow you to see your progress and not waste time trying to remember what weights or reps you have done in the past. You will feel great looking back and seeing how much progress you have made.
Lastly, use your holiday party to your benefit. Before I tell you how, I must explain how I break down my workouts. I usually train five or six times per week doing 3-4 Medium workouts and 1-2 light workouts per week.
Light - I get on a piece of cardio equipment and do some interval training for 25 minutes and stretch
Medium - Normal weight training which lasts 60-75 minutes
Hard – This is a monthy or twice monthly workout doing something challenging and shocking/out of the ordinary for my body. This may include major supersets, a huge volume of squats, 100 Rep sets, etc.
The day you have your holiday party, train as close as you possibly can to the time of the party and do the hardest workout possible (preferably heavy Legs)! This way, during the party you can eat as much as you want and enjoy the hard work you just put in.