Of course it’s important to know which workout ideas will help you achieve your goals, but sometimes the most valuable gym tips are those you’ll use when you’re living life outside the gym. If you truly want to succeed, learning to create a healthy nutrition menu that considers your specific goals is a must.
Define your goal
It’s important to realize that a nutrition plan for a marathon runner is going to be entirely different than a plan for weight loss, bodybuilding, or sprint distances and recommendations should be tailored to your body and the responses you see and feel after shifting your nutrition.
Once you’ve determined your goal, make sure it’s defined clearly, using S.M.A.R.T. Goals is the method I recommend using to ensure goals set properly.
Create a step-by-step plan to achieve your goal
Like we’ve talked about in previous posts, effective goal achievment happens when you break your goal down into increments and work one step at a time towards the final result. Studies show that one reason diets fail is the lack of sustainability over time.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal Nutrition Example
A common goal among fitness enthusiasts is to lose 10 lbs. Basically, this is a smart goal, but it doesn’t include a time factor. Let’s use the example of wanting to lose 10 lbs in 8 weeks as a goal. Next, we create a map that leads us to that goal. While exercise will be a significant contributor to acheiving success, learning to create a healthy nutrition menu is paramount.
First, determine your current caloric intake. Second, create a food log and track what and how much you eat for the first week. Ad at least 3 20 minute workouts per week. Cut out pop, juice, and late night snacks. Follow these guidelines for 3 weeks and assess your results. Did you lose weight? Did you gain weight? Once you understand your response to making a few small changes, you can adjust your healthy eating plan and exercise activities to accomplish more. Remember to stop and asses the effect of the changes you’ve made before continuing forward for the entire 6 weeks.
I’ve also written an article that explains the importance of creating a healthy nutrition menu and why it’s one of the most important gym tipsyou can utilize. Educating yourself in the subjects of nutrition and exercise will propell you forward so I encourage you to read this and offer me feedback or questions if you have them.
Gym Tips & Workout Ideas – Tip # 1: Start with a clear and specific goal
Whether you are a fitness novice or seasoned expert who aspiring to achieve new things, clear and specific goals will create your path to success. Defining how to set clear and specific goals has been characterized in many ways, one of the most common being by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (from Wikipedia):
S = Specific
R = Relevant/realistic
T = Time-bound
When you have decided to reach a new level of health, fitness, or athleticism (such as a new 5k or triathlon time) start with the end in mind. Define exactly what succeeding means to you by using the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting system. Once you’ve defined your goal, then create a realistic plan that takes you forward step by step until you’ve achieved your objective.
This is one of the simplest yet most important gym tips I can share. There are millions of health club members working out each day with the simple goal of losing weight, yet year after year their weight stays the same, and it’s not due to lack of desire! Almost everyone wants to lose weight!
What is it that holds so many back from achieving this simple goal? I believe it’s lack of clear direction combined with an influx of confusing, hypnotic marketing messages that fill peoples minds with unrealistic and often unhealthy expectations of what they can achieve. Long term health and true weight loss does not come from a bottle or a pill, it’s the result of hard work and tenacity, derived from dedicated effort in one direction.
Unfortunately, the goal of ‘losing weight’ + a health club membership does not = weight loss success. It’s just not that simple. While purchasing a health club membership is a step in the right direction, if you’ve been doing that same workout year in and year out with no results, it’s time to reassess.
Instead of having a general weight loss goal, try to make it more specific and attach a time factor. For instance, reducing a pant or dress size in one month or building 5 lbs. lean body mass and losing 5% body fat in three months are both goals that fit within the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines.
Once you’ve determined your goal, develop a realistic plan to help you achieve it. Realize that your plan may have to include health and fitness education, either through books or the services of a personal trainer. If you’ve set an athletic goal, you might employ the services of a sports specific coach or a nutritionist.
Using this method to set health, fitness, and athletic goals will allow you to measure your success or failure to achieve them. If you missed achieving your goal, refuse to give up. Instead you can reconfigure your plan and identify strategies that did and didn’t work for you, set a new time frame, and continue forward.
While it may seem trite, this simple concept combined with the appropriate health and fitness education is more effective than any of the popular supplements, workout ideas or gym tips you might find in popular magazines or fitness products.
This video from the ACSM discusses regular exercise can positively impact your health and quality of life and suggests some gym tips you can utilize when first learning how to get in shape or getting started at a health club.
Maintaining or improving flexibility is one of the most important gym tips to remember. Unfortunately, flexibility is often last on the list of priorities for individuals interested in health and fitness. Be assured, if you dedicate even a small portion of your day to flexibility, you’ll see an infinite return over time. This ACSM video introduces you to some flexibility basics to help you get started.
Using proper form and technique while strength training is another standout in the long list of gym tips and workout ideas. In this video, ACSM presents a basic strength training overview that will assist you in getting started. As you become familiar with these basic concepts, you’ll notice their effectiveness when applied correctly at the gym. If you have questions, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.
The next three videos from the American College of Sports Medicine offer a some excellent gym tips and simple explanations how to get in shape. The following focuses on the various aspects of aerobic exericse including type, duration, frequency, and intensity.