Are you looking to step into the new decade on the right foot? New Year, new me? Setting yourself clear fitness goals to follow is one of the best things you can do for both your body and mind. Strength training will not only help you with losing weight, burning calories and gaining more muscle mass but it can also boost your energy levels and overall mood, making you more productive outside the gym.
The thing is, putting yourself on the fitness journey and sticking to your new year’s resolutions might be challenging at the start. So how do you ensure you stay on track at times of difficulty and create a routine that’s in line with your current fitness levels? That’s what this article is all about. Check out our 3 useful tips to reach your fitness goals in 2020.
#1 Create a plan
In other words, what is your ultimate goal, what are you trying to achieve? Is it to build muscle and become stronger? Or do you want to lose weight and improve your overall mobility? How much time can you devote to exercise? To become successful in your fitness efforts, you need to be clear about your motivation and answer yourself these fundamental questions. This will help you to form a vision that actually supports your lifestyle, instead of aiming for something that’s completely intangible.
After that, you can be more specific and set realistic short-term goals such as visiting the gym 3 times a week while aiming to lose 2 to 3 pounds a month. At this stage, it’s important to hold yourself accountable and create positive habits.
Remember, it’s not about going all-in during the first two months and then gradually withdrawing from any activity when the results don’t immediately come. Instead, you want to build a basis for achieving long-term and sustainable success. For most people, this is going to be a healthy body and a visually appealing physique.
Pro tip: It’s hard to determine what your short-term goals should be when you are just starting out. Even for the more advanced gym-goers, creating a strong routine doesn’t come easy. Plateaus happen to everybody.
That’s what professional fitness programmes are for. Their aim is to improve your current physical condition by creating smart nutrition plans and including the exercises that are most suitable for reaching your goals.
This leads us to the second important point.
#2 Choose the right exercises
If you decide to work out on your own, doing the right mixture of exercises is crucial. My recommendation is to keep it simple and stick to a few most effective exercises. These are mostly going to be compound movements.
The main benefit of using compound movements is that they recruit multiple muscle groups at the same time while significantly improving your overall strength. Due to their complexity, they are also great for burning calories and elevating the heart rate. Furthermore, it’s been proven that exercises like deadlift have a positive effect on the production of testosterone in men.
What are the best compound movements you can include in your routine?
- Squats are great for working your legs, hips and core. They increase the flexibility of your body, improve your posture and contribute to the boost of growth hormone.
- The same benefits apply to deadlifts. They mainly hit your legs, back and arms. Check out this video to learn about the best technique for squats and deadlifts. In addition to deadlifts, you can also incorporate pull-ups and chin-ups for more variety.
- The bench press is a fantastic push exercise that works well for strengthening your arms and chest. I suggest adding some push-ups to not limit yourself just to the weights.
- Finally, despite the fact that all of these exercises also train abs, don’t make the mistake of neglecting your core. Consider doing a plank, hanging leg raises and crunches for improving the strength of your abs.
The main benefit of doing these exercises is that they work out your whole body. Therefore, they will be effective whether your goal is maximising muscle building or an active weight loss.
#3 Improve your diet
Eating a well-balanced diet can help you get the calories and nutrients that are absolutely crucial to reaching your fitness goals. That’s because nutrition is at least equally as important as regular exercise (if not more). There is currently a lot of nutritional advice on the internet which is why I will keep this point simple and stick to the basics.
- Don’t be afraid of the healthy, complex carbohydrates that can be found in brown rice, beans and green vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, peas or kale). These foods help to stabilise your blood sugar levels and keep you full for longer. Stay away from simple carbohydrates from soda drinks, desserts and processed foods.
- Add more protein into your daily meals and snacks (it’s essential for both building muscle & weight loss). Some of the best sources of protein are chicken breasts, fish, peanuts, soy and eggs. It’s also worth mentioning that increasing your protein intake in the morning is proven to have positive effects on appetite control throughout the day.
- Make room for healthy, unsaturated fats to keep cravings at bay and reduce hunger. They can be found in peanut butter, avocados, nuts or olive oil. Although fat sometimes gets a bad reputation, it is essential for a wholesome diet. We need it, just not too much and from plenty of different sources.
Bonus tip: Sign up for personal training
Creating an enjoyable workout routine and balancing it with eating healthy is no simple task. Additionally, you also want to have time for things outside the gym and work. A lot of people have the desire to get better but without proper guidance on training and nutrition, they never achieve their maximum potential.
In such cases, it’s worth consulting a personal trainer. There are many benefits – from establishing lifelong exercise habits to achieving great results in a reasonable amount of time. You don’t have to drag yourself to the gym 5 times a week to look good. With the right piece of advice and support, you can create the body that you want without endless months of struggling and enjoy the process of becoming a better version of yourself.
If your goal is to fulfil new year resolution of getting fit and you are serious about it, signing up yourself in a professional training programme might be a good solution. At Delta Fitness, we get our clients into great shape in record time through the combination of personal training and weight loss plans. Does this sound like something you want to do? Check out our results and book a free first consultation.