Are you up for the challenge? It’s simple.
Be better than you are right now in one full year.
It’s important for you to commit to a whole year of change and progression. What should you be better at in one year? Everything. Your health, fitness, athletic performance, nutrition, and confidence should all improve. Look at the whole picture.
So how do you make this challenge actually work for you? You commit to a progressive, weight-based training program supported by proper nutrition and recovery. You can’t expect to see progress overnight. You need to accept responsibility for how you look and feel about yourself without blaming others or your situation.
In terms of training, pick a program and stick with it. You don’t actually need a strict “program” to be successful, but you do need a handful of exercises that will work together to make progress. Find what works for you and commit to it. If it’s been a month or two and you’re having issues, tweak your exercises to find what works for you, but don’t bounce back and forth on programs every other week.
Progressive overload is an important term for success in training. The idea is that eventually your body will adapt to the weight and reps that you start at, and therefore you need to adjust and increase your weights and reps as you progress.
In addition to training correctly, you need to eat correctly. It doesn’t need to be a “diet” or a fad. It means that you need to understand your macronutrients and fulfill them using clean foods like lean proteins, green vegetables, and complex carbs. Diet is key to making progress. If you train without nutrition, you won’t see the results you want.
Water and hydration are essential to nutrition. Your body needs water to properly absorb and digest the nutrients you’re eating. When you work out, your body needs more water. It can help reduce fatigue and decrease the risk of injury. Women need around 11 cups of water a day, while men need around 16. That said, you might find you need more depending on your training routine and environment.
Supplementation can help you reach your goals, but remember, supplements are there to support your nutrition, not replace it. If you’re new to supplements, stick to the basics. A good whey protein, multivitamin, and preworkout and/or creatine can go a long way. Adjust as needed for your specific dietary requirements.
The final piece of the puzzle is recovery. Your body needs time to rest and repair itself properly. You need 7-8 hours of sleep to feel properly rested. In the same way, mental stress and negativity can also affect your training regimen. You will hold onto all that stress in the form of tension which increases the risk of injury and failure. Plus, negativity can lead to excuses to stay out of the gym – which we all know leads to nowhere.