7 Steps to Higher Fitness
Whether you are a couch potato who had a wake-up call or have been
working out for years and wondering when you're going to start having
results you can be proud of, this article is for you.
These seven steps
will help anyone who wants to move his or her body to the next level. Look
better, feel better, be better.
- Make a candid assessment of where you are. Measure your body fat. Don't worry about your weight--this is a fairly useless metric. But take notes on how you feel--are you tired, do you get winded? Or are you energetic? Key principle: Motivation.
- Make three goals. One to accomplish within 10 days, one to accomplish within 10 weeks, and one to accomplish within 10 months. For example: Devise new eating plan, reduce bodyfat by 50%, and 20 consecutive pullups in good form. Key principle: Planning.
- Assess your diet. Supplecity is loaded with free dietary information--make use of it. A great body is made in the kitchen, not just in the gym. How big are your meals? Are they nutritionally sound? How often do you eat? Are you planning your meals, or letting them plan you? Key principle: Nutritional foundation.
- Assess your training methods. If you've been doing the same old routine, how can you expect improved results? Most people learn the "3 workouts a week" circuit training method. This method is effective for people who are in really bad shape. But if you haven't graduated from it after a short time, you are cheating yourself. Key principle: Proper training methods.
- Learn what intensity is and what it feels like. This is the key. If you don't master this, your progress stops here. Key principle: Effective training.
- Get "real" exercise. Weight training is very productive. But relying on it, alone, to boost your fitness is a huge mistake. You need to exercise your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones in ways you can't accomplish with weight training. Play sports such as volleyball or basketball. Play with kids or dogs. Go on a run or hilly hike. Get out and do things. If you fail to do this, you will limit both your mind and your body. Instead of being able to push to the next level, you'll adapt to a fitness rut. Key principle: Diversity.
- Get your rest. This is the part where most people just fail. It's not a badge of honor that you missed sleep. When you are sleep-deprived, you are less efficient in your work. But also, your workouts suffer. Not only can you not get adequate intensity, you fail to get adequate recovery. If you don't sleep enough, your workouts are wasted. If you're a workaholic who "burns the midnight oil" working 18 hours a day, try this. Go to bed one hour earlier each night, rising at your usual time. You will find that you actually accomplish more the next day. Most people make up for that hour twice over. You work faster, make fewer mistakes, and can more properly prioritize your time. Your memory is sharper, too--in fact, the list of benefits is enormous.
Be sure to review your program periodically. See if you need to adjust for any of these 7 steps.