The first step in developing an individualized program should be to determine your fitness goals.
Decide what you want to accomplish:
- Lose weight?
- Improve muscle tone?
- Relieve stress?
- Compete in an athletic event?
- Improve overall health?
- Peak performance and optimum fitness?
Beginning with the desired end in mind will help you develop a more successful exercise program. Try to define your fitness goals in measurable terms over specific periods of time.
Goals might include:
- Decrease your waistline by two inches over the next 60 days.
- Fit into a particular size of clothing within the next six months.
- Run the local 5K race this summer.
- Get 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week.
- Improve your race time by two minutes over the 12 months.
- Move from walking a mile to jogging a mile within the next 90 days.
- Lift a certain amount of weight for a specified exercise in the next six weeks.
The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to track your progress. Short-term goals are easier to achieve and will allow you to see the progress you are making. If your goals are long-term, divide them into monthly and weekly segments. Long-term goals can lose some of the motivational benefits.
Now that you have set your goals , it is time to write them down and make an exercise schedule that will help you achieve them. By keeping a fitness diary, you will stay motivated and know where you are in terms of reaching your goals. As time goes on, you will be able to look back with pride to see how far you’ve come. Not recording your results can lead to not recognizing gradual increments and loss of motivation.
The three main variables in fitness training: These definitions essentially apply to any type of training you do, from weights to interval training or running and cycling.
- Intensity means how difficult it is to perform each repetition and set; that is, how heavy you lift. For cardio, it could mean how fast you run or walk.
- Volume is how much of any exercise or how many exercises you do in a session or over time.
- Frequency is how many sessions in a week, month or year that you complete at the intensity and volume you choose.
Future posts will discuss these variables and starting your journey toward making your goals become reality.