This Personal Trainer Fitness Tips section was created to serve as a valuable source of information and motivation for anyone who wants to start getting physically fit and build a spectacular new body.
Getting Your Head in the Game
In preparation for starting your new fitness and nutrition program on your own or with a personal trainer you’ll need to stay motivated, focused, and keep your goals in sight. Your thoughts will determine your success or failure. Let’s make sure you succeed!
Handle the thoughts that pop into your mind…after all it is your mind. Think on purpose, not by default. If you simply allow thoughts to come to you your mind will continue to deliver the same thoughts over and over again. Instead, take a stand, remind yourself not only that you can do it but you are doing it.
Never focus on or give your attention to past failures you may have had in dealing with your own health and fitness. We’ve all fallen short in some areas of our lives and those experiences can serve as great lessons for the future. Think of what areas you’ve done well in and also make yourself aware of where you’ve fallen short. Treat this process as a sort of “self study” where you’re gathering information about yourself. This is the best way to make better decisions in the future.
If you have had success in the past I suggest you use that accomplishment as a reminder that you absolutely can accomplish your goals because you’ve done it before. Think back to the way you felt when you looked in the mirror when you were in the best shape of your life. Always remember that age has very little to do with your body’s ability to burn fat and build muscle. Studies have shown that a persons beliefs and thoughts about their ability to become more physically fit can have a great impact on their body’s ability to respond well to exercise.
When you start to believe that you can improve your physical condition that belief will undoubtedly manifest itself into a knowing and from a knowing comes endless possibilities. Some people use positive affirmations to begin to reshape their concept of their own body. Others simply cancel negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
Example: “I’ll never be able to look and feel the way I want to”
Making it positive: I’ll be able to look and feel the way I want to if I stick to the plan”
In the beginning this may seem like a difficult task and it won’t happen over night but rest assured you can do it. As you become increasingly more aware of your thoughts you’ll be able to weed out the bad ones and reinforce the good ones. We all have the capability to do this, we were born with it.
Key to keeping your thoughts positive:
When thinking about your new body remove these three words from your thoughts and verbal speech – NO, NOT, DON’T
Instead of saying or thinking “I will eat no junk food”
Say or think “I will eat healthy food and enjoy it”
Instead of saying or thinking “I’m not at my ideal weight”
Say or think “I’m working towards my ideal weight”
Instead of saying or thinking “I don’t want to be out of shape”
Say or think “I am getting into great shape”
Our thoughts play such a huge role in our success with a fitness routine or lifestyle change.
Getting to Know Your Body
How well do you know your body? Forming a solid relationship with your body will change the way you look at physical fitness. When most people think of exercise they think of pain and hard work. That’s exactly why most people don’t exercise – no secret there!
When you begin to listen to your body and do more of what feels good and less of what doesn’t you’ll begin to actually look forward to working out and eating right.
Remember the old saying “No pain, no gain”
Well, forget it. That’s right, forget about the concept that getting into good physical condition requires hours of hard work and painful exercises. The Level 9 concept is about finding your perfect intensity level and never surpassing that point. As you get to know your body you’ll find that point and actually look forward to getting there. The best part is that you can find it in whatever location your body and mind are most comfortable. For some people it’s in a park or on the beach, for others it’s in a health club. And for others it just depends on their mood or the type of day they’re having. If you work in a stuffy office all day you probably won’t have a quality workout in a stuffy gym. If, on the other hand, if you’re on the road all day with no human contact a health club might be your ideal workout spot. The most important thing to remember is to pick a place that allows you to feel at ease and listen to your body.
After years of working in health clubs I’ve heard it all. One common question that I hear personal trainers ask their clients is:
“Does that hurt?”
My approach has always been slightly different. You might hear me say something more along the lines of:
“Can you feel that working?”
This way I’m finding out if a certain exercise or series of movements is effective for that specific client. Plus, my clients unknowingly learn to listen to their bodies and focus on effectiveness when I ask them how an exercise feels.
Knowing It’s Up To You
This is your life and your decision to change your fitness and nutrition habits. Now, in the beginning stages of this journey, is the time to remove all potential pitfalls to your success. By taking full responsibility for making these changes you will simply bypass the option to give up.
Chances are you might have a few excuses lingering around in the back of your mind that are ready to be put into action at a moments notice. It is up to you to remove those thoughts or replace them with reasons you can’t quit your program.
Make a list of all of the reasons you are making this positive change in your life.
Then make a list of potential factors that could prevent you from sticking with the plan.
Your fist list is probably much bigger than the second. Your second list is probably shorter and less convincing. Now, at the top of list two in all capital letters write
EXCUSES I REFUSE TO USE
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way you’re ready to move forward.
Being Clear With Yourself
Would you drive around at night without turning on your headlights? Probably not. Having a clear idea of what you will accomplish is the only way to know when you’ve gotten there.
As a personal trainer I’m constantly asking questions to help my clients become more clear about what they actually want to accomplish. This way we know when we’ve made significant accomplishments. Often times during a fitness evaluation a new client will say
“I want to get into better shape”
Alright, I’ll say, define better shape. They’ll respond with something like
“I want to look better”
I have to dig deeper until they eventually tell me the motivating factors and specific reasons they’ve come to me for personal training.
You need to dig deeper too. Think long and hard about what you want to get out of these changes and why. The WHY is just as important, if not more important, than the WHAT.
Results & Reasons List
Make a list of all of the results you want to see in the next 90 days. Be as clear and detailed as you can.
Then put a reason next to every result. Some reasons may be the same for multiple results, this is common and it confirms your motivating factors.
Once you’ve written your Results & Reasons list you can add to it at any time throughout the next 90 days. Read your list at least twice per day, in the morning when you wake up and in the evening just before you go to bed.
As you look at your list try to picture yourself after you’ve met your goals and imagine how amazing you’ll look and feel. Positive visualization is the key to putting your mind on the right track to accomplish the results you’re working towards.
Developing a timeline will help you stay on target. While setting your timeline you’ll start by looking at your Results & Reasons list and break your 90 day program into three sections. This way you’re only taking things one month at a time. Each of the three phases will include a specific set of goals and expectations.
For assistance designing the 3 phases of your fitness program email:
Breaking your goals into phases helps you to look at your fitness plan in smaller, short term goals. You should never feel overwhelmed with a fitness plan.
Your Mission Statement
Write a mission statement to affirm your goals and the reasons behind them. You can think of your mission statement as a contract with yourself. You’re entering into a commitment with someone you can’t let down.
Your mission statement doesn’t have to be a ten page essay and it shouldn’t be hard to write. After all, you’re just writing down your reasons for entering into a fitness routine and what you plan to accomplish in the next 90 days.
Sample mission statement:
I, Janet, am starting a new fitness routine in order to become more healthy and feel better. In the next 90 days I will lose unwanted body fat, gain muscle and become more toned. I will eat sensibly and exercise three times per week. I will lose 12 to 15 pounds, while taking this process one day at a time. I will fit into my little black dress that I haven’t been able to fit into for the last five years. I know that I will succeed. Nothing will prevent me from reaching my goals by 11/10/08.
Making Exercise a Habit
In order to fully commit to starting your new exercise routine you’ll need to turn exercise into a habit. You’ll need to avoid saying things like “I’ll work out if I have time” or “If the weather is nice I’ll go for a jog later”
Those statements leave room for cancellation, guilt free cancellation. Most of the time, when we add an if into a plan it means we’re more than 50% sure we won’t follow through. We use the if as an easy out and to let ourselves off the hook.
Instead of leaving room to cancel or making open ended workout plans stay firm and make definite plans to exercise at least three times per week for 30 minutes to one hour. Plan your workouts in advance and make sure any obstacles that could interfere with your plans have been removed ahead of time. In some cases you may need to be flexible and make minor changes but you can always keep your promise to yourself.
In the beginning of a new routine it is helpful for some people to always exercise at the exact same time of day. This helps to remove the possibility of losing motivation and skipping a workout. Scheduling an appointment with yourself is a great way to make sure you won’t forget to exercise.
Include anyone who shares your excitement about starting a new fitness routine. It is very important that they are as motivated as you are. Working out, eating right and staying on track almost always works better in pairs or groups. Having support from friends, relatives and co-workers can have a powerful effect on your mindset about your program.
If someone wants to join you and their attitude is negative about exercise steer clear. This type of person can cause set-backs in progress and create self doubt about your abilities to succeed.
Surround yourself with positive supporters.
Teach Fitness to Others
By teaching other people what you’ve learned you’ll have an even higher sense of purpose about your fitness routine. As you learn a new exercise try to think of someone you know who might like to learn that specific exercise. Before you know it you’ll have people asking you if you have anything new to teach them.
Teaching a skill or activity to others will increase your confidence with exercise, as well as help improve your individual skills. By involving others in your program you’ll take great pride in knowing that you’ll be able to help people become more fit and healthy, just like you!
Good Luck and Best Wishes!