Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Monday, March 13, 2017

Fitness resultions slipping away? Here’s how to be back on track

It’s March, and your New Year’s fitness resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. Is it a lost cause? 

Absolutely not, says Jack Silberman, owner of Vive for Women on Manufacturers Road. “It’s never over until you quit and won’t get back up,” he says. “It’s never too late.”

Small steps are great, says Silberman, but the goal itself needs to be large. “If your goal is not big enough, then you’re going to start and stop and fail and do it all over again. But if your goal is big enough, then these little bumps in the road and obstacles – you’re going to overcome them.”

Write down the goal, he advises, and don’t be afraid to share it with others. This helps you clarify your vision and makes it tougher for you to drop out. Then, he says, “You have to take action.” 

Here, five local fitness experts answer the question:

What should you do if you’ve blown your New Year’s resolution about getting in shape?

Robbie Leffew, manager, Orangetheory Fitness:

“January is the month with the most new joins at gyms and also the most cancellations. It’s hard for someone to wake up one day and be 100 percent committed to working out every day. Most people have already given up on their resolutions because they don’t see results quickly. Results come with time. Just like with a job, you don’t get hired somewhere and a week later become the CEO. It takes time and effort to get there.

“Another big thing that someone new to the fitness world desperately needs is an accountability partner. This needs to be someone you can count on every day. Whether it’s a personal trainer or someone just starting to work out with you, you need to have someone there that you don’t want to let down. Write down your goals together. Once you write down what you want, it then becomes a goal; until then it’s only a dream.

“The third thing is starting at a reasonable pace. Try going two or three days a week for the first month and slowly work yourself up to making it part of your everyday routine. Think about a car. It doesn’t go straight from 0 mph to 100 mph instantly. It accelerates over time until it hits its maximum effort and output.

“Lastly, and one of the biggest things, is not knowing what to do. Everyone has seen that guy with a 50-pound dumbbell doing curls while running backwards on a treadmill. There are things people do in the gym that they think would work, but, in reality, they are just going to get hurt.”

Tonya Martin, owner, B.U.S.Y. Body Fitness:

“I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. A lot of people start the new year with a list of things they want to do. They think they didn’t have a win if they don’t accomplish everything on that list. But in the process of trying to do better, they did have some wins.

“Instead of getting down on yourself about the things that you didn’t do, start recognizing and celebrating the things that you did get right, and then start rebuilding all those things. Especially as women, we get so caught up in what we’re not doing that we’re missing all the positive things that we are doing.

“Think about the area of your life that you want to change and just start with a goal that is an arm’s reach above your head. A lot of times we start with too much. Don’t try to change too many things at once. Focus on one thing.

“When my clients come in, the first thing that I ask them is, ‘How much water are they drinking and how are they sleeping?’ It’s gonna be almost impossible to make a lot of changes if you are already tired. And, we also know that with dehydration, we lose energy. So, starting with something as simple as drinking water and getting rest, they’re gonna start seeing a difference in their lives. And then once they accomplish those seemingly ‘easy to do’ and ‘easy to not do’ things, then they can start looking at focusing in on the more complicated things.”

Phil Grubb, owner, 9Round Kickboxing:

“Sometimes we fall ‘off the line’ with our fitness. What we have to do is get back on line. When it comes to fitness, the main thing is you really have to want to do it. You have to make a decision to live a healthy lifestyle. With New Year’s, people make plans to get fit, but they don’t make the decision to. Plans change; decisions don’t.  It has to be a lifestyle, not something you dread doing.

“First, find a fitness program that you like. There are dozens of different fitness programs out there. If you enjoy doing something, you will do it longer. Usually people stop working out when they get bored with what they are doing. Make it fun. Make it last.

“Second, find a workout buddy – someone that will hold you accountable, and that you will also hold accountable, not someone that will slack off with you, but a real fitness pal. Change your boring workouts into a fun fitness outing with a friend. 

“Next, it’s not about having time to work out; it’s about making time to work out. We all have excuses as to why we can’t work out today. But you don’t leave the house without getting dressed because you are running late, right?  No, you make time to get dressed. Same with your fitness.

“And last, but not least, it’s not about how much time you spend in the gym. It’s about how much intensity. Too many people waste way too much time in the gym, and they eventually get tired of being there.”

Jennifer Dixon, owner, Yoga East:

“First of all, you haven’t blown anything! Life happens and is stressful enough, so don’t add to your stress by feeling guilty. You are not behind. You start right where you are, right when you can. The hardest part of any change of habit is starting.

“Secondly, once you’ve gotten to the [yoga] studio, be open. Be open to what it may feel like to do something you’ve never done before. Be open to the emotions that may arise as you hold another Warrior II pose for what feels like the millionth time and your thigh is screaming!

“Be open to breathing through the emotions and sensations. See what happens when you just are, when you are just open to being on your mat, in the studio, opening up and strengthening your body in ways you maybe never have in the past.

“Thirdly, keep practicing. My answer, when asked how often to practice is, ‘as often as possible with as little pressure as possible.’ If you miss a day, don’t feel guilty. Be thankful for the day you’ve had and get back on the mat the next day. Just keep practicing. Yoga is a practice. You’ll never master yoga; what you will do is grow. You’ll grow stronger, calmer, better. Each time you practice, you will gain something—strength, flexibility, relaxation—so by all means, keep practicing.”

Kevin Harvey, owner, Scenic City Boot Camp:

“Step 1: Take action. All too often, we work backwards. We set goals; we set resolutions. You don’t have to have all the answers before you start. But you have to start. Sign up for a race, a fitness program, or a six-week challenge – something that has some sort of deadline or timeline attached to it.

“Step 2: Start small. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you. Set realistic expectations. Focus on process goals like ‘I will work out five days per week’ or ‘I will meal-prep every Sunday.’ Pay attention to how good you feel, how loose your shirt starts fitting. Focusing on one habit at a time until you’ve mastered that habit is the best method of success.

“Step 3: Hire a coach. Athletes do it. Celebrities do it. Why not you? Too often, we hear stories of how someone joined a gym with their girlfriend, but their girlfriend lost her motivation and as a result, the friend lost her accountability partner. Professional accountability won’t disappear when motivation wanes. That’s when it’s at its strongest.

“Step 4: Tell your goals to friends/family/co-workers who will support you. Then they can help you stay on track, even when you want to give up. They’ll check in on you, see how you’re progressing and lift you up when things get tough. If you don’t have the right support group in your life, go find one. Join a gym, CrossFit box, or group training facility. Become a part of a community where people are all wanting and working toward the same goals you are. It’s a game changer.  

“Step 5: Stay consistent. The people that show up every day, even if their workout isn’t perfect, or their nutrition isn’t always on point, are the ones who achieve the greatest results, because consistency always wins.

“Create healthy rituals and habits—things that you do every single day like clockwork. When you repeat them over and over again, you’ll soon find that they become automatic, almost effortless. It becomes a part of who you are.”