HOW TO SET YOUR GOALS AND ACHIEVE THEM
One of the main reasons people give up on their fitness goals is because they don’t set the right ones. Bodybuilding is a gradual and arduous process that takes a lot of patience and people tend to make the mistake of expecting to see amazing results in a short span of time.
We need to remember that we’re not all built the same way and it’s important to come to terms with our differences. If you’ve been short and skinny all your life, expecting to grow as big as a door might be unrealistic. Same goes for a husky fellow trying to get stick thin. It’s not impossible but unrealistic, and probably difficult to do without either pushing yourself over the edge or going into crash diets. We’re all up for giving it your all, but we’re also in support of attaining goals.
Most people join gyms on an impulse after seeing the numbers on the scale or the scrawny figure looking back them from a mirror. Then it’s either running countless hours on the treadmill or lifting gargantuan weight (with incorrect form) until 4 months later you don’t see the desired result and quit going to the gym altogether.
It’s not that high set goals can’t be achieved. There are many glorified cases of colossal weight loss and just as many scrawny to brawny stories, but that requires you to take your fitness regime, discipline and determination to a whole new level. For the average Nepali man who has responsibilities and duties to fulfill, it cannot always be possible to dedicate a significant portion of his life to change his body too drastically.
However, if you are setting attainable goals it is more likely that you will see the desired results coming in gradually and you’re more likely to stick to what you’re doing. However, thinking about what you want to do isn’t going to cut it. If you’re setting goals the right way, chances of you attaining them is higher. Here’s how you go about it.
1) START NOW
Not from the first day of the coming year, not from the 1st day of the next month, not from Sunday… get started NOW!
2) DEFINE WHAT YOU WANT
Define what you want to achieve, whether it’s losing weight or building muscle.
3) GOALS MUST BE M.A.T.
MEASURABLE: Ensure that there is a method of measuring your progress, whether it’s you weight, body fat percentage, waist size or number of stairs you can climb. Keep a journal and track your improvements.
ATTAINABLE: Set goals that are achievable. If you’re 40 and have a beer belly, getting six pack abs and bench pressing 90kgs might not be the most attainable goal for you.
Set a specific time within which to reach your goals.
4) ACKNOWLEDGE THE HURDLES
Answer these questions:
* What are your weaknesses?
* Why have you not already achieved the goal you seek?
* What are the personal, professional and circumstantial barriers that have gotten in the way?
*How can your time management be more effective? Your goals in fitness will come true only if you work on addressing these issues first.
5) MAKE SACRIFICES: To achieve something you must make sacrifices. It could be your favorite foods, your spare time or anything else.
6) MAKE YOUR GOALS PUBLIC
This will make things all the more real. The doubters will fill you with negative energy (“You’ll never look like that.”) Once you identify them, try your best to avoid them, at least until you have your new body and can rub it in their faces.
BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO ACHIEVING YOUR FITNESS GOALS
SHED WEIGHT FAST
If you’re planning to drop weight faster than an anchor, the mantra is to increase cardio, rep ranges and follow a strict diet plan.
There are few people who wouldn’t want broad shoulders, a sculpted back, muscular chest and massive arms. Some people do skip out on the lower body but we’d really prefer it if you didn’t.
WHO’S IT FOR? We take it that you have a little (or a lot of) fat around your mid section and are plagued with a slightly effeminate bosom. If that’s the case, this one is for you.
For beginners, cardio is the cornerstone to any good weight-loss plan—especially intervals, where you alternate going as fast as possible with brief periods of recovery. The trick is to try and get totally winded in 30 seconds. If you’re on a treadmill, start sprinting as the machine speeds up. When it reaches top speed, go all out for 30 seconds. Then slow it down and go nice and easy for 90 seconds to recover. If you’re running outside, try to cover about 200 feet as fast as possible.
Walk slowly for 90 seconds to cool down, and then repeat your course.
TREADMILL TIP: Keep yourself straight while on the machine. It keeps the intensity on your muscles at all times.
DIET AND NUTRITION: To lose weight, you need to cut calories. To lose weight fast, you need to cut more calories. For every 3,500 calories you cut, you lose 1 pound. (So minus 500 calories a day equals a loss of one pound a week). But don’t cut down your calories to lower than 1200 per day. Cut down on your carbs and load up on the protein to reach your calorie limits for maximum efficiency.
You can resort to some fat cutting supplements but we don’t really advise that. You can however, splurge on some multivitamins and omega 3 (fish oil) pills.
WHO’S IT FOR?
To make things easy, we suggest you focus on one goal at a time. So if you’re packing on a lot of fat, we suggest you focus on losing a bit of fat first and redirecting your attention on to muscle building after that. Now if your color bone sticks out like a coat hanger, it’s time you start packing on the muscle. The first essential rule in building muscle is consistency. The more consistent you are, and the longer you are consistent, the faster you will build muscle. The second rule is to push your muscles to the limit. If you do not fatigue your muscles, they will not grow. It’s as simple as that. You actually have to damage your muscles so that they can accumulate mass by repairing themselves. If you overload your muscles properly and give them time to recover, you will undoubtedly see changes in weight, size and strength.
If you want to get on the fast track to building muscle, it’s about frequency and intensity. Split routine training, in which you work out only a few sections of your body at once, allows you to work out more days of the week while providing ample recovery time for the muscles you aren’t working out.
For example, many people like to workout their lower body, back and biceps two days a week (Monday and Thursday) and their chest, triceps and shoulders two days a week (Tuesday and Friday). This way they still get three full days of rest but can workout back-toback days. This kind of training will build muscle the fastest; at least, as opposed to random weight lifting.
Recovery is as important as anything else; you need to give your body the time and resources to actually build new muscle. This means getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep and keeping stress and anxiety to a minimum, both of which inhibit the growth of muscle. So just relax, sleep, and let your body do the rest.
DIET AND NUTRITION:
Diet plays a huge role in weight gain. You need to increase your caloric intake if you want to gain even a single gram of muscle mass. A general rule of thumb is to add 500 calories to your daily intake, preferably in the form of foods high in protein (chicken, eggs, whole grains, etc.). You should also concentrate on eating healthy foods as well; fruits and vegetables and, ideally, a daily vitamin or nutrient.
For supplementation, you can use protein and the occasional preworkouts after consulting with you general physician or supplement experts.
INCREASE STRENGTH AND SIZE
Incresing size and strength is when you take your fitness to the next level. Gaining serious muscle mass is serious business and it isn’t for the faint of heart.
WHO’S THIS FOR?
Increasing size and strength considerably is not for amateurs. You will need a fair bit of experience with working out to achieve this goal.
Getting big isn’t for everyone. It is a serious commitment you make to which you dedicate yourself completely. We’re not talking about just looking good in a tight shirt. We’re talking about massive muscles and incredible strength. Achieving this is not going to be easy.
There are two things that have to happen for you to build muscle: first, you need to train hard and heavy; and second, you need to eat your face off. Stick to mix of compound exercises and isolation exercises. But you either go big, or you go home.
If your goal is to get strong like a powerlifter, you want to rest 3, 5, and even as long as 10 minutes between sets so you have time for full recovery of the nervous system. However, if your goal is to get huge, you need to shorten those rest periods considerably and get after it!
Make sure that you take adequate rests (8 hours of sleep a day) and don’t push yourself to the point of injury. It is easy to get carried away and lift too heavy. Always remember to keep good form to avoid injuries. Always listen to your trainer. Don’t have a trainer? Might be a good idea to get one.
DIET AND NUTRITION:
Don’t think that you are going to gain quality size eating 3 square meals per day. The only type of mass you will put on eating this way will be the fat type, and this is not our objective. Eating 5-6 times per day will also keep your blood sugar levels stabilized and your metabolism elevated. Eating several times per day instead of 3 square meals that most are used to, will provide your body with a constant supply of nutrients that you need to recover from your hard workouts. This will cause you to increase your lean tissue, while reducing your body fat percentage. Our goal here is to put on lean muscle mass, not take our body fat level to new heights.
Drink plenty of water and load up on proteins, lots of it. You can also feast on carbs with moderate liberation.
Supplementation is important. Amino acids are the building blocks that you will need to gain lean muscle tissue and to ensure that going up a weight class will be muscle, not fat. Protein helps in the recovery of your muscles from the intense training you perform as a powerlifter.
WORDS: TNM TEAM