It is always great to have fitness goals.
A fitness goal is never the end of the story, though.
Losing 25 pounds can be a life changing accomplishment that someone can be proud of. Once that goal is reached, it is not time to go back into the old habits that gained the weight in the first place.
A new goal arises when one goal is reached.
Too often we are inundated with diets, cleanses, and short term workout programs.
These things are all great if they are the stepping stone to more, long term progress.
The part that often gets missed is what happens after the short term change.
I think cleanses are one of the worst things that someone can do if they are not prepared for a long commitment.
Doing a 9 day cleanse makes people feel good, get excited to be healthier, and even lose some weight.
I don’t care where the weight came from and neither do the people that lose it. It could be all water but that is irrelevant to the person who lost it.
The real issue starts when they cannot answer the following question: what’s next?
• Person: I just finished a cleanse and I lost ten pounds while feeling great!
• Me: That’s great, congratulations. So what’s next to maintain the progress
If you easily can lose 10 pounds from a cleanse, sorry but you can easily put the 10 back on.
Too often we look at fitness as if it is a short term, temporary fad we go through.
The truth is that it cannot be.
You may be able to train for specific events but once that even comes you cannot just cease to train.
It creates a cycle of non progress.
In order to make long term progress, we need to have long term goals in mind.
So I want to make a hypothetical deal with you.
I am going to present you with a program that will help you lose any amount of
weight or get as strong as you want in 8 weeks.
No matter what your goal is you will reach it in 8 weeks because it is that good.
There is only one catch though. 6 months after you reach your goal your progress will reverse and you will be back to worse than when you started.
This is the exact scenario that happens when people do not take the right steps to make progress.
A crash diet might seem like a good plan but if it does not teach how to make good choices and portion control, it is useless.
Take the diet away and weight comes right back.
The same goes for short term training.
When you start to train your body starts to adapt to the demands you provide. If you only decide that you want to train for 6 weeks and then do your own thing, removing the training will create a reversal of all progress.
I will give you an example of my long term training goals. Whenever someone asks my answer is to deadlift 300 pounds. That’s where I want to be.
My real goal of training is to protect my back by any means. I had a back issue in high school that discouraged me from playing hockey my senior year and it flared up again last year which made my job almost impossible to do.
I need to keep my back strong and safe.
Unfortunately this has no definite end date and only provides minimal feedback. If
I am not in pain then it is working.
When you are thinking about the training that you want to do make sure it is something that is going to be primed for the long term.
Deciding to become a marathon runner to lose weight may or may not work but is all of the impact from running while over weight worth it in the end?
Is lifting in bad form in order to lift more weight still going to be awesome when your shoulders hurt too much to bench press?
What does that TV exercise routine teach you about training for you to take away once the program is over?
Have a long term goal in mind. Short term fixes that are not sustainable need to be avoided.
These fads and trends may seem all well and good for the near future.
Will they help you prepare for long term progress?