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A Blog Post

Getting Started. How to get a new you in the new year.

The whole “New Year – New You” thing may now be a bit of an industry cliche but cliches are generally only cliches because they happen to to true. The coming of a new year is as good a time as any to launch a renewed assault on whatever goals you have set yourself.

This is part one of a series of articles that are designed to help you get into shape.

Every year, driven on by yuletide excess, millions of people are propelled, like herds of lemmings, unwittingly into the welcoming arms of the thousands of gyms that stand ready to receive the Resolution Masses. Many of these gyms will take your money, show you the gym and leave you to get on with it.

None of us at Dave’s Gym have ever been like this. Honest.

I’d like to think that here, at Dave’s Gym, we’re offer something a bit different from the usual corporate gym experience. We think that it’s good business practise to spend some time with each and everyone of you little darlings and actually really help you get whatever it is that you want out of joining this fine gym.

This blog is a free resource that can help you to be better informed about the weired, contradictory, complicated and arcane world of fitness. If you have ever sat down in front of a computer and typed in “weight loss” or “how to get massive biceps” then you know that you get slammed by 22 billion search results that are either trying to sell you something or are offering somewhat questionable advice.

And why should you know how to sort the 10% of good advice from the 90% of horse-shit that is out there? After all when my car is broken I take it to a nice man in overalls in a garage that fixes it for me. I don’t ever need to know what a carburettor or a piston rod is as I trust that Mick the Mechanic does. So what I want you to do is put yourselves in our capable hands and trust that we know how to get you into the best shape that you have ever been in.

Step 1. Have a goal.

I stole this quote from T-Nation but it does sum up things quite nicely – “The biggest tragedy in life isn’t setting your goals too high and never reaching them, but rather setting them too low and achieving them.” To that end, goals should be a journey, like steppingstones or progressions, never simple destinations.

  • Your goals should be aspirational and achievable but upon achieving them should lead on to the next goal.
  • Be specific. Do you want to lose 5kgs? Then pick that. Do you want to get fit enough to compete in a 10km road race? Then say so. Your goals need to be clear and definable and, most importantly, measurable. Don’t chose something subjective like “I want to look better naked” because what does that actually mean? Better than what? Better then who?
  • Set short, medium and long term goals. This echoes back to the first point as the all the best plans are a sequence of stepping stones. For example let us say that your overall specific and measurable goal is to fit back into those size 10 jeans that have been mocking you for over 3 years now. Your short term goal should be to join a good gym and follow a training/diet plan for 6 weeks. The medium term goal should be to get fit and strong enough to be able to do the kind of training that will give you the results you need. This would mean sitting down with a trainer and putting together a harder and more challenging routine. Depending on how the fat loss is going you may also need to further scrutinise your diet. Finally the long term goal would be measuring how far you actually have to go and fine tuning your training and nutrition with a trainer to make the last few changes.
  • When you start to put the short, medium and long term goals together it’s best to work backwards. After all you can’t plan the journey if you don’t have a destination.

I’m a big believer in education through relentless self-experimentation so here are my goals for 2012.

  1. I’m doing a 57 mile hike around the Brecon Beacons in May so my long term goal is to be prepared for it.
  2. To manage the hike well it would be good to be down to 15 stone (210lbs or 95kg) and much fitter. So my medium term goal is to strip fat and get fit.
  3. Which makes my short term goal putting together, following and sticking to a sensible exercise and nutrition plan.

What are you going to do?

Happy New Year,
Dave Carter.

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