You probably already know that setting workout goals is important, but did you realize that there are both short-term and long-term fitness goals that you need to set?
While they are very different, each one is important in its own right, and both will go a long way toward helping you achieve the body, fitness level and overall health you desire.
Here is the difference between short-term and long-term fitness goals, and what role each plays in your workouts.
What Are Some Examples Of Short-Term Fitness Goals?
A short-term goal is one that is achievable in a shorter amount of time. Some examples of short-term goals could include, "workout three times a week," "eat less carbs," "or run one mile every day."
If you already work out three times a week, vow to exercise five times a week.
Other examples of short-term goals include things like adjusting your eating habits like cutting out soft drinks, or adding extra reps onto your sets (perhaps doing 12 dumbbell biceps curls instead of 10) or adding more weight onto each set (lifting 15 pound weights for each bicep curl rather than 10).
If you are a runner, you might decide to add five minutes to your run or an extra block. Swimmers might decide to add an extra lap.
These are considered short-term goals because they are more quickly attained. You can achieve these by the end of the day, the end of the week, or the end of the month. Long-term goals, on the other hand, often take more time, more perseverance and more willpower to achieve. They are equally important, however, and shouldn't be ignored if you want to achieve your ideal fit.
What Is A Long-Term Fitness Goal?
A long-term goal is one that that you set for yourself as an end goal, one that you wish to achieve with all your workouts.
For example, do you want to lose 20 pounds? 50? 100? Obviously, this is not a short-term goal, as it is not achievable in just a couple of weeks or months. It is, however, a strong long-term fitness goal.
Long-term goals include living healthier, lowering your BMI or your cholesterol — making lifestyle changes. Your long-term goal is something you will get to by completing all of your short-term goals. If you run a bit further every week, or add an extra workout session each week, you will obviously up your calorie burn and make it to your goals, over time.
Another realistic long-term goal is setting fitness goals such as 'running a 5K' or 'running a half marathon.' If you are interested in one of these it is extremely important to set up short-term goals (like running more each week) to get you to that end, long-term goal. As you can see, short-term and long-term fitness goals go hand-in-hand.
How Can I Meet My Fitness Goals?
Once you've decided on the best short-term and long-term fitness goals for you, the next step is to plan out how you can achieve them. Schedule workout sessions on your calendar for months in advance. Go through your cabinets and throw out junk food, then hit the stores for some fresh fruit and vegetables. Consider meeting with a trusted friend once a week to discuss your progress. Accountability partners are a great way to stay on-track.
Another way to reach your fitness goals is by getting a personal trainer. A personal trainer can help you reach your goals through motivation and custom workouts. If you are ready to get in shape or make a lifestyle change, meet with me today. I'd love to help plan and achieve your fitness goals. You can find out more about my personal training, HERE.
Sign up for my 10-Day Fit Camp and start achieving your short-term and long-term goals!
*This post was originally published in April 2014 but has been updated and republished for the sake of accuracy and freshness.
If it's January, the gym is probably packed. You'll be joined by those with New Year's resolutions to fulfill, as well as everyone energized by the prospect of a fresh start in terms of their health and fitness.
The trick is to be able to get in a great workout while you vie with others in a suddenly crowded gym. But by incorporating the following tips, you'll effectively deal with the crowds while working up a hard-earned sweat.
1. Have a Plan B
It's always a great idea to have your workout goals in mind before you head to the gym. You'll be more apt to stick with your plan, while also saving time by not having to wander around wondering what you're going to do next. But a packed gym can sometimes alter your routine, so have a backup plan in mind.
2. Up The Intensity
You don't need a lot of equipment, if any, to get in a great high-intensity interval training session. You can do this when machines and other equipment are filled. Plus, it's an ideal way to burn more calories in less time.
3. A World Beyond The Treadmill
Chances are, the treadmills are going to be the first machines to fill up. But the rowers and stair climbers will also be available for your cardio workout.
4. Avoid Peak Hours
Many gyms are most crowded right before and right after work. If possible, choose different times to do your workout.
5. Hire a Trainer
A professional trainer will make sure that you get the best workout possible with the equipment available. Working with a personal trainer such as Ralph Roberts can be exactly what you need as you pursue your health and fitness goals. Contact Ralph today.
Do you suffer from a lack of motivation during and right after the holidays? This is a common occurrence, so don't feel bad. If you want to avoid it, though, there are steps you can take to stay active and energetic throughout the holidays and beyond.
Why Am I Lacking Motivation?
The holidays are a busy, fun time with lots of gatherings, shopping and food. This can leave little time for working out. Eating right often goes out the window and the cold weather can make you just want to curl up on the couch at home.
Add that to all the holiday shopping and shorter days and you may just end up skipping the gym to sit on the couch scarfing down fudge and binge-watching your favorite holiday movies.
Over a period of weeks, you may notice your energy level drops. You may also have noticed a bit of weight gain, which is discouraging more than motivating. You know you should hit the gym and get back to eating better, but you just don't feel like it. You are officially in a holiday rut.
Food Should Be Nutritious
The faster you can nip this in the bud, the better. You don't need to wait for the new year to get back on track. The first thing is to get back to good self-care. This means getting enough rest, drinking plenty of water and cutting back on sweets. Replace those with high-protein snacks and veggies.
Reboot Your Workout
Next, get moving. If it has been a few weeks, you may need to start out with a modified workout. If you are feeling particularly sluggish and tired, start out by either taking a brisk walk or hitting the treadmill.
Sometimes, you need to up your excitement level by trying something new. It could be you were getting bored with your old routine in the first place. This is a great time to go to your gym and find a fun class or learn some new exercises. Adding some novelty to your workout can increase your motivation.
Need some help jump-starting your fitness goals? Download my free 2 Weeks At Home Workout Guide, HERE.
Going to the gym is an excellent way to get in shape, meet like-minded people and stay motivated. Unfortunately, many gym-goers make mistakes while working out that prohibit them from getting the results they desire.
Here are five common mistakes to avoid if you want to get the most out of your time at the gym.
1. Performing The Same Workouts At The Same Intensity
Repeating the same exercises at the same intensity for the same number of reps creates a plateau effect in your body. You’ll see results to begin with, but after a while, your muscles will become accustomed to the moves and won’t change any further.
To truly get fit, you need to stress your body to recover and grow, then repeat that process. Switch up your workouts, add weight to your favorite technique, or strive for more reps each session.
2. Training Too Hard
While pushing yourself is a good thing, going to the point of muscle exhaustion is too far. Muscles grow when stimulated, not when crushed.
Exercising this hard puts excessive stress on your muscles and nervous system—making it more difficult for your body to recover and easier for it to sustain injuries.
Instead of maxing out your muscles every time you train, add a little more intensity each session to gradually increase the stress on your body.
3. Overextending Your Spine
Maintaining a neutral spine is crucial when working out, especially if you’re lifting heavy weights. Overarching causes back pain and leaves you more susceptible to injury.
To combat this, keep your core and glutes tight to stabilize your lower back.
4. Stopping Short Of The Full Range Of Motion
Failing to complete a move with each and every rep is harmful to your joints. There’s a reason fitness pros have designed exercises certain ways.
Be sure to watch your technique and complete the range of motion for each move. This improves your results and strengthens your joints.
5. Not Paying Attention To Safety
When exercising with a barbell and weight plates, it’s vital to utilize the safety features that go with the equipment.
Weight collars and clips keep weight plates in place while you work out, and safety bars offer a solution in case you need to drop the bar. Each of these items is designed to prevent equipment-related injuries and should always be used.
Want firm, muscular arms? Take my 30-Day Toned Arm Challenge.
If you're putting the time, effort, and sweat into your workout routine but not seeing results, it may be time for a change.
Why Isn't Your Workout Working?
For one, if you’ve used the same workout for a long period of time, you may be a "non-responder." In other words, your body is no longer responding to your workout, and whatever benefits you used to get from your workout have come to a halt.
The Importance Of Working Out Smarter
Studies clearly show that some people respond differently to various types of exercise than others. Research conducted at Queen's University in London showed the non-response rate among people doing similar exercises was about 30 percent.
While the study didn't measure other potential benefits of a long-term workout routine like lowered blood pressure and healthier cholesterol, the lack of other results (such as weight loss) may push someone to abandon their fitness program.
The Importance Of Change
The frustration level can become sky high when you're working out but not seeing results. And you can try and push past your plateau by continuing to do the same thing, but your body isn't likely to respond favorably.
The important thing is to tell yourself that you're not the problem but that the solution to your plateau is probably changing your routine.
What To Do
Experts suggest that it's important to change your activity if you haven't seen any results in two weeks — whether you're a beginning exerciser or experienced athlete.
Furthermore, results can vary from person to person: while one person is interested in improving their endurance, another person is interested in weight loss or muscle gains. You should tailor your workout around the results you want to see.
Working with a personal trainer who will monitor your results and develop custom workouts that best suit your needs is another important strategy when your workout routine is no longer effective.
Change Is Good
You can even change your activity mix every two to three weeks just to keep your training fresh and to increase your performance. For example, you might do a spinning class for a few weeks and then switch to a weightlifting program, or skip the treadmill in favor of kickboxing.
The important thing to remember is that change is good in terms of keeping you on your fitness track. When your body gets used to what it's doing, it stops working as hard.
Ready to amp-up your workout? Get my free 2-week workout plan to get in shape by summer, all from the comfort of your home.
There are going to be times when you can't make it to the gym for your regular workout. It could be a lack of time, a family commitment, and dozens of other reasons.
But not going to the gym doesn't mean you have to skip your workout altogether, especially if you have essential workout gear in your home.
Here's a look at 8 pieces of fitness equipment that will allow you to stay on track when you can't hit the gym.
Dumbbells are a classic component of any gym. Having a set of dumbbells in your home will allow you to work different parts of your body.
In fact, some would argue that dumbbells are the most useful type of home workout equipment. Better yet, they're easy to store.
2. Yoga mat
If yoga is part of your fitness routine, then investing in a quality yoga mat for your home is a must. While the best yoga mats don't come cheap, they'll last a lifetime.
3. Resistance bands
Resistance bands offer many ways to challenge your muscles while allowing you to increase the intensity as you progress. They're also compact and easy to store away.
4. Doorway chin-up and pull-up bar
Chin-ups and pull-ups are a great way to tone and strengthen your upper body. A quality chin-up bar that fits securely into a doorway should be part of your home gym equipment.
5. Foam roller
A foam roller is the perfect tool for cooling down after a workout. It enables you to massage almost every part of your body and is also great for stretching. Moreover, it can give you a great ab and core workout.
6. Exercise mat
Yoga mats often aren't thick enough to provide the type of cushion you need for cardio workouts, Pilates, or circuit training.
A quality exercise mat will make floor workouts more comfortable and reduce the stress on your muscles and joints. They also roll up for easy storage.
7. Jump rope
There's so much that you can do with a simple jump rope, from warming up for weightlifting exercises, to adding bursts of cardio in your circuit training, to burning calories in a short period of time.
It's another piece of home exercise equipment that doesn't take up much space and is easy to store.
8. Cold-hot pack
Injuries can happen and it's wise to have a cold-hot ice compress on hand just in case. It can be used as cold for pain and swelling, or hot for muscle aches and stiffness.
Looking for an awesome at-home workout so you can put this gear to use? Download our FREE 2 Weeks of At-Home Workouts!
No matter how dedicated you are to your fitness goals, the holidays can make you wander off track. Unfortunately, it’s often more difficult to find your way back than it was to begin your fitness routine in the first place.
Getting Back to Your Routine
Even if the holidays have thrown you off your game, it’s never too late to pick it back up. Each day offers a fresh start. Here are some tips to help you get motivated.
1. Hold yourself accountable.
Nothing’s more sobering than tracking what you eat. Every tiny piece of candy, each “taste” of something decadent.
Keeping a log of what you eat and how much you exercise daily gives you an accurate idea of where your problem is. To make tracking easier, check out apps like Lose It! and MyFitnessPal.
2. Get organized.
Mornings are hectic. You’re less likely to stay on track if you have to scramble around putting your gym bag together or scrounging for something healthy to eat.
To combat this, prepare nightly for the following day. Get your exercise clothes or gym bag ready, plan your meals (and prep them if at all possible). Make it easy on yourself.
3. Toss the junk.
You can’t be tempted if there’s nothing tempting in your home. Have a weakness for sweets? Then throw them out and avoid buying them again.
Bonus tip: Don’t grocery shop hungry! Doing so causes you to grab everything in sight. Instead, eat a snack before you go, make a list, and then stick to that list. Download my free Healthy Grocery List below!
4. Avoid nighttime binging.
You’ve done great all day, but now it’s 10 p.m. and you’re starving. Not a good thing. Try eating all your bigger meals earlier in the day so you’re not famished right before bed.
Also, set a time when your kitchen is “closed” each evening. Clear the dishes, turn the lights off, and don’t go back in there.
5. Find a friend.
Working out with a buddy helps keep you motivated. If someone’s waiting for you at a specific time, you’re less likely to skip the sweat session. When this doesn’t work, consider hiring a personal trainer.
You can even participate in online personal training programs and exercise from the comfort of your own home.
6. Set specific goals.
Setting realistic — but firm — goals keeps you going. It’s much easier to exercise when you know what you’re working toward. Plan something special, like a beach trip or a marathon, to get ready for.
For more tips on how to get back on track after the holidays, contact Ralph Roberts Training today.
The current fitness boom in the U.S. is riding a wave unlike any other and finding a workout that fits your needs is easier than ever. And no one expects that trend to slow in the New Year.
As this year nears its end, it's time to take a look at some of the fitness trends expected to be on the rise in 2017.
If you're a fan of working out in the great outdoors, then 2017 promises to be a good year as more options become available.
Outdoor gyms that include equipment like pull-up bars and exercise bikes have been on the rise, as have outdoor fitness classes. Meanwhile, outdoor events such as Tough Mudder have had high participation numbers in 2016 and will continue to be popular in the New Year.
Back To Basics
While you'll still be able to find plenty of fitness classes that seem to offer several workout styles at once, 2017 will see a return to classes that focus on the fundamentals. Functional fitness that improves your overall movement will be on the upswing, as will team-oriented conditioning workouts. Also on the rise are TRX classes, which use one piece of equipment and provide both strength and cardio training.
You'll have no trouble spotting someone who is wearing some type of fit tech gadgetry - whether it's a smart watch, heart rate monitor or Fitbit - when you take a look around your gym. There's no reason that fitness technology won't continue to grow in 2017.
Dance and aerobics style classes are expected to experience growth in 2017 while inspiring feelings of nostalgia for the days of leotards and leg warmers. But you'll see a fresh take on step aerobics and straight-up dance classes that will teach you to move like your favorite starlets while providing an awesome workout. And don't forget Zumba, which will continue to be popular in the coming year.
More Age-Specific Workouts
As baby boomers retire, they'll have more time to focus on fitness and will be looking for fitness classes and workouts that best fit their stage of life. Look for an increase in age-specific workouts that will help people stay fit and healthy as they age. This will include functional fitness that improves strength and balance, while also keeping joints flexible.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts will help you stick to your fitness and health goals in the New Year. Sign up for the Train For Results Program and achieve your fitness goals all year!
Daylight Saving Time has officially ended. With it getting darker earlier, your motivation to workout may begin to dwindle.
It’s difficult to get going when you have few, if any, daylight hours to exercise. With that in mind, we compiled a list of helpful tips to keep you moving all year.
Keeping Your Motivation High Year-Round
Working out regularly takes dedication, perseverance and time. This is never truer than during the colder months of the year when there’s little daylight in your free time.
Here are five ways to stay motivated.
1. Make It A Family Activity
Just because it’s dark out doesn’t mean your family can’t get in some fitness time together. If the street you live on is well-lit, then bundle up and go for an evening walk. If that’s not a safe option, consider playing a game of tag in your own yard using flashlights for fun.
2. Have An Accountability Partner
It’s much easier to stay dedicated when there’s someone counting on you. Consider meeting a friend a few mornings each week at a well-lit track for a jog. Or maybe video chat while doing an indoor workout together.
3. Bring It Inside
If it’s simply too cold or too dark to exercise outside, find ways to stay active indoors. This is easy if you own gym equipment. But if not, join a gym or invest in some exercise programs that can be done any time of year no matter the weather.
4. Take A Lunch Break
Why not use your lunch hour at work to fit in exercise? Instead of simply eating at your desk through your break or going out to lunch with coworkers, spend half your lunch break walking or jogging around your office building. This gives you the chance to take in some fresh air and sunshine when you otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity.
5. Choose Active Alternatives
A simple way to stay fit during the winter months is to make minor adjustments to your everyday routine. For example, take the steps at work instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the store when you go shopping. Take stretching breaks at least every hour at work to avoid sitting for prolonged periods.
Making small changes like these may not seem like a big deal, but it drastically impacts your health.
Work With A Personal Trainer
One of the most effective methods for getting (and staying) in shape any time of year is to work with a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts is a certified trainer who offers individual, group, and sports training as well as customized workout plans. Contact Ralph Roberts Training today to get a free training session!
Unless you work out for a living, you likely have a limited number of hours to devote to working out each week.
Regardless of the amount of time you devote to exercise, it's tough to figure out how to split your time to maximize results.
For most people, working out three to five days a week is ideal if your goal is to improve your fitness and stay in shape.
If you're used to a very active lifestyle and work out six days a week, you can stick to six days. Otherwise, you don't need to push past five.
For a five-day workout, plan on three days for strength training, two days for cardio training, and then two days of active rest.
Strength train up to three times per week, with each session lasting between 45 and 60 minutes. Allow time for foam rolling and a five-minute warm-up as well. Warm-up exercises allow you to work on coordination with patterns (i.e. crawling) and non-linear movements.
Don't stress about going too hard on the machines; dumbbells, kettlebells and bodyweight moves (i.e. squats) are also great strength training workouts.
Cardio train up to two times per week for a total of 150 minutes of moderate to intense activity per week. Cardio helps you maintain endurance and keeps your circulatory system working at its full capacity. The type of training you're doing will dictate how you split up that time. Your heart rate and the length of the exercise determine whether or not an activity is cardio.
Active Rest Days
An active rest day means not hitting the machines at the gym or taking a long run but still doing something to get yourself moving, such as walking or restorative yoga. Aim for two active rest days per week with a 30-60 minute activity per rest day. Some people like to take off the whole weekend while other people prefer to break up the weekly routine.
Ralph Roberts Training helps clients determine the best number of days to work out per week and advises specific routines for each day at the gym. Contact Ralph Roberts today to get a comprehensive workout in line with your fitness and overall health goals.
Don't have time to hit the gym? Get your workout in at home by downloading Ralph Roberts Training's FREE eBook, 2 Weeks of At-Home Workouts!
Like Ralph on FACEBOOK
Get daily motivational quotes and quick workouts to help you reach your goals.