Avoid The 5 Reasons Fitness Plans FailFrom
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
On January 1 you were ready to take the world by
storm! OK, so it was more like you were psyched to start the exercise program
to end all exercise programs.
You scraped together the cash for a year
membership at the local gym. You even bought top-of-the-line workout clothes.
Heck, you even made
it there a couple of times. But your motivation waned that very first week and
it was all downhill from there. Fitness became an afterthought... something you
pushed out of your head just as fast as it had sneaked in.
Seven weeks have passed and as you drive by the
gym on your way to dinner at Dairy Queen youre now overcome with guilt
and a feeling of failure.
Just how did things go awry? Why didnt you
succeed in your fitness endeavors? And are you really going to wait until
January 1 to get motivated again?
Well, you dont have to because we've
enlisted fitness pro Michael Stefano to get your rear in gear. Stefano, author
of the best-selling "The Firefighter's Workout Book: The 30 Minute a Day
Train-For-Life Program for Men and Women" (HarperCollins), isnt just one of
Americas bravest -- hes also one of Americas fittest. The personal trainer --
and fire captain with the New York City Fire Department -- has documented the
moments that make or break fitness goals.
The most common pitfall: too much, too fast.
"There are those people who get off to a running
start with their fitness program," he tells efitness. "They are all pumped up
with no place to go and they quickly find themselves stumbling."
Stefano says an effective fitness program is like
a successful weight loss plan: slow and steady wins the race.
The body makes incredible gains from a
small amount of exercise as it gets used to it," he says. "Unfortunately,
overzealous beginners start out doing too much and a month later theyre
completely sick of exercising and quit. You need to spread enthusiasm out over
a period of time.
In January, everybody is psyched up and by
the end of the month, they are sore and havent seen any results because
they have been over-training. They quit and thats the end of it.
Stefano says there are five main reasons most
fitness programs fail. See if you can relate to...
Reason #1: Failure To Identify Goals!
You cant expect to go anywhere fast if you dont know where youre going. There
are simple solutions to this problem. Sit down with a pen and paper and list
goals before you begin training. This will help you avoid spending hours at the
gym doing the wrong exercises. Identify goals that point in the right direction
instead of wasting time.
Reason #2: Lack Of Proper Instruction!
Weve all seen that gym rat wandering from station to station, month after
month, looking as if he hasnt made any progress. You dont want to be that
guy... or girl. Educate yourself. Use pre-tested exercise programs. Read a book
or two. Get into some magazines. Learn something about working out so you dont
go aimlessly from machine to machine and exercise to exercise.
Reason #3: Failure To Start Slowly!
There are those people who are overzealous at the start, but later their
motivation diminishes. You need to spread your enthusiasm out so you start
gradually. Rely on small pushes instead of big steps. Walk before you run. Then
mix in a minute or two of jogging each time you walk. Gradually increase your
jogging little by little. Before you know it, youll be jogging a half hour at a
time. Tiny pushes are the way to avoid starting out too fast.
Reason #4: Lack Of Time To Devote To
This is a hard one to overcome. Its really the failure to
prioritize your workout above everything else. You need to take a closer look
at how much time you really need. Yes, exercising four to five times a week for
30 minutes will get you big results, but you will also see some results by
investing less time than that. Save the excuses for your boss, but be honest
with yourself. Put together a set of basic equipment (dumbbells, bench, body
weights) to eliminate the travel time of going to a gym. You dont need a lot of
equipment to workout at home.
Reason #5: Poor Eating Habits!
dont expect your car to respond to the wrong fuel, so how can you expect your
body to respond to the wrong food? You should be following a meal plan with a
strong nutritional balance. Failure to eat right when training intensely can
result in the loss of muscle. The solution is following a healthy plan, like
efitness. You should be reading labels and avoiding extreme diets. Stay in the
middle of the road.
And with Stefanos latest two-fold workout
regimen, youll have just the guidance you need to get on the road to
physical fitness... and stay there.
Workout 1 (Monday, Thursday): This activity
needs to be repeated on a consistent basis (from 2 to 4 times weekly), and
sustained for at least 15 to 20 minutes each time. By combining your aerobic
exercise -- whether it be jogging, walking or riding a stationary bike -- with
your ab routine, you can extend the length of time you actually spend in the
target heart rate zone and consequently burn more fat in the process.
Go through your usual aerobic workout for 15
minutes, then immediately perform two sets of each of the following exercises,
resting 30 seconds between each set, thereby extending the time spent in the
target heart rate zone.
Lie on your back on a mat
or padded carpet with the lower back pressed into the floor. Put your hands
behind your head (but don't pull on the head). Bring your knees up to about a
45-degree angle and slowly go through the bicycle pedal motion. Touch your
right elbow to your left knee and then left elbow to right knee. Continue to
breathe naturally. Alternate opposite elbow to opposite knee in a slow and
controlled manner. Do a set of 20. Rest 30 seconds. Do another set of 20. Rest
30 seconds. Move on to the crunch.
Lie on your back on a mat or
padded carpet with your knees partially bent, feet flat on the floor, arms
folded across your chest (as shown). Exhale as you press the lower back into
the floor and raise your head, shoulders and chest off the floor, concentrating
on bringing the ribs towards the hips. Pause briefly as you feel your abs
tighten. Inhale as you slowly curl back down, trying not to let your head touch
the floor, maintaining tension in the abdominals. Do a set of 20. Rest 30
seconds. Do another set of 20. Rest 30 seconds.
Workout 2 (Tuesday, Friday): This workout will
not only tone, and build muscle, but will indirectly burn more fat due to
increased lean muscle mass. It should take about 10 minutes. Perform two sets
of the following exercises. Work to muscle fatigue on each set and rest
approximately one minute, or until your heart and breathing rate return to
normal, or near normal before repeating. It's a good idea to warm up before
(five minute walk or stationary bike), as well as cool down, and stretch out
after every workout.
Stand with your
feet shoulder-width apart holding your hands (or dumbbells) at your sides. Head
is straight, natural arch maintained in your back. Inhale, swing the arms
slightly forward for balance, bending at the knees and hips to a sitting
position, thighs parallel to the floor. Your buttock doesnt drop below the
level of your knees and knees do not extend beyond toes. Exhale, slowly rising
to a standing position with knees and hips straight, allow hands to drop back
to your sides. Repeat 20 times. Rest one minute. Repeat 20 times. Rest one
minute and move on to push-up.
Lie face down on
the floor or mat, hands on the floor, palms down, slightly wider than shoulder
width apart, and toes curled under on the floor. Your back and legs are
straight. Exhale as you slowly push your body away from the floor. Inhale,
lowering yourself back down to the point where your chest barely touches or
comes within a few inches of the floor. Repeat 20 times. Rest one minute.
Repeat 20 times.