About 10 years ago I decided I wanted to write a book on fitness. I had a Degree in Sports Science, had been working in a Gym for 2 years and was a personal trainer. It was all part of my master plan. Unfortunately, I never managed to get it published and having recently found it again I thought it should finally get put into the public domain!
So, here it is.
My Personal Training Diary!
So you want to get fit?
Why and for what? Both questions may sound harsh now that you have built up the courage to join a gym or start exercise classes, but they both need answering if this is to be the start of a lifestyle change and not just another two week fad.
Why do you want to get fit?
What has specifically made you go out and buy this book? The hope that you can magically lose weight, get healthy and look great? Or the belief that you need to change the way you are now so that you can live a better and more enjoyable life? If the second answer is yours, you are already on the right path.
What do you want to exercise for?
Is there some specific thing that you want to do i.e. run a 10km race or do you just want to be fitter and healthier so that daily activities such as walking up stairs and playing with you children gets easier? Again having something specific in mind will help you, but we will come to that later.
What is fitness?
Ok, so you want to get fit, but what aspect of your fitness do you want to improve? Fitness can be broken down into several key elements:
Speed, Strength, Agility,Balance, Flexibility, Co-ordination, Power, Reaction Time and Cardiovascular Endurance
More than likely you will want to improve several of these components, which means your training needs to be varied. This is good as it will help keep your training challenging and will help keep you motivated.
What are the difference between and Olympic athlete and a recreational athlete? Lots I hear you reply! Ok, the Olympic athletes are highly trained individuals that have spent years developing their bodies into peak condition but their biggest difference is their motivation levels. While the recreational athlete is happy running to keep fit the Olympic athlete is highly motivated to become the best. This difference also exists between recreational athletes and sedentary people. The only thing stopping people getting out there and getting fit is the amount of motivation that they have, not their physical ability.
By buying this book you have already shown you have motivation to start exercise, all we need to do now is harness this and build upon it.
How? By setting goals.
What are goals?
Goals are things that you want to achieve. Whether it is to run the next London marathon, be able to play with your kids without getting out of breath or to be able to fit into that new bit of clothing.
Goals need to be:
Specific be specific to what you are trying to achieve
Measurable in some way you can measure them
Attainable although it may be hard they are achievable
Realistic realistically can you achieve them?
Time limited have a definite time frame
Enjoyable while you are trying to achieve them, have fun!
Recorded write them down
What is your ultimate goal? And remember the above.
When do you want to achieve this by? Again look at the above.
2: how long till then? _______ Months
So that is your end goal and now you have your fixed time frame to achieve it.
To keep you motivated we now need to break it down a bit, into mid term goals.
So (remembering your time frame) where do you have to be to achieve you goal after:
¼ of the time =
½ of the time =
¾ of the time =
And now we need the short-term goals. These can be done at the beginning of each week and will help you achieve your next mid term goal. Examples of short term goals include: start exercising 3 times a week, cut out sugar/salt in your diet, drink more water or start stretching everyday.
Why set goals?
How do you feel when you achieve something? You probably feel great, knowing that you have done something that you haven’t done before. And that is the whole idea behind setting goals. You are much more likely to keep doing something if you think that you are actually getting better at it. By setting short term goals you are giving yourself something to aim for in the near future. When you achieve it and move on to the next one you will feel great and highly motivated. In no time you will have achieved your first mid term goal and are well on your way to getting to your ultimate goal.
But happens if it all goes wrong? More than likely you have not set SMARTER goals, don’t worry. Go back and have a look and see where you have gone wrong, where the short term goals unrealistic? Are they not specific enough for your ultimate goal? Find out where you went wrong and correct it.
So you have your goals, what now? It is time to start thinking about exercising. How are you going to be training? In a gym or at home? With some basic equipment you can create an excellent home gym and have great workouts, see page **** for a basic list of equipment. Going to a gym will allow you to use more advanced equipment and it can also become a social event for you. Whatever way you chose to exercise there are something’s you must remember before you start exercising.
Pre exercise guidelines
- Eat at least two hours before exercising
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after the exercise.
- Wear suitable footwear and clothing
- Before starting a new exercise program it is advisable to consult you GP.
- Complete the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire below.
- If you feel unwell at any time before or during exercising stop immediately.
Health Questionnaire / PAR-Q
Please speed some time filling out this form, it will save you time in the long run!
Do you exercise at the moment?
If yes, what do you do and how regularly? If no, when was the last time you exercised on a regular basis?
What has motivated you to start exercising
Do you smoke? If so, how many a day. If not have you ever smoked? When did you quit?
Do you drink alcohol? How many units a week?
Is your job very stressful? Do you get stressed easily?
Have any of your immediate family suffered from a heart attack / angina / stoke / high blood pressure?
Are you ill or have any injuries at the moment?
Do you suffer from asthma?
Are you pregnant?
Do you have or have you ever had high blood pressure?
Are you on any medication?
Is there any other reasons why you should not start a regular exercise program?
If you have answered YES to any of the above you SHOULD seek medical advice before starting any exercise program.
If you answered no to all the questions above then you are ready to start exercising but just before we get to that.
And that’s the end of the first installment. I still believe it would make a good book but what with all of the free Apps on PT I doubt anyone would pay for a book. The next chapter is all about warming up!