By Joel Harper
Well, we’ve started of with fulfilling our goals for 2013. Right? We are 3 months into this year and it’s back to business with your workouts. First off, you need to take stock of your current mental state. Are you feeling a dip in your energy level after the third month? If so, don’t stress — it’s very common after lots of activity or maybe you haven’t started. Perhaps this might be the time to take a break from your training and recover, or it might mean to take your fitness to the next level. Which ever decision you make, that’s the right answer for you. If you desire to set the bar higher, try using these 5 tips for ramping up your next fitness challenge:
1. Start off with a clean slate: Here’s your chance to start brainstorming and think of all of all the fitness activities that stimulate you or interest you. The idea here is to get you thinking about a new goal to achieve and to get your passion going. Perhaps, you would like to increase your triathlon times, maybe get ready for a half marathon, or you want to take a mountain expedition and test your fitness skills out in the great outdoors. Whatever you decide, this is your chance to let your mind wander and be creative. Have fun with challenging yourself.
2. Begin doing research: Thank God for the Internet! Start getting busy and find out when the next race is or even what trip you can do to achieve your goals. Are there people you can connect with that can offer you some insight or are there any books you can read as well? Get plugged in and make your journey more interesting by asking experts. For example, I’m constantly reaching out to people and getting insight for new workouts or fitness challenges. Do the research and make up your mind that you’re going to do it today!
3. Plan your training schedule: Now that you’ve made up your mind and you’re going to commit, go ahead and map your training schedule out. What kind of time commitment does it require? Can you plan a trip or family vacation around an upcoming race or adventure trip? Whatever you decide, make it fun and interesting so you stick to the plan. For example, when I was training for a half marathon earlier this year, I planned my winter vacation in Costa Rica and spent most mornings running up hills and on the beach to incorporate my training into my vacation. I actually felt more refreshed and invigorated throughout my trip as I didn’t get too lazy and kept myself in balance. Get your training schedule in place and you can always tweak and adjust it as you go along, but stick to it.
4. Get a training partner or group: Here’s the chance for you to take your training to the next level. Grab a partner or join a group that is focused on a common goal. This will help motivate you and keep you sticking to your training schedule. I find it trickier to cancel on a workout date, as you have to answer to someone else besides yourself. Also, this is an opportunity for valuable information exchange on training/race tips, latest workout trends, and sharing the excitement of hitting your training goals. A well as, connecting with like minded healthy individuals. For example, this past Nautica South Beach Tri, I trained with a few friends in NYC, and we all shared the excitement of competing in the race. In fact, we all came in within 1 minute of each other, which shows how tightly we trained with one another.
5. Execute your fitness goals: Ok, so here’s where the rubber meets the road. Now you know where you want to go, so what’s stopping you? If you just competed in the in an event, you might want to ease yourself back into a training regimen. Depending how hard you trained and raced, I typically tell my clients to take 1-2 weeks off to recover with stretching and healthy eating. However, you can include a few easy, unstructured light workout days if you are up for it, but remember to always listen to your body. Once you’re recovered, start transitioning into your new training routine and get going with your new goal. This is your chance to make your fitness dreams happen.
I’m so moved when I see clients set goals and achieve them. I know first hand how easy it is to get side-tracked with life, but here’s your chance to have laser focus and really make it happen.
About the Author
For 18 years, celebrity personal trainer Joel Harper has been developing successful, customized personal training workouts based mainly on simple exercises that produce immediate results. Joel has recently been working as a spokesperson for Twinlab’s CleanSeries Sports Nutrition line. The line contains no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners and is both Certified Gluten Free by NSF® and Non-GMO tested by a third-party lab. Each batch is tested to be free of banned substances under the Informed Choice and Informed Sport programs. The line is also independently certified by the NSF® International product certification program to meet nutrient label claims.
Joel’s clients range from Dr. Oz to Olympic medalists to “moms and dads” just trying to improve their family’s health. Harper created all the personal workout chapters for the New York Times’ bestselling “You” book series and the accompanying workout DVDs with Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen, as well as the popular FIT PACK DVDs.