ALEX LARKINS PERSONAL TRAINING
- Your Journey
May - July 2017
In my past articles I have spoken about different areas of fitness and how they can affect your progression, but in this one I want to take you back to the beginning.
The very start of the journey and the questions that we must face and scenarios that we must overcome.
From the start
When I first began my training I didn’t have a clear path. I hadn’t thought about what exactly it was I was looking for.
So what did I do?
I just went in head first and didn’t ask questions.
The end result you ask?
Well, I may have improved my fitness levels to some extent but I didn’t have focus and had no regime to guide me.
I carried on in this way for about a month and then I stopped. I started to think, actually using my brain to try and come up with a solution.
The first thought that came into my head was ‘am I ready?’
‘Am I ready?’
Such a simple question but there is so much more to it.
I needed to think about four different platforms. Commitment, Diet, Lifestyle and Training.
I knew that if I wanted to achieve anything I had to make changes to my lifestyle. I knew that I would have to be stricter with my diet and I knew that I had to be committed to training on a daily basis.
How do you make so many changes to impact the training results?
I had to get S.M.A.R.T.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time
I decided to use this format to help me make the changes I needed.
I had to set a clear path so I didn’t detour. This would mean that I could remain clearly focused on the task at hand.
How do we become S.M.A.R.T?
You must first choose some goals; short, medium and long term and relate these to the platforms.
For each goal I would make sure that they were specific to me and how I live.
I used a method to help me to record my progression, making sure that each goal was achievable. It’s nice to think we can achieve anything, but we have to be realistic and make it relevant.
My main goal was to put on muscle mass. I wanted to gain an extra 10kg of muscle.
Obviously we all have different goals but we must decide what it is we are training for - the end result.
Short term goals
I first looked at short term goals to get started, between 1-6 weeks.
My short term goals were quite simple – Train 4 days a week and eat 500 calories more per day.
I was able to keep track of my progression using various apps on my phone and recording a log.
Achieving these goals on a weekly basis not only increased my morale, it gave me the motivation I needed to continue to improve.
What you have to remember is that each goal will be different for each person.
What I suggest is that you have a look at your current situation.
How many times do you exercise? What intensity do you exercise at? What is your nutrition like?
Once these factors have been analysed you’ll be able to generate your own to help guide you on your road into fitness training.
Medium term goals
Your medium term aim should be goals that can be achieved between 1-6 months.
For me this was to add a stone in weight and for my muscles to increase in size by 5cm.
These goals were measurable as I weighed and measured my current size before starting.
Long term goals
Depending on your overall goal, your long term could be used to track your progression for a duration of 1-2 years.
If your overall goal doesn’t require years then it can be done between 6 months-1 year.
Working towards your goals
Now that your goals are set, it’s time to get started.
If you choose nutritional goals I suggest that you’re not too aggressive. You must remember that your body has become accustomed to a certain way of living and if you just stop and change it you’ll find it difficult and risk a higher chance of failure.
Look at your nutrition, write down a food diary and see what sort of food/drink you are consuming. You will then be able to pick out the naughty habits that you concede to on a weekly basis.
For me, the main problem has always been chocolate, so addictive! Instead of just cutting it out, I reduced the amount that I was having. For example if you have 5 bars of chocolate a week I’d drop it down to 2 or 3, then keep decreasing during the weeks so your body adapts to it.
There is a general rule of thumb that is used ‘Everything in Moderation’.
As long as you’re exercising and have slightly changed your dietary habits you’ll see improvement.
From my experience, as I progressed through the weeks and months of my training, I was feeling stronger, lifting heavier weights and feeling much more confident in myself. I was well on my way to hitting the goals I had set at the beginning.
Once one goal is achieved you create a new one and continue that process.
I have now been training for over four years and I am continuing to change and hit new goals.
Unless you do this process yourself you won’t fully understand how making simple changes to your plan can keep you engaged in what you want to achieve.
Don’t give up
The toughest struggle that we will all face on our journey is not giving up.
There will obviously be times that you’ll find it hard, times you don’t feel like doing anything or even second guessing yourself, but don’t give in.
You have to remember you are not alone, there are others out there who are trying to accomplish their own goals.
Surround yourself with positive people, let them help you and help them in return. It doesn’t matter how far down the fitness journey you are, you can influence and motivate others, as I’m sure they will you.
If you want to learn more just contact me on the details below. I am always happy to help.
Alex provides personal training on a one-to-one basis, with a partner, and in groups. With a personal trainer you can do amazing things, not just for your body, but also for your mental being.
Hail Weston ‘Fun Fitness’