This article was published on October 11th, 2016
Dazzle the world with washboard abs. Tighten up that tummy and beef up those biceps. Sorry to disappoint, but the bodies you drool over at circuit parties, clubs, Pride events, and at the beach are not made overnight. It takes months of hard work, strict diets, and serious training. Now is the perfect time to get started on a routine that is going to give you a body to rival the gods for next summer. Here are our top tips on how to kick-start your fall fitness:
Set fitness challenges to keep your workout motivated and goal orientated
Push yourself and set yourself new challenges. Get a goal to run a half or full marathon, complete a triathlon, or do to a across-country cycling race. Sit down, make a list of all the fitness challenges you’ve wanted to do, no matter how wild and seemingly unobtainable, and go through them to pick one. Think big and don’t limit yourself thinking it’s a daunting task, because it is within reach if you really dedicate yourself and put your mind to it. Make this your ultimate goal and then break it down. If you want to run a marathon, be realistic about how long it will to train; if you can run a 10K, then you can train for a full marathon in 17 weeks. Instead of thinking about the marathon just focus on reaching each of the smaller milestones. It’ll keep you motivated, help you track your progress and give you awesome motivation. Alternatively, you could join a group, which will keep you accountable throughout your training.
Get a trainer to help freshen up your winter gym routine
Gotten into a workout rut? Get a trainer for just one or two sessions to help you to freshen up your gym routine. Get them to help you figure out where you want to be and how is best to get there. Learn some new exercises, maximise your workout efficiency and you will be on your way in no time. You could also join a bootcamp or cross fit class to train with a group and get more motivation and accountability.
Pick up a winter sport
Skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, ice skating, or whatever gets you excited and moving. Take advantage of the cold weather that keeps you inside for half the year and put it to good use. Pick up a winter sport to help get you on your way to that summer body in no time.
Eat healthy, hearty winter foods
Root vegetables, stews, soups, chillies; heavy densely packed nutritional hearty foods are a great way to warm yourself from the inside out, while packing your body with all the nutrients and energy you need to properly fuel your body.
Get into the habit of properly fuelling your workouts
Make sure your body is being correctly and efficiently fuelled, including drinking 25g of protein within 20 minutes of completing each working, taking supplements, and eating clean. Try to get lots of sleep. Avoid sugar, alcohol, recreational drugs, deep fried and fast foods, which will all take away from your gains.
Celebrate every win and refuse to give into your inner bully
Most importantly, never beat yourself up for slipping up. You will skip workouts, you will over eat or eat badly, you will not be 100% motivated all the time but just keep looking forward, acknowledge your weaknesses and focus on the end goal. Stick to an 80/20 rule; 80 per cent of the time you are sticking to your training schedule and diet, and 20 per cent of the time you may be off-course, but at least making conscious decisions.
The single most important thing to do is too celebrate every single win, every milestone and PB achieved, every pound lost (or gained!), and every goal reached. Reward yourself for doing amazing things and you’ll be on your way in no time.