I am asked by people year-round how they can start or improve their workout routines, how to lose
weight and how to get fit and healthier. It’s in the months of December and January that these questions
seem to come more frequently, by more people (gym members, personal training clients, family and
friends, and yes, even strangers. And typically their questions/statements either include my “New
Year’s resolution,”, “This year I will,” and “fitness.”
My typical initial response, which has a twofold purpose, is, “Exactly what do you want to change?”
It’s designed to help the person define what they really want as their ultimate goal and for me, it’s
designed to gain an understanding of what fitness means to them. Answers range across the board from
losing weight; improving strength, fitness and flexibility; being able to run more; having lower blood pressure; wanting to look good on vacation; having the ability to touch their toes; and more.
Back to the Basics. No matter what the ultimate goal is for people, I inform them that setting realistic goals and incorporating the “basics” into their lives are the keys to successfully reaching their fitness goals:
Make time to achieve your goal. There’s only 24 hours in a day, which isn’t a
lot of time when you have to fit in working out into your already overloaded routine (sleeping, eating, working, kids, family, social life, etc.). In addition to making time, you really need to choose a time that will work with your lifestyle and habits. If you’ve
never gotten up early in your life and eaten breakfast, don’t set your workout time to first thing in
Progression/Goal Setting: If your goal is to lose 100 lbs., you’re not going to reach your goal
without losing the first 2 lbs. This means you really need to set short-term goals to meet your
long- term goal. On a side note, as it pertains to working out, don’t try to work out for an hour the
first time you work out when you haven’t worked out in 15 years. Overtraining (resulting in
injuries) is one of the leading causes for people quitting a workout program or gym.
Diet: The biggest basic piece to all of this is diet. You can’t make up for bad eating habits no
matter how much time you spend in the gym. It’s just as important, to not let one or two
bad eating days thwart your efforts of reaching your goal.
At the Heart of Success are Commitment and Persistence: You didn’t get to where you are over
night and so it will be a journey to get to where you want to be. The journey will be filled with up and
downs just keep at it and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get back in the gym and ask for guidance from
the staff or their personal trainers – many gyms offer a complimentary personal training session. Just
be committed and keep at it. Overall consistency and your well-thought-out plan will get you there.
Walter Medeiros has been a personal trainer since 2001 and he incorporates a wealth of sport and fitness
experience derived from his time as a track athlete, collegiate football player and coach, bodybuilder and an
officer and fitness trainer in the Army. Walter was a perennial recipient of the Army Presidential Fitness
Badge. Philosophy: “Giving my clients not only the motivation, but also the knowledge to get fit and stay fit.”