Often times, one of the biggest mood boosters can be working out alongside a trusted friend or family member. I remember the first time I completed a program with my younger brother. 90 Days of hustle, and the outcome was amazing! Both of us had different goals, and started from two completely different points in our health. He was about 125 LBS, thin, not much muscle mass at all. I was 250 LBS, high fat body percentage but muscular arms.
I remember starting the program and failing maybe 7 different times, and having to restart. I felt if I continued, I was cheating myself out of the program. After finally committing and going all in, I started to see changes. I admit, back then, I was one of those always weekly scale checkers, and constantly glance in the mirror and look for abs, people. Trust me when I say, that is one of the most detrimental things you can do when trying to better your health.
Instead, I advise clients to do a few things to ease their mind as they work hard at achieving their goals, and don't worry, I'll go into details in a moment:
Take Before/After Pictures (In same clothes for both)
Journal how you feel during workouts from Day 1 until program completion.
You don't have to grab measuring tape and go crazy measuring your body in every angle. What worked for me, was having a favorite shirt that I didn't fit in, and used that as my goal shirt. ( Works with pants and other clothing)
Journal your reps/sets/weights used.
Bi-Weekly test runs.
Let's talk before and after pictures. I know it's pretty self explanatory BUT, often times things still manage to get messed up here. To better access the progress in the B&A pictures, make sure you're standing in the same positions in both sets of picture, wearing the same clothing used in the first set. That way you can make a direct comparison to the progress made.
Journaling is a huge perk! Many people already jot down their weights used, reps, and sets they were able to complete, but forget to write down how they felt in the process. Did you struggle? Was it too easy to lift? Did you swap out weights at any point? These are just a few questions that should be able to be answered in your journaling. I know it seems like a lot of extra work, but that's why I don't just promote workouts. This is about understanding your goals, and finding ways to reach them effectively. So if you have to take an extra step to understand your body and what it's telling you, I urge you to do just that. It goes a LONG WAY during training, trust me!
Body measurements can be tedious and uncomfortable. I don't conduct them myself during my programs, but leave the option open to you as a preference. An easy way to log your measurements is by having clothing you usually don't fit in, or you would like to fit in, as motivation, and see where you are on that at the end of your program. Now this doesn't work on all accounts. There have been times where around my midsection the shirts would fit, but my bicep pump wouldn't allow sleeves to fit properly. But it can be used as a tool to track progress nonetheless. This also works with waist measurements on pants/shorts/legging sizes. Try it out, but don't base your whole
progression on it, as it can be slightly misleading if only focused solely on measurements.
Finally, the Bi-Weekly Test Runs! This became such a surprise to me when I was training. I honestly hated cardio (Typical I know, lol), and I set out to beat my previous 1Mile run time, every two weeks. I used one of my rest days to walk a mile, then run a mile, and to my surprise, within a few months, I shaved off minutes from my run. More impressively, the way I felt while running changed drastically. In the beginning, I put more emphasis on my lower legs, and would tire quickly. My breathing wasn't in sync with my movement, and I'd get gassed and out of breath quickly.
Toward the end of my program, I felt like a machine. I wasn't running, my legs were driving my body forward. My form improved and in doing so, my lower legs weren't tiring, my back didn't hurt, my breathing was in sync. I felt happy to run, something I thought I'd never say! Also, in the beginning, I wasn't able to complete 1 full ranged pullup. NOT ONE! But in the end, I was doing 12-15 straight!
At the end of the day, goals can be made and
accomplished on your own. But it can be so much more fun feeding off of someone else's energy!
Let your takeaway from this blog also be that sometimes we set goals, but we don't necessarily have to just reach them, We can exceed them!
Happy Lifting Everybody! Stay Safe!