5 Steps to Achieving Your Fitness Goals
As we near the end of 2021, it’s time to start thinking about your New Year resolutions for 2022. It might be career progression, financial goals or to pick up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try. It is also very likely with the work-from-home arrangements the past year, individuals who are finding it hard to squeeze into an old pair of jeans will be looking to get in shape the upcoming year. Now, if that sounds like you, then you have come to the right place! We will briefly cover the 5 key steps you have to take to achieve your fitness goals. Regardless whether it’s to gain muscle or lose weight, much of these steps remain the same.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Identify your fitness goals
The best way to start your journey is to establish a few SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for:
Specific – Set a specific goal that you wish to achieve. For example, my goal is to fit into an old pair of jeans.
Measurable – Quantify your goal. Going with the example above, I’ll set the goal at 5kg as that’s the weight I have gained during the past year.
Attainable – Be realistic. With a healthy diet and regular exercise, an individual can expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Don’t set a goal that’s so far-fetched as it’ll end up demoralising you when you realise how far it is away despite the progress you’ve made.
Relevant – Ensure that your goal(s) is related to fitness. For example, it can be to purchase healthier products while grocery shopping. It’s much easier to focus on one goal at one time rather than 5 different goals, all of which serve different purposes.
Timely – Set a time frame for yourself to achieve this goal. Remember to be realistic! For me to lose 5kg at about 1 to 2 pounds per week, it will take approximately 2 months to achieve this goal. I will give myself some breathing space and aim to achieve this goal within 3 months.
Step 2: Craft out a plan/exercise schedule
You might be tired of hearing this by now, but it’s true; if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Do some research and settle on a workout plan or schedule that works for you based on your experience level. It should not be so intense to the point that your body is not able to handle it, but it should still push you out of your comfort zone so there is progress in the right direction. There are plenty of home exercise videos available on YouTube.
A workout plan that’s beginner friendly is to exercise 3 days a week, leaving a rest day in between for your muscles to recover. Repeat this until you feel like you have reached a plateau. When your muscles do not feel sore after your workouts anymore, it’s time to either increase the intensity or frequency of your workouts. You can only improve yourself physically when you’re constantly pushing yourself past your limits.
Step 3: Count your calories/macros
The cold, hard truth behind weight loss is that you can never out-train a bad diet. This goes the same for people who are looking to build muscle – if you do not keep track of your macros and consume an adequate amount of protein daily, you will not see good results either. This is the most crucial step in achieving any of your fitness goals.
If you are looking to lose weight, you have to be on a caloric deficit. It doesn’t matter what you eat. If you consume more calories than you are burning every day, you will gain weight.
An average Singaporean male burns about 2,300 kcal a day. If you consume less than 2,300 kcal, you lose weight. If you consume more than 2,300 kcal, you gain weight. It’s that simple.
If you want to gain muscle mass, you have to meet your minimum protein requirement daily. As a rule of thumb, you want to be consuming 1.5x to 2x your body weight of protein (in grams, of course!). An individual who weights 80kg will want to consume anywhere from 120g to 160g of protein in a day to replenish torn muscle fibre and assist in strengthening & recovery. Ideally, you also want to be on a slight caloric surplus so you have the energy to push through your workouts.
Step 4: Increase your calorie output
If you’re a big foodie and don’t want to control your diet too much, you can also opt to lose weight through increasing your volume of exercise. I personally wouldn’t recommend this as it is much harder to burn 300 calories as compared to consuming it, but there are lifestyle changes that you can make to burn more calories throughout your day without engaging in actual exercise.
The most time-efficient way to burn calories is through HIIT, which is High Intensity Interval Training. You can also consider other forms of cardio such as jogging (500 calories/hr), swimming (550 calories/hr) or skipping rope (600 calories/hr), which all do the job pretty efficiently as well. Lastly, if you hate the feeling of being out of breath, walking is a great form of exercise as well, burning up to 400 calories an hour.
An honourable mention goes out to Active & Aspire, two of our EMS products that will be able to help increase your calorie output drastically while maintaining your daily routines or even doing less. Be sure to check them out!
Step 5: Sustainability
This last step isn’t really a step on its own, but a reminder that most people fail or give up halfway as they experience burn-out. They overdo it by either starving themselves too much or forcing themselves to do exercises they despise. Remember to always train for sustainability – if you find that you don’t like a particular diet or exercise, don’t do it. Find an alternative. It might slow down your progress, but it’s better than you quitting a week down the road because you can’t stand it anymore.
Bear in mind that your journey to fitness isn’t a race but a marathon. Pace yourself and you’ll be at the finish line before you know it.
At Alpha BodyTec, we cut through all the clutter and deliver only the best for our customers, be it through articles or our fitness tech products. If you would like to experience and adopt some of the latest industry-disrupting EMS fitness wearables, do take a look at our store. Enjoyed this article? Browse more of our fitness and health articles at our blog.