A lot of people have new years resolutions that revolve around how to get in shape. Usually it’s because they get out of breath walking up the stairs or have a little extra padding on their behind. The motivation is there to do something. But the plan on how to do it is often the most difficult thing for people to come up with. Why? Because they make it too difficult to follow, give themselves a reason to fail and then quit. The solution? Make the plan as simple as possible so you can’t fail.
You have to make the steps you take on how to get in shape so simple that even a caveman could do it (sorry Geico!). Make it so failure is not an option. That way you’ll guarantee your success and achieve your goal. So what should you do? Let’s break it down into three easy steps.
Step #1: Define what you mean by get in shape. Getting in shape means different things to different people. For some it may mean running a marathon in under 4 hours or it may mean losing that beer gut that they have had since college. Still others may want to gain 20 pounds of muscle or be able to do every Crossfit workout as prescribed. Whatever it is, just choose something and make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal:
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Attainable
- R = Relavant
- T = Timely
Doing this will make it clear to you and everyone else what you are after. Once you do know, you can formulate your plan.
Step #2: Change what and how you eat. I truly believe that the biggest contributor to body re-composition is what you stuff down your pie hole. If the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) has left you dreadfully unhealthy and given you an unflattering figure, GIVE IT UP! Eat Stop Eat is a great way to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle. Try The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet or The Primal Blueprint along with The Primal Blueprint Cookbook or The New Evolution Diet. All of these books will give you a framework to help you change how and what you eat so that you can reach optimal health and well being. I know that it works as I lost over 30 pounds when I changed my eating habits.
Don’t neglect this part! Too many people just concentrate on exercise and ignore what they eat. You won’t be able to out exercise terrible food choices no matter how much time you put in. So once you have your S.M.A.R.T. goal(s) and your eating plan down, it’s time to pick an exercise program.
Step #3: Pick an exercise program that is universal (can be done anywhere), scalable (you can increase/decrease the difficulty and intensity) and enjoyable. Depending on how you defined how to get in shape your exercise program will take on a different look. A focus on fat loss will look different than one that focuses on muscle building. But the principles will be the same for both.
Let’s say you are already in pretty good shape and want to start building your beach body for this summer then a program like Visual Impact would be perfect to follow. What if you want to get those 6 pack abs? Try The Truth About Abs. How about you just want to be able to play with your kids without running out of breath? Start walking for at least 15 minutes a day.
The key to how to get in shape is to keep it simple. Don’t make things overly complicated. Don’t try and over think everything. Don’t give up so easily. Be positive and stick with it. If you hit a roadblock, take a day off and regroup. If you stick with it you can succeed but you have to know where you are going first. So follow these three easy steps and then get after it. Good luck and let me know how it is working for you.