One cannot swing a deceased feline in the fitness-related blogosphere without hitting a few dozen posts about “New Years Resolutioners”, aka the 2nd most well-known seasonal flood after the Nile. (OK, the construction of the Aswan High Dam largely took care of that phenomenon – just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention). I don’t really have a dog in this fight since gym newbies typically do not gravitate to power racks or barbells. If anything, it’s nice to see some new faces in the gym and I wish them well. Also, it’s not quite the deluge that some would have you believe. I’ve seen an uptick of new faces the last few weeks but mostly a lot of gym rats I haven’t seen in months have mysteriously reappeared. Do gym rats migrate, following cheaply priced protein powder sources the same way blue whales follow krill blooms? Where is David Attenborough when you really need him?
The reason people pick on the “new year, new me” crowd is that you need real motivation to train hard or stick to radical lifestyle and/or dietary changes. A vague idea that you need to “get into shape” ain’t going to cut it. So inevitably a big percentage of people will eventually give up. The funny thing is, motivation is easier than ever to come by these days. Google or youtube people who share the same goals as you – after a few hours of watching videos from the thought leaders of your particular area of interest, you will learn about the basics you need to master to attain your goal. If you really want get stronger, more jacked, lose weight, whatever, you’ll pick up a number of specific goals before even entering a gym. If you’ve done your homework, you might even search out a specialized gym that would allow you to meet those goals. “Getting jacked” is an idea – it’s the goals you set as you work towards that idea that are powerful. It’s not “hard work” if you’re motivated.
Personally, I’ve never done a New Years resolution. This is probably because today, my birthday, comes soon after New Years and that is usually the day I reserve to declare my nebulous well-intentioned self-improvement ideas. Call them wishes, because in my book once you’ve done your research and put a plan in action, you’re doing, not “wishing”. If resolutions are “wishful thinking” or percolating ideas for which you have not yet formed a plan, I resolve the following:
- I will create 2 meaningful, well crafted blog posts per week.
- I will get back into “active dating”. Or at least come out of a self-imposed “social hibernation”. Maybe I’ll start with micro-goals to drum up the motivation.
- Read more – I used to read at least 2 books a week and this has slowed to a crawl in the last 2 years. Reading is a book, a real book, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Books are a lifeline, sometimes the only one, that can get you through difficult times. Really good books, the classics, are like squats for your intellect. If you’ve read the likes of Melville or Homer and have squatted some heavy-ass weight, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
2018 plans that are already in execution:
- Compete in 3 powerlifting competitions this year. The first one (in a few months) may have to be bench only due to my injuries.
- Recover from injuries and actively incorporate more mobility work.
- Do a long-term, gradual cut (see above re: finding motivation. There is a lot to learn before implementing a plan like this). I am back down to my November competition weight already. I can easily get down to 90 to 92 kgs without impacting my strength. I’ll still be in the same weight category, but such is life. Might nudge into the high 80s – but dropping any more weight would impact strength.
- Implement external business plan by end of Q3. (More on this as we approach the implementation date).
Anyway, if you happen to be one of those people who is getting back in the gym in January, kudos. If you already have your micro-goals mapped out then you’re 50 percent of the way towards your goal. The physical effort is the easy part. If you haven’t mapped out your goals, take a few hours to do the research. Above all, if you are going to a “Globo” gym, don’t let a trainer set your goals for you. If you want to learn to squat, for example, and he’s insists on the Bosu ball and TRX, find another trainer. You’ll save time, money and frustration. You might just adopt a lifelong “habit” or interest.
That’s it, I’ve taken the day off to chill, read and get through an extended deadlift and accessory exercises training. I have a sneaking suspicion that some sort of dinner is planned for this evening. Have a great weekend