Choosing the best place to train - for YOU
You think we'd be used to this whole 'New Year' lark by now.
We are grown ups after all - but that doesn't stop us feeling that January is the time when we should be making promises to improve our fitness and lower that number on the scales. We're buried under a deluge of juice detoxes, fasted cardio, weights programmes, total eliminations of everything from sugar to caffeine to gluten and back again. How are we meant to know which ones work without trying them all? How should we spend our hard-earned cash and, most importantly, to what should we commit our valuable time, energy and bodies?
There is a way to make resolutions you can actually keep: and it'll make your entire 2016 pretty fulfilling, whatever else it decides to throw at you. Here are our Top 5 Tips for choosing a method that will get you results and make you glad you started it.
One sure-fire sign to tell if a method really works is if the company staff follow it and can speak about the real impact it will have on your body, from experience. If your personal trainer uses the same methods to train you that he or she uses, you know they're passing on the best knowledge. The same applies to food: if someone is advocating a method they don't follow themselves for reasons such as "my busy schedule won't allow it" or "it's too expensive", you should be asking yourself why you're being sold something they are not willing to commit to themselves. As personal trainers, we are always prepared to do (and usually have already done!) whatever we ask of our clients - it wouldn't be fair if we didn't!
If you curse your alarm going off at 7am, could you really commit to a 6.30am boxing class? What about signing up for an intermittent fasting plan when you work long split shifts? Starting something new is tough and keeping it going even moreso: give yourself a fighting chance by not over-committing and by opting for a plan that works with your schedule. Be brave, be bold: just don't be (too) ridiculous!
Sadly we don't mean you should only do the things you're good at (power cleans and eating porridge all day: yes I could do that!) but you should always consider your personality, lifestyle, likes and dislikes when choosing a food or fitness plan. If you spend most days chained to a desk dreaming of fresh air, an outdoor bootcamp or running club might be a better option than a stuffy gym. If you're naturally competitive, a sociable class like Cyclebeat or CrossFit could work for you. If you get bored easily or travel often, Fit Missions are perfect as they change constantly and we can give you travel packs so you can train wherever you are. It's not rocket science: if you get a feel-good factor from your workout, you're far more likely to make new habits stick.
Trust is a huge part of the health and fitness industry: food, personal training, and supplements. As a trainer it's the client, never the sale, who must always come first. The proof of a good trainer lies in the bodies and mindsets of his or her clients. Look for a trainer or online programme whose clients are getting genuine, honest results and who have a higher level of self-esteem than when they started. Ask around, don't just rely on the sales pitch or on website testimonials. Good trainers earn their reputation - they don't have to sell it.
We've all been guilty of starting something we knew full well we were never going to finish. If you start off with a bad feeling about something, or any kind of reluctance, it's only likely to get worse. Fitness and good nutrition require willpower and discipline, so you really need to get behind whatever programme you choose to do. If you've spent years living on a cocktail of caffeine, sugar and alcohol, a total elimination programme may not be your best bet: a staggered elimination approach may work far better for you. If you can genuinely see yourself following whatever programme you're considering and you have a good feeling about it, we say: GO FOR IT!
And remember: exercise is the most under-prescribed anti-depressant in the world. Serotonin, anyone?