As the winter freeze creeps into Minnesota, I wanted to take this time to check in and make sure that everyone followed my advice before Thanksgiving. If so, you should still be right on track with your current workouts and well on your way to avoiding any bad habits this season. If not, you need to kick start your workout back up immediately. Trust me, staying the course isn’t going to get any easier as you start to travel for the holidays and the draw of college bowl games make it harder to get off the couch.
I have been traveling quite a bit since the season ended. Each year the off season seems to get shorter and shorter, so the time to visit friends and family outside of Minnesota is quickly shrinking. We just had a crazy storm come through the Twin Cities, and if you haven’t seen the video of the Metrodome’s roof collapsing you need to immediately go check that out. It is unbelievable, and thankful that nobody got hurt. We have something like two feet of snow in parts of Minnesota, and this is all just the beginning.
As we approach 2011, I want to identify some items that I think will help in planning your workout routine going forward. First, if you have been working out regularly over the past year you need to identify what worked for you and what didn’t. My off-season workouts change from year to year based upon what I feel I need to work on, and I always take note of what I thought best prepared me for spring training, whether it was doing cardio at the beginning or end of my workout, time of day that I worked out, etc. Another thing you need to do (unless you are blessed with nice weather all year long) is adopt all of your outside workouts into something you can accomplish in the gym. A lot of times I know that people prefer to run outside during the summer and fall, but have a hard time keeping up a high level of cardio during the winter. Treadmills these days can easily accommodate whatever it was that you were doing outside. I know the ones that Anytime Fitness has at their locations have incline modes that are automatic, where you simply pick a certain program, and the machine does the rest. If outdoor cardio is something you identified as having worked in 2010, there is no reason it shouldn’t continue in the gym while the weather is cold.
Second, the beginning of the year is the best time to set or revaluate your goals in the gym. If one of your goals is to lose weight, try to set progress points in terms of months rather than the entire year. If your plan is to lose 30 lbs. by 2012, instead view it as trying to lose 10 lbs. by March. In my mind, setting these short term goals in the gym accomplishes two things. It provides a more immediate deadline (3 months rather than 12), and it puts you on a path for success during the year. It is easy to say you want to lose 30 lbs. in a year, and after six months it doesn’t seem that big of a deal if you have only lost 5 lbs. because you have another 6 months to go. Short term benchmarks will hold you more accountable, and I have found that they actually push you harder too. We do this same thing in baseball. While you may have a long term goal of winning 90 games, because our season is so long it can sometimes get lost. Look at it more like winning a series, or taking 6 out of 8 on a long road trip. Just like in the gym, shorter term goals will allow for several more “wins” throughout the year.
Before I go, I want to wish all of you Happy Holidays. I hope that you are able to spend time with friends and family over the next few weeks, and that you were able to avoid the mob of last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve. Happy New Year!
12/31/2010 at 12:00 AM