Happy New Year!
A new year is usually welcomed in by resolutions to eat better, workout regularly, and make other lifestyle improvements. However, laying out end goals is not enough. The most important part is planning out how an improvement will be accomplished.
For this reason, I have planned out my next year of training.
This doesn’t mean I know exactly what I’ll do everyday. Nor does it guarantee highly specific results by a certain date.
It does provide the structure and accountability to ensure that I am healthier, stronger, and more fit than I am now.
Planning out very specific numbers in terms of strength, bodyweight, or other health markers, can be counterproductive. Life is filled with unpredictable events. Sickness, injury, responsibilities, and individual genes make it impossible to foresee even one month into the future, never mind a whole year.
Developing general goals, and dedicating some thought to how they will be reached, is far more effective than merely listing a handful of numbers or end goals.
For example, my general training plan is as follows:
January and February: reintroduce barbell powerlifts such as the squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press, and power clean. Train full body 3 days a week, practicing each exercise multiple times a week. Start light to allow for weight increases almost every session.
This will allow me to develop technical proficiency and regain strength, after which I’ll test my 1-rep max for these 5 exercises.
March and April: continue to train full body 3 days a week but vary the intensity each session. At this point, the weight for each lift will be getting heavier so, to prevent burnout, I will have light, moderate, and heavy days. I will also have to slow my rate of progression to a weekly basis.
May and June: increase the number of training days but decrease the frequency of each lift. Focus more on finding weaknesses to target with specific assistance exercises. Finally, dial weight progression back even further to a monthly schedule.
I have an idea what I’ll do after June but to allow for the unpredictability of life, I haven’t fleshed it out enough to post publicly.
That is my physical fitness program for the next 6 months. Notice anything that’s missing? Nutrition and all other health goals!
This week, I have greatly dialed back my caloric intake, and carbohydrate level in particular, to recover from the indulgences of the holidays. However, during the first few months of this year, I will slowly increase my calories from carbs. This will allow me to build quality muscle and increase my strength.
Around April, I’ll shift my body into ketosis to improve my fat metabolism, lean out, and allow for cell repair within my body. By summer I hope to be stronger and more fit than I was at the same time last year.
I will also be tracking my blood levels, as always, and continue to donate blood on a regular schedule.
If you notice, I have not listed many specific numbers. I do have a few numbers in my mind, but I don’t want to tie them to specific dates and become disheartened when things out of my control get in the way.
Don’t make absolute statements or enormous changes without a way to track progress and ensure success. Look at a calendar, assess where you are now, and find a way to make improvements on a regularly basis.
Hiring a professional will make this process easier and more effective by providing accountability along with the experience and knowledge to guide decisions. Feel free to contact me directly if you are ready to start improving any aspect of your life.
In conclusion: having goals is good, but having a plan is better.