p5 motivational tips: #4 Monitor your progress

How are you going to keep working out?  Actually, how are you going to make fitness part of your enduring culture and not a temporary chore?  Visualise your progress!  Get a heart-rate monitor and watch how your body adapts to higher intensity work before the heart-rate elevates.  You will see this improvement in no time.  Watch yourself getting stronger but be careful, your body may just be making neuro-muscular adaptations and not necessarily getting bigger.  Therefore, get your tape measure and get results for your arm or chest circumference.  Get some calipers and obtain skinfold measurements at the triceps or in the ‘love-handle’ area.  This link will allow you to obtain software that allows you to do this.  You can record progress over time, create slide-shows, even graphs.  It really is a great piece of kit

http://www.linear-software.com/tour_BT.html

I really credit people that keep a log of what they are doing and how much weights they are pushing.  I said before though that we may be pushing more as a result of increased neural activity, or through compromising our technique or even perfecting it (sounds weird I know).  Also, most people aren’t interested in getting stronger but bigger or leaner (or more toned in the case of most women).  There are other ways of monitoring your progress that reflect the type of training I favour and which you should also favour.  Circuit-training, creates an internal environement conducive to getting leaner, fitter and stronger simultaneously and naturally.  So when you do a circuit it may be so tough that even completing it is an achievement.  Or you could time how long it takes to complete it.

Bottom line is make sure you monitor progress as this is key to discovering the fittest version of yourself.

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5 Motivational Tips: #3 Visualise your goals

So now you know why you are trainnig it is important to visualise the ‘why’. Because you now realise that aestheitc goals take longer to achieve you have been realsitic enough to set yourself shorter term goals.  Now you can put that image of Cheryl Cole or Matthew McConaughey up on your locker, mirror, toilet door or even your desktop.

Your goals however maybe more profound than that and I would say they should be.  Your latest health-screening may have uncovered unpleasant things about your blood presssure, cholesterol, BMI etc.  Nowadays you can even be told about your likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer or dying of a heart attack.  These are things you may want to keep in  front of you in order to visualise your goals.  There are people that only exercise as a precription and feel they have to work out for the sake of their long term health.  I give them a lot of credit for realising that exercising is the best method to acquire longevity, pain-free health and ageless mobility in life.  This then gives you happiness and satisfaction long-term but you have to find the right form of exercise that will work for you.  Switching between hour-long treadmill running and machine-hopping will only make you give up eventually.

Another way to visualise your goals is through movement.  If your aim is to perform push-ups or pull-ups watch people that are already doing this as your inspiration.  However, part of being fit is to improve our mobility a much neglected area.  All people seem to do is stretch before and after a workout or go to yoga class.  With Circular Strength Training mobility is at the heart of everything we do.  Our head coaches have developed flows which require a balance between strength and mobility.  I watched senior CST coach Scott Sonnon perform one flow and just made it my aim to do the same.  Go to my workouts section and read the post ‘Introducing My You Tube Channel’ to see more on this.  But here is Coach Sonnon’s demo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZJwMpvJiYM

And now mine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcw4G5lwAHs&feature=youtu.be

So visualising goals is of great importance when motivating yourself and now you know there are number of ways to do this.