Looking for a weight lifting routine for the new year? I have plenty of them but before I share let’s talk about how to stick with it first.
Well it’s that time of year again where everyone starts talking about how this year is going to be different than the last. Are you going to start eating healthier, getting out of bed without hitting the snooze button 3 times, get serious about your weight lifting routine, add some muscle, or some other worthwhile goal? I sure hope so but unfortunately many will fail just like they have in past years. It’s not like those who fail didn’t want to achieve their goals as much as those who succeed it is just.... [Insert ridiculous excuse].
How about you don’t fall for all the nonsense this year instead. Those who fail do so for exactly that reason. If you fail to accomplish your goals there is no reason other than you didn’t want them bad enough. Think about it like this. If I picked you up and tossed you into a lake (I can do that because I stick to my weight lifting routine) what would be your number one goal? To swim out of the lake and kick my butt most likely. In this situation you have one of two choices, get out of the lake or drown. You obviously want to get out of the lake more than you want to drown and sink to the bottom of the lake so you focus 100% of your effort into swimming to the shore. You don’t second guess yourself and decide to just float for awhile and update your Facebook status. You don’t stop to calculate your ideal heart rate for the swim back so you stay in the fat burning zone. You just swim and get out of the lake. You had two choices and you made the one that was most appealing to you.
Now how is avoiding drowning different than avoiding the snooze button? Same situation really! You have two choices either get out of bed and start your weight lifting routine or hit the snooze and sink into your mattress. Why do you hit the button instead of getting out of the bed? You would get out of the lake so why not the bed? Getting out of bed and doing your weight lifting routine takes effort just like getting out of the lake. Hitting the button is easy just like drowning but the difference is in the motivation. In the first example you are faced with life or death and you do what you have to do, but in the second the consequences are not there. So what if you have to get ready a little faster and so what if you miss breakfast. Nobody is getting hurt by your actions and no one will know what time you got out of bed.
Now let’s look doing your weight lifting routine versus watching television. Same choices. Do your weight lifting routine work-out and improve your body or sink into your couch and watch TV. Again working out involves effort and drowning does not but again you choose to sit on the couch and skip the workout.
I could go on all day like this but I think the point is made. Things worth having take effort and typically involve more work than the alternatives. Just like the lake example it all boils down to how much you want to achieve your goal. If you want to live more than you want to drown then you will. If you want to be an early riser more than you want 10 more minutes of low quality sleep then you will get out of bed. If you want a better body more than you want a fast food meal then you will get in better shape.
The key to success this year is to focus on your self-discipline. Remind yourself why you set the goal in the first place and keep the end results in mind. With every goal you set for yourself be sure you are focusing on why you want to achieve it more than what you want to achieve. That will keep the motivation high.
1. Define the Why in your goals. If you can associate the emotional driving factor of your goal to your daily activity it will be a whole lot easier to make the right decision when choices are presented.
For example let’s say you have a goal of benching 315 lbs and write you goal just like that in your weight lifting routine. How does this help you when it’s time to go to the gym and you have a choice of skipping this workout to grab a beer with some buddies? There is no date on your goal, no urgency, no consequences if you fail so screw it, go have a beer and bench next week right?
Try this instead.
I will bench 315 lbs as my starting lift for the local powerlifting tournament on June 1st.
Uh oh that just got a lot harder to ignore. Especially if you already signed up for the tournament. See the difference?
2. Add accountability. Using the same example what if you also posted on Facebook that you were going to enter this lifting event and invited all your friends to attend. Now you got some extra fear of failure and social accountability. To address daily reinforcement you could have a weight lifting routine partner that was focused on the same goal. Now if you don’t show up you got that to deal with as well. Sorry guys, I can’t go have a beer I’m meeting Jim in 10 minutes.
3. Keep them fresh in your mind. Post your goals in a highly visible place. If you have a goal of eating healthily then perhaps on your refrigerator and the steering wheel of your car. For accountability you could keep an online food journal and get on online buddy to review your daily logs. There are hundreds of sites that do this stuff for free like DailyBurn.com and SparkPeople.com. Kinda hard to log an 1800 calorie fast food meal when you buddy just congratulated you on doing so well yesterday.
So there you go, hope that helps you to stay focused this year and build your own weight lifting routine.