Tag Archives: goals

How Periodization can help you acheive your fitness goals

PeriodizationThe systematic application of overload through the pre-planned variation of program proponents to optimize gains in strength (or any specific component of fitness), while preventing overuse, staleness, overtraining, and plateaus. (Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals).

Basically, it’s alternating easy, moderate, and hard phases of training.  Using periodization is probably the best way to avoid overtraining and help you get the most benefits out of your exercise program.  Using the right periodization strategy will help boost fitness gains and will train your body to be in the best shape for a specific time frame, such as for a race.

This can be done over months or even within a single week depending on what you are wanting to accomplish.  Using periodization can help you achieve your goals and help you develop a program that provides results.

  • Doing the same workouts and same intensity all the time, you’re bound to hit a plateau.  Many of us just keep doing the same things not knowing how to change up an exercise program or know the benefits of making changes.  Switching the type of exercise, intensity, repetitions, rest intervals, or tempo, will enable you to alternate low and high intensity workouts.  This will help your body get the proper recovery.
  • Rotating periods of training with the focus on intensity, time, distance, and volume or workload lets your body rest and adjust which is a huge benefit. Consistently making changes to an exercise program is more effective and decreases risk of injury.
  • Periodized training can be divided into cycles.  A macrocycle is the overall time frame of a program or goal, usually 6-12 months.  This long-range goal can be split into mesocycles that are typically 2 weeks to 3 months long and are designed to help move you toward the overall goal of the macrocycle.  A microcycle is the shortest timeframe and helps to reach the goal of the mesocycle.  For example:  you may have a 6 month macrocycle that has 2 mesocycles of 3 months each and 12 microcycles of 2 weeks each.
  • By alternating the intensity of exercise, you have more control of the physical stress put on the body.  If intensity is low, volume can be high.
  • Changing up your workouts every eight to twelve weeks will help you to continually make changes and avoid the dreaded plateau.
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Periodization can be used for strength training programs, cardiovascular programs, and also nutrition.  (Here is some information on Periodized Nutrition for Athletes  ).

To get the most out of your training and increase fitness gains, using periodization will definitely be helpful.  Cycling through days of low-intensity, high-intensity, and proper recovery is very beneficial and will make it easier to achieve your fitness goals!

Do you periodize your training?

What steps do you take if you hit a plateau?

3 Tips on Losing Those Last Few Pounds!

Why is it a struggle to lose those last few pounds in order to reach your weight loss goals?  While on a weight loss journey, those final pounds are very stubborn regardless of changes in nutrition and sticking with a vigorous exercise program.

Our bodies are very smart and would rather not be on a “diet”.  Supposedly, we all have a set point at which our body likes to stay at and is comfortably maintained.  When we lose weight below our set point, our body tries to return to that steady state.  Therefore, losing those last few pounds is not easy!

With a persistent action plan that targets nutrition and physical activity, you can successfully reach a new steady state or set point.  Follow these 3 tips to help lose those last few stubborn pounds and help achieve your goals.

1.  Alter your endurance program.  The goal is to burn more calories overall.  There are basically two ways to change up your aerobic exercise.  Increase the intensity during your cardio session.  If your a runner, for example, run faster or add some bursts of speed throughout your run.  If you don’t want to increase intensity, you can increase the amount of time spent doing aerobic exercise.  Either add time to each session or add an extra day or two.

2.  Strength train a minimum of 2 times per week.  If you add more muscle, you increase your metabolic rate and therefore, more calories are burned.  When you have a large amount of muscle, you can burn more calories overall than if you have low muscle mass.  When you lose weight, some of it comes from muscle so it’s important to strength train to maintain muscle mass.  Every pound of lean muscle mass burns about 6 calories per day.  So if you’re struggling to lose those last few pounds, being committed to a strength training program is essential.

3.  Eat less.  To be successful at the weight loss game, it’s important to make dietary changes.  It’s helpful to keep a food journal for a few days and take an honest look at how much food you are consuming.  Of course there are several apps you can use if you prefer.  It really is eye opening when you see it in writing!  Little snacks here and there add up.  You also want to be sure that you are eating a healthy amount to avoid nutrient deficiencies and under fueling.

3 Tips on How to Lose Those Last Few Pounds! Click To Tweet

Losing weight is not easy and requires much effort to be successful.  You need to be dedicated to making permanent changes to attain as well as maintain your weight loss goals.

Small decisions you make each day can either help or hinder your success in moving forward toward your desired result.

Do you think our bodies have a “set point”?

Do you have any tips to add?

How to set SMART goals

Goal= “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result“.  Goals are an important part of life.  They can give you a boost in motivation and help with staying organized.

We can have short term goals, such as completing three workouts per week and long term goals, like weight loss.  Goals help us focus our attention on what we want to achieve and keep us on track.  Small steps and short term goals keep us on the right path to accomplish our long term goals.  Goals help us determine what’s important to us and keeps us focused.

We can “get to work” on our most challenging struggles with goal-setting.  Whether it be health goals, fitness goals, or work related goals, making a specific plan is key.  We want to be able to focus our time and energy on what we want to accomplish and also be able to track our progress along the way.  An effective way to prepare for success is by setting SMART goals.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.  SMART goals will help “pave the way” for your success!

SPECIFIC:  What do you hope to achieve?  Your goals should be clearly defined.  You should state exactly what you want to accomplish.

MEASURABLE:  How will you know if you achieve said goal?  Being able to see the progress you’ve made will help your motivation to continue.

ATTAINABLE:  Is your goal really one that you are actually able to achieve with a reasonable amount of work?  The goals you set should be sensible and practical.

RELEVANT:  When you reach your goal, how will it make you feel?  Choose a goal that is important and worthwhile.  You want your goal to be appropriate to your needs, interests, and skills.

TIME-BOUND:  When do you want to accomplish your goal?  If you specify a particular date by which you want to reach your goal, it will keep you on track.  Consistently keep an eye on your progress to make sure you are moving forward toward your goal.

When setting goals, make sure they are SMART! Click To Tweet

Having SMART goals will certainly increase your chances of success.  This will help change a non-specific plan into a clearly defined plan.  Defining your goals this way will motivate you and help you remain focused.

I think it helps to actually write it down.  Seeing your goals spelled out on paper makes it “real”.  Taking the time to sit down, make a plan, and knowing the steps that you need to take gives you accountability.  Increase your chance for success and make your goals SMART!

Do you set specific goals?