Tips for Setting Fitness Goals

With a new year fast approaching, now is the time that many people consider resolutions and goals for the future. They may look back on the past 12 months, consider their successes, progress and shortcomings, and aim to set fresh objectives for 2019. Often, setting fitness goals are among these plans.

It’s a great idea to consider what’s important to you, like fitness, and establish some targets to aim for. These can provide direction, motivation and accountability, thereby making you more likely to hit the mark. Where people can go wrong, however, is in actually laying out the goals, which inadvertently can set them up for failure. Although it may seem quite simple, developing achievable objectives requires some forethought, introspection and planning.

Of course, the process itself shouldn’t be a deterrent, but also should be taken seriously to help promote ultimate accomplishment. Let’s be honest – anyone can set goals with good intentions that they eventually abandon. We’ve all been there. To really establish change and mastery, thoughtfully consider these tips for setting fitness goals.

Tips for Setting Fitness Goals

Why Goals?

If you’re already a workout junkie, you may wonder why goals are even necessary. And of course, if you are hitting the gym daily with no hesitation, and are content with your fitness as-is, you may not need to set any goals, and instead simply continue your routine.

But for many people, doing consistent workouts or getting to the health club on a regular basis can be a struggle, so they don’t make the gains or experience the results they’re seeking. This is where establishing personal fitness goals can make a difference.

  • Direction – Naming specific goals give you something tangible to work towards and provides a greater sense of purpose. For instance, setting a goal of running a 5K or 10K this spring yields specific training requirements and guidance – thereby organizing your workouts. Goals can help keep you focused not only on what you are doing, but why.
  • Motivation – Anyone who struggles at times to break a sweat understands the tremendous importance of motivation. Intentions are great but don’t always get you off the couch. Goals, such as doing 5 full body-weight pull-ups, or mastering crow pose in yoga, keep you fueled to keep going – even when you may be tempted to skip a workout.
  • Accountability – Sharing goals with family or friends makes us more likely to actually fulfill them, because they typically will routinely ask about our efforts and progress. Don’t look at this as nagging, but instead as encouragement, follow-up and interest in our journey to realize what we set out to do.
  • Vision – Goals are aspirational by nature. So they keep us striving to improve, to progress, to succeed and eventually to change our lives. This can be powerful on tough days, or days where the daily grind feels endless. Seeing ourselves completing the race, losing the weight or embracing a new activity lifts us out of today’s challenges and delivers welcome anticipation and hope.
  • Self-efficacy – Setting and then attaining goals is a huge boost to your self-confidence, which, in turn, makes you more likely to pursue other activities or endeavors in the future and can lead to a more enriched and varied life.

Setting Fitness Goals

Most experts recommend SMART goals, which stands for:

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

  1. Specific – Setting a broad goal like “lose weight” is not recommended because it’s so broad and not exact. Do you want to lose 10 pounds or 40? If you want to lose 40, but don’t specify that in the goal, are you satisfied if you only lose 10? Do you quit then?

In the same way, a goal such as “work out more” has no teeth. Does that mean once or twice a year, a month, or a week? Vague goals don’t provide necessary direction or motivation, thereby limiting the chance of true success.

  1. Measurable – In line with Specific, Measurable goals are important so you know you’ve actually achieved them. If you set a goal of getting fit, how do you know when you’ve accomplished that? Break down your get fit goal into measurable aspects, such as completing 25 crunches daily, swimming 20 laps twice per week or holding stretches for 30 seconds. Similarly, if your goal is to get stronger, set incremental, measurable goals like bench pressing 45 pounds, 55 pounds, etc. over time.
  2. Attainable – Yes, goals indeed should be something you work toward, and that aren’t necessarily easy, like exercise for 10 minutes once per month. They should stretch you, but not be so overwhelming or impossible that you want to give up from the start. So, while you may want to get fit to compete in an Olympic sport, that may not be totally realistic depending on your age and experience level. Or you might want to win a marathon, which is great to shoot for, but if you’re just starting to run, aim first to finish a few marathons and work on improving your time.
  3. Relevant – Don’t set goals based on what other people desire for you. If your mom wants you to become a Zumba instructor, but you don’t like being the center of attention, the likelihood that you sincerely will pursue this goal is minimal. The goal must be important to you. If you spouse wants you to cut soda and drink only water, you probably won’t succeed unless you also want to do this and are wholly invested. Even if you somehow meet a goal that another person sets for you, it can be difficult to maintain.
  4. Time-bound – Without adding a time specification, goals can go on forever – and most of us will lose interest long before the goal ever is truly accomplished. If you want to exercise 3 times per week, set an initial deadline, like 3-6 months, that you will fulfill this, so you have something concrete to aim for. After 3-6 months, don’t quit; instead, re-evaluate and reset, or continue with this goal for the next time period you determine. Or if you want to lose 5% body fat, set a timeframe, such as 4-5 months, to do so.

Maximizing Success

Even if you have SMART fitness goals doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically conquer them. Keep in mind:

  • Remind yourself often – Look at your goals frequently on your phone, in your office or car, on your bathroom mirror or in your gym bag – wherever you will see them. This is why you are doing what you’re doing.
  • Except challenges/setbacks – We are human, and sometimes fall short. Don’t let a missed workout derail you entirely for the week. Recommit and get going again right away.
  • Accommodate/reset if necessary – If you set a goal to exercise 3 times per week and then broke your ankle, you may need to alter the original goal a bit or change your standard routine to accommodate for your injury. If you lose two weeks due to the flu, then your workouts might have to be less intense when you recover.
  • Reward yourself – Keep moving forward by rewarding yourself once you achieve a goal – with a new workout outfit or massage, for instance.
  • Don’t quit – Goals require perseverance, again and again. Bring it.

HIIT Training Helps Firefighters Save Lives

To effectively do their job – and ultimately save lives – firefighters must have the strength and endurance to carry heavy equipment up stairs and in intense heat! In order to stay fit and strong throughout their careers, they need to maintain a disciplined fitness routine.

Firefighter training on the StairMaster HIITMill machine

Typically when training at the station, firefighters set up a prowler and push it across the floor. But with StairMaster’s HIITMill series they can achieve the same results without the need for distance.

Firefighters can now push, drive and sprint with the resistance of a sled, safely and with a smaller footprint. These easy to use tools allow users to drive up metabolic intensity and make for a more space efficient solution to alternative training methods.

StairMaster’s High-Intensity machines deliver an effective resistance training platform that captures the benefits of speed and agility training, lateral training and sled training – all essential in the work of firefighters.

Unlike a standard treadmill, HIITMill series machines are self-powered speed and strength training tools designed to build explosive power when used in a High-Intensity Interval Training program.

With the X model, firefighters can also perform an even or uneven Farmer’s Carry without having to walk any distance at all. This is great preparation for all those times when they’re carrying e-drolics in one hand and a lightweight pike pole in the other.

Another feature of the HIITMill? Users can adjust the resistance by moving the lever to release or add tension. No more having to stop to take away or add plates between users!

Gear up for one tough and rewarding HIIT workout that your firefighting team will love to hate!  For more information about the StairMaster HIIT series, contact our sales team today.

sales@nfp.fit
Toll Free: 1-877-348-4111
Phone: 1-905-838-2558
Fax: 1-905-838-3446
www.nfp.fit

StairMaster HIITMill/HIITMill X Features Include:

  • NEW brake system for improved resistance adjustment
  • Multi-grip hand positioning with Water bottle and phone holder
  • Magnetic resistance brake with resistance control lever
  • Extra-WIDE 23” belt width for lateral training and max stability under load
  • Self-powered walking, running and pushing
  • Portable design
  • Accessory attachment points (straps and tubing not included)
  • Farmer’s Carry lift arms (HIITMill X only)
  • 3mm cushioned turf belt compatible with plastic field cleats
  • HIIT console with easy to read backlit display, Bluetooth & ANT+ connectivity, and programmable time, distance, calories, time interval, and calorie interval programs

Machines That Will Take Your Running Game To The Next Level

Running is a natural human movement but the technology surrounding it has evolved dramatically. The increase in popularity over the past 10 years has created a huge industry of ancillary products to enhance running or walking. 

Pronators, overpronators, heel strikers, toe planters, supinators are all relatively recent terms that create a variety of running styles. The wide range of reasons for running have resulted in several training techniques. To keep up with this increased demand for customization, running shoe manufacturers have developed a multitude of designs to accommodate different human mechanics, running styles, performance levels, and sport specific running

The Evolution of the Treadmill

Treadmill manufacturers have also made advancements that cater to the varying requirements of your members’ love for running. 

Treadmills remain the number one choice for cardio endurance training in any type of fitness facility, whether it be for weight loss or rehabilitation or performance. Why? Because treadmills offer roughly the same natural energy expenditure and muscle activation that we get from walking, jogging or running.

The running experience has been thoroughly researched by fitness equipment manufacturers and some have developed unique designs offering variety to the most popular training modality.

The 5 Best Running Machines

National Fitness Products now offers 5 different types of commercial treadmills. Each one providing unique features and accommodating different running styles. With increased clubs now offering “Running Only”, it is important for fitness facilities to look at what they offer to their members and not just how many of the same treadmills are in your club.

  1. The Woodway 4 Front
Woodway4Front treadmill

The 4Front is the original slat-belt treadmill with unmatched performance. Woodway’s rubberized slat running surface absorbs shock at the point of impact. A Type A shore hardness of 38-43 was found by the Deutsche Sporthochschule in Cologne, Germany to be the ideal “softness” to eliminate the harmful shock to joints and connective tissues, while maintaining proper biomechanics. Even better? Woodway’s near frictionless ball bearing drive system was designed to last longer than conventional conveyor belt designs.

2. The Woodway Curve

woodway curve treadmill

The Curve is a motorless treadmill with slates designed for high-performance athletes, but it offers the same benefits for beginners. The Curve provides an intense exercise experience and burns 30% more calories than ordinary treadmills. The curve shape not only targets the legs but also the entire muscles of the hamstrings. The key to a good curved treadmill is its ball bearings or the ability to reduce the horizontal friction of the early part of foot strike thus lessening artificial changes to the firing pattern.

3. The StarTrac 10 TRx FreeRunner

The FreeRunner offers a revolutionary running experience with an aluminum deck supported by a hexagonal polymer suspension system. This Hex Deck system is like running on the soft Mondo Olympic track and provides freedom from the stresses of a normal treadmill. It absorbs energy providing comfort right up the spinal system allowing the body to relax and perform.

4. Star Trac 8 Series

star trac 8 series treadmill

8TRX series provides the traditional treadmill experience with a fully loaded Open Hub or basic club cardio treadmill. The Star Trac treadmill comes in light commercial, commercial, and heavy club commercial levels to accommodate a facility’s specific requirements.

5. Octane Zero Runner

The Zero Runner is a non-impact running machine that forces the most experienced runner to find their stride. It’s like running in a no-gravity environment: Lot’s of work, but worth it! The Zero Runner’s independent hip and knee joints facilitate complete freedom of movement with no fixed path, so exercisers can customize their motion and pace. On the Zero Runner, users can adopt the same strides as outdoors, while focusing on their glutes, hamstrings and heel kicks instead of a treadmill‘s moving belt. It’s not a total running system, but an excellent tool to enhance and strengthen a runner’s stride.

National Fitness Products was founded on the premise that today’s facilities want to provide their members with the absolute best and not settle for anything less. It’s one thing for a fitness facility to provide a full range of cardio products to meet individual preferences, but National can take that much further by providing a range of tools to cater to your member’s various running styles, training regimes, and limitations.

Wondering which treadmill or elliptical is right for your facility?

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