Getting fit and staying fit requires hard work, discipline and being committed to achieving your personal goals. At different stages of our lives, certain fitness goals may feel like they are harder or easier to achieve than others.
However, your health and well-being should be a priority regardless of age, and we should learn to train smarter, not harder.
For instance, men in their late teens and early 20s find that building and maintaining their muscle mass comes easier to them, and they notice results pretty quickly after starting a new workout plan.
However, men in their 40s and 50s may take a little longer to see results, and many find that building muscle takes more focus and dedication than it did when they were younger. This could be due to the fact that in the latter part of their teenage years, and well into their late 20s, testosterone levels are at their peak, which makes building muscle easier for the body. Not to mention the extra energy and free time we have during the younger phases in life that make getting to the gym and staying motivated easier to accomplish.
The good news is that regardless of what stage of life you’re in, your body has the ability to adapt and improve; and even if you’re busy, you can find ways to train and get the best results from your fitness plan.
Here are my three tips to help you get the best results on your journey toward achieving your personal fitness goals.
- Be specific: It is important to adapt your training and your mindset to match the specific goals you wish to accomplish. If you want to build muscle, you must train in a way that places significant stress on your muscle fibers in order to stimulate growth. This means that, as your workouts start to feel easier, you must increase the amount of weight you lift. If you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness, you must follow a similar approach – when it feels too easy, up your game.
- Set your expectations: We are all unique individuals with varying genetics, physical skills, personalities and unique levels of achievement motivation. Achievement motivation can best be described as a way of considering how a person is driven by their need to succeed, what lengths they are willing to go to, and what obstacles they are willing to overcome in order to achieve their personal fitness success. Setting goals that you know are within reach will help you stay motivated and push through those tough training days. So, in my opinion, it’s important that you set realistic expectations.
- Stay accountable: Consider re-evaluating your expectations and motivation as you train each week so that you can keep striving forward. This will allow you to adapt your training routine based on your results, or lack thereof. Having an accountability partner or training buddy will help keep you honest at the gym and, hopefully, provide you with a little competitive drive to perform at your best. So try to find the perfect gym partner or coach to train with you.
Remember to celebrate your ‘mini victories’ each step of your journey toward achieving your ultimate fitness goals.
By Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness (Herbalife)