My thoughts and perspectives on health, science, and logic… Keep an open mind!

A First Step

As I sit here in the wee hours of the morning, it occurs to me that it might be a good idea to drop off some quick advice before retiring for the night.  I mentioned in my introductory post that I receive a lot of questions from friends and loved ones over how they should approach their exercise goals.  While there certainly is no one-size-fits-all answer to ANY scenario, I can contribute one tidbit that should always be the first step.  So here goes:  ACTUALLY KNOW YOUR GOAL!

“Okay, he’s being silly, right?  Of COURSE I know what I want!”

I didn’t mean to insult your intelligence by making that statement.  But it needed to be said!  So try this simple trick that they teach us in Kinesiology and personal training courses.  It’s not perfect, but it gets the idea across.  It’s called the S.M.A.R.T. principle.  Simply put, you do not have a properly constructed fitness goal if is is not:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-oriented.

Now to be fair, I’ve seen the “R” stand for other warm-and-fuzzy terms like “Relevant” and “Rewarding,” but you get the point.  Make sure that whatever you want is something that you can realistically pursue and measure.  For example — “I’d love to have Beyonce’s body!” is NOT a proper goal.  It gives no idea of what specific changes you want to try to make to your body.  Now I’d ASSUME you’d perhaps be wanting to lose a little weight around the midsection, firm things up, and strengthen your arms and legs… because if you’re 4’10” and Japanese, you’re probably not going to have quite her stature or skin tone!  Now as ridiculous as that example was, it illustrates my point.  You have got to make it clear!  Only after you know exactly how you want to look/feel/perform can you start putting together a diet and exercise plan that will take you there.  Sure, there are lots of great general lifestyle habits you can develop, but you can’t wish your way into a specific kind of shape.  You have to make it happen!

So think about what your actual objective is.  Do you want to lose 15 pounds by the time school starts up in August?  Do you want to add 50 pounds to your squat max over the next 4-6 months?  Or would you perhaps like to be able to dance with your son/daughter at their upcoming wedding without getting tired?  Ask yourself these questions, make sure it’s something you can measure and be accountable for, and THEN you’ll be ready to get shakin’ 🙂

More to come!



Comments on: "A First Step" (2)

  1. Hey Geoff,

    I don’t want to lose weight, however I do want to get a easy regiment that can be done in the mornings to keep my metabolism up for the day and basically firm up my midsection. Yoga has been very helpful, but perhaps a 30 minute deal would work better daily.

    Muchas gracias and cool blog,


    • I’m sure I can come up with something that can get the job done. Generally speaking (and I’ll probably post something soon that goes into more depth on this subject), I like the idea of hopping out of bed and doing anything that can get your heart rate up for a few minutes. I personally don’t enjoy early-morning workouts, but I do like doing a few quick exercises that force my body to finish “waking up” so to speak. Depending on what you’re looking to strengthen and what sorts of aches you wake up with, you have some options. You could do a complex of simple air squats to start (maybe 15-20 done slowly and as deep as is comfortable), followed by a couple of sets of push ups and lying down leg lifts or other ab exercises after moving around a bit. It kind of depends on how you feel and where it seems your body needs attention. But, as far as waker-uppers go, I would caution not to move too quickly. Simply focus on developing a lot of tension in all of the muscles involved and move in a very controlled fashion. People would be surprised at what this can do, though I figure you can appreciate it with your Yoga experience. Message me about your specific goals in terms of muscular strength, and I can likely come up with something more intense. Assuming you’re looking for a full-fledged workout.


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