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How to be your own personal trainer


Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 19:05

According to a recent Gallup poll, 56 percent of Americans say they want to lose weight, including 18 percent who want to lose “a lot” of weight. Another 39 percent say they want to stay at their current weight, while 4 percent are trying to gain weight.

Whatever your goal may be, you need to know what to do and how to do it.

Peter Rafferty, weight room supervisor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, shared some of the most important and effective ways to accomplish your goals.

“You need to come up with a smart plan, but first of all it has to be realistic,” Rafferty said. “I think that’s most important.”

Here are five simple ways to meet your goals by becoming your own personal trainer.

You must identify your goal first before anything else. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have just what you need to get started.

Once you’ve identified your goal, then you need to make sure it’s a specific goal. For instance, to stay healthy, to get in shape, to strengthen abs, or to build arm muscle are all examples of specific goals.

Once you know exactly what you’ll be working toward, then you need to measure it. Ask yourself, is this goal significant?
If it is reasonable and significant enough for you to commit to it, then you’ve got yourself a measurable goal.

Next, come up with an action plan. You need to know when, what and how much. If your goal is to gain muscle, your action plan needs to consist of the specific exercises to do for those muscles, what days of the week will you work on that muscle, how long will each exercise be and at what intensity.

You must have a realistic goal that you know you can meet. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Choose goals that are simple and adequate to accomplish. Once you’ve accomplished them, you will be motivated to set higher goals. Be realistic.

“If you start with an unrealistic goal and then don’t achieve it, you will never try again,” Rafferty said.

It’s also very important to have a timeline. You don’t want to have a goal to lose 30 pounds, or else you never will. Your goal has to be to lose 30 pounds in three months, six months or one year. This should be according to your realistic-efforts of commitment to work towards that goal. Overall, make sure your goal has an end time.

This is when you actually execute your plan. If you’re not yet a member of a gym, make sure you become one.

If you plan to use your home as your gym, then make sure to have the equipment you’ll need for the workouts. You can’t achieve great results without the right tools.

Professionals advise visiting a gym because they have everything you’ll need for any exercise. You will save time and money in buying the equipment. You also have the opportunity to ask questions about proper exercise techniques or how to use machines.

Having a friend or a work-out buddy can make your workout time fun. For example, you and your friend can compete to see who meets their goal first. Often times this helps you both stay focused and it generates a stronger reason to stay consistent and workout harder. When one of you feels down or discouraged, the other one can motivate you and help you stay on track.

Grab a pen or pencil and a piece of paper to list out a plan, then get started!

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