95% of personal training clients that we see will come to us for a short-term goal, whether that is a holiday in 3 months, a party/event in 6 months or their wedding in 12 months, but not many will look at putting their focus on the long term. While it is great to have targets and they form an integral part of any success by keeping you focused, you need to keep an eye on all aspects of your health and fitness, not just getting a little bit more in shape before your next summer holiday.
If you think about any type of sports, they have a season, they have a number of teams or oppositions they face throughout their year to compete for the championships, and you need to think of your life in the same way. Just as the professionals focus on getting their body ready for all the games, not just the next match, you need to focus on all the years ahead not just the next big event.
Health and fitness come into many forms and a lot of the basics get ignored when working on a short-term plan, cardio is often replaced by HIIT, stretching never happens and relentless number of crunches are done. Yes, these will get you some form of results but it will put your body under a lot of stress which will slow down progress. It also isn’t enjoyable over a long period of time trying to fit in 3-5 HIIT sessions a week with no recovery, your body will ache and it’s tough to try and psych yourself up for your next session.
Try to find yourself a health and fitness programme, and that’s the point here, HEALTH and fitness, that will cover all aspects that you require, some HIIT, strength, cardio and recovery all integrated into a weekly plan, that you can actually stick to because if you can focus on keeping yourself healthy throughout the years, by the time you get towards the 2nd half of your life you will most likely be in the shape you want to achieve. If you are consistently training 4-5 times a week, maintaining a healthy active lifestyle and eating correctly, you will get the figure you want, or at least get close to it!
It is less stressful, long-term thinking and just better for your body, rather than hitting the gym for 3-6 months a year, doing HIIT classes consistently and restricting your calorie intake to such a low number that the body can’t complete essential tasks without burning muscle for fuel. Find exercises you enjoy, get more rest and eat a well-rounded diet and put the focus on the end game, not just the next few months.