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By Ryan Williams

I never set New Year’s resolutions.

To me they are overrated.

There is a reason why 90% of resolutions fail within the first two weeks.

It’s because everyone is focused on the wrong thing. 

It’s NOT about goals.

It’s about the journey.

It’s about the systems you put in place. 

I strongly suggest grabbing a pen/paper.


Then write down what systems you are going to implement.

This will get you MUCH farther.

So, let’s start thinking about our systems…

The first half of fitness and health is EXERCISE.

When it comes to exercise, there are three main pillars to think about:

Strength Training. 

Flexibility

And Cardio.

You can’t go all in on one and neglect the other’s and expect to be your healthiest self.

Strength or Resistance Training simply entails strengthening your muscles by lifting weights, using resistance bands, or doing push ups and similar body weight activities.

Strength training has the obvious effect of making you stronger and fitter.

However, it also supports bone health, boosts energy and mood levels, and speeds up the rate at which your body burns calories.

You ever see lean, shredded gym rats that you know for a fact have never stepped on a treadmill?

It is because of their higher muscle mass causing their body to burn more calories.

So if you are looking into losing some 2020 weight, don’t neglect strength training because it will just make weight loss easier for you.

And if you don’t know where to start with strength training, we have excellent personal trainers on staff to show you the way.

Next is flexibility. 

This is probably the most neglected of the three pillars.

The flexibility pillar of fitness is incredibly important to maintain your range of motion and refrain from having injuries.

To satisfy this area, yoga or a simple 5-15 minute stretch routine before you workout will suffice. 

Regardless of which method you choose to maintain and develop your flexibility, it is great for improving your posture and mood, decreasing soreness, and enhancing physical performance.

The Plex offers complimentary yoga classes to help you with this, otherwise, there are plenty of great stretching videos available on youtube.

Last, we have cardio.

This is simply increasing your heart rate and oxygen intake.

You can train for cardio purposes through running, walking, dancing, boxing, swimming, or a variety of other sports.

Cardio is going to increase blood flow to the brain, increase lung capacity, and aids in weight loss.

It is often looked as as only a weight loss mechanism, but there is a grocery list of benefits for your heart, brain, lungs, and circulation.

So make sure you figure in some form of cardio into your plan for 2021.

And that covers fitness!

Strength Training.

Flexibility.

Cardio.

Not so scary or difficult, right?

Now think about what systems work for you…

How many times a week can you realistically shoot for to target these three areas?

Don’t worry so much about losing X number of pounds.

Focus on how many times you need to strength train, stretch, and do some form of cardio in a week to meet your weight loss goal.

Personally, I would recommend aiming for 2-5 times a week on strength training with a stretch routine catering to whichever muscle groups you plan on targeting prior to your workout.

Then shoot for some sort of movement everyday even if it is just walking your dog.

If you can go for a run a time or two a week, do it.

If you like swimming, come swim in our lap pool.

If you like boxing, come take our fight club class.

It doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult to plan out what works for you.

Now exercise is half the battle.

The other half is nutrition.

We are talking about systems so we need to think about what works for you.

In Dr. Tim Reynolds’ new book, Living Every Minute, he says,

“Create a plan that allows you to eat healthy during the 85 percent of the time when it really doesn’t matter what you eat. By healthy I mean lean meats, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Then enjoy and don’t worry about the other 15%. Eat guilt free.”

That’s the 85/15 rule.

You can’t set up a successful nutrition plan if you are over-restricting what you can eat. 

You have to allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love.

And ideally, you find foods you love in the healthy category that you should be eating from 85% of the time.

I won’t elaborate too much but, whether you plan to meal prep, cook every night, eat out, or a combination of the three, the 85/15 rule applies.

With eating out, I will say looking up menus ahead of time, especially if they have nutrition info, will be great way to stay on track with your nutrition.

You need to be thinking long-term.

What is a plan you can sustain for life?

Not just what fad diet can I lose 20 pounds on real quick.

Because if you can’t sustain it, you won’t keep the weight off anyway.

You ever hear that money quote…

“It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep”?

Same concept.

It’s not what you lose, it’s what you keep off.

In addition to your nutrition, proper water intake is going to be a key component of your system you are creating.

The benefits of drinking water are numerous, but the main ones I want to highlight are water helps flush your system of waste and toxins, lubricates your joints, and helps with delivering oxygen throughout your body.

In addition, if you are trying to lose weight, drinking lots of water is very filling and will help keep snacking and overeating from sabotaging your progress.

The standard for how much you should be drinking is to take your body weight in pounds, divide it by two, and drink that many ounces of water.

So if you weigh 200 lbs., divide it by two (100), you should be drinking AT LEAST 100 ounces of water per day. 

This is what you should strive for minimum, but it is a very accomplishable daily goal.

Finally, if you are going to be putting in all this work into exercise and nutrition, the last thing you need to prioritize is SLEEP.

You probably already wish you were getting more of it, but if you are going to get back in shape, your body is going to need the extra rest to recover properly.

If weight loss is a goal of yours this year, sleep is essential in curbing hunger. 

If you are consistently only getting 4-5 hours of sleep per night, your body is going to want to consume extra food to try to make up for the lack of energy you have.

A proper 7-9 hours of sleep will give you adequate rest so that your body isn’t starving all day.

Furthermore, if you are taking strength training seriously, your body NEEDS sleep to heal your muscles.

Your muscles are literally tearing whenever you train them, and that sore feeling a day or two after a workout is your body trying to heal those tears and become stronger to withstand the next time they are stressed out.

And if you are not sleeping enough, your body will not heal those muscle tears properly and it will be difficult to recover.

So figure out what you have to do to ensure you are getting in bed early enough to get 7+ hours of sleep every night.

AND THAT’S THE BLUEPRINT!

To recap:

Exercise

-Strength (Train 2-5x per week)

-Flexibility (Yoga and/or stretch routine before lifting)

-Cardio (Move every day and find cardio you like and can sustain)

Nutrition (Exercise the 85/15 rule, and proper water in take every day)

Sleep (7-9 hours per night)

Not bad at all, right?

I think this is doable for almost anyone.

If 2020 wasn’t the year you’d hope for, I’d bet your health had a direct effect on it.

There is a lot going on in the world right now that we can’t control.

But one thing we can control is our health.

It is not something you can cheat.

It takes deliberate effort and execution.

It takes patience and persistence.

But I can promise you it is well worth it.

Having your health in check spills into every other area of your life.

It pays, perhaps, the highest dividends of any pursuit you choose to take on.

If 2021, for you, is a year to bounce back, this blueprint will guide you into better health and happiness.

If you’d like to see our wonderful facility and how we can help you with your fitness dreams, click here and take the first step.

Thank you for taking time to read and Happy New Year!