First quarter’s almost over! How are you coming along on those resolutions? Well, it’s time to reboot your resolutions and keep your word to yourself.
Admit it. On December 31st, with a champagne flute filled to the brim with bubbly and hoisted to the sky, you promised yourself that this year was going to be the year. This year was going to be the year that you were going to lose those final ten pounds, start pushing mileage to qualify for that marathon, patch the holes in the inner tubes that have kept you on the couch and off the bike. And then you drained your glass.
Whatever your health resolution was for the new year, I’m here to ask as we begin to round the quarter of the year just one question: How’s it going?
We’ve all seen the listicles permeating the web reminding us that New Year’s Resolutions never pan out for this reason and for that. And I’ll be honest with you; I’m near a believer. Year in and year out, it never fails. My gym is packed on the 1st, but by the 30th, the Zumba classes thin out, I have to fight fewer dudes for the squat rack, and the treadmills lose all interested parties. So what’s going on here? What happened to our purest of intentions? Where did the earnest determination and eagerness go?
Frankly, I don’t care. But what I do care about is getting you to turn it around so that this year’s resolution doesn’t turn into next year’s. Consider this the alarm clock going off mid-dream, the slap on your hand as it reaches into the cookie jar. I’m going to give you a week-long, Army-approved workout to snap you back into reality and help you get back on track.
(Stretch for at least 10 minutes before and after each session)
It is time to shock the system with a long run, 4 miles or 40 minutes (whichever happens first). As with any of the workouts, do ten to fifteen minutes of stretching and mobility movements prior to the run. The key to this run is motivation. This is what’s going to set the tone for the week and your eventual sustainment of living an active lifestyle. So, make a good playlist, knock it out, and delight in your accomplishment.
Since we’ve been out of the groove for a little while, that run probably did a number on our legs, so we’re going to focus on upper body today. Three exercises plus a fun, happy ending. All three exercises will be built upon the notion of a pyramid, going from 10 to 15 (meaning start with 10 repetitions, then 11, and so on until you get to 15, then you do 14 and so on until you get back down to 10).
- First is pushups.
- Second is crunches.
- Third is bench dips.
You’re going to have to dig deep for these. You’re probably going to want to quit; you might feel a little wobbly. Just remember your goal and push through. Once you are done with the three exercises, do four rounds of shadow-boxing, alternating between one working minute and one resting minute. Have fun with this one!
Another run day? You guessed it. Only today we’re going to keep it short and sweet...and highly intense. Head out to a track or hop on the treadmill or just pop out your front door and go for it. In the Army, we call these 30–60’s, though you are probably more familiar with the term HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. What this means is for thirty seconds, you are going to go whole hog, full sprint and then for 60 seconds you will go into a very, very slow jog. The idea here is to get your heart rate up and work as hard as you can during the working seconds. Do these for twelve iterations, and you’ll look and feel as though you just ran eight miles. Put in the work and reap the benefit.
Only two days left on this reboot, so it is time to push yourself and make a commitment to betterment. Today is the power of ten. Five exercises, ten reps each, ten rounds. Take as much time as you need, no penalty for taking all day. Just try to get that heart rate up and remember... the sooner you’re done, the sooner you can get back to doing other things.
Exercise 1: Body Weight Squats
Exercise 2: Burpees
Exercise 3: Sit Ups
Exercise 4: Hand-Release Push-Ups
Exercise 5: Jumping Jacks
I come back to this again and again, trying to beat my time from previous attempts. It is a great measuring stick for basic physical fitness. Also, it’s nice because you can do it literally anywhere.
Last day. I hope you are still motivated and looking forward to the weekend of rest and recovery. Before that, though, we’ve got one last run. I like to give myself a reward run every once and a while. While it may seem like an oxymoron, running can be quite pleasurable given the right set of circumstances. So stretch out, put on your favorite mix or a podcast or listen to nothing but the world around you and just go. Take a nice leisurely pace and use this opportunity to find comfort in your stride, pride in your accomplishments throughout the week, as well as an opportunity to decompress from the week of school or work or whatever you’ve got going on. This is your time. Enjoy it.
Let this be the spark that reminds you why you made that commitment to fitness last year. If you feel like you need some help to anchor you in your resolutions to get fit, Sunwarrior has you covered with their fitness challenge that provides motivation, social interaction, meal plans for your specific needs, and workouts for your specific needs. All of this is free of charge! Prove the statistics wrong. Get out there and move around and invest in your body and your longevity. Pretty soon this will no longer be about a promise you made to yourself at the end of last year, but a pledge to your future self to be the healthiest, happiest person you can be.
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