The beginning of a new year always feels like a new chance to make ourselves better. A fresh start. A clean slate. So it’s natural for us to write up our new years resolutions. Travel more. Spend more time with friends and family. and, everyone’s favorite: Get fit, lose weight, be healthy etc. But even though January is the typical time to hit the weights, it can be the worst time to get fit. Busy gyms, expensive fees and equipment (after spending all our money on Christmas presents), cold weather (who wants to start up their car to go to the gym in -30 degree weather?) and pure exhaustion from a busy holiday season. Don’t let this discourage you! If your New Years Resolution is to get fit, then damnit let’s get fit! Here are my tips to kick off the New Year during the busiest fitness time of year, and to help you keep that fit resolution.
1. Avoid the Gym.
Avoid it like the plague. I refuse to go to any gym until at least February/March. It is crawling with tons of people who all have the same resolutions as you. And while it’s a good thing that people want to hit the gym and get fit, it’s a bad thing if you plan on getting any sort of a workout done in under two hours. According to IHRSA, 12 per cent of gym memberships are bought in January. Compared to the 8.3 per cent during the rest of the year. So, if you head out to the gym this month, don’t be surprised.
2. If You Have to Go to the Gym, Plan a Workout With Only One Piece of Equipment.
Okay, what I mean here is if you have to workout at the gym, pick one set of dumbbells or a barbell and find space at the gym to complete an entire workout with this equipment. This way, you don’t end up wasting time waiting to use equipment or finding other equipment. This will keep your workouts efficient and keep your heart pumping with minimal breaks. One of the first reasons we start to give up on working out is because we don’t have the time. Minimizing the time spent in the gym will allow you to not make this excuse.
3. Make A Home Gym.
Working out at home is a very easy way to get your workouts in. And if you’re worried it will cost too much money, you are wrong. There are many different body-weight workouts that can target every muscle in your body. If you want to add more variations into your workout, buying a workout band and a yoga mat won’t break your budget. In fact, it would probably cost less than a month membership. You can even use towels as sliders to change up any workout. It’s easy to find all sorts of at home workouts online! Give it a try! Here’s a sample workout, just to give you an idea:
- Push-ups – 15 reps – 3 sets
- Tricep Push-ups – 12 reps – 3 sets
- Triceps Dip (on chair) – 12 reps – 3 sets
- Bent-Over Row with band – 15 reps – 3 sets
- Bicep Curl with band – 15 reps (per arm) – 3 sets
- Shoulder Press with Band – 12 reps – 3 set
- Jump Squats – 15 reps – 3 sets
- Lunges – 15 reps (per leg) – 3 sets
- Single-Legged Calf Raise – 12 reps (per leg) – 3 sets
- Lying Bridge – 15 reps – 3 sets
- Single-Leg Deadlift – 12 reps (per leg) – 3 sets
- Side Lunge – 12 reps (per leg) – 3 sets
4. Don’t Have a Clue How To Workout? Invest in a Workout Class.
If the thought of trying to figure out your own workouts scares the bejesus out of you, a workout class might be the way to go. Find one that interests you or that you can go to with a friend. This way, the class will always have the equipment/space and you’ll get the instruction you need. Classes are usually only 50 minutes long, and you’ll avoid the craziness of the gym.
5. Be Aware Of the “Busy Times.”
If you want to crush that workout after a day at work, you might want to think twice. The gym is the busiest before and after work (6-8am and 5-7pm). You are more than welcome to get your workout in at these times, just be prepared for the zoo that will be inside. If you have a more flexible job, try to hit up the gym at lunch or between 1-3pm for less crowds. If you’re a night hawk, after 8pm is a good time to go as well.
Some of these tips might seem obvious. But every year I see people give up on their health and fitness goals because it can be too overwhelming in January. Keep these tips in mind, start your fitness goals now, and allow your workouts and strengths to grow. Do not let the rush or pressure of the New Year to discourage you.