Pretty cool blog title, huh? After hours of deliberation, DavidLasnier.com’s board of directors came up with this ingenious title that, I’ve been told, was guaranteed to catch your attention. I’ve even been told that no one would pass on this title without wanting to read the whole post!
My actual board of directors…
All kidding aside, this title is in relation to corrective exercises. If you’ve been reading my stuff for a little bit, you should know by now that I’m a big believer in incorporating injury prevention and corrective strategies in training programs to help my athletes and clients move better and lower their risk of injuries. And I’m not the only one; there is a pretty big trend in fitness world that seems to be going on right now. I think it’s a really good thing that more coaches and trainers are now aware of the importance of the glute function in hip extension, scapular stability in shoulder health, etc. With all the smart minds in this business, new corrective exercises come out every day giving us a really big toolbox to work with when it comes down to corrective exercises.
NOT what I’m talking about!
One thing I feel we don’t stress enough with corrective exercises though is that the way we perform them is crucial. It’s a good thing to include glute bridges in a client’s program that seems to be prone to low back pain. But it’s not going to do much good for him if he’s not performing it the right way, or if he just goes through the motion. Sticking with the glute bridge example, if your client doesn’t know that the whole purpose if the exercise is to squeeze his butt cheeks as he lifts his hips up, he might be compensating with his hamstrings, or even worse, his lower back. If the ribs flare out at the top, or if the client feels the movement in his hamstrings or low back, there is something that needs to be fixed. Anyway, you get the point.
For that reason, switching around your corrective exercises all the time might not be a good idea. You want to make sure that your client masters a certain movement perfectly before moving on to something else; the goal is not always to have him do something “challenging”. It’s still a corrective exercise and it should never be a max effort anyway because that is exactly when your body will look to compensate. Corrective exercises should be kept simple; you should try to reinforce the same ones with a client until there is some sort of improvement. You’re really not doing him a favor if you throw a bunch of new corrective exercises at him every couple of weeks, just for variety purposes. Keep in mind that the client doesn’t know any of that stuff, and for every new exercise, he has 4-5 different things to think about at the same time while he’s perform it correctly. If you need to stick with the good old 2-legged glute bridge for 3 months before your client really gets it and feels it in his butt, that’s what you need to do. Variety or results? Which one are you really after? Pretty simple answer.
Start with the basics, make sure the execution is flawless, that your client feels the exercise in the right spot (if needed), and never progress a corrective exercise until you see progress. In a way, it’s just like a lifting program; it doesn’t need to get fancy schmancy with tons of new exercises in every new monthly program, because you’ll never know if you’re making progress or not.
As you can see, getting fancy is not always your best bet…
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Warm ups have been an important part of any training program almost forever. Warm ups have also evolved since the classic “just go for a 10 minutes jog” that most coaches and trainers used to recommend 20 years ago. I do realize that it’s still common practice by highly uneducated personal trainers and coaches around the world, but I’m not going to get into this…
Mobility exercises, activation exercises, movement pattern training, dynamic stretching, foam rolling and the dozen of others soft-tissue work modalities are usually some of the components we can include in a good warm up. Depending on your own situation, it might not be possible to include all of the above, and in fact, for some it might be possible to include only one or two. The amount of time you spend with each client or athlete is going to dictate what your warm up is going to look like. But it doesn’t mean that your warm up should take 30 minutes when you have more time with your clients and athletes. The reason I say this is because there are many different components (as I mentioned above) that can fit into your warm up and it’s easy to get caught trying to include too much, and your warm up routine might end up taking forever to perform. The warm up is essential to improve range of motion, increase blood flow to the muscles, increase heart rate and body temperature and decrease tension in stiff muscles. But it’s also called a warm up. It shouldn’t take half the time of your total session. You want to choose the things that are going to be the most bang for your buck, get it done and be ready to attack your training.
Here’s the way I structure my warm ups in order to make them as effective as possible without taking forever:
- Self soft-tissue work: 5 min- Working on tight areas, usually 4-5 different areas (might different ones every day, depending on how I feel)
- Specifc warm up: 3-4 min- this is the time where I work on personal weaknesses or corrective work (this can include FMS correctives, correct a dysfunctional movement pattern, etc). Currently I use this time to do PRI breathing drills.
- General warm up: 3-4 min- this will include more general movement patterns that will help improve dynamic range of motion and body temperature at the same time (combination of lunges, inverted reach, push ups, etc)
- Movement preparation: 3-4 min (if needed)- if I’m going to do any kind of dynamic work like sprints or plyometrics I will always include some sort of skips, cariocas, shuffle, back pedal, hops, etc. If I only lift, I’ll usually just skip that part.
Following this model, a good, complete warm up would take you about 14-15 minutes (10-12 if you don’t do any movement prep). It really covers everything and it’s not too long!
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Being a strength and conditioning coach is not much different than being a sports coach, a school teacher or even a music teacher. We all teach something. The skills or the material we teach is different, but in the end, it’s pretty much all the same. Kids will learn something from us that will make them better at something.
So in a way, we need to have a pretty good mastery of the material or the skills we teach. We also need to be able to communicate well in order to help the kids get better. Being a good player will not guarantee that you will be a good coach, or that you will be good at helping the kids become better at playing their sport.
But other than teaching kids to get better playing guitar, playing hockey, learning history, or improving the way they move and helping them get stronger, what are we there for? Being a teacher or a coach in whatever field is also about making an impact in kids lives.
No matter how old the kids you’re coaching or teaching are, kindergarten or college, you can make an impact. You can make an impact by making them better at what they do, but it goes far beyond that. Some kids need guidance, encouragement, rewards, better self-esteem, and sometimes just someone to talk to. The impact you can make in a kid’s life is huge. So many of the kids we train at Endeavor leave after training for a couple months with us with more confidence than they ever had, and sometimes it’s all it takes for them to become a better soccer player, baseball player, hockey player, etc.
Too often we underestimate the influence we can have on a young person’s life. Many habits, lifestyle changes and values can be taught through strength and conditioning, like any sport, discipline or school subject. Kids are very influenceable and very moldable and there lives are just waiting to be shaped by their parents, family, friends, coaches, teachers and whoever comes in their life.
One of the stories about a coach’s influence in an athlete’s life that I really like is the one of Cus D’Amato and the impact he had on boxing legend Mike Tyson. D’Amato, who was a nearly retired boxing manager took Tyson under his wing and made him one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Tyson with his late manager and mentor Cus D’Amato
With the help of D’Amato, Tyson found discipline, work ethic, respect and got his life together; D’Amato was the father figure he never had in his life. Tyson always attributed his success and rise to stardom to D’Amato who helped him have structure in his life. What is amazing about this story is that Tyson before D’Amato was a bum, who grew up in high-crime neighborhoods all is life, who has been arrested over 30 times by the time he was 13 and lost his mom at 16. Despite everything in his life that was pointing to him becoming a criminal, Tyson had the chance to cross path with D’Amato, who put him on right track and gave his life structure.
And if you’re not convinced of the positive impact of D’Amato in Tyson’s life, just take a look at how his career turned after D’Amato died in 1985, and after he fired Kevin Rooney in 1988 (who was his trainer under D’Amato); Tyson’s career started to decline, he started having problems inside and outside the ring and he never was the same boxer again.
Of course it is a peculiar situation, and you can’t expect all the kids you coach or teach to be little Mike Tysons who need someone to put them on the right path. But there is always a way you can impact a kid’s life in a way you can’t imagine.
How are you going to make an impact with your athletes today?
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I’ve had a couple people come up to me recently with a nagging shoulder pain. One of them was one of the baseball pitchers that I train during the summer who’s now in College. He’s had a nagging pain in his throwing shoulder for the past couple of months that’s preventing him from pitching at the same intensity as he used to, and now he’s freaking out because the baseball season is starting in a couple of weeks. The second is a good friend of mine who’s into the Crossfit thing and he was telling me one of his shoulder has been bothering him for a little bit. They both had pain in their shoulder with either the shoulder clearing test from the FMS (baseball player) or the empty can test (Crossfit guy).
The Empty Can Test
A quick assessment of their range of motion around the shoulder showed an internal rotation deficit in the painful shoulder for both of them. Shoulder extension wasn’t too bad in both cases and t-spine ROM was lacking a little bit in the Crossfit guy.
Instead of cranking on their range of motion and possibly forcing something that’s not there (and possibly originates somewhere else), I gave them 2 simple breathing exercises that I learned from the Postural Restoration Institute to re-establish proper diaphragm function, as well as ribs, thorax and scapulae positioning. I also gave my Crossfit buddy a t-spine mobility and scapular stabilizer drill do to because his posture was not great.
The positioning of the diaphragm can affect all the surrounding structures
After only 5 minutes, both of them had an increased internal rotation range of motion in the painful shoulder; and I did absolutely no stretching or soft-tissue work whatsoever. And even more importantly, their shoulder pain wasn’t there anymore with neither the FMS shoulder clearing test or the empty can test!
This is how important proper breathing patterns and diaphragm function are. It can affect the way your shoulder, your pelvis and everything around them is positioned. Before forcing range of motion and hammering the soft-tissue work, make sure your athletes and clients are breathing right!
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I wrote a new program for the Endeavor staff a couple weeks ago. After reading Joel Jamieson’s Ultimate MMA Conditioning book, I realized a lot about energy system training and I wanted to experiment with some of stuff in the book. With that in mind, I wrote a general endurance block. I figured since none of us had good muscular endurance or conditioning levels right now that would be a good idea to work on some of that stuff for a couple of training cycles. Combined to the fact that I did almost exclusively max strength stuff for the past 5-6 years and my joints were starting to hate me recently, purposely lifting light weights for a little bit sounded pretty appealing.
Not THAT light, though!
That being said, we’re starting week 2 of this general endurance program and I will admit that I’m really enjoying the change of pace. I’m feeling really sore from squatting 95 pounds, which is completely crazy! But when your time under tension is 40 seconds per set, you have no pause between reps and your rest between sets is 30 seconds, the weights you’re using are ridiculously light! Other than that I feel really good!
As much as I believe in the importance of max strength in a training program, I’m also starting to think that there is a time and place for it; and the answer is not ‘all the time’! Working to improve your muscle endurance, power endurance, and other qualities can have their place in a yearly training program. You don’t have to put a focus on max strength in every training program. There are other adaptations that are gonna be beneficial that you won’t be able to get through max strength training (e.g. oxidative capacities of your muscle fibers, hypertrophy of slow twitch fibers, endurance of slow twitch fibers, etc, etc).
Right now, my body enjoys the break from the heavy weights. My joints are feeling better, it is not even close to being as CNS intensive as max strength training, and most of all, I feel completely out of my comfort zone, which is not easy, but it’s good. The aerobic conditioning part of the program is probably what pushes me out of my comfort the most because I probably never ran for more than 5 minutes in a row before! I get sore pretty easily with this program, but my body doesn’t feel crushed, if that makes any sense. Every training day, I’m ready to attack whatever is on the program that day, I don’t feel smoked form the previous session with no motivation to lift, like I’ve been feeling for the last 2-3 months. There’s something to be said about being able to kick your own ass, but there’s also something to be said about listening to your body when you keep feeling that way day in and day out.
This is how I was feeling recently…before I started foam rolling!
Get out of your comfort zone once in a while when you train, if you don’t already. It’s not easy and you might find it very hard compared to whatever you’re doing, but it’ll be good for you, it’ll change the stress on your body (which is necessary once in a while) and you’ll end up feeling good!
Strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers use a variety of different coaching cues to guide their clients and athletes to perform various exercises the right way. When you first start coaching or training people, you talk too much, demonstrate too many times and use too many coaching cues, and your clients end up being confused. Rightfully so! Just imagine trying to perform a complex movement that you have never done in your entire life and that is not even close to being similar to something you know; you have no point of reference, your body doesn’t recognize the movement pattern, and on top of that, the person teaching you the movement just keeps talking and adding the number of things you should focus on! You end up not being able to focus on any one thing because there are too many of them.
But luckily, as you become a better trainer or coach you refine your coaching technique, simplify your explanations and use fewer coaching cues. You also realize that the most effective coaching cues end up being 90% the same from person to person. The “chest up” cue is definitely one that’s very common among coaches and trainers. But it’s also an effective one for a bunch of different exercises. You can usually use the “chest up” cue with the squat, the deadlift, all variations of horizontal pulling exercises and most posterior chain exercises, just to name a few.
I use the “chest up” cue quite a bit myself. Combine a loud “chest up” yelled across the room with a French-Canadian accent, and you have something for athletes and fellow coaches at Endeavor to make fun of me for! It has became a running joke around Endeavor, and our athletes will take the first opportunity to make fun of me, as you can testify yourself by listening to Colby Cohen, Boston Bruins prospect, at the beginning of the following video (I’m also famous for the “butt tight” cue as well, as you’ll notice):
Coming back to serious matters, the “chest up” cue is definitely a useful one to use, but one that you need to be careful with. There are some unwanted results that could present with this particular coaching cue. Let me explain…
The “chest up” cue is an effective one because it’s short, simple and hard to misinterpret. What we are usually looking for with the “chest up” cue is for the client or athlete to prevent from rounding or slouching at the upper back and thoracic spine, and keep the spine neutral. You might also use the “chest up” cue to help pack the shoulder blades back together when back squatting or doing a horizontal pull. But one problem may present when an athlete or client tries to get his chest up. What they don’t know when we say “chest up” is that we want an extension at the thoracic spine, but too often they will get that extension through their lower back or thoraco-lumbar junction.
T-L junction subsitution for thoracic extension
And if you don’t pay close attention to it, you might not even notice, especially if the client or athlete is wearing a loose shirt.
A lumbar hyperextension is not always obvious when you wear a loose shirt
An extension at the thoraco-lumbar junction will in turn cause a lower ribs flare in the front. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that a rib flare is also associated with faulty breathing pattern because the diaphragm is not in an efficient position to do its job.
Just notice how differently the diaphragm is positioned between the inhaling and exhaling phases of breathing
So it’s very important to be conscious how your client or athlete will adjust when you tell him/her to get his/her chest up. Again, the coaching cue in itself is not bad to use, you just need to be more aware of how the person in front of you will interpret it, and you can make the adjustment when necessary. Personally, when correcting it, I like to put my finger tips on the person’s lower ribs while instructing them to get their ribs down while keeping their chest up; it usually works pretty well.
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Everybody makes mistakes. And if you think you’re any different and you don’t make any, you’re really kidding yourself and it’s probably time for a reality check.
We all make mistakes, whether we like to admit it or not; this is human nature. It’s part of the learning process. Strength and conditioning coaches are not different. I’m no different.
This is the time of year where everybody makes resolution for the new year or highlights what they learned or changed in the last year. I’ll give my 2011 review a different flavor by giving you my top 5 mistakes I made in the last year (or the ones that have lasted up to this past year).
1. Recommending minimalist footwear for everyone. I wrote a whole blog post on the subject not too long ago (if you missed it you can check it out HERE). The idea is that for too long we have restrained our feet in footwear with a lot of cushioning, big heel lifts and support all around. That made the feet become lazy, and they stopped doing their job because they didn’t have to anymore. But the thing is that the problem can originate somewhere else; in other words, the feet are not always the source of the problem, but rather the result from a problem originating somewhere else. In our lifestyle in 2012, there is more than just our footwear that’s wrong. Sedentary lifestyles, prolonged sitting, poor posture, long commute in cars, and early development in young athletes who do too much too young are all factors that can wreak havoc on our bodies. Any of these factors (or a combination of) can lead to permanent structural changes on our bodies. Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), femoral anteversion and retroversion and other hip problems can lead to different feet position and structural variations.
Probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have this guy run in Vibrams…
Before I digress too much, it simply means that not everyone can get away with wearing Vibram Five Fingers or New Balance Minimus all day. I used to blindly recommend those type of shoes without assessing the person. Let’s just say that I’m a lot more careful about it now. As a side note, overweight and poor running mechanics are 2 other factors that would lead me to not recommend a minimalist type of shoes for physical activity.
2. Minimizing the importance of breathing. If you’ve followed my blog for some time, you should know by now the importance I pay to breathing patterns. I’ve blogged about that many times during the last year, and I must say that the more I learn about it, the more I realize how crucial it is with any movement pattern and for proper alignment (as a side note, I can improve your range of motion just by teaching you how to breathe; that’s how powerful it is). The diaphragm muscles (yes, there are 2 of them) have fascial connections with the thoraco-lumbar fascia which in turn connects with the psoas (that attaches on the spine) and the hips.
Because of that, proper diaphragm function and proficient breathing patterns are essential for optimal posture and positioning through various movement patterns. Ineffective use of the diaphragm muscles could lead to hyperextension of the thoraco-lumbar region, faulty positioning of the hips and plenty of other problems all the way up and down the chain. This is something I coach a lot now, and it has made a huge difference on our athletes at Endeavor. If you’re not familiar with proper breathing patterns and diaphragm function, I suggest you take a look at the PRI stuff (Postural Restoration Institute).
3. Mismanaging training volumes and intensities. Whether it is in my own training or the ones of my athletes, I think I have not always been good at managing fatigue and recovery. On paper, training volumes always look well managed, but the reality is that it goes far bey0nd that. For one, if you always go balls to the walls when you train and push yourself the the very limit every training session lifting maximal weights and pushing lactic conditioning ’til you puke, chances are you won’t recover properly even if the planned training volume for the week is moderate. The other thing is that there are a lot of other factors that factors in the equation (quantity and quality of sleep, nutrition, other sports and activities outside of the gym, the party factor, etc). Whether you like it or not, there aren’t that many athletes that won’t take some time to enjoy life during their off-season, which usually means spending a day at the beach not eating too well (or enough) or have a late night and a couple of beers once in a while. In their off-season, athletes not only need a physical break from their sport, but a mental one as well. Nothing wrong with that, as long as they keep it in check and don’t overdo it. It struck me this past summer when we had one of our pro hockey player return to Endeavor after a very long season in which his team ended up winning the Stanley Cup. First of all he came back from his team mid to late June, almost 2 months later than all the other guys, but he was also way more beat up physically and mentally. It was apparent that even after almost 10 days completely off, he just didn’t have the wheels he had the previous off-season (which started in April the year before- that’s a big difference). He took more days off from training than the previous off-season and the number of days he showed up hungry to get after it were definitely not as frequent. The off-season is not only about getting ready for the upcoming season, but also recovering from the previous one, especially if it was a very long and excruciating one. This is where HRV measurement tools are gonna come in handy; it allows you to measure physical and nervous system fatigue and you can manage fatigue and recovery so much better. And that technology is becoming available to us. I blogged about this before.
4. Aerobic training is not the evil I thought it was. I always stood up against aerobic training for team sports because it’s simply not the way most sports are played. After trying to prove my point for years, and I am starting to realize certain things. I still don’t think I was wrong about the fact that long slow pace aerobic training is not specific to sports, but I’m starting to realize that the pendulum may just have swung too far.
The aerobic system plays a huge role in recovery for the lactic and alactic systems and a decent amount of the energy produced in a team sports setting will come from the aerobic system. It still doesn’t mean that you should go for hour long jogs 4-5 times a week to get ready for your hockey season, but there just might be a place for steady state aerobics in a yearly training plan after all.
5. Not enough external rotation based rotator cuff exercises for my baseball players. With the importance of scapular stability, t-spine mobility, breathing patterns and working the rotator cuff in a stability role, I will admit that I neglected external rotation based exercises a little bit last off-season with my baseball players.
Shoulder injury prevention is about much more than just external rotation exercises, but it might have been another pendulum that swung too far for me because I haven’t done much of it with my baseball pitchers last off-season. The reality is that the external rotators of the shoulder still need to decelerate the crazy velocity of internal rotation that occurs at the shoulder in a pitching motion (over 7,000°/sec), so it’s still specific to do direct external rotation work with baseball pitchers, so these muscles become better at decelerating the internal rotation.
Those are the mistakes I’ve made this past year. What are the mistakes you’ve made during the last year?
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I’m just finishing up Joel Jamieson‘s book Ultimate MMA Conditioning, and as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, it’s definitely an eye opener for me. There are many things about conditioning that I thought I understood well, and now I’m just starting to rethink everything. And to be honest, it goes far beyond just the conditioning part of training. I’m starting to rethink some of the strength stuff as well.
Ever since I read the Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual from Eric Cressey and after I interned at Robert Morris University a few years ago, I was seeing max strength as the answer to pretty much everything; if athletes just got stronger, everything else would just fall into place. I still think that max strength is a very important part of an athlete’s training program, and has profound effects on speed, power and agility. But I’m starting to realize that it’s not all…
With that focus on max strength, the emphasis is mostly on improving the efficiency of the nervous system, increasing the activation of the fast-twitch muscle fibers and recruiting more motor units. All of these effects are very important for any athlete if they want to improve their performance. And this is mostly how we usually see strength training; it’s all about the nervous system, the muscle fibers and everything in between.
What we, myself included, too often fail to consider is the energy systems part of the equation. And I’m not talking about how we condition our athletes. I’m talking about the implication of the energy systems in strength training. There is indeed a big neural and muscle fiber effect that comes from strength training, but there is also a energy system effect. Even if it’s not conditioning in it’s traditional form, your body still need to produce the energy necessary to lift the weights. When we lift weights and train for max strength, the anaerobic alactic system is going to be the one that is used primarily, which also means that we don’t have to worry too much about oxygen utilization, the number of mitochondrias in the muscle and that kind of stuff…..but that’s for one set of one exercise.
What happens when we run out of stored ATP after one set in the anaerobic alactic system? Your body needs to recover and regenerate that source of energy while you rest. And how does that happen? Because you’re resting and the demands on your body are fairly low until you start your following set, this recovery process will happen through the aerobic system. Now can you see where I’m going with this?
This is just one example to show you that your energy systems, and especially your aerobic system are involved in strength training even if you don’t think about it. Not because we’re using weights means no energy system work is happening. There is not a clear line between strength work and conditioning. There is some overlap, just like there is some overlap between each energy system when you condition AND when you strength train.
Think about the implication this can have on your max strength and ensuing effect it’s gonna have in the practice of your sport. Training for max strength is going to improve the efficiency of your nervous system and increase the percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers activation. But if you don’t realize the importance of the aerobic system in the recovery process after short bouts of intense activity (a.k.a the use of the anaerobic alactic system), chances are you’ll be performing your first shift (or your first play, your first punch, first set, etc) at a very high intensity and you’ll have an edge over your opponents…..and then it’s gonna go downhill from there until the end of your game, match, etc. because your body will not have been trained to recover quickly. If your body can’t recover as fast as possible every time, your performance will only get worse and worse as your game goes on. Nobody wants that!
This is why understanding the importance and the implication of ALL the energy systems is crucial for your performance or the one of your athletes. And that includes being aware of the implications of the energy systems on strength training and how to maximize the performance and recovery of each one of them.
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After a week of vacation in Montreal (and a week off from blogging), I feel more refreshed than ever and ready to attack 2012 with great energy! I hope you also had some time off to recharge your batteries, and that you’re looking to make the best out of this upcoming year.
As the new year rolls around, it’s usually a time to make new resolution. We all have things we want to get better at or change, and the new year always seems to be an appropriate time to do so. Whether your resolution is to get in shape, lose weight, stop smoking, be better about staying in touch with family and friends, be more positive about life, resolutions also have the reputation of not lasting very long.
Being in the fitness industry, and having worked in a commercial gym for some years, I am used to seeing people make health and fitness resolutions quite a bit. And just like any other resolution, I don’t see many of them lasting very long.
Is it that people don’t really want that change to happen? No. Is it because they are too lazy? Not really (although it might be the case sometimes). Is it a lack of determination? I don’t think so. To me the real problem is a lack of planning. Most of the time, when people fail to keep up with a resolution is because they don’t have a plan. Too many people fail to realize the importance it will have when trying to make a permanent change in their life.
I see people who want to get in shape and want to lose fat all the time. But they don’t plan anything to reach their goal or hold on to their resolution. “I want to get in shape” is a very blank and vague statement by itself, and if you want to turn that statement into a successful resolution you need to find ways to achieve it and elaborate a specific plan. Subscribing to the local gym is a good place to start, but it’s fa from being enough. You need a program that’s specific to your goals (that might mean getting yourself a trainer). You also need a schedule. You need to plan which days and what time specifically you’ll go to the gym; it needs to be put in your schedule and given the same importance as any meeting or appointment, otherwise it won’t last.
Whatever your resolution might be, you need to lay out a plan on how you will go about achieving your goal and keeping up with your new resolution. Failure to do so will invariably lead you to become just another one who doesn’t keep up with his new year resolution. It’s just like going on a road trip; you need to know what your destination is, but that by itself is not enough. If you try to get somewhere without knowing which road to use, you’ll most likely get lost and will never reach your destination. You need to know the road(s) you’re going to take there.
The bottom line is that if you make a resolution and want to hold on to it, and not drop off from it, only to make the same resolution next year, you better know what it is that you want exactly, write down an action plan on how you’re going to achieve it or keep up with it, have a schedule and be ready to follow it.
Resolutions only fall short because most people plan poorly to follow them. But with appropriate planning, this year might just be the year where you keep up with your resolution once and for all!