By Scott FitzPatrick

Win the fitness game in 2013

It’ mind boggling that we find ourselves making the same fitness resolution year after year, though it should be a hint that there’s often something remiss in our approach. Indeed, studies have shown that only about 8 percent of the newly resolute who are hoisting dumbbells or trying to figure out how to program the elliptical trainer this week will still be exercising regularly a few months down the road. It could be that their expectations are unduly influenced by TV infomercials, which show preternaturally buff models and promise you can get a six-pack in the time it takes to make three monthly credit-card payments.

Most people set their goals unrealistically high, but there is a way to keep that resolution and reinvent yourself physically in 2013. You need a plan and K2 Martial Arts and Fitness coaches are experts in helping you build such a plan, with reasonable, realistic, achievable goals, and a step-by-step schedule for getting there that you’ll be able to stick to. Think of it this way: If you had resolved to start a yogurt stand or a mail-order company in 2013, you wouldn’t even consider investing your time and money until you developed a detailed business plan. Think of this as a business plan for your body.  If you’re serious about seeing results and keeping to this year’s fitness resolutions you’ll understand the importance of getting expert consultation with a proven track record as the K2 Martial Arts & Fitness coaches provide.

Here are some key points that we’ll focus on when creating your fitness plan for 2013.


1. Start with an honest self-assessment.

Unless you know where your starting point is, it’s difficult to know what is attainable in a year’s time. One way to do this is to have a K2 Martial Arts and Fitness coach evaluate you, we meet every new candidate individually to preform a one on one assessment to identify exactly where we need to concentrate to gain maximum results. (Of course, if you haven’t been active in a while, you also should get a checkup from your doctor as well.)

2. Set realistic goals, and create a clear picture of them in your mind.

You don’t necessarily need a drastic metamorphosis to look and feel better, or be healthier.  Research shows that even losing five percent of your body weight –10 pounds in a 200-pound person — can significantly lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. So losing simply 10 pounds and keeping it off is a worthy goal for some of us.

If you’re already an experienced martial artist with a passion for the sport/art, you can also set a performance goal.  Increased stamina training or faster execution of your kickboxing techniques, more powerful and accurate movements, a higher level difficulty of combinations and strikes are some examples of worthy performance goals.

3. Figure out a step-by-step schedule for gradually achieving your goal.

Once you can envision yourself as you want to be on December 31, we suggests that you engage in a bit of reverse-engineering. If you see yourself as 30 pounds lighter, or being able to do a 1000 kick challenge or participating in an amateur competition ,work backwards and figure out how much progress you need to make each month, week or even each day. When you break a task down into smaller increments, it seems more achievable.  For example, if you expend an average of 200-to-500 calories per day exercising — something you can easily achieve with three to four weekly sessions of 45 minutes of Kickboxing and Martial Arts — and combine that with eating 250-to-400 fewer calories each day, you probably can lose about one-and-a-quarter pounds a week. If you can stick to that, by the end of April, you’ll be 20 pounds lighter.

4. Get fitter in phases.

Before you build a house, you’ve got to lay a foundation and put up a sturdy inner frame, and the same principle holds true for your body. K2 Martial Arts & Fitness coaches will help you gradually build up strength and conditioning through proper technical instruction of how to properly execute your strikes and exercise components.  This foundation is critical to allow us later to ramp up the intensity and overall performance.  Think about it, like a car engine on a bitterly cold morning, you don’t just want to jump in a drive off gunning the engine at the maximin RPM.  That would be crazy! Same is true for our human body, initially we have to tune up and gradually elevate the strain so we can safely reach our full potential.

5. Factor rest into the equation.

It’s common knowledge that our muscles and cardiovascular systems take longer to recover from strenuous exercise as we get older, plan your rest time between exercise sessions as carefully as you do your workouts. K2 Martial Arts & Fitness programs have some really exciting and innovative ways to help lessen soreness, the bane of aging athletes: by switching up periodically the nature of your workout replace high endurance exercises with circuit training and then again with strength and power training. This way your not beating up the same muscles with repetitive motions.

6. Be adaptable to the unpredictable.

Inevitably, life gets in the way of your exercise plans, whether the interruption comes from a nasty case of the flu, a family emergency, or a boss who’s piling a mountain of work in your inbox. Those are the moments when you’re most likely to give up on your fitness resolution, unless you learn to go with the flow. We have to act as pilots for our own personal fitness destination.  Imagine an airline pilot that takes off from Ottawa to fly to Vancouver. He’s got a course mapped out. However if he encounters a thunderstorm over Winnipeg, he may have to change direction and fly around it. When he gets back to clear skies, he goes back to the straightforward route. You’ve got to be prepared for distractions. Don’t use them as an excuse.  If you can’t get to your K2 Martial Arts and Fitness class, take a brisk walk around the block, practice your movements at home or squeeze in one of our online home training segements.  That way, you can more quickly catch up when you get back to your regular class routine.

If you’re looking for a great template for setting up a long-term fitness plan, that will keep you on track and achieving your 2013 resolutions in winning style.  Come into K2 Martial Arts and fitness for a FREE orientation and fitness assessment.