Saturday, April 9, 2011

An assessment of my lifestyle to reach my fitness goals...

 I read this article on a fitness magazine website. In order for me to reach my fitness goals, I need to honestly assess my behaviors and develop action plans to modify those behaviors.

 The Success Quotient – reach your fitness goals

Are you getting the results you deserve from your exercise time? Are your workouts effective, productive and enjoyable? Are you moving towards not just reaching your fitness goals but exceeding them? 

Exercise and eating well are only two parts of the equation – when it comes to getting into great shape, what you do during the rest of the 168 hours that make up the week is as important as what you do in the gym.

To improve your chances of success and reaching your fitness goals, answer the following 29  questions honestly, making note of any shortcomings or areas that need attention….

For each question use the following scoring system…
Always = 10
Mostly = 8
Frequently = 5
Rarely = 3
Never = 0

Look at each 10 question section individually to see how you are faring exercise, nutrition and recovery wise and then add up the score for all 3 sections, divide by 3, to give you your combined score…

Section 1 – Training

If you are taking the time to exercise, it makes sense to do it right. If you score badly in this section, make some changes so that unproductive workouts become a thing of the past!
  1. Free weight/bodyweight exercises make up most of my training volume 8 - Do more free weights and body exercises and LESS machines.
  2. Compound exercises make up 80%+ of my training volume 8 - Keep on doing compound exercises!
  3. I use proper exercise techniques in all my training (minimal cheating)10
  4. My training programme reflects my goals and weakness 8 I need to re-asses mu goals and how to get there. I know what my weaknesses are and I try not to go beyond them, otherwise I'll get hurt. As far as my glutes, I need MORE work!
  5. I change my programme at least every 6 weeks but stick with it long enough to give it chance to work 10
  6. My programme is balanced to ensure all major muscles are trained equally and I perform not just the exercises I’m good at but also the ones I’m not good at 10
  7. I refrain from performing low quality workouts e.g. junk miles, too much easy cardio etc. 10
  8. My training is consistent and I seldom miss workout except when absolutely necessary 10
  9. I perform adequate appropriate CV and flexibility work for my goals and my health 5 - I don't know what CV is, but I do not do enough flkexibility exercises. I need to do this!!!
 Total: 77

Section 2 – Nutrition
Without good nutrition not only your fitness but your health may suffer. Even if your training is perfect, without adequate nutrition your body is unlikely to benefit from exercise.  Like putting the right fuel in a high-performance car, eating a well balanced diet will ensure the machine runs smoothly and optimally.
  1. I only eat junk food one or fewer times per week 5 I allow myself cheat meals on the weekends and once in a while during the week ("an extra bite here and there won't hurt" kind of mentality - but I seriously need to stop!)
  2. I consume adequate quality protein according to my requirements 10
  3. I consume adequate carbohydrates according to my requirements 10
  4. I avoid low quality/highly refined foods as much as possible 8 Not when I have my binge eating attacks! I will attack anything! :-(
  5. I try to minimise my consumption of processed foods, sugar and trans fats 8 Not when I have my binge eating attacks! I will attack anything! :-(
  6. I consume fruit and/or vegetables with every meal 10
  7. I eat 4-6 quality meals a day (not just snacks) 10
  8. I consume a post workout meal within 15 minutes of my training session 10
  9. I keep my alcohol intake within healthy levels 10 (I do not drink.) 
  10. I drink 2 or more litres of plain water a day plus 250ml per 15 minutes of exercise 10

Total: 91

Section 3 – Recovery
To benefit from exercise, the body must be allowed to recover. For recovery to occur we need to be in a neutral state called homeostasis which means all the systems of the body are in balance. If our body is out of balance e.g. because of too much stress or too little sleep, its recovery ability will be impaired and, as a result, progress is likely to be slow or possibly non-existent. Work with your body – not against it!
  1. I try to keep my stress levels to a minimum 10
  2. I sleep 8-10 hours a night 5 - Not all the time. I sleep 7 hours (max) a night. Some weekends I will make up, and I wake up with a sore back! I need to go to bed earlier and water up a little later (15 minutes). I need to learn how to fall as asleep fast. I need better relaxation methods. 
    • Drink less caffeine; no caffeine after 3pm
    • Do not drink water after 7:30pm
    • Ear plugs
    • Blind fold
  3. I go to bed no later than 11pm 10
  4. I get a sports massage at least once a month 0 I have never gotten a massage! I will after I graduate :)
  5. I am on time with work tasks and/or studies 8 Not all the time, I need to be though!
  6. I take time to relax during the week – not just at weekends 10
  7. If I drink alcohol, I do so in moderation 10(I do not drink.)
  8. If I am feeling over tired, injured or unwell, I will refrain from training until I feel better 10
  9. When my stress levels are high, I reduce my training intensity/volume 8 I don't let myself stop, otherwise I will become a mess. I like keeping it to a minimum or not stopping. 
  10. I perform a light CV cool down post training 3 I need to cool down! At least take 5 minutes to stretch before I hit the locker room! 
 Total: 74

Add the scores for each section together and divide by 3 to give you your Success Quotient percentage…

 Total: 77+91+74 = 242/290 = 83%

90-100% – Excellent!
You are virtually bound to make good progress and, with continued determination and patience, should have little trouble reaching your health and fitness goals.
70-89% – Adequate
Some of your practices are maybe holding you back and whilst you may well reach your fitness goals, it’s likely that it’ll take you a lot less time if you address the highlighted shortfalls
40-69% – Poor
Your progress and ultimate success is being hampered by poor nutrition, training and recovery habits. It’s very unlikely you’ll make significant progress towards your fitness goals unless you make some radical changes to your lifestyle
0-39% – Danger!
Not only will you fail to make any significant progress, your performance is very likely to decline with possible negative effects on your health and well being. It’s time to make some radical changes for the better before it’s too late!

So, now you know what you need to do to increase your chances of success. If you need to make changes, avoid trying to make too many at the same time. Introduce a couple of changes at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Lifestyle changes can take a while to “stick” so make it as easy as possible by making simple changes initially and working up to bigger changes once you have built up some momentum. Finally, make sure the changes you make fit as easlily as possible into your current lifestyle as if they don’t, it’s highly likely that you’ll soon revert back to your original behaviours.

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