Christmas Day. I am sitting here and writing this and my stomach is so full it actually hurts a little bit. It is the one meal that I do just fully let go and eat what and how much I want. The thing is, I know that tomorrow I'm back on it and the day will be a mere blip on the radar. The reason why it'll barely affect me is because I have trained up to Christmas, took a couple of days off to relax and then I'll be back on with my training. If anything, I'll come back strong and rested. I've factored training into my day to day life, but, I know that most of you'll say 'I don't have the time to train' well, I say you do.
Day 11: Here is the time!
I'm guessing most of you will be thinking about January as your start point. This'll be the year I get leaner and fitter. Some of you will try, most will fail. The main reason I hear from my clients and my members is that they don't have time anymore. I don't buy it. If something is important to you then you find the time. You find time to go to the pub.... you'll find time to watch another episode of Game of Thrones. I think you get my point. No one will ever give you the motivation, it must be an intrinsic feeling that drives you to do it. Honestly, it is the biggest thing that'll mean success or failure. Find it.
Next are the practical implications of time. Yes, you have kids, yes you have a job and a demanding boss, yes you have a partner that wants your attention, the list of excuses go on. We all have responsibilities. I run two businesses, I have a wife and two boys, I write articles and I'm doing another diploma. I make time because I choose to make time, it's important to me. If it's important to you, work your life around it.
"It's hours in the gym I can't do!" Ok. It takes 30 minutes to get to the gym fighting through traffic, you must get changed, then you're waiting for the treadmill, manage to grind out 36 minutes before you're bored, you make an attempt at a few reps on some of the weight machines, get showered, dressed, and back in the car through yet more traffic. I get it, it can be a slog.
My first argument would be; if you're going to do that journey then at least kick the ass out of it when you're there! There's nothing worse than wasting time on a half-hearted workout that you don't really want to do. Many of our motivations are usually linked to success. If you see a result, you'll enjoy it and will continue. This is psychology 101. Therefore, if you work really hard and lose some fat, then you'll be more likely to continue long term.
There are then two other suggestions. If your workout is a little lack-lustre and you really have no idea how to add a little va-va-voom, then throw some money at the issue and get yourself a coach or a personal trainer. Unfortunately, much like estate agents, there are multitudes of spurious trainers out there, a good one, however, is worth their weight in gold. The reason is that it's not a regulated industry so anyone could call themselves a trainer. However, this is easily rectified by asking around. You'll be surprised how many of your friends or colleagues have a coach. If they look good, then chances are they have a decent trainer.
My last tip is HIIT. No, my finger did not slip on the 'I' key, it's High Intensity Interval Training. This is basically doing any exercise as hard and as fast as you possibly can for 30-90 secs then have a short rest i.e. 2-3 mins then do it again. Repeating this system 5-6 times can be more effective than jogging moderately for 90 mins. Studies have shown that in just 30 seconds of flat out cycling you can deplete your stored leg muscle sugar by 27%. In turn this muscle sugar needs replacing. Your body can then use fat stores to replace the muscle sugar after your workout. This after-burn effect is epic and can have serious fat loss results in just 15 minutes of exercise. Are you going to tell me you don't have 15 minutes in your day?..get up earlier!
Yet again a few simple ideas to get the Christmas overspill back on track. Find time to exercise. You need to make time to look after your body. No one else will. Work hard when you're at the gym, and, if you're really unsure get a coach, best money you'll ever spend. Lastly, try HIIT. It's a killer but it melts fat like it's hot toast......Mmmm hot toast.... stop it Ali you've eaten enough to last three Christmases. Oh well, diet starts tomorrow.
Keep in liftin' Ali 'Fat Al' Stewart
Look out for my last day on Christmas dieting.