by Melissa Sausman, Certified Personal Trainer
Yes, you read that right. As the kids head back to school and we savor the remaining days of summer, the time has come to establish a new routine. To ensure that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor getting into swimsuit season shape for a little longer, just remember these three things: commitment, convenience and consistency.
For some, commitment can be the hardest part of this equation. To set yourself up for success, put some time into planning. What is the goal that you are committing yourself to? Write it down in a place that you can see every day, whether it be a reminder in your phone or a sticky note on your computer screen. Let your friends and family in on what you’re up to. That way, they can become your support and accountability system and you may even find a workout buddy that wants to join you! When you have set your goal and shared it with others, then you need to set yourself with a timeline. It’s easy to continue to push out a goal and then forget about it. To avoid giving yourself the runaround, decide when you want to accomplish your goal and mark that date on a calendar. Then, re-assess your progress each week and see if the time frame still matched your goal appropriately.
The second part of your success equation is convenience. Believe it or not, the less complicated you make your exercise routine at first, the more likely you will stick with it through the progressions. A great way to keep it convenient is to utilize what the industry calls Functional Movement (FM) training. Simply put, the foundation of FM training is built upon five primary patterns of movement: Pushing, pulling, rotation, bend-and-lift,and single-leg actions. Whether or not we are aware of it, we use all of these movements multiple times throughout the day; think picking up and carrying a purse or briefcase. Now, imagine picking up two or three bags of groceries and carrying them up multiple flights of stairs. The daily activities we perform more frequently (like carrying a purse or briefcase) might not seem like exercise, but take that example to the other end of the spectrum (grocery bags) and the body needs to be prepared for the extra weight load, the imbalance of weight distribution or the weight transfer on your core as you walk up the stairs. This is where FM comes into play – it allows you to be able to mimic real life movements by using tools and props, along with the five primary movement patterns, to prepare your body to be stronger in the real world. Sounds pretty simple, right? Look around next time you are in the gym and you will begin to see BOSUs, kettlebells, resistance bands, ViPRs, TRX stations, etc., that can all be used to re-create movements for life.
The final piece to the puzzle in your game plan is consistency. Take a look at your week and reserve the slots of time in your schedule that are always empty for the gym as well as intentional slots for free time and fun. This way, you won’t feel like you have no time left to go with the flow and improvise. You can also choose some group fitness classes that meet at the same time each week, in which all you need to do is simply show up and be ready to work.
There you have it; just stick to the three C’s and you will be acing your back to school routine in no time!