Tools for obtaining fitness goals

Published 7:04 pm Thursday, January 16, 2014

Last week we discovered ways to help follow through, and stay with your fitness goals this year.
Here are a few more.
1: Start small. That’s right, even a 10 minute stroll will get your momentum moving in the right direction. Also remember, just as your muscles and joints can become overwhelmed, so much more can your willpower. Start slowly and gradually increase your exercise intensity.
Your willpower and confidence will respectfully develop as well, with the knowledge that you really can do this. Remember, confidence comes from demonstrated ability, and most all exercise skills are learned.
2: Set fitness and health goals. Write them down on paper, and share them with friends. Commit to people who won’t let you off the hook. Put enough pressure on yourself to follow through. Remember, lumps of coal aren’t very exciting, but under immense pressure they’re transformed into precious diamonds
3: Start with one goal at a time. Obviously, you don’t want to become overwhelmed with too many fitness and nutrition selections, but that’s not the main reason.
Your body will fight too many drastic changes (even ones good for you), because your body can’t tell the difference between what you choose to do, or are forced to do. That’s why for example, extreme calorie restrictive diets won’t work.
When someone  stops eating in an attempt to lose weight, their body doesn’t know they are choosing  not to eat; all their body knows is food doesn’t seem to be available.  The body will then go into starvation mode, where it will try to magnify every calorie eaten, in an attempt to survive.  Try to piece your exercise and nutrition routine together slowly, but  make sure to get help from a professional.
4: Be patient. You will achieve results over time, but remember, the path to fitness is not entirely linear. In other words, if you’re trying to lose body fat, and it takes you a month to lose three pounds, that doesn’t mean it will take you another month to lose another three pounds, because as you lose more fat your body’s lean to fat ratio improves, making it easier to lose even more fat, but stay with it. Slow and steady wins the fitness race.
5: Find a fitness partner. A workout partner can not only keep you safer by acting as a “spotter” (someone to help support you when performing particular lifts), but can give you encouragement, and hold you accountable. I might not always feel like exercising at times, but I know my workout partner is waiting on me.  Make sure you learn, from an experienced  trainer, proper, and safe ways to spot your exercise partner.
6: Don’t think you’re too old to get in better shape. I’ve written before about the gentleman who came to me with an abdominal injury for rehabilitation. He had never exercised before, and said once his rehab was completed, he wanted to begin a weight training program. He could  perform bicep curls with only about 10 pounds, but he stayed with it. Before he moved away, four years ago, he could perform 55 pound bar curls, and even do wide grip pull ups, which are the most difficult kind. Here’s the thing…this past August he turned 93 years of age. Now, I’m not advising you should  attempt to lift that amount of weight, but I am suggesting that, with proper strategy, you can attain better fitness at any age.
7: Don’t beat yourself up. This one is crucial, because you are going to have slip ups, and setbacks.
You’re going to occupy times in which you feel lazy, and times you make poor eating choices; we all do, but remember, you can’t undo your entire fitness program by missing just one workout, anymore than you can get in shape by participating in just one workout.
Additionally, you can do no more harm eating poorly just one day, than you can get benefit eating good, just one day.
If you slip up, forgive yourself and get back to work with your fitness program. To help you with that, I’m holding a free fitness/nutrition seminar Tuesday, Jan. 21st at 6:30 at Ken’s Fine Meats and Seafood, downtown Landrum. This is my gift to all of you for your kind and thoughtful calls, letters, and questions. The seminar is free, but you must make a reservation. You can make reservations by calling 864-457-3369 or 864-457-5144 and leaving you contact information. If the voicemail boxes are full, wait a bit and call back. Diet or exercise question? Email me at or visit
David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 27 years.
He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls  gymnastic team, and the Converse college equestrian team. David served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corps., lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. Crocker was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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