In todays BodyRock News, we are going to give you the goods on starting your workout journey (or resetting it if you've been off track) in October.
We are officially in the last half of 2021 (thank god). Which makes it the perfect time to revisit your 2021 health and fitness goals and examine your progress. After 12 years of helping people get into the best shape of their lives, we can tell you that there is something special about the month of October. After the transition from Summer, kids heading back to school, and most of the population starting to look towards the holiday season, it's the people that refocus on their fitness goals in October that are by far the most successful in reaching their goals.
Fitness is psychologically seasonal. That means that your drive and motivation seem to ride several seasonal highs and lows. Everyone knows that the new years resolution crowd surges into gyms and on-line fitness classes in January. By February, 90% of these people have fallen off of the wagon. In March, with spring and summer a few months away, people get motivated again to get into shape for the summer, when they have fewer options to hide behind sweaters and layers of clothing. By May, you've either made progress, or you have resigned yourself to trying to pull your fitness together over the summer. Because you've now missed the summer season, it's really easy to look to the fall as a start date.
The Problem with September
September is one of the most transitionary months of the year. Kids and students are heading to school, the majority of new jobs or new work positions start in September and people tend to move in September. A lot of life tends to happen in this month, and it's the least likely time of year for people to start a new fitness routine.
The Power of October
By the first week of October, most of the business of September has settled into a predictable routine, and people serious about their fitness shrug off the excuses, and find their way back into a consistent workout routine. This small group that starts in October get a head of some of the most challenging seasonal events of the year.
The Holiday Danger Zone
Over the holidays that stretch between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, the average person can put on 10-15 pounds. Think about it. There is a lot of celebrating, there are a lot of get togethers, parties, family events, work functions etc that are all loaded with extra seasonal foods that take the form of deserts, cakes and highly caloric foods and beverages. Partaking in all of this excess merry making means that the average person is 10-15 pounds heavier when they finally reach the end of the holiday gauntlet - the motivation of feeling like you need to up your undies size will have you ready to declare your New Years fitness resolutions, but after swelling up on sugar and alcohol for the last 2 months, your body isn't exactly primed to perform when it comes down to starting January 1st.
There is another way
Here is the thing. If you start focusing on your fitness in October, a bunch of amazing, self-supporting things happen.
- Getting into a consistent routine in October with your goals in front of you will give you enough time to firmly establish your workout consistency before things start to get off the hook over the holiday season.
- It will be easier to make healthier choices when everyone else is gorging themselves. Most people loosen up whatever self control they have over the holidays, with the excuse that "its the holidays".This is the golden excuse this time of the year. Somehow saying those magic words gives people a blank cheque to add those extra 10 pounds, because they know, somewhere in the back of their minds that they can utter some other magic words a few weeks later that will somehow make them temporarily feel better - the New Years Resolution. It's incredible how the majority of people fool themselves each year into gaining 10-15 pounds, simply by saying "it's the holidays".
Whether this is your wake-up call to kick it into high gear, or you're looking for ways to supercharge the progress you've made so far, there are simple strategies you can use to get more out of every single workout starting in October.
You can go into 2022 and face New Years having already made incredible progress on your fitness, or you can go business as usual and add 10-15 pounds of fat, weeks of excessive behaviour that will have to be corrected, and a slow, sluggish body and mid set - you choose.
A recent study compared different ways that fitness routines motivate people to work out and found that competition was a far stronger motivator than friendly support. (Attendance rates were 90 percent higher in the competitive groups than in the control group.) In fact, you’re better off leaving people alone than offering them support, which the study revealed made them less likely to go to the gym.
Think about your own experience: that “You can do it!” text from your best friend may be appreciated — but is it really motivating you to workout any harder or more frequently? We’re much more likely to get in those extra steps when we’re engaged in a Fitbit challenge, or run a little faster when the guy next to us on the treadmill is closing in on 6 miles.
Take it personally
Here is a tip about competition, and we are going to get real because it matters. You might feel a bit competitive with the stranger running next to you at the gym, but a stranger isn't going to motivate you like someone in your own life. Everyone, I don't care who you are, has someone that they feel like they are in social competition with. Maybe it's that person at the office that seems to always show up looking fabulous, maybe it's that friend that has a silver spoon and horse shoes up their butts. Maybe it's someone like an ex that burned you. Ultimately it doesn't matter who you choose or why, the point is, you already know who this person is - so set them in your sights.
It's not about the other person. This isn't about being negative, or being mean. This a silent deal that you are making with yourself to channel some healthy competition (and likely filter out the negative) around someone that has the ability to get under your skin enough to motivate you. Ask yourself - are you prepared to let this person beat you? Is that how this is going to go down? If you feel the stirrings inside you of a f*ck no, then you have internally selected the right person. Just to be clear - this is a private motivational and competitive deal that you are holding inside. The other person is just going on with their lives and doing them. Treat everyone in your life with dignity and respect, and use competitive drives to silently harness the power and motivation to put some rocket fuel behind your drive.
Drop Some F-Bombs
We’ve all let a four-letter-word slip during an intense round of burpees or pushing through the burn on those final few exercise reps.
It turns out that channeling your inner sailor may actually be helping you power through your workout.
A recent study found that those who swore while working out boosted performance by 2 to 4 percent — and an 8 percent increase in strength — compared to those who kept it clean.
Why exactly does throwing around expletives help? The researchers hypothesize that swearing provides a distraction that allows people to push harder than they normally would, similar to what happens when people meditate with a mantra.
So next time you're trying to bang out those last few reps, don’t suppress the urge to mutter some choice words under your breathe — it may just help you power through a few extra rounds.
Get Some Gear To Get Faster Results
One of the simplest ways to up the intensity, and increase the effectiveness, of any workout is to add fitness gear to your workouts. Dumbbells, bands, kettlebells, weighted vests and bars and weights will add a level of intensity to your workouts that drive your fitness results faster and simply can't be matched by doing cardio like running or treadmill. Using strength and resistance training gear is one of the fastest ways to burn fat, lose weight and completely re-shape your body and having the right fitness tools will dramatically up the intensity of standard moves like squats, lunges and crunches.
Need some convincing to make the investment? Research sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that kettlebell training significantly boosts aerobic capacity, while also improving core strength and dynamic balance. In fact, workouts using kettlebells burn 20 calories per minute (which is equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace!) — that’s 400 calories in just 20 minutes. Another study published in Human Movement Science found that doing pushups using bands activated the abdominals 184 percent more than a standard pushup. That's some serious optimization.
Workout Less, But Harder
Yes, we are telling you to shorten the time you spend working out. But before you get too excited — you’re also going to need to majorly up the intensity of your workout.
At BodyRock, we design our daily workouts to be approximately 20 minutes, by combining the two most effective forms of training into one fat torching, body transforming workout. We do this by fusing HIIT (high intensity interval training) with Strength and Resistance training, and 20 minutes, if you are pushing yourself and consistent, can transform your body and get you in the best shape of your life.
For most people, an hour in the gym, the half hour in the change room, and the drive time, creates a two hour time commitment that is particularly hard to keep - especially into the holiday season. What covid has proven, is that the right home based program, at the right level of intensity, can deliver better than gym quality results in a fraction of the time and at a lower cost.
Want to know more? Here is a free 5 Day Introduction To Strength Training for Women Bootcamp that you can do at home. It's a fully balanced program that will give you a total body burn and teach you the fundamentals of strength training. It's a sample taste of the dozens of programs that you can find in our fitness streaming platform BodyRock Plus. The 5 Day Strength Bootcamp is free - come and f*cking train with us!