Finding What Works For You

Fitness Training with Nicky Holland

There are thousands of people giving fitness advice on the internet, on the radio, on the tv and on social media platforms. How do you know if what they are saying is true?

Most of the time, we don’t. It gets very confusing, one person says to lose weight you need to cut out carbohydrates, another person says you need to eat less then someone else says you need to exercise 7 days a week. As a fitness professional in the industry, I get distracted by the cool video’s, music and graphics, so much so that I question my knowledge, my 12 years of experience and what I learned from my degree. I know my clients feel the same, when they tell me about a new trend they saw online and ask me if they should try it. Just in case you didn’t realise it yet, there is no secret to losing weight or achieving the body you want.

When it comes to food, there are so many methods you can try. To be honest, as boring as it sounds, keep it simple. You don’t need to cut out carbohydrates, then intermittent fast for 16 hours a day, drink copious amounts of green tea and consume fat burner tablets every single day. The fitness industry knows how busy we are. It also knows how much we want a quick fix and how we crave that instant gratification. We want results fast, even though realistically it took us 5 years to gain weight, we want it gone in 5 weeks. As a result, to try and cater to our demands, there are new products being created and added to the ever growing list of supplements and pills which you must take to achieve a certain goal…most of which you don’t actually need.

For the record, supplements can be a good way to complement your diet and help you get the adequate amount of macronutrients and micronutrients, but that depends on the foods you eat daily and the lifestyle you have. You must find what works for you.

Moving on to exercise. It ‘should’ be fun, so if you like going to the gym or to an exercise class, great. If you prefer to go outside for a run or a cycle, great. Too much of one thing can be bad, so include variety in training. Similar to food, boring tends to be best. Sticking to a basic programme which includes compound exercises, strength based resistance and cardio is probably more effective than the HIIT workout you saw on YouTube or the cool functional workout using battle ropes and slam balls. Again, it’s all relative to you and your goal but trust me, if you enjoy what you do, it will be more sustainable. If you do something you like, you are much more likely to continue and keep doing it. Join a football team, play a sport, turn your garage into a home gym. You must find what works for you.

Once you have found what works for you in terms of nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits, you need to stay consistent. This requires discipline and hard work, but it doesn’t feel like that if it’s something you like to do which still allows you to socialise with friends and maintain your life balance. There are a few ways in which my clients stay consistent in making fitness a part of their lifestyle.

Set non-negotiables – This is something they will do, no matter what. They set them themselves and have a friend, family member or me as their coach, hold them accountable. (e.g. I will exercise x 4 times this week and hit 10,000 steps everyday).

Do something you enjoy – As mentioned above, spend the time trying new sports and different gyms until you feel comfortable and enjoy what you are doing or where you are training. (e.g. I will go to the gym and play football or netball because I like those activities. I will go to this gym because it is close to my work and after I can go straight home).

Long term mindset, short term targets – Setting a goal can be daunting but you must shift your mindset to be committed long term. You should have short term targets along the way, like check points to make sure you stay on track. (e.g. in 12 months time I want to look and feel like…but in 3 months I need to have lost x amount and in 6 months even more).

Perfect the skill – (or the art of the exercise or movement you are doing) This could be becoming more flexible, lifting more weight in the back squat, running a faster 5k, doing a yoga pose. You should treat the sport or exercise as a skill and aim to develop. (e.g. do more reps, lift more weight, develop a new skill or technique).

Make it a habit – But make the habit fit into your lifestyle. You want longevity and need subtle changes to your current lifestyle not big sudden changes as they are harder (for most people) to adapt to and to sustain. (e.g. take your gym bag to work every day, post on social media, create good habits you can easily stick to).

Understanding the above can have a big impact on your overall health, mental and physical wellbeing, and your life. Compare yourself to you only, because what works for other people might not work for you, so spend the time trying to establish what works for you. Then it’s just a case of being consistent and fitting it into your lifestyle.

Visit my Instagram page @nicky__fitness and my website www.nicky-fitness.com for more information.

Best wishes! Nicky Fitness

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