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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

The January Rush

Ho Ho Ho, everybody! It’s getting to that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about. Office gift baskets, gingerbread houses, pumpkin pies. And soon it’ll be time for the annual “I need to lose 15 pounds” New Years Resolution. This results in the annual January rush at your gym which leads right into the annual February “gym-gets-back-to-normal-because-the-January-crowd-stopped-coming” celebration.

Now, I’m all for New Years Resolutions if that’s what people need to get their goals and their heads straight, but while goals are important, knowing how you’re going to reach those goals is just as important. The reason that February’s gym attendance goes back to normal is that most of the people from the January rush have no idea how to construct a workout program, don’t see any results and therefore give up. I’m going to try and help you with a few tips so that you don’t become one of those February gym casualties.

1. Specify your goal. Don’t just say, “I want to get in shape.” That doesn’t really mean anything. Think about what getting in shape means to you. Does it mean losing 15 pounds? Does it mean being able to play with your kids without back pain? Does it mean increasing your strength or balance? If you don’t really know what you want, then how do you expect to formulate a plan that gets any results?

2. If you want to lose or gain weight you must realize that diet is the most important thing. If you’re not prepared to make changes in how you eat, any progress you make will be seriously compromised no matter how hard you work in the gym.

3. If you want to lose weight concentrate on full body, big muscle movements such as squats, rows, and presses. Do quick bursts of high intensity cardio, not endless slogging on the treadmill or bike.

4. If you want to gain weight concentrate on full body, big muscle movements such as squats, rows, and presses. Do quick bursts of high intensity cardio, not endless slogging on the treadmill or bike.

5. Read numbers 3 and 4 again and remember what I said about diet. While there are certainly differences between a weight loss program and a weight gain program, the differences aren’t as big as you might believe, generally speaking.

6. Exercise with intensity! The best program ever written will bear little to no fruit if not performed with intensity. Don’t be one of those exercise zombies blankly shuffling from machine to machine!

I hope this gives you some idea of how to get started. If you need some more ideas or tips please drop me a line or an email, or just ask Santa how he maintains his athletic shape. (He’s definitely a powerlifter.) Also, don’t forget to consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program! Have a great Thanksgiving!

-from the Castro Valley Forum, November 25, 2009 Mitchell Rothbardt MitchRothbardtTraining@yahoo.com 510-754-7113 Discover Your Strength!

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