The countdown to Summer: What are your new goals?

Ah, summer. The warm breeze, the summer sun, and sexy bodies running around. Wait? Sexy bodies? Yep, that’s what people chase leading into the summer. Don’t get me wrong, we fall into that category a bit too. Over the cooler months we often let ourselves put on 5-10 pounds only to drop it in the months leading up to summer.

What are your goals for summer? Do they have to do with losing weight and seeing that sexy body or are they fitness based? Whatever the goals are, it’s time to work toward them. The process is the same as ever, and something we wrote about at the beginning of the year. You have to set a goal, write it down, and keep it in sight. Beyond that, you need to have a plan, follow that plan, and stay focused even when life gets in the way.

Goal setting aside, as that is a subject we’ve covered a few times already this year, there are some other issues that inevitably arise when people start shooting for that summer body.

Having unrealistic goals

It should go without saying that a person needs to set realistic goals. That is, someone needs to set goals that make sense for the given time, physical ability, and resources available to that person. For example, you can’t plan to dedicate two hours per day to working out if you only have one hour of available time. This might seem commonsensical, but we’ve seen this happen.

In that same vein, you cannot plan to work with a personal trainer for three months for a price of $500 per month if you only have $200 per month to spare. You would be better off finding a class, online training program, app, or some other health and fitness product or service that costs $200 or less per month. It might take you longer to reach your goals but at least the process is sustainable.

Finally, you can’t expect to push your body to levels it cannot sustain. For example, you can’t plan to run a 5K distance five days per week if you have trouble running 3.1 miles. You would be better off training to run shorter distance a few days per week and slowly building up over time. If you try to push your body too hard, you’re going to suffer an injury, excessive fatigue, and/or experience mental burnout, which will likely lead to you giving up.

No setting aside enough time

This one kind of goes with unrealistic goals but we’ll talk about it separately. We’ve heard time and again how someone is going to lose 30 pounds in 30 days or lose 60 pounds in 90 days. On the surface, you might think these goals sound reasonable, but with few exceptions, they are not.

When a person tries to lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time, a few things inevitably happen. The person takes drastic, unsustainable measures to reach those goals, such as excessive calorie reduction, excessive exercise, or the overuse of supplements. While hard exercise, calorie restriction, and supplementation can help a person lose weight (or reach other goals), someone in poor shape and/or significantly overweight who has little to no experience or nutrition experience is inevitably setting themselves up for an injury due to overworking the body, excessive fatigue due to overworking the body and calorie restriction, and potentially putting themselves at risk for health issue, such as kidney stones, disrupted sleep, and lightheadedness, as their body is robbed of nutrients.

The idea that a person needs to set aside enough time applies to other goals as well, such as improving run time, building strength, or adding muscle. A person cannot expect to put on 30 pounds of muscle in 30 days or 60 pounds of muscle in 90 days. You might be able to put weight on in that time, but a lot of it will be fat. Under normal circumstance, the body cannot build muscle that fast.

Using a fitness professional to “get a head start”

This has to be one of the dumbest ideas we’ve ever heard. Every year we have people who think they can train for a few weeks and then be able to handle it on their own. Many of these people have never exercised before (or have not in years), have no real nutrition experience, and otherwise do not have any necessary skills needed to plan exercise and nutrition.

In that same line of thought, these people cannot in a few months learn what we’ve learned across multiple credentials and through years of experience. Anyone who thinks they can is either arrogant, ignorant, or both. Just as achieving health and fitness goals takes time, so does learning exercise programing, nutritional programming, and other skills, such as lifting mechanics, that are essential to understanding and teaching the same.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, most clients will need to work with us 6-12 months to achieve goals and prepare to do it on their own. A few will be able to utilize our services for three months, but these are people who are already fit and want to take their fitness to the next level, people who only have a small amount of weight to lose, or persons with other easier to achieve goals, such as learning a new, relatively simple skill related to nutrition or exercise.

Set yourself up for success

When you’re setting your goals for summer—whether you want the summer body, to get fit, or something else—be realistic. Set a goal, write it down, and keep it in sight. Make plan, follow that plan, and stay focused even when life gets in the way. Don’t do something stupid and push your body too hard in the gym or use some extreme diet. If you work with a professional, respect the person’s credentials and experience by planning to work with them for a proper time and follow the plan he or she sets forth. If you do this, and stay motivated and focused, you’ll set yourself up for success.

If you want to learn more about our services, visit the homepage for our site here: We offer a variety of services for training and nutrition. Just visit the page, read the write-up, and visit the links to the service pages to learn more and sign-up.

Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.

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