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Short-term goals VS long-term goals

In our experience, most individuals begin their fitness journey with a specific goal in mind, i.e. weight loss, strength, flexibility, etc.; however, few people seem to have a specific timeframe in mind.

At Body & Soul, after discussing their goals with their trainer, clients are better able to identify a specific deadline for their goals. It is at this point that our trainers work with the client to establish short-term goals (achieve within two months) and long-term goals (achieve after six months or more).

The primary benefit to setting short-term goals is that it allows you to identify progress on a regular basis (sooner than you might otherwise have expected), keeping you both motivated and on track to ultimately achieve your long-term goals. Consider, for instance, if you had the goal to lose 10 pounds before the summer. Sure, you could simply weigh yourself occasionally to see if you are on your way to losing the weight, but wouldn’t it be more enticing and rewarding to see clear progress towards your main goal in, say, one month, two months, and so on?

When it comes to establishing your individual goals, we highly urge you to speak with your Personal Trainer. Not only can they help you establish SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals but they can help you achieve them through a personalized exercise program and professional guidance.

Photo credit: Alexander Mainwaring

How often should I train with a trainer?

How often you work with your trainer will depend on a variety of personal factors (i.e. availability, money, etc.); however, you should be exercising (with a trainer or on your own) 2-3 times per week, with at least one day of rest between your workouts. Ultimately, how often (and at what intensity) you exercise will depend on your specific goals. We recommend speaking with a fitness professional to determine the best workout program as they can provide suggestions specific to your needs.

It’s important to note that it is possible to work out too often. Excessively challenging your body with physical demands – often considered ‘overtraining’ – can lead to both chronic and acute injuries. Planning adequate rest will help your body adapt to the work and improve.

The importance of strength training as you age

Muscle function is reduced in older adults as a result of aging and inactivity. The largest reduction is seen in the lower limbs and trunk extensors (lower back, etc.). In addition, there is more loss of our type II fibers which are mainly responsible for power and strength (aiding in our anaerobic activity).

While one’s strength to mass ratio also decreases, one’s ability to adapt to a resistance training program is not affected by aging. For instance, if a 20 year old and a 60 year old man were to start the same strength training program they would both have roughly the same percentage of strength gains, the only difference being that the younger man would start off as having a higher muscle mass to begin with. Read more…

That is why it is so important for older adults to continue doing strength training as there are lots of rewards. Benefits include increased muscle fiber size (hypertrophy), reduced body fat percentage, increased muscle contractile strength, improved physical functioning as you age, and much more.

Are you interested in starting your health and fitness journey? Call us to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation!

When will I see results?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer as it really depends on your individual goals, your current level of fitness, your ability to meet the required intensity and your level of commitment to an active and healthy lifestyle (i.e. the amount you exercise each week, your current diet, etc.). In order to better understand what to expect from your health and fitness journey, it is important to work with your trainer to develop goals that are realistic, measurable and – perhaps most importantly – compatible with your lifestyle.

If you are willing to commit yourself to an exercise program, several factors come into play in determining when you will see results, and when you will achieve your goals:

  • The frequency of exercise: Depending on your goal and your deadline, you may need to commit to a program that has you exercising several times a week or more.
  • The level of intensity: Your willingness to push your body to the required threshold is another important factor. Being physically active is great but if your goal is to improve upon something (i.e. strength, weight, etc.) you will need to meet the appropriate intensity level to reach your goal.
  • Your ability to stick to a meal/diet plan: Your ability to modify and stick to the right meal plan is important if your goals are related to strength gains, weight loss, weight maintenance, etc.
  • The attainability of your goals: Perhaps most importantly, are your goals realistic and attainable when compared to your lifestyle and your genes? Setting a goal that you are unlikely to achieve can be demoralizing and counterproductive.

You may see and feel changes after a few days, weeks or months, but it could take longer to reach your goals. The first step in any case is just to get started!

VCH – Vaccination Plan

Fun Fact Friday: Last month Vancouver Coastal Health implemented a COVID-19 vaccination plan for frontline workers in the sport and fitness sector, and we are happy to report that this included our trainers and front desk staff. Many of our staff members have already received their vaccines! We are grateful that the government recognized our role as frontline workers, and we were extremely happy to have another tool to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in our studio.

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