New year resolutions one month on...
It's that time of the year. In January everyone sits back. We take stock of our expanding waistline and regret that extra helping of double cream. We make resolutions are made, hastily apply for gym memberships and trawl trawled the Internet for advice on dieting and exercise. But a month later... it's all gone out the window. That's why Personal Trainer Mike Wood and Eleanor Balchin of Pachesham Agility in Surrey have developed AgilityFIT, an exercise regime based on martial arts specifically for those who compete in dog agility. Mike tells you how to use AgilityFit for a fitter February.
Truth be told the majority of people who make this perennial New Year's resolution to get in shape (again) will most likely fail to do so - and that includes agility handlers. They may have come charging out of the blocks, all good intent and promises, but very few keep up the regime. This applies to both the myriad new gym users as much as it does the faddy dieters jumping on the latest bandwagon of mass-marketed, misleading weight loss schemes aimed at stripping away the fat by emptying your pockets quicker than Fagin and a whole school of Artful Dodgers.
Once the honeymoon with the gym is over, it can be difficult to get up from the comfort of the sofa to spend an hour or more drilling the same monotonous exercises you’re body has become conditioned to repeat. At this point, many seek simpler, less challenging alternatives to achieve the original coveted results. However the truth is, like most things, without putting in the effort, the outcome will most likely not be what was originally intended.
Be wary of adverts claiming 'get a gym body without going to the gym' by applying a cream to your forehead daily or 'lose inches from your waistline' with an untested, holistic-style pill made from bat droppings and moon dust. Very recently, a number of US companies making similar claims have been charged with fraud, having to refund customers to the tune of more than $34,000,000.
Sit back and ask yourself what
it is you want to achieve
The key to maintaining motivation is to keep changing your routine. Never let your body get used to a particular set of exercises or techniques. Keep yourself guessing. People often claim to be fit where their regime has remained consistent and rigid. This may appease your mental well-being but you will never improve. You will probably plateau no matter how much you train.
Rather than setting the bar higher, adding more weight or running further and faster, throw everything into a blender and mix up things. Train different muscles, use a different machine, find something else to use you may never have considered using before that will challenge you both physically and mentally. Change your methods. For instance, instead of running five miles, do interval training for ten minutes or run at the end of your workout instead of at the beginning. There's a huge number of possibilities, but it involves trying new ideas, not being afraid to fail and not being lazy with your time which is, by far and away, the most precious commodity of your fitness activities.
There is no panacea
If you're training for agility, do just that. The buzzword in contemporary PT circles is 'functional' which simply put means adapting your training to purpose. Agility requires short bursts of speed with both humans and canines being able to twist and turn at pace whilst maintaining orientation.
The basic principles are:-
Diana Lowe went to an AgilityFIT session and came home a fan!
If you want to know more, get in touch to find out when and where the next AgilityFIT session is taking place, or book Mike to run an AgilityFIT session at your own club.
Email him at email@example.com
Mike has been involved in fitness and training since the age of eight. He is a qualified and insured instructor, an ex-pro Cage fighter and expert martial artist and fitness specialist. He walks around at a comfortable 75kgs and cuts weight to 66kgs to compete... that's 19.2 lbs.
First published 13 February 2014