Whether you’re an exercise fanatic or a newbie at the gym, we’re here to help you get stronger in the New Year with workout ideas, recipes, lifestyle tips and inspiration from personal trainer and sports nutritionist Sierra Nielsen and professional track athlete Steven Benedict. Click below or scroll down to preview some of the articles you’ll be receiving!
Importance of Goal Setting & Preparing For Your Journey
By Sierra Nielsen
Congrats on deciding to start your New Year’s Resolutions early and get a jumpstart on making a positive change in your life! Whether you are just beginning your wellness journey or not, setting intentions and goals for yourself is an important part of your success.
Step 1: You’ve already done it! You’re here! You’ve decided you want to make a positive change in your life and that’s the first step!
Step 2: Write down your goals. Make them precise and give them a timeline.
Broad goals with no timelines never did anyone any good. Instead of saying “I want to lose 10 pounds,” give yourself actionable goals such that focus on how you will achieve that goal. For example, “My goal is to lose 10 pounds by the end of February. In order to reach that goal, I will spend 3-4 days a week at the gym focusing on weight training, 2-3 days of cardio and 1 day of yoga.”
Step 3: Focus on Your “Why?”
Here’s where the real work begins. The most important part of setting out to achieve your goals is having a “why.” So you want to lose 10 lbs and build a perky booty. Great. But why? Why is it important to you? Because you want to feel more energized? Because you want to be healthy for your family and be able to play with your kids for longer than 5 minutes without needing to rest? Because you are worried about the health of your heart? The moment you are able to focus on your why, the game changes. And every time you feel like giving up, I want you to remind yourself WHY you’re doing this.
Step 4: Imagine Your Future Self.
First and foremost, your resolution to make a positive change in your life has to be for YOU, nobody else. So after you’ve focused on your “why,” take a moment to imagine yourself in the future having met your goals. How do you feel? In what ways do you see that your life has changed? Where are you? Whom are you surrounded by?
This is probably the most important step that goes hand in hand with finding your “why.” You may even realize after making this list, that your goals aren’t even what you thought they were. You may realize the bigger picture of what you are fighting for and why this fitness and healthy journey is so important to you.
I can almost guarantee that if your goals are simply to look a certain way or to have the perfect chiseled model body, you will never reach your true goals. So as you layout and write down your goals for your fitness journey, challenge yourself to dig a little deeper. Your “why” is what’s going to keep you going.
5 of my favorite leg exercises to add to your next workout! If you are new to strength training, please do not start immediately stacking on the weight! The key to beginning a new program is to start out small and work on building a foundation and strengthening your tendons and ligaments before putting on any heavy weight. Start with higher reps and low weight. You may even need to go weight free to start with and that’s okay! You will continue to build overtime, I promise, but you don’t want to overdo it and end up injuring yourself before you’ve even really begun! I like to start my week with a heavy leg day and then focus on these higher rep, low weight combos for my second leg day.
- Barbell Back Squat, 15-20 reps
- Romanian Deadlift with Barbell, 15-20 reps
- Barbell Hip Thrust, 15 reps
- Hamstring Curl on Cable Machine, 10-15 reps on each leg
- Sumo Landmine Squat, 15-20 reps
- Perform each set 3-4 times.