New Year’s Fitness: Exercise Programming for 2021

In a separate post about setting New Year’s fitness resolutions that stick, I wrote about why so many people give up on their resolutions.

The problem isn’t that these people aren’t capable—it’s just that creating new habits is hard. And the fact that a new habit is your New Year’s resolution doesn’t make it any easier. 

In that post, I focused on how to set goals and create an environment for yourself that helps you succeed. So in this post, I’ll shift the focus to how you can approach your fitness programming to maximize results and improve your chances of sticking out your New Year’s resolution.

Start Small, then Build

The good thing about the new year is it floods you with motivation. But fitness programming fails when you go too big, too soon. Not to mention, you’ll inevitably face days where you’re not so motivated.

Whether you’re focused on cardio or strength training, programs that call for too much weight or overly frequent workouts lead to mental and/or physical burn out at best and injuries at worst. 

So while there’s nothing wrong with setting big, ambitious goals, you need interim goals too. Because the reality is, getting healthy and strong is as much about adjusting your behavioral habits as it is about doing the right exercises. 

Interim goals help solve the behavioral problem because they help you build momentum. And of course, they help you reduce the likelihood of injuries by encouraging you to build up to your biggest goals.

In fact, psychologists say that successfully performing a task strengthens your sense of self-efficacy. And a stronger sense of self-efficacy improves your chances of accomplishing your goals. 

Incorporate Others into Your Fitness Program

The best fitness program is the one that you consistently do. And pursuing a fitness goal with a friend or family member can help provide you with some much-needed accountability. 

As I mentioned in this article comparing small group exercise vs. personal training, studies have shown that 95 percent of those who did a weight-loss program with their friends completed it. On the other hand, just 76 percent of those who did it alone completed the program. 

You could also work with a personal trainer who, in addition to assessing your fitness and building a program for you provides built-in accountability throughout your exercise program.

Seek Professional Advice

There’s no replacement for a well-educated, experienced personal trainer. And while there is a ton of great fitness content you can use to do your own research, there’s also a lot of bad advice out there. 

In the end, the most foolproof way to make sure your exercise program brings you to your 2021 fitness resolution is to work with a trainer, even if it’s just to get an evaluation and a fitness program. 

Plus, the Bright App, which you can download on the Google Play or App Store, makes working with trainers as easy and safe as ever. Using the app, you can schedule a virtual consultation with experienced, professional personal trainers all across the country. 

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