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Setting Realistic Fitness Goals for the New Year

Have you resolved to lose weight or exercise more in the new year?

In this podcast Adnan Hyder, Fitness Director, Henry Mayo Fitness and Health, will help you learn how to set achievable goals, develop and stick to an exercise plan that works for you.
Setting Realistic Fitness Goals for the New Year
Featured Speaker:
Adnan Hyder
Adnan Hyder has been a certified personal trainer for 12 years, and for the past three years held the position of fitness manager at Equinox Fitness, an upscale line of fitness clubs in the Greater Los Angeles area. As a fitness manager, he has experience in new club openings and successfully opened three clubs in Woodland Hills, Westlake Village, and Glendale. Each club has continued to surpass the previous club in breaking records nationwide for sales revenue and personal training sessions performed.

“I look forward to helping the residents of Santa Clarita achieve their personal fitness goals by providing the best quality of personalized training available,” Hyder said. “Our health assessment tool uses resting heart rate, blood pressure, body composition and, strength and flexibility to determine customized programs for each of our members.”

Learn more about Adnan Hyder

Melanie Cole (Host): Have you, like so many, resolved to lose weight or exercise more in this coming New Year? Today, we are talking about setting achievable goals and developing and sticking to an exercise plan that works for you. My guest is Adnan Hyder. He is the fitness director at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health. Welcome to the show Adnan. So, the first thing people always say is I’m going to exercise more, lose weight, start working out; what is your first best piece of advice when they want to jump in with both feet to set their fitness and health goals?

Adnan Hyder (Guest): Absolutely Melanie, you know the New Year’s does bring about a renewed intention for fitness. Oftentimes, what we see at the gym is that people create goals without accurate metrics to track their progress, and so what we are really talking about then we create goals, it’s important to create SMART goals. And SMART goals is just an acronym and what it stands for is making sure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time orientated. We have a saying here at the club, and is that a goal without a metric to measure; is just a dream. So, my best advice to people listening out there is to make sure that you have a metric to measure and that either be circumference, body fat, blood pressure or heart rate; or it be just as simple as you having trouble getting up off the floor and now that’s becoming a lot easier. So, just have a way to measure your progress. It’s motivating in itself, and it will allow you to evaluate your program and understand if what you are doing is correct or if you need to modify it even further.

Melanie: So, when people ask you if I’m going to get started Adnan, and I want to lose weight, do I start dieting or do I start with exercise? Do you have an opinion on which one you feel is more important because sometimes it’s difficult for people to kind of do both at the same time when they are new to this?

Adnan: Absolutely you know you have two types of people and one is that they are slowly going to get into their workout program and then you have another that they are all or nothing and they are going to do both; work on their nutrition and also work on their exercise regimen. It’s just important that we also understand that either weight gain or weight loss really is a combination of your caloric intake versus your caloric expenditure. And if you are looking for weight loss, just making sure that your intake is less than your expenditure would produce those results and if you are looking to gain, like myself who is looking to promote hypertrophy and I just got to make sure that my intake is slightly greater than my expenditure to produce those results, so it is important to tackle both nutrition and your exercise regimen when evaluating your routine.

Melanie: Have you – do you recommend journaling or keeping track of that sort of thing, because you mentioned in the SMART goals something that is measurable so specific and measurable; so, when we are measuring things how do we do that and does journaling, whether it is your exercise or your food intake; does that help to keep track so that you can measure what you were doing before and what you are doing now?

Adnan: Absolutely. Journaling allows you to kind of take an objective view towards your routine or whether it is your nutrition and just kind of take a look at your progress over the past couple of weeks or months and nowadays with technology, or the way it is; you all sorts of apps like My Fitness Pal that will actually breakdown the caloric content of whatever it is that you are eating and actually produce a net result towards the end of the day. So, they have made apps and things that make it a lot easier for you to track your nutritional intake and also track your expenditure with whatever exercise you are doing whether it’s jogging, or whether it is actually working out in the gym or playing a sport; these apps make it a lot easier for you to track your progress and a lot of the other metrics that you are looking at.

Melanie: Some of them are pretty fun too and it’s a great way to kind of keep you motivated. So, speaking of motivation, there’s one of our biggest issues in the field Adnan, is keeping people motivated, getting them started; so, what’s the best way for somebody to begin and if there is somebody who comes to you and say I’m a little intimidated by the gym and some of the people that I see in there. What do you tell them?

Adnan: That’s a great question Melanie. We get that all too often and especially in January. People have these exaggerated goals and they have their long-term goal in mind. But what they often forget sometimes is evaluating and creating benchmarks along the way. So, an analogy – one thing that I have created here, I tell people when they see me in their assessment; is think of your long-term goal as the summit of Mt. Everest, right and you’re standing at the base of that mountain. You are looking up and all you see is clouds and haze. And that long-term goal, it almost seems like it’s unachievable or you just don’t know how you are going to get there. So, it is important for the members here at least at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health to establish benchmarks. We call them basecamps that they are climbing that mountain, so when they get to basecamp one, they can see that basecamp two is doable; they get there and by the time they are at basecamp two; now that cloud has gone away, that haze has gone away, and that long-term goal is within reach. So, it’s important for them to create short-term goals or benchmarks just as well as they do with their long-term goals as well.

Melanie: So, now on to choosing wisely, because they are making those goals for themselves; they have got to set those goals that are attainable and that’s just so important. So, what do you tell them about all the different equipment and whether or not it is better to use the treadmill versus the elliptical versus trying to swim or weights and how do you put that all together?

Adnan: Absolutely. Well fitness has come a long way in the past ten years and a lot of the things that were proven as true back in the day; are now studies are showing that it is causing long-term harm. For example, loaded sit-ups and crunches, right? Back in the day, we thought they were great, they were great at conditioning the muscles, we felt the burn, we saw the ascetical look that we got from it; but we also realized that ten years down the road, people were suffering back injuries from loading their spine in the flexor extended position. So, for those reasons, it’s important that you guys meet with a professional. Whether it’s a personal trainer, a physical therapist to chiropractor; to customize a workout routine specifically for you. It’s not just about your goals and what you are trying to do; but also, consideration of your limitations and how you are going to correct those limitations while pushing your competent movement patterns, should all go within your customized program. That should give you the direction that people need in terms of tackling their long-term goals.

Melanie: And as you talk about basecamp motivation builds on itself, so you do something, you see a result from it, and it builds on itself. But we also all know that the health clubs are packed in January and can be less packed by February so the key there is keeping people interested. How do you do that as far as gradual progression and changing it up a little, so they don’t get bored?

Adnan: Yeah, well traditionally, what personal trainers would do is they would get you from point A to point Z and they wouldn’t really tell you how they did it, but you get there and obviously, that would create reliance upon a professional trainer. Now what we are seeing, especially at my club here at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health, we really look at ourselves as roadmap trainers. We are going to teach you exactly how to get there and with that increased knowledge, will come increased motivation in your routine as you see yourself progressing incrementally whether it is through complexity or instability; not always through load. That in itself become motivating to our members and of course just seeing the results as they go, becomes that much motivating as well.

Melanie: So now we have to combine the nutrition aspect and when people say to you okay, I’m really – because you can see the lightbulb go on in some people’s minds Adnan, you can see that when they get it, when they combine both things, they feel that motivation, they see those results and they have combined what they eat with how they exercise. So, as far as when they ask you the holidays whatever, we have to kind of put aside try not to do too much damage, but then after the holidays, they want to get their eating on track, they want to get that sort of back into the fold of this whole program. What do you tell them?

Adnan: Yeah, I think when a lot of people evaluate their nutrition, they think of the specific things they are eating; rather than the lifestyle or behavioral changes that they need to do in order to accomplish that nutritional goal. So, in clubs like Henry Mayo in Fitness and Health; we have personal trainers, physical therapists, we also have registered dieticians that are here to help our members with the nutritional side and the behavioral side. So, joining a club like ours, and they do exist, we have a lot on the east coast as well; the exchange of information between professionals is readily available and that’s going to help make sure that all professionals are on the same point and working synergistically to help you get to your fitness goals. Now if you are in a place where you don’t have a club like that, I would definitely recommend you to have your professionals contact each other and work together on your fitness routine. It is something that will only take five minutes on their part, but the results that it will produce will be tremendous for you and your goals.

Melanie: And what are things they can do when you are not at the club? What’s your best advice? And give us a good wrap up as well Adnan, it’s such great information. But what you would like them to do not only at the club, but really kind of all year round and things they can do at home, at work, to keep this motivational level going?

Adnan: Absolutely. The club is great, in the sense that I always relate it to academia and myself, it was hard for me to study at home and, so I would have to go to the university’s library, and that environment would motivate me to study. And the gym is the same way and sometimes when we are at home; it is tough for us to think about working out. It’s not a priority for us. But when we do go into the gym setting; we do get motivated when we see other people the exact same things. So, it’s important that if you are at home or if you don’t have access to a gym, you have a strong support system. Share your goals with your family members, your significant other. Bring them in as well into your fitness routine and help them get to their fitness goals. A strong support system, means the world. And that’s the best thing I can tell you is just make sure that everyone around you understands what you’re trying to do and the behavioral habits whether it is with family or individually; are complimenting what your goals are.

Melanie: Thank you so much Adnan, for being with us today. You’re listening to It’s Your Health Radio with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. For more information on Henry Mayo Fitness and Health, please visit , that’s . I’m Melanie Cole, thanks so much for listening.