Get Ready To Peak
Something about the New Year giving you a fresh start, a clean slate, a reboot, a do-over that gives you renewed energy to get ready to “peak” with your fitness and nutrition.
Looking back over the last year, attending the London 2012 Olympics, a trip of a lifetime, was one of the highlights for me. Watching athletes from all over the world competing, reaching their “peak,” bringing everything they had to represent their country. Whether you watched on TV, live or saw replays you saw some of the most amazing bodies accomplish incredible athletic feats reaching a peak physical state. Something every single one of those athletes had in common – each of them trained to “peak” for the Olympics.
I believe, as Bill Bowerman of Nike once said, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” That is why when we design programs at Results Fitness we coach our clients like the athletes that they are, using the science of periodization and planning for our “athletes” to peak throughout the year.
At this time of year you are mentally and physically ready to set your momentum in motion and reach a peak. Setting goals throughout the year, pushing yourself, challenging yourself, is part of progressing over the year.
IMPORTANT: To reach a peak, you must have valleys. Throughout the year you should have times when you give yourself a break, and are a little more relaxed with your nutrition, and times when you back off on your training volume and let your body reboot physically and mentally. You cannot be in “Go mode” or “Beast mode” 365 days a year. If you attempt to go hard all the time you’ll be forced to take a break either by getting sick or injured because your body needs a break.
Choose One It is a good idea when you are in a valley to choose one area to relax in – either relax on the nutrition front but don’t miss a workout or vice versa, keep your nutrition on track if you know you’ll be hit and miss with your workouts. When you are in a valley the goal is to maintain while giving your body a break. Decrease your training volume, de-load the exercises and work on your movement, give your body a tune up spending some extra time stretching and foam rolling.
Our programming includes a de-load week every 4-6 weeks when our “athletes” start a new program, learning the new exercises. In addition throughout the year we like to plan peaks and valleys.
Hopefully you took a break over the holidays. This is a reminder to not feel guilty the times of the year that you aren’t as motivated because it is setting you up to reach a peak right around the corner. You need that down time.
Just coming out of a valley, you are set up to peak! 2013 is your year! Thinking through the year we recommend to aim to reach a peak 3 times a year. For most clients the year will look something like this:
January- March (Peak 1)- Starts in January heading into February hitting the peak 6-12 weeks from the start of the New Year. We run a transformation contest at Results that gets pretty competitive motivating our clients to reach a peak.
April (Valley)- After pushing yourself at the start of the year make it a goal to maintain. It is spring break time, reboot, chill out and get ready to hit your next peak…
May- June (Peak 2)- 4-8 weeks out from summertime it is time to gear up to reach a peak to feel incredible in your bathing suit this year as you head into summer. When you get your shorts and tank tops out you’ll have peaked with toned arms and sculpted legs.
July-August (Valley)- Over the summer you’ll probably have vacations, travel, relaxation time- enjoy! Or train for something different such as an endurance event. If you know your training is going to be sporadic this time of year commit to your nutrition 90% of the time while giving your body a break. Working out twice a week you’ll maintain your fitness over the summer.
September- November (Peak 3)- Kids go back to school and it is time to put the pedal to the metal and peak one last time before the end of the year giving you a buffer as you head into the holidays.
December (Valley) – Plan out your splurges and commit to workout at least twice a week as you enjoy the holidays and some much needed down time. Remember it’s not what you eat between Christmas and New Years, it’s what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas.
Each Peak should be better than the last: Keep in mind when you maintain during your “valleys” you’ll set yourself up to reach a new peak each time. This is the goal. As personal development coach and speaker, Anthony Robbins calls it, “Constant and Never-ending Improvement” or “CANI.”
Thinking through your plan for 2013 is the only way to guarantee success. Now that you have your plan it is time to attack your fitness and nutrition goals to reach your first peak of 2013!