Sun | May 27, 2018

Fit 4 Life | Breathe life into your fitness programme

Published:Wednesday | January 24, 2018 | 4:51 PMMarvin Gordon
There are numerous fitness groups you can join to give you that extra push, especially if you enjoy running, walking and hiking.
Take control of your body by adding callisthenics to your workout programme.
The 1.5-mile run is a benchmark when it comes to aerobic fitness and is used by many coaches and organisations as a measure of fitness for their athletes and clients.
Martial arts training will strengthen you both mentally and physically.
Boot camps provide the perfect way to both test and improve your fitness.
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Think you've done it all in the gym? Getting bored? Or have you hit a plateau you can’t seem to beat? Try something new this year. Fitness programmes grow boring very quickly and lose effectiveness almost equally fast. To keep having fun and getting fitter, try learning a new skill or achieving a different type of fitness goal.

Try cross-fit or a 5k. Try dancing or boot camps. Try learning to do 12 strict pull-ups. Something new will jazz up your fitness programme.

Here are a few ways you can breathe life into your fitness programme this year.

Join a fitness group

There are numerous fitness groups you can join to give you that extra push, especially if you enjoy running, walking and hiking. Being part of a team will provide added motivation to beat your fitness goals. Fitness groups also provide exciting and effective workouts and events as well as support and advice.

Goal: join a group and stick with them.

Own your body with callisthenics

Take control of your body by adding callisthenics to your workout programme. Calisthenics focuses on bodyweight training using a minimal amount of equipment. Don't let that fool you though. Calisthenics is as tough as working out gets – moves such as L-sits and pull-ups challenge the core.

Too easy? Try single-arm or single leg movements, for example, single arm push-ups or pistol squats. You can even aim for handstands if you are in the right condition.

One thing is sure though: massive gains in core strength and stability.

Goal: 12-20 strict pull-ups.

Beat your 1.5 mile PB

The 1.5-mile run is a benchmark when it comes to aerobic fitness and is used by many coaches and organisations as a measure of fitness for their athletes and clients. Times of above 16 minutes for men and 19 minutes for women are considered to be poor performances. Times of below 9:44 for men and 12:29 for women put you among the best.

Goal: Improve your time over six weeks.

Get martial

Martial arts training will strengthen you both mentally and physically. It teaches discipline and builds a habit of setting and achieving goals while pushing your fitness levels through the roof. Whether kickboxing, boxing or karate, you can kill many birds with one stone – learning to defend yourself, boosting your fitness, and building discipline.

Goal: Complete a martial arts training programme.

Step up to boot camps

Boot camps provide the perfect way to both test and improve your fitness. Boot camps mix intense, full-body strength training with aerobics to push you to the limits of your fitness and torch massive amounts of calories. Add to that the motivation of being part of a group and you step over your plateaus in no time.

Most boot camps are held on Saturday mornings, which should fit right into your week without disrupting your schedule. 

Goal: At least three sessions a month for three months.

* Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: marvin.gordon@physiqueandfunction.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com