Harley Pasternak: The Only Tools You Need to Meet Your Fitness Goals

Harley Pasternak: The Only Tools You Need to Meet Your Fitness Goals
Harley Pasternak
Courtesy Harley Pasternak

07/25/2012 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Too many health club memberships have been purchased and never used. Too many pieces of home exercise equipment become sale items at springtime garage sales, and state of the art running shoes often lay dormant in the dark corners of a closet!

The key to achieving a healthy, fit-looking body is consistency.

So how do we keep it going? How do we keep motivated and focused so we don't befall the fate of the hare who explodes out of the gate only to fizzle and never finish the race?

We follow the lead of the tortoise! Slow, steady, and consistent.



There are a few tools I tell my online clients to use so their road to fitness is enjoyable and endless.


Keep your goals realistic

If I had a penny for every time I hear a new client ask me how they can look like Megan Fox or Katy Perry, well, I'd have a lot of pennies.

Its important you keep your goals realistic, not empirical – they shouldn’t be based on numbers like weight or inches, but tied to a process (as in, doing all of your workouts each week, eating five small meals a day, or not cheating on your diet).

Change it up

Not only do our brains get bored with doing the same things over and over, our bodies do too!

If you want to keep changing your body, your program must keep changing. This may include changing the variables of training, like the choice and combination of exercises, number of sets, reps, resistance, and cadence.

Other factors you can manipulate include the time of day you exercise, location, and the music you exercise to. Try mixing up some different types of exercise, like Pilates, yoga, swimming, or a fun sport to keep your body guessing.

Use a structured program

The No. 1 reason people exercise is to look better – and quickly and safely as possible. In order to achieve this, an efficient, scientific plan is key. The plan should include a combination of cardio (meaning, get your heart rate up for a while) and resistance (i.e., work your muscles) training.

A predetermined set of days of the week, with specific body parts to be worked each of these days, and specific exercises that target each of these body parts should be planned. Further, there should be a specific number of reps, sets, and resistance for each of the exercises.

Pick up a workout DVD, book, app or join a web club (try mine: 5factor.com) that will give you the right structured program for your body and your goals.

Keep a log

How do we know where we are going if we don’t know where we've been?

A simple log should contain everything from days, exercises, sets, reps, and resistance.

These days, there are countless apps and websites that will help you keep track. For the rest of you, a good old paper and pen will work just as well!

Studies show that keeping a diet/fitness log can increase your weight loss success by more than 50%!

Minimize your time in the gym!

You may be wondering why I, of all people, want you to workout less?

Well, the truth is, most of us are too sedentary all day, then we spend hours in the gym trying to compensate for the hours we spent inactive in front of our computers.

There are more gyms in the US than any country in the world. Coincidentally, there are more overweight people in the U.S. than any country in the world!



Try picking up a pedometer (you've heard me say this before) so you can monitor how active (or inactive!) you are outside of the gym. Then add a 10-20 minutes a day of resistance training to supplement your 10,000 steps.

Check back every Wednesday for more insider tips on Hollywood's hottest bodies – and learn how to get one yourself! Plus: follow Harley on Twitter at @harleypasternak

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