Fitness Rangers and Resolutions for 2017
What I think about resolutions
Did you stick to the resolutions you created for 2016? Do you even remember what they were? Over 40% of Americans make resolutions each year but only 8% actually accomplish them.
Although I am totally in favor of reflecting on the past year and choosing positive things to look forward to in the new one, I have never really been one for making resolutions. Resolutions to me are like quick-fixes. We make them in hopes that they will solve certain problems, and fast. But they usually don’t. We make goals too lofty, we give up too easily, we have no plan, and we don’t believe in ourselves, the list goes on and on.
For most of us, our resolutions are health and fitness related. We are always trying to eat healthier, workout more, and drink less. But who has the time for all of that? We are professional, hard-working individuals with busy lives – the gym can wait! But can it?
Instead of making resolutions this year, I challenge you to set specific small changes to work on in the new year. These small changes should be actionable, measurable, and attainable ones that fit into your busy lifestyle and will eventually get you to your goal in a way that lets you maintain that goal.
This made me think, who better to talk to than the king of effective but very efficient workouts himself, Adam Attia, the owner of Fitness Rangers in Sacramento, CA.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Adam is a pioneer in the fitness industry, an innovator with his exercise philosophy, and the first to expose me to the world of high intensity, metabolic training. If you are wondering, yes, it is Adam I blame for my total and complete addiction.
The closest thing I have to an older brother, Adam took me under his wing over a decade ago, before he had opened his own gym and became the forerunner for all things fitness and health in the Sacramento area.
Now, as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and CrossFit Level 1 coach, Adam specializes in plyometric training, flexibility training, weight loss, and dynamic fitness at his very own state-of-the-art gym facility that boasts barre, kickboxing, a blacked-out Bootcamp room, and 20 personal trainers totaling roughly 60 classes per day. Not only does Adam own this beautiful masterpiece, but he also keeps up with his lovely wife and 2-year-old son (and another on the way). It’s obvious Adam’s hands are definitely full.
With that, let me introduce you to Adam Attia.
E: Do you find the classes are fuller or your trainers are busier directly after the New Year?
A: I actually have the opposite philosophy. Did you happen to see my Facebook status yesterday?* At Fitness Rangers we have a December challenge called “Finish Strong” where we encourage members to finish the year out strong. They get a booklet where they need to log 25 out of 31 days at Fitness Rangers, trainers, class, workout of the week, whatever, and at the end you get a finish strong shirt or hat.
E: I love that. I was hoping you had a similar outlook on resolutions as me! I definitely noticed that status. I actually called my boyfriend laughing at the timing the second I saw it.
A: Yeah, we do have a January Jump Start which includes a 6-week membership, 6 training sessions, and a consultation with the nutritionist because I believe it does take 6 weeks to create a new habit. But to answer your question, we don’t really see a huge jump in membership with the New Year, maybe more of our current members show up in January, but for the most part our clients are consistent.
E: That’s awesome, and hard to do. Must be the awesome culture you’ve established.
*Adam posted a status yesterday that said, “Yesterday you said tomorrow…resolutions are for procrastinators #finishtrong #getsome #fitnessrangers.”
E: Do you set your own resolutions?
A: Totally, but not fitness related (which he said while laughing). I’ve already got that. I guess I could eat better, spend more time with my family, things like that.
E: What do you think people’s biggest constraints are when trying to stick to a healthier lifestyle in the New Year?
A: External factors, like kids, are definitely a challenge, stress from relationships, financial stresses. People want to go eat and drink when they are stressed. I remember after Simon when I was sleep deprived, I didn’t want to get up and make a protein shake in the morning, I just wanted a big bowl of cereal.
E: Sometimes a big bowl of cereal sounds so good…but yeah that makes a lot of sense. We tend to grab for those less-healthy, more sugary items when we are stressed.
A: Exactly. Time is also a huge constraint. People are constantly saying they don’t have time. I schedule most of my clients in the morning because I know they are most likely to show up then.
E: I am the same way! But you know that…I think we used to workout at 6am when I was still in college…
E: So what do you recommend for people who say that time is their biggest issue?
A: I tell them to make it a priority, there is nothing more important than your health. I just had a talk about this with one of my clients the other day. If you don’t make it a priority it is more likely not to happen. Put it on your calendar, write it down, make it the most important part of your day.
E: Oh yeah, I always schedule what I am going to do each week ahead of time.
A: What I have found doing this for 17-18 years is you have to empathize with your client. If you don’t understand where your client is coming from there is no way of getting to them. With empathy comes what motivates them. There are two motivating factors in my opinion: fear and love. Scaring someone is like telling them they will get diabetes. Love is more of the compassion side, like you can do it, I am proud of you. Sometimes you have people who need both…like you!
E: I guess I do need both…but yell at me and tell me I am looking weak and I will work my ass off.
E: Piggy-backing on this whole-time issue, how do you design your workouts to be the most effective given these constraints and are there any specific exercises that are your “go-to’s”?
A: I mean, you know, I am all about the HIIT (that’s high intensity interval training), you want to get that heart rate up. I always do compound movements (multi-joint) and will rarely isolate body parts. I like doing couplets or triplets, so 2-3 mini circuits with a little burner at the end. Some favorite moves are definitely cleans, overhead anything (so squat and press, overhead lunge, etc), and gymnastic style movements. Oh, and don’t forget variety! Constantly get out of your comfort zone and try something new.
I totally agree with Adam. Resolutions may be an effective way to reflect on what matters to you, but why wait? The idea behind the New Year’s Resolution isn’t to set something that you stick with for a few weeks and then give up on. If you have a goal in mind, if there are small changes you’d like to make, start now! The beauty behind the HIIT training, the short circuits, is it isn’t a huge time commitment. It is a realistic way to fit exercise into your life. Try once a week, try whatever works for you, but get after it, sooner rather than later.
If you are ever passing through Sacramento or live in Sacramento I definitely recommend stopping by and taking a class. It is not to be missed.