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Starting 2018 with resolve at Mount Pearl gym

Chris Hammond of Good Life Fitness instructs Cindy Barnes on the proper bar bell technique to use during a squat exercise as part of her new fitness regime.
Chris Hammond of Good Life Fitness instructs Cindy Barnes on the proper bar bell technique to use during a squat exercise as part of her new fitness regime. - Joe Gibbons

Cindy Barnes, Chris Eustace embark on physical fitness journey

How many people get up New Year’s Day and proclaim this is the year they are going to accomplish something — anything?

And how many of those resolutions go unfulfilled?

In fact, more than 80 per cent of resolutions aren’t, and within six weeks are like dinosaurs — extinct.

Fitness would be the leading resolution made by people heading into any new year, including Cindy Barnes and Chris Eustace.

They’re committed to getting fit and The Telegram is going to tell you why.

Should they still be participating in their fitness program on Feb. 21, we will update their progress. If they’ve dropped out by then, we’ll find out why.

Personal trainer Chris Hammond of Good Life Fitness in Mount Pearl has programs for both participants with their particular goals in mind.

And to help them reach those goals, he has plenty of advice.

“I can’t emphasize enough for these guys — or for the public — that they can’t do it alone,” Hammond said.

“And you can’t do it all at once. We have set goals, but we are using periodization — in this case, six-week increments — to achieve those goals,” he added.

When it comes to new year’s resolutions, certain patterns emerge that keep people from succeeding: trying to do too much at once, setting goals that are vague, attempting to do it alone and being too hard on ourselves if there’s a lapse of willpower.

But by applying sports psychology principles, it’s possible to set realistic, achievable resolutions and train your mind to stick with it, even when the going gets tough.

Barnes is the mother of two boys, now 21 and 15, the latter a competitive hockey player who has been working out with Hammond for some time. She owns her own business and spends most days, 12 hours in duration, sitting at a desk.

This didn’t bode well for her fitness, either mental or physical.

“Chris has been a godsend,” Barnes said Wednesday.

“I felt useless, not putting my best me forward. My energy level is low and my eating habits are terrible,” she added.

Barnes said she complained enough about herself at home that her husband decided enough was enough and bought her a gym membership as a Christmas gift. She said it was the best gift she could get.

Setting short-term goals, Barnes says she is happy to be out of her 12-by-12 office, meeting people and renewing her energy and outlook.

Unlike most people who start fitness regimes, she says she is not going to be fixated on measurements — like weight and inches lost, but instead wants to feel good about herself.


Ending neglect

“I am not an athletic person by nature. I would rather sit down somewhere with a good book,” Eustace said.

“But you can’t neglect yourself either.”

He’s been away from the gym for a time and was in between trainers when Hammond entered the picture.

The pair established some goals. and the process of attaining the shape, strength and conditioning that would allow Eustace to carry out his work and personal activities was set in motion.

Most of the year, Eustace is a stay-at-home dad, but he works for Parks Canada in the summer on projects that involve a lot of physical exertion.

“I march around Signal Hill (in uniform) with a 50-plus-pound pack on my back. I couldn’t be like a sack of potatoes in order to pull this off. So stamina, cardio and overall fitness are what I am working on,” he said.

Being in shape and being happy with his appearance are his priorities, but getting started again in a fitness routine was also key.

“We had to re-establish his foundational movements in order to build strength when we started,” Hammond said of Eustace.

“He wanted to work on his upper body, be in better shape and have better cardio so he didn’t get winded as easily.”

Eustace said he’s noticing the results of his training and is pushing harder now to achieve his goals.


Resolve to succeed in fitness this year

Here are some principles to help set — and keep — fitness and healthy resolutions for 2018:

Start small
It’s important to focus on gradual improvements and aim to change one behaviour at a time. Start with what you can manage and increase exercise levels slowly. Small successes help build confidence and soon your intentions will become habits.


Talk about it
Tell your friends and family about your plans to build in more physical activity or change your eating habits. By putting it out there you’re more likely to follow through. Plus, you’ll receive lots of encouragement and support.


Be kind to yourself
When it comes to fitness and healthier eating, it’s important to celebrate your successes and not dwell on the negatives. If you miss a workout one week, make it a point to follow through on your gym routine the week after. Don’t worry about tiny slip-ups. Focus on the big picture.


Get an exercise partner
Being accountable to someone else is a huge part of showing up for your workout. Working out with someone else can be more enjoyable and make the time go faster, plus you get extra motivation from the positive feedback.


Be specific
Instead of saying, “I’ll get into better shape,” or, “I’ll only eat healthy foods from now on,” be more specific. Resolutions with timelines and specifics are easier to measure. For example, “I will lose 10 pounds to feel more confident on my beach vacation in March,” or, “I will eat vegetables instead of potato chips at lunchtime to improve my energy levels in the afternoon at work.” Having a specific goal helps you know what to do when temptation arises, and it’s easier to measure success and adapt to reach your goals.


Do it for ‘future you’
People are more successful at attaining their resolutions when they keep their future self in mind. Sign up for a 5K run in the spring, plan to look great on your beach vacation or aim to be active with your grandkids. You’re more likely to withstand pitfalls if you’re focused on future success.

Source: GoodLife Fitness

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