Ramsey Bergeron's Top 10 Fitness Tips
As an expert trainer, I get it every day. People wanting to know why they aren’t getting results and what can they do. What’s that? You want a one word answer and a quick fix? Doesn’t exist. Want a serious answer that doesn’t involve magic and unicorns? Keep reading. This guide is for everyone from seasoned athletes, to someone just getting started. Pay special attention that eating and actual workout points don’t start till #4. Why is that? Because so much of it is the psychology as to why you aren’t getting results. It’s more complicated than “eat less, workout more.” I promise if you do all of Ramsey Bergeron’s top 10 fitness tips, you WILL get results.
The first time I meet with a client, I ask them
to tell me why they are here. “I want to feel better” is usually the standard answer I get. It’s such an all encompassing yet meaningless, subjective answer. It’s all about peeling back that onion. What would make you feel better? Losing weight? Ok, how much? By when? How? Once you start dialing in your S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals, you know where to start. “I want to lose 15 lbs by New Years” or “I want to finish my half marathon next month in under 2 hours” meet the criteria and will help you formulate a plan.
9. Time Management
The biggest excuse people make for not getting results is that they don’t have the time (These are usually the same people who are also magically up-to-date on the latest tv shows). Guess how many hours Leonardo de Vinci had in a day? Or Michael Phelps? Or Lebron James? That’s right. The same number that your ass sitting there on the couch right now does. Don’t get me wrong, if you took the time to read this list I know you are at least interested in self improvement. But as soon as you’re done, prioritize the rest of your day. A one hour workout is only 4% of your day (I did the math for you). Write down all the things you do throughout the day and add up the time. Why doesn’t it add up to 24 hours? Because you spend a lot more time that you think doing absolutely nothing beneficial. (Bonus tip: to be the most productive, try waking up earlier and working out before work. Can’t wake up early to workout? Try going to bed early. Give it a few weeks, you’ll be surprised how easy it is. ) And if you need some help…
Need help staying on target? Having someone to hold you accountable goes a long way. Even Olympic athletes have coaches! Keeping accountable can range from having a trainer/coach, a workout buddy, or even just an app that reminds you it’s workout time. If there is a big goal you are going for, share it with everyone! When I sign up for an Ironman, I put it on Facebook to increase my accountability! If I write it down and send it out to the world, it’s real and I’m now accountable not just to myself, but my friends. Having a personal trainer to help guide you and provide knowledge andmotivation helps too! And if your friends aren’t being supportive, well…
7. Evaluate your friends
I separated out friends from accountability because even if you have a buddy or trainer who may hold you accountable, your other friends could derail you entirely.
Whether you like it or not, your personality/habits/morals/hobbies are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Think about it. It’s not easy, but sometimes you need to evaluate your circle. If none of your friends are health conscious, it’s much much more challenging for you to be successful. Now don’t go tell Extra Fries Franny in accounting I told you to stop hanging out with her. But maybe start making friends with someone in spin class, or in a local triathlon group. The more you spend time with like minded people, the more motivating it is. And if you need help with motivation…
And when I say “modeling” I don’t mean you should be friends with models. I mean find someone who you want to model
your success after. Does someone have the physique you want? Or the marathon time you dream of? Write them or call them! Ask them how they did it! Or if they are an elite athlete and may not have the time to write you back, go buy the book they wrote about their journey! If you want to be successful, the quickest way to do it is to find someone who is successful in that arena and emulate it. Avoid the hurdles they encountered by learning from them. And don’t just learn from them…
5. Be a student
Don’t get me wrong, I love it when my clients ask me questions. But what I REALLY love is when my clients come in and tell me about an article they read on different fueling systems for the body. Or how to increase their lactic acid threshold. Seek out as much information as you can! New studies are done all the time on perfecting training plans, nutritional research and varying training modalities. When I got my first NASM training certification, I was taught that losing weight was as simple as calories in vs calories out. I now know that is a very flawed approach. And while talking about calories…
4. Food as fuel
If I had to pick the easiest area to make big improvements it’s nutritional. But in order to do so, you have to start reading nutritional labels and learn what buzzwords are total bull@#*t. “Low fat” usually means “high carb”. What’s that? The label says it’s all natural? So is lead and plutonium. I recommend eating neither. You could have the most epic, intense workouts of all time, but if you arent fueling your body properly, then you are wasting your time. And your fueling shouldn’t consist of food alone …
Protein is the only macronutrient that can be converted to muscle. You need to be eating .8 to 1 gram of protein per lb of lean body weight. Not only does protein build muscle, it also satiates you, meaning if you consume it, it will fill you up better than carbs! I have a list of prefered foods I send out to all clients of Bergeron Personal Training that includes varied protein sources.
2. Compound movements
Finally! We can get to actual exercise! When you do work out, compound exercises are definitely the way to go. What is a compound exercise?
Any exercise that utilizes two or more joints in the movement. A bench-press is a compound exercise since it involves both the shoulder and the elbow. A curl is not since it’s just the elbow bending (if your form is good, anyway). There are a multitude of reasons why, but the biggies I will point out here are injury prevention, functionality, and effectiveness. In real life we rarely do a simple exercise (hence the higher rate of injury outside the gym if we only work out simple exercises) and the more joints you work simultaneously, the more muscles you are recruiting which maximizes your time in the gym.
Yup. The #1 thing isn’t diet or nutrition. Well, not directly. It’s tuning out the distractions and focusing on what the hell you’re doing. Don’t be that guy in the gym talking to other gym rats for 20 minutes in between sets. Or that runner who is thinking about what they are having for dinner later that night. Do what you are there to do. FOCUS. I’ve been guilty of zoning out during a workout as I’m sure you have. And my results for that workout reflect it. I try to focus on the “zen of exercise.” It doesn’t matter what you did the last set, or the last exercise and it won’t matter what you do with the next one. The only one you can effect is THIS ONE. RIGHT. NOW. It’s proven that when you think about the muscle you are working, you are able to generate 10% more force. So leave your phone in the car (or put it on airplane mode if you need it for music) and do what you came here to do. Get results.