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New Year, New You, New Jiu Jitsu
With less than a week to go in 2017, it's a great time to look back on your year and reflect upon the the goals achieved, the goals missed, and the goals not yet set. There seem to be always be a million different reasons why goals do not get achieved or even set, but at the end of the day, the common denominator in this process is you and it's important to recognize your role and mindset to make sure future goals are met.
What are my goals for 2018?
There are some simple questions you should be asking yourself during this period of transition between the end of 2017 and the beginning of the new year. What do I truly want my goals to be? What do I want to achieve? How can I make sure that I achieve these goals? What are the actionable steps I can begin taking today to get myself set up properly to achieve these goals?
Let's take a look at a very common New Year goal that many people start off with in January. The classic, "I want to get in better shape." This is a fantastic over-arching goal, but first and foremost, we need to try to bring some additional focus and clarity to the goal. What does it mean to us to be in better shape? Let's say you want to shed some excess weight in the neighborhood of 25 lbs, as well. Does that mean you will be in better shape?
Making a vague goal crystal clear
Perhaps the hazy goal of being in shape will drive the average person slightly forward, but for the BJJ practitioners out there, we can take this goal of getting in shape and make it extra meaningful by saying perhaps, I want to compete at the under 200 lb weight class instead of the over 200 lbs weight class in April. Let's say our practitioner is starting around 220 lbs at this point. By taking the goal of getting into better shape and giving it a concrete weight loss number (25 lbs) and a specific timeline for an upcoming April competition, you have made the goal more realistic and what will naturally happen as you strive for this goal, you will move towards the weight loss goal while improving your overall jiu jitsu game. And if this is your first competition, this will be an amazing milestone that you will never forget.
Now that you have a target of at least 25 lbs and a timeline of around 90 plus days, what are the concrete, actionable steps you can begin taking right now to move yourself towards that goal. First off, with the holiday season still in full effect, your goal should be to enjoy yourself the best you can while MINIMIZING the damage that all of the holiday eating can do to your fitness. Travis Stevens, judo Olympian and BJJ black belt recently stated on social media that this is the season to veer off the plan nutritionally, but we should NEVER miss our workout commitments. The average person will eat whatever gets put in front of them and think to themselves, 'why should I work out?' I'll start after the New Year begins. This is a dangerous mentality. By continuing to workout during the holidays, the extra calorie intake can be blunted and the overall damage minimized.
January is game time
Once January officially starts, it's time to bring more cohesion to your nutritional and fitness game plan. With the goal of 25 lbs of weight loss in around 12 weeks, you are looking at 8lbs a month or 2lbs per week, which is well within safe standards and should be very achievable with some discipline and consistency. So what are some easy things you can do differently to get the year off to the right start?
Easy nutritional changes
Drink more water.
Staying well hydrated is crucial when working to get in better shape and lose weight. Experts like Tom DeBlass recommend a minimum of a gallon of water intake per day. For him, this keeps his metabolism stoked all day, keeps hunger at bay, and ensures that he is flushing toxins from his body. This is typically the very first recommendation that he makes to anyone seeking his advice on weight loss and is not shocked when this one change yields sometimes up to 10 lbs in weight loss in the first few weeks.
Eliminate fast burning carbohydrates.
Fast burning carbohydrates and sugars can give immediate energy bursts, but they let us down very rapidly and very hard with a crash later on. They can also work to spike your insulin levels which can increase the chance that calories get stored as fat by our bodies. Instead of these quick burning carbohydrate sources, it would be better to get your carbs from more slowly burning versions like sweet potatoes, quinoa, and other vegetables.
Easy workout changes
Look objectively at your BJJ schedule
Since competition in BJJ is our fictional practitioner's goal, they will want to take a look at their BJJ training first and foremost. Perhaps they can work an additional session into their training schedule. If an extra day of training is not possible because of work and family schedule, perhaps they can extend the length of the training sessions they do each week. It is important to look at your training as objectively as possible and seek out the advice of your instructor, coaches and teammates who train. If I can only train 3 days a week because of work, school or family committments, just adding an extra 30 minutes of drilling, extra sparring, or conditioning to those three days can mean an extra 90 minutes of work each week. This can have an amazing impact on both your BJJ and your overall fitness.
Do you need supplemental workouts?
Since our practitioner is trying to get down to a lower weight division, chances are some supplemental workouts will be necessary? Assuming that our practitioner has a busy home life and other commitments other than BJJ, additional workouts might be challenging. One of the most efficient and easiest workouts would be a mix of bodyweight exercises and weight training. With as little as 20 minutes a few times a week, one can build strength and muscle mass, which ultimately will help burn fat and move you to that "better shape" overarching goal we're striving for.
New Year, New You, New Jiu Jitsu
Seize the day today and decide what your goals and resolutions are going to be for 2018. The preparation and thought you put into them today will go a long way to making you more successful in achieving them. Keep them clear and start building an actionable list of steps that will move your closer to them each day. Don't just think "getting in better shape" is going to get you there. Set a concrete goal of lbs and perhaps compound the goal with the goal of competing in your first competition. Then by putting a plan in place and getting started, you will be more likely to meet your fitness, weight and competition goal, all while improving your overall level of jiu jitsu in 2018!
All of the simple, easy changes that you need to make are jam packed into Tom DeBlass' "12 Weeks to Ripped" system available here. Join the hundreds of BJJ Fanatics who have begun their own personal journey to health and fitness. Your biggest fan will be Tom himself!