Success-Finish Line-Quote

Goal setting.  Something we all like to do.

Reaching goals.  Something we all want to achieve.

Yet the reality of getting from where we are to our goals often crashes in, especially when, yet again, our goal seems to elude us despite our best laid plans.

Nowhere is that more common than in weight/inch/size loss goals!

Let’s say your goal is to lose 2 sizes in 9 weeks as well as increase your stamina and improve your posture.  Worthy goals, right?

What happens if week 2 rolls around and you haven’t lost a size?  Worse yet, you feel you can hardly keep up, let alone improving in stamina!

Maybe 2 weeks is too soon to see progress?  Yet we often berate ourselves for not seeing HUGE leaps in progress in some area in a short time.  Fit and Fabulous in Fifteen Minutes does have the subtitle “Lose Two Sizes in Four Weeks” on the cover–but there are a LOT of variables that can affect that goal achievement!

And the biggest one is how you approach it.

What’s Your Mindset?

How does a runner set his goals?

If you have never run a race and you plan to run a 5K six months from now, do you just focus on the finish line?

No.  You focus on the steps to build your endurance, reduce chances of injury, get your mind focused properly.  You start with maybe running for 30 seconds and walking for 5 minutes!

The popular Couch to 5K plan takes you over 9 weeks to go from 60 seconds jogging alternated with 90 seconds walking for 20 minutes to jogging for 30 minutes.  You don’t just buy a pair of running shoes and go run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes the first day! That would be—disastrous!

So we start with our goal, or our “finish line”, and work backwards.  And that’s not just X amount of sizes lost.  It’s a lifestyle change!

How Do You Eat an Elephant?!

I know you’ve heard that question–and you know the answer!  One bite at a time!

Let’s take some principles from the Couch to 5K plan and apply them to T-Tapp/fitness goals.

I thought this paragraph in the Couch to 5K link was interesting:

 Too many people have been turned off of running simply by trying to start off too fast. Their bodies rebel, and they wind up miserable, wondering why anyone would possibly want to run in the first place.

I have also found this true with T-Tapp–too often we get so caught up in doing a 14 day bootcamp because it was recommended (without taking into account our personal schedule, stamina or other issues) that we can wear ourselves out at the starting line–and never get to the finish line.

On that same page about the Couch to 5K program, it says you can run for time or distance.  So with T-Tapp–is your goal better stamina?  Lose sizes?  Both can be viable goals, but you may reach one before the other. Which is more realistic right now?  As you set a realistic goal, be sure you don’t get sidetracked!  If you decided being able to go up steps without becoming totally out of breath was a great goal to have, don’t get discouraged that you also didn’t lose a size.   If your goal was to lose a size, don’t get discouraged that you didn’t lose two!

Of course, as with all exercise, gaining stamina, sleeping better, less brain fog–all those often come with the territory so they can be great goals OR side benefits!

But Aren’t We Supposed to Do Bootcamps to Jump Start Inch Loss?

Going back to our Couch to 5K analogy, what does this mean for T-Tapp? Isn’t a 14 day bootcamp recommended if I have 4 or more sizes to lose?

Yes…and no.   It’s recommended, but realize that muscle activation is the key to success in T-Tapp. So if you get to day 8 (or 10 or even 5) and you are slogging through the reps, especially the last few moves of your chosen workout, you are going to get much less out of that bootcamp than if you had done 4 days but with total focus and intention.   Keep that in mind as you create your goals and decide on a bootcamp.  The goal isn’t to complete X amount of days (14 days does not automatically guarantee a size loss) but to establish and strengthen mind-to-muscle connections.  THAT lays the foundation for optimal muscle activation and great results!

It’s All About Muscle Activation!

Couch to 5K has you starting 3 times a week for 20 minutes, alternating jogging with walking.

After your bootcamp and two days off to let the muscles rest, you have options.  I can guarantee that if you really focus on muscle activation and your best form (that is progressive–no one ever gets “perfect form”!), even if that means half the reps and extra kicking out to reset your T-Tapp stance, you can lose inches “just” doing 3 short workouts per week.  NO kidding!  I am at the point of being able to maintain on 3 moves a day!  It takes time, though, to build up that level of muscle activation and brain-to-body connection–just like it takes time to build up endurance for a 5K!

If you think of building mind-to-muscle connections as the same as building up endurance to run, that can help you be willing to take the time to establish that foundation vs “getting through the workout”.

As a trainer, I actually don’t get very excited to hear that you got all the way through Basic Workout Plus without taking a break.  It IS an achievement, don’t get me wrong….(and I did the SAME thing!)…but often it means a newbie has sacrificed building a foundation of core muscle activation for completing a workout.

What if you focused on running the 5K as quickly as possible?  Maybe you feel ready in week 5 or 6.  But what if that meant you were sacrificing a good foundation that might result in cramps or crashing after a run due to improper stamina-building?

“Don’t Try to Do More, Even if You Feel You Can”

This stellar piece of advice is SO good!

It’s easy to get impatient, and you may feel tempted to skip ahead in the program, but hold yourself back. Don’t try to do more, even if you feel you can. 

I have to say many of us are guilty of this with T-Tapp! We are impatient–we want results NOW! “Maybe I should do Total Workout 3 times a week, with SATI on off days.”  “Maybe I should do one of the Tempos to up my cardio.”  “Can I add Diva Derriere and Awesome Legs daily?”  Pretty soon we are so driven we keep adding or changing things around for immediate results that we lose sight of the best way to reach our goal.  It’s not in doing more or going faster, but in taking time to lay the best foundation we can.

Just as a tall building may require months of laying a proper foundation, so, too, we may require longer times of preparation than we think necessary.  Yet when the foundation is strong, the building goes up quickly. When we lay our fitness foundation, spending the necessary time to make it strong, when the results start coming they often start happening quickly–much to our delight!

Next time let’s look more specifically at what “working backwards” looks like in T-Tapp.

I’d love to hear from you!   Do you struggle with setting achievable goals that help you feel good about your progress?

photo credit:  Celestine Chua

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