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That’s one of the nicest things about this job I really like. Because you’re having so much fun writing about stuff you like, you end up quickly running out of time and space. It’s just as well, and thank goodness for editors – they restrict you with word limits and such, otherwise I would have started to burn myself out. Burn yourself out while you’re having a good time; how is that even possible. Let me explain quickly before I go any further. I didn’t mention this in my last article on fitness hacks and tips and tricks to keep your exercise schedules well-balanced and successful.

The thing about having such a good time in the gym or out on the road is that you’ll end up doing too much, much too much that your exercise or running schedule requires of you. In the gym, your adrenaline is working overtime, so you challenge yourself to five more lifts, not so much to see if you can make it but more because you can. That’s confidence for you, and it’s a real rush when you see yourself exceeding limits you never thought were possible for you in the past. The same thing has happened to me on the road.

There have been those days when I was on a scheduled sixteen miler. The weather and the fresh air were just so enjoyable. The only guy out on the road in the morning, it was always so peaceful, calm and quiet. And because it was a long, slow run, my body felt okay and relaxed to do more, so off I went and trotted out another five miles. That’s another eight to ten kilometers. And then you wake up one morning feeling really tired and sore and you wonder why. That’s burn out for you, and it can happen if you’re having a really good time.

They say too much of a good thing isn’t always good. Never a truer word has been said. One of the most off-putting things for many guys has been never being able to succeed in setting good targets and goals. There can be many reasons why they fail, but the popular consensus is that these goals are often unrealistic. It also has to do with trying out schedules and routines that are not quite suited to the unique physique. And that’s where I come back to my last article on fitness hacks. This article is therefore a precursor on how to set fitness goals for the future.
There were things I wanted to say in the previous article that I didn’t quite get around to. So, this is it then. I’m going to draw your attention to a few important philosophies which should help to settle your mind before you sit down at your desk to plot and plan your first workout schedule. I’m going to be taking you back to that less is more philosophy and the important matter of enjoying yourself while you workout. I also want to mention briefly why it’s necessary to get the balance right. So, enjoy your reading then.

Back to less is more

Most guys don’t have enough time in the day. They place themselves under so much pressure to get there and back from the gym in time; sometimes they crack under the pressure and never make it. They also rush through their workouts, forgetting to warm up and stretch properly before and after and risking the prospects of another injury. Guys, just slow down and just be realistic. If you’ve got long work hours to get through and then there’s still family commitments to attend to at the end of the day, that’s still okay.

Be realistic about the time available you have. If one hour is too much, schedule time for thirty minutes. If warm up exercises take you ten minutes to get through, that’s okay. You’ve still got twenty minutes to go.

Having fun while you still can

After the serious work is done, you should always be looking forward to a healthy treat. Yes, it’s happening again. I’m having more fun doing this write up. Anyway, try and do some research on physical activities you might want to try out. Put yourself on trial for a couple of months just to see if you like cycling, running or hop, skip and jump. You get the drift. Give yourself some space; weekends are ideal for this, to settle your mind into things that you might get a kick out of doing. And then schedule in small chunks of time for those weight training and muscle strength workouts that will be necessary.

Getting the balance right

The balance has more important things in mind than preventing the body and mind going stale from repetitive workouts. And I think that under the previous sub-heading, I’ve already added some weight to this important point. The variety you’re adding allows you to focus attention, more or less, in equal measure, on all, not just some, muscle groups of the body. Of course, if you’re going to be spending time over the weekend doing some competitive long distance cycling, your focus will shift.

Let the games begin

Once you’ve got a nice appreciation of what you’re in for, you might be ready to start sketching out your first exercise plan. Again, your goals need to be as realistic as possible. Go back to the time factor and work your way up on that. You’ll find that over time, as the good habits grow on you and your body, your exercise and physical activities will be taking priority in your life and you’ll end up having more time available to you. Am I making sense? The thing is, those first schedules need to have soft targets in mind, meaning that they can be met and there’s no discouragement for you to step it up a gear in the months ahead.