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Stay of Track - Fitness Accountability

Jun 18, 2013

By Ken Clarke and Rick Coe, owners of Fitness Together studios

Keeping both your life and fitness goals in balance is no easy task. Between work, family, friends and all those other things that pop up into your daily grind, finding time for a workout can be challenging.

We know it, and most importantly,Ken Clarke and Rick Coe—personal trainers who own Fitness Together studios in Montgomery County—know it! They share their expert health knowledge with Montgomery Magazine readers to better align those workout goals with life’s demands.

Ken Clarke and Rick Coe of Fitness Together

Does social media matter when keeping track of your fitness plans?Ken: Most definitely. You’d be surprised. When you have that sense of competition, say there’s someone else ahead of you in a run, you’ll push yourself even harder. And that works by letting other folks know what you’re doing on Facebook and Twitter.

Rick: It keeps you accountable to socialize your goals, your accomplishments and even your failures. But don’t dissect your defeat—go celebrate your victory!

Ken: Right!

Rick: If you got up this morning and worked out, I don’t care how much or little weight [lifting] you did, but you got up and did it! A lot of people, by not sharing, get trapped in this mindset of defeatism …

Ken: And the other thing is that very few people lose weight on their own. But by publicizing it, you actually have a support group to encourage you to continue and stay true, and they might even jump on the bandwagon and get more active themselves.

What’s the strategy people should follow early on to stay on track?

Rick: They need to ask for help, and to do research online when goals start to fail. A lot of guys instinctively won’t do that—they think they were born knowing how to become fitness gods … and not one of us has been born with that knowledge. So seek out people who know and demonstrate the lifestyle you want to lead.

Ken: And use your calendar, a physical one or online, to have some structured activity. That way you know, I planned on working out 14 days this month— and you look back to see how many days you actually did. But you also plug it into your schedule. If you schedule it, you’re more likely to do it.

How do you adopt fitness plans with new clients?

Ken: We look at how realizable their goals are, we look at their history—what have they done in the past—and at their schedule and lifestyle.

Rick: And you’ve got to build accountability into those plans. You’ve got to keep score. Without keeping score you won’t even know if you won at all!

Ken: A young lady came in yesterday morning looking to lose 100 pounds, and didn’t really give a timeframe. So I suggested this: Let’s start with losing 10 pounds, and celebrate that, and then lose another 10 and cheer.

Rick: Yes, you have to reward yourself for little victories, like I’m doing with a client of mine who’s been trying to lose weight for a while now. This year, I said, OK, I created a new accountability system and a rewards program for her: Every month that she trains 10 times or more, I’ll give her a free session—and she’s motivated by that! So now, she’s in her fourth month and she’s finding ways to get it in. She’s coming in at crazy hours, but she’s showing up and she’s already lost 12 pounds!

Do you have a fitness question for Ken and Rick? Let us know and we’ll try to feature it in an upcoming column!

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